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Continuing Website Development

Created by: Greg Hyatt
Submitted on: August 14, 2021

As the ministry at CMBC continues to further develop, we must focus on continuing website development.

Since the inception of the new re-modeled website since I took it over nearly 7 years ago, we have been able to bring it a long way from what it originally was.

Furthermore, it is paying off in driving more traffic into our sanctuary. Many newcomers have indicated to us that they way they learn about CMBC was through our ministry website.

Keeping Our Website Development Fluid

With any great website design, it is always needed along the way to move in the direction of what the online trends dictate.

Furthermore, with more and more people utilizing their mobile devices to conduct their web searches, it goes a long way that we keep our site extremely mobile friendly.

Continuing our website development helps to ensure that we are keeping up with the web standards as set forth by W3C.

They, along with Google and others, set the standards and what a modern contemporary design should look like, but more important is how it functions on the mobile web.

Reverse Design Strategy

Years ago when the web was in its infancy, many designers and developers only had to design for the standard desktop user, as there weren’t any mobile phones or tablets to be concerned with.

Needles to say, those times have dramatically changed.

You would be hard pressed to go a day without seeing nearly everyone you come across without a mobile device in their hand.

Now, website designers and developers are pressed into having to conduct a reverse design strategy.

Where year’s ago we didn’t have to worry about mobile devices, they are now are primary concern.

Our Continuing Website Development – It’s About Speed

If there is one thing that absolutely must be a primary focus in any quality website in today’s market, it is the speed in which it delivers the content to its viewers.

Who remembers when everyone was operating on a 3G network? Those are certainly days gone by for the vast majority of our country.

With the introduction of 4G and now 5G, speed must be faster than the blink of an eye.

Most beneficial to achieving the necessary speed comes from a couple of things. However, there are two that certainly stand out the most.

Pre-Delivering Content & Image Sizes

Blazing speed most generally is achieved by delivering your content from what is called a CDN (Content Delivery Network.)

Basically, in short, this means that all of your website data is stored then a pre-fetched version is delivered to its viewers. That’s about as easy as I can make it without getting in the the “Geek Bucket.”

Secondly, but by no means any less important, is both the image size and its relative file type.

Recently, a new image format has been adopted for the web called “WebP.”

Previously, you had to invest a lot of money into additional plugins and services to have your images converted to this format.

With the most recent update to our CMS (WordPress), WebP images are now permitted to be uploaded without the use of any further plugins. In addition, I have been downsizing the images prior to even converting them.

So basically what used to be a standard image of say around 50 – 250 MB, has now been reduced to 25MB, which results in our content to load at blazing speeds.

Having The Right Web Hosting Provider

Many do not know that I own and operate my own Website Hosting Company. The technology that I provide on my server stacks is equivalent to that which could only previously be obtained by using a hosting provider such as A3 Web Hossting (Amazon.)

I have one additional step to take to ensure everything is as snappy as it possibly can be, and that is to migrate the domain name itself to my hosting company. This will then allow me to utilize the CDN that we provide without having to integrate CloudFlare and several other plugins into the mix that cause a website to load slower than normal.

We are looking to have this achieved within the next several days.

Keeping up with continuing website development can be both daunting and tiring at the same time.

There have been plenty of nights that I most generally don’t get to bed until well after midnight. However, it is what keeps me going as I want to ensure that our church’s online ministry content appears as professional as possible.

What Else Should We Be Doing?

Oh I’m so glad that you asked!

The only way to keep a website fresh and growing is by providing ongoing content. What is content?

Very simply put, it is as simple as creating a blog post.

There is nothing terribly difficult about writing a well thought out article. Trust me, if you can post an image and say something on Facebook, then you can certainly become a contributor on our website.

It truly is that simple.

You Could Be The Next Article Rockstar

Don’t wait for everyone else to raise their hands to volunteer. Be the next person who is a dedicated contributor here on our ministry website.

Think of the countless lives that you have an opportunity to reach with your encouragement or even your testimony.

Don’t think that you can’t make a difference, because I’m here to tell you that you could very well be the person who helps trigger a personal response from a reader to make a commitment to Jesus.

Will it be you?

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