I have high standards when it comes to parish, church and diocesan websites. Probably too high. My friends at Catholic Tech Talk have found some pretty good sites that were submitted to their parish site contest. They all have qualities worth praising. However, I find myself generally unsatisfied with them because, as a designer, the aesthetic appeal is so important to me.
Graphics, text, color, and the layout of any given website will help me instantly decide whether or not I’ll spend my time on it. In my opinion, a Catholic website should set itself to high standards in the aesthetics category, because our faith has celebrated beauty for generations – and is itself a most beautiful Treasure. Whenever a Catholic website strikes me as extraordinarily beautiful, I like to highlight it here.
OK. Done with my little rant. On to the showcase, Bob…
Today, I’m happy to present St. Anthony Shrine in Cincinnati, OH for your inspiration.
- Dynamic photo background displays the shrine’s beauty and character
- Easy buttons allow for instant interaction with the church
- Email subscription opt-in form displays on every second-level page
- 360 Degree Tour immerses the user (plus is fun and super neat)
- Patron saint biography allows any parish a catechetical moment (Who was St. Elizabeth Ann Seton? St. Peter Claver? Where does Sacred Heart devotion come from? etc.)
- Regularly-updated news blog catches a glimpse into shrine/friar life, and is closely tied to…
- Super Facebook page with 7,000+ “likes” and active fan base
Like any page, I’d have some suggestions and critiques to make the shrine’s site even better. But what a fantastic feat these Friars have accomplished with new media!