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First Presbyterian homepage on interior of laptop
Apr 23 2020

Shifting Your Website for Shifts in Your Goals: A Case Study

A consistent mistake I see in websites, across a variety of industries, is that they don’t show clear goals or intentions. Or, perhaps a business website reflects goals from their past, rather than reflecting what they are now. Your website has the potential to be a powerful tool, but if your website isn’t trying to achieve the right goals, then it can actually hurt more than it helps.

If you look at your website and feel unsure about what goals it’s meant to achieve, that’s a strong cue that it’s time for a redesign.

When the First Presbyterian Church of Portland came to us, their outdated website wasn’t helping them reach their goals for the future. The First Presbyterian Church of Portland’s old website was a classic example of one that did well enough at past goals, but not current ones. They had created an informational resource that worked for their existing members, and covered the long history of the church and its unique features.

However, beyond that, their old site missed out on some key opportunities:

  • Their website didn’t function well on mobile devices.
  • The multitude of resources and bulletins for members didn’t do much to invite new visitors in, so growing their membership was a slow process.
  • Their community service and their music and arts events got lost in the shuffle, when First Presbyterian wanted those aspects at the forefront.
  • They lacked clear messaging and imagery to give a sense of what their community is like—a serious gap when community is the biggest motivator for becoming a member!

Getting Goal-Oriented

First Presbyterian Church of Portland needed to reach a younger and more on-the-go audience, so a mobile-responsive design was a must-have in our website goals.

As we dug into learning about First Presbyterian’s culture and goals, we discovered aspects of their community that could really shine on their website and widen its scope beyond promoting worship services and getting news out to current members.

We knew their goals as an organization were:

  • Encourage participation in services and other activities,
  • Grow their membership,
  • Reach an audience of younger families,
  • Create greater awareness of their public events in music & art.

To ensure they could expand their reach towards younger families, part of our process involved a deep dive into their brand voice, with the help of copywriter Abbi Wood. Focused discussions with the Head Pastor and other leadership at First Presbyterian helped us learn about their vision and their community values, so the website’s messaging would be both clear and inviting for a modern and tech-savvy audience.

Meanwhile, we did a thorough audit of their existing website content to determine what content best served their audience, and worked to gather photo and content resources to bolster their brand story.

From there, we crafted a website design that supports their goals, as they are in the here and now, by:

  • Creating a mobile-friendly website that reflects their community’s modern perspective and commitment to the city of Portland
  • Restructuring the site map and homepage to bring their Community Outreach and Music & Arts efforts to the forefront.
  • Making it easy to find information about worship services and joining their membership
  • Sharing details about First Presbyterian’s offerings and events in a way that is both visually engaging and easy-to-digest.
  • Building an interface that is easy for their internal staff to manage, so all of their information is up-to-date.

First Presbyterian Church of Portland now has a modern website where people can easily find out how to join their events, and become a part of their membership.

  • Visitors immediately see the faces of an active and engaged community, whether they’re on mobile or desktop, and are invited to learn more about it.
  • Visitors can easily see calls-to-action on the homepage guiding them towards attending services, exploring their outreach efforts, and partaking in their arts and music offerings.
  • Their public events and volunteer efforts for the community are front-and-center, as cornerstones of what makes their community unique.
  • Their website now has a refined content strategy, speaking to their values in a way that is concise and inviting, rather than dense and intimidating.

Some Benefits of the New Website:

  • Improved engagement from visitors who are new to the organization,
  • Time saved on administrative tasks and website maintenance, so they can turn more of their attention towards publications and social media outreach,
  • Fewer questions both from current members and from those interested in joining,
  • Comfort in having an online presence crafted by a team of professionals, that truly reflects their community and values.

To take a closer look at the finished product or others like it, take a look at our portfolio.