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Articles :: XOOPS and ImpressCMS :: Themes and Templates

Theming Your Church Website

Theming Your Church Website
How much of an impact does the look of your site have on the messages you convey with it? Do you think it matters?

It certainly does! Here's a little example of how the media shapes the message. Write a note and hand it to someone - you have just delivered your message to the person it was intended for. Now, take the same note, wrap it around a rock and throw it through the same person's window. The message hasn't changed, the sender hasn't changed, the recipient hasn't changed, but the method of delivery (or, the 'media') has changed. Do you think the recipient would regard the content the same in both instances?

Now - let's talk about your church website design and learn the right questions to ask before you use, buy, or hire a designer to design a custom theme for your church web site.
There's More Than Meets The Eye

There are entire books about how media and content merge and the 'medium is the message', so I won't go into a lot of that in this article, but I'm sure there will be more about this in future articles. For now, we will concern ourselves with the image we portray on our websites, the importance of well-designed sites and the flexibility you have with ImpressCMS and XOOPS themes.

I have said before that "Content is King", but there are some important considerations for how your site looks. The web has moved from a literal, sequential media (as print is) to a graphic, non-linear media. This gets more complicated by the fact that the web is not just viewed in computer browser, but also on cell phones and by other web sites. Learning about the medium and design helps you understand the non-verbal aspect of web technologies.

The goal is not a site that is the visual equivalent of being hit in the head with a rock wrapped in a message. The goal is to understand how the visual presentation of your site alters your message. Your theme should complement your content, effectively highlight it and reflect your ministry, not be a distraction. For a short video about how redesigning newspapers affected readership and circulation, visit

Next, we'll examine the fundamental building blocks for any web site and how it impacts your visitors.

  1. There's More Than Meets The Eye
  2. Semantic Markup - Form and Structure
  3. Page Layout, Visual Components and Efficient Designs
  4. Wrapping It Up
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