March, 2014 – Our church website and our eSpirit email newsletter have both changed a lot in recent months. Here’s a brief explanation about why they changed and more information about how to find things, and how to use the new website and email newsletter.
Q: Why did the website change?
A: Our Moving Forward project (see below) called for some changes to our website. One of the Consensus Priority Objectives from Moving Forward states,
Our web site should
- be redesigned and updated,
- to make it more attractive to visitors, especially to those who are searching for a potential church home,
- to make the content more easily accessible.
(More about Moving Forward at the bottom of this page.)
The changes to the website were done to help meet these objectives. Our new website is built using WordPress, which makes adding and editing content easier for parishioners and staff people who help out with parish communications.
Q: Why did the web address change?
A: Our website now has a new web domain address – www.stmatthewsepiscopallouisville.org
This makes our name more prominent in our web address, so that Google and other web search engines can identify St. Matthew’s Episcopal, Louisville more readily. And people searching the web for a church in Louisville can find it more quickly.
This is the first step in a bigger process called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, which will be continuing as we try to build a larger presence on the Internet. You can read more about SEO here:
Q: Why did the website links change?
A: The links changed to make the site clearer for people who are not already parishioners, and to help with SEO. If you had an older web address bookmarked, that link will no longer work. However, all of the articles that were on the “interim” website are still on the website with its new address.
To find a web page, go to SEARCH in the menu bar across the top. Or go to the last item in the menu, FIND IT A-Z. You can use the list on that page, which also has links to the major areas on the Legacy website – pages that were created before December, 2013.
Q. How do I find and use the Calendar of Events?
A. Our church website now provides a Calendar of Events to allow you to check on the dates and locations of events. The calendar of events is located at this web address:
To learn details about each event and the location (room) of each event, click on the event to open a window with details.
If you need to add an event to the calendar, please contact Joanne Coleman.
Q: Why does the eSpirit email newsletter contain so many links to the website?
A: It is considered a “best practice” to keep email newsletters short, to respect people’s time and interest. One of the ways to do that is to have a headline and a few sentences, and then provide a link to allow those who are interested in that item to click to the website to read more. This keeps the e-letter shorter so that people are more likely to at least read the headlines.
Q: How do I sign up for the eSpirit?
A: We are now using a different email newsletter service to send out the eSpirit. We are using MailChimp. To sign up to get the eSpirit, go to this link:
Q: What other online communications plans are in the works?
A: We will soon start using MailChimp to send The Spirit newsletter to those of you who are now receiving it by email as a PDF. And we hope to soon start a “branding process” so that St. Matthew’s will present a uniform logo and look in our materials. Watch for announcements about both these things.
Q: My question was not answered in this article – how do I learn more?
A: Any time there is a question about the new website, the eSpirit or any other question or concern about our online communications, you can email email@example.com and someone on our Communications Team will respond.
More about our Moving Forward project
In 2012 St. Matthew’s began its Moving Forward project: “Tom Ehrich was hired to work with St. Matthew’s and five other parishes in the Diocese to look at what are best practices for growing a parish. From this weekend, a task force called Moving Forward was formed [with] Communications, Leadership, Membership Development and Stewardship [Committees]. Thirty people have worked to observe what we as a parish do in each of these areas and compare what we do to what are considered best practices…”
One of the Consensus Priority Objectives from this project states, “Our web site should be redesigned and updated to make it more attractive to visitors, especially to those who are searching for a potential church home, and to make the content more easily accessible.” (You can read more about Moving Forward here: http://www.stmatthewsepiscopallouisville.org/movingforward/)