I don’t usually do religious websites, but my manager from a previous position had contacted me to update the web presence for his mosque and turn it into a community information site. It sounded intriguing and added a different sort of site into the ones I’d done up till now.
- Responsive Design To Accommodate Multiple Screen Sizes
- Simple Navigation With Dropdown Menus
- Information Heavy Front Page
- Front Page Content Easily Updatable
- Google Translation Integration
- Facebook Widget For News Updates
- Social Media Integration
- Image Gallery Photo Sliders
- Complex Graphical Backgrounds
- Stock Photography
- Content That Modifies Itself To Fit Mobile Screens
- Seperate Sunday School Site
- Custom Graphics (Logo modified from their logo)
- Editable Content
- Search Bar
One of the reasons I don’t usually do religious websites is because most of these types of sites are done by someone in the respective congregations. Someone in the group plays around with it, or their niece or son has some experience. They set the entity up with a simple website and it works okay. That’s a good way to learn coding, but it doesn’t always yield impressive results. The client wanted something impressive.
Built On A CMS Skeleton
Client Generated Content That Looks GoodThe client wanted a way to continuously update the site, so we chose an architecture that let them do just that, but with a refined look using lots of graphics. That was key for the client, something that looked really good. I did a survey of any church, synagogue, mosque, temple, and Buddhist wat websites I could find and realized there was a lot that could be improved upon.
A Frontpage with lots of informationThe client wanted their front page to operate as a source of information for people who already attended the Mosque, but also as an informational aid for people interested in learning about Islam. We had to put a lot of elements on the front page, but we built them all in. The front page includes:
- A script that access a website to pull in the prayer times in any time zone.
- An image slider of Mosque events, updated by the client.
- A modifiable prayer section so the client can update the message.
- A map and a contact form.
- A feed of all the facebook posts from their facebook page.
Multiple Structures Behind The Scenes
The client had many needs and wanted to make this website fully featured. I worked with him to meet every requirement and build structures that helped support the community that the website served.
Event CalendarThe client needed an event calendar built into the CMS architecture so that community meetings and hall reservations could be announced. I found a plugin that created most of what they needed and integrated it into the site.
TranslationThe client also wanted the site to be an information source for people who spoke all languages. The expense of translating everything was too much. We integrated Google Translate into the page and provided a link at the top to enable automatic translation of the site.
Responsive DesignWhenever possible, a site should be built with responsive design. Isneo.org was no exception. We made sure the framework we chose worked on all device types. I made sure the design and image elements would come through on all size pages as well, preserving the look of the main site no matter what device it was one.
Other Structures and Sub-SitesWe built in contact forms and email lists so the client could organize the community all from within the site. There was one final thing the client wanted though, a separate sunday school site. We built it off the main site and changed a few design elements so that it felt distinct, served the separate audience, but also felt liek part of the main site. We set it up as a sub-domain so that it was accessible from the main site, but distinct in its own way and coding.
Considering The Audience
One thing that all good websites do is consider the audience for the site. Whether a church, temple, mosque, business, portfolio, or ecommerce site, the community of end users is what is important. The structures that work for one community can often work for another, but the needs of each community have to be taken into account as well.