Emmanuel Covenant Church is a growing but strong community of people who care deeply about their faith and their church. They have always been driven to be a big community that offers the closeness of a small church. Recently, they had found that their old and outdated website was no longer keeping up with the needs of their fast expanding group. Not only that, but they wanted to be able to get it ready for what they wanted to do in the future.
Making things simpler
Emmanuel Covenant Church (or ECC, as they like to call it) knew they had fallen behind on keeping things up to date on their site. Not only was it harder to maintain, but the look and feel suffered because of inconsistencies in how the content was input. In addition, the old site admin was bulky and required lots of custom tinkering to get things just right, further complicating updates.
Knowing this, we made a custom theme for WordPress to get them back on track. The theme has multiple custom templates built in with tons of custom meta fields that make it easy for anyone to go into the admin of their site and switch things up. The learning curve was especially important to ECC, so we worked hard to get rid of any areas that would require the editors of the site to have to input any code.
As with many clients, ECC wanted to make sure that their site was built with all devices in mind so that people could get to their content whenever and wherever they wanted. To that end, the site was build responsive from the ground up. The site also uses the new picture element for better loading of images on small devices, extensive use of HTML5 audio and video, and SVG for sharp graphics to provide the best experience on multiple platforms. To make the site feel more app-like, Velocity JS was used to give the site silky smooth animations in places where performance matters. CSS transitions were also used to give the site an extra special touch. Most important to ECC, anything that can be done on the site via desktop can also be done when visiting via tablet or smartphone.
Third party integrations
One big thing that we added were custom ‘blocks’ for pages that all could be customized with a few clicks. This meant that not only could pages be easily added and edited, but that the look and feel on the site to visitors would stay consistent.
The theme also uses various APIs from third parties to make things even easier to manage. One thing ECC wanted for the future was videos for their messages. So, we made a custom field not only for the audio but for video from Vimeo as well. Many people subscribed to their community calendar via Google, so we used it to provide our own custom front end calendar so it would match the look and feel of the site, which automatically updates to any changes made. The small groups also utilize tons of meta information so visitors can easily find a group for them, email leaders, and even get directions to the meetup. All without a single line of code from the editors.