Ministry for 1990s
I debated posting this, but figured it needs to be said. Over at the hip site ChurchMarketingSucks, a new ministry-helping website has recently been featured. Upon going to the site, it looks half-decent, with a nice color scheme and a little flash animation that is not too overbearing. If this were just a church website or a blog, I'd say they would be doing a pretty decent job. Here's the story: Web Site or Web Ministry?
However, being that SILAS partners is a site aimed at helping churches and ministries, I think that they should hold themselves to a higher standard. What many churches do not realize is that many companies like this one, as well as other big-name churchy type design groups are simply dishing out yesterday's product (123 lines of errors) to churches that deserve more.
Meaning, these sites are riddled with myriads of senseless tables, and could be easily laid out with CSS instead, saving the churches they're supposedly trying to help quite a bit of bandwidth, not to mention make it easier to be updated in the future. But no, since the church is already behind in its efforts to keep up with the world technologically, we have these companies prowling on them by selling them an inferior product.
It is for this reason that I hope to help launch a site by this Fall that will help to break up some of the dependency on these outmoded companies, and start teaching the churches the difference between a hashed out wizzy-wig site and a well-coded one. I can't say much about the project now, other than that it has a few people who know their stuff working on it.
For now, I'm hoping such companies will learn to help themselves develop a good site, before offering any assistance to others. As it is now, their own site does not even validate to the HTML 4.01 Transitional document type specified. In other words, there are 119 lines of errors on a web-design business site.
The web has taken a giant leap forward in the last five years, but Silas, Truewell, et. al. continue to make only baby steps. What's worse is that they tell others that it's still sufficient to walk around in diapers. It's no wonder we're viewed as irrelevant in a post-modern culture, we don't care to keep up!
The thing is, it is not even that hard to learn to adapt for web standards, providing you already have some basic knowledge of how to do accomplish it using messy table methods. If a full-time seminary student has time to self-teach, these "professional" companies had better get with the program.
It is my sincere wish that the church would quit settling for 2nd best when it comes to competing with the World. We should stop selling ourselves short for a product that only "looks good," and see the web as a viable outreach tool.