Districts Launching New Websites


If you haven’t been to your district’s website in awhile, perhaps it is time to check out the changes. There’s a conference-wide focus on providing more timely and consistent messages in a more user-friendly fashion. South District webmaster Drew Kraus, who works on the open source Joomla platform, has heard many good comments following the launch of their simplified site, but the proof is in the improved traffic numbers he has to share.  “We are seeing a nice jump in web visitors with our new site,” notes Drew. Last July, the old site had less than 600 unique visitors and that number grew to almost 850 this July, including a doubling of page views. “We went with a more clean, slick and consistent look on the new site,” he explains, “and significantly improved navigation and data organization. Also we upgraded many of our site management tools to make it easier for us to post materials (media/content) to the site along with better ways in presenting this data.” And as a side benefit to this upgrade, the web administrators are now in an 'upgrade path' so we can get new software and security updates as soon as they become available. “


Susan Buchanan helps manage the South Central website at http://heartofhouston.org. “We use Drupal platform and have been updating links for lay leaders, candidates and clergy as well as highlighting the three focus areas of the TAC,” she says. “One tip I can offer other webmasters is to use RSS feeds to keep site content fresh. We use the Texas Conference feed, the UM News Service feed and daily Bible verse feeds through biblegateway.com to highlight the languages spoken in our district.”


According to Administrative Assistant Debbie Keim, the West District office updated their website in early 2013.  “Mustard Seed Studio was very helpful in setting up the website to fit our needs here in the district.  It is a user-friendly program that lets you upload pictures, graphics and information with just a few clicks.  In the past, I was the only person able to update the website.  Now any one of us in the office can update it and from any computer.   The new website http://west-district.org makes it easier for churches to get information on Charge Conference, Report Day and upcoming events in the district as well as the conference. “Mustard Seed Studio is also working to rebrand and simplify the design and administration process for websites managed for Central North and Southeast districts.