Site Inspiration – Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C.

Here comes another cathedral – this time, in the capitol city.

Screen Shot i - St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral in D.C.Screen Shot ii - Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in D.C.Screen Shot iii - St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral in D.C.

My first impression of this website was its impeccable organization. When you organize your website in such a way that it’s easy to navigate and not an eyesore OR overwhelming, you’ve accomplished a mighty feat.

Take note:

  • Mass Schedule; prominent / easy to find
  • Color Scheme & Rotating Photographs: Clearly, the cathedral itself inspired the website’s color scheme and aesthetics. I highly recommend that. Design and photos together contribute to a sense of continuity; I may be at home, but when I visit the website, I feel almost as if I’m visiting.
  • Easy-Access Buttons for commonly sought-out information (ie. bulletin, donation, popular ministries)
  • Functional & Updated Calendar: I am impressed by this calendar. Not only does it aesthetically fit with the rest of the website (quite uncommon), it’s actually put to good use! Click on any event and you’ll be taken to a webpage specifically about that event. Brilliantly executed.
  • Parishioner Registration: Online registration forms are becoming more common for parish websites. This particular form serves as a great example, including option for “Primary Language” and ‘Yes/No’ options to determine whether or not the new parishioner is baptized/confirmed. Check out the form yourself. Information collected can provide an easy way for the parish to take a more personal next step: don’t just mail donation envelopes. Call or email your welcome and include information about getting baptized/confirmed or about parish groups that may interest this individual/family.
  • FAQs: You’d think that more parish websites would include a simple Frequently Asked Questions page; most businesses’ do. The cathedral takes advantage of prime real estate near the Search box for a FAQ link.

Another rarity on this website is the use of a unique parish logo. It’s not tacky, nor does it come across as some ‘marketing tool.’ Rather, the cathedral logo does what it should: serve the cathedral’s brand. Parishes often fail to recognize how building a parish ‘brand’ can help maintain brand awareness. Don’t we want people to have church on the brain?

I played a little “find the parish logo” game. Results:

  • Header & Footer
  • Favicon
  • Facebook badge
  • Bulletin
  • Parish event flyers
  • Forms
  • Letterhead
  • Printable parish ministry handouts

Not only does this consistent use of a parish logo bring a level of professionalism to its communications, but it also gives parish ministries and activities an increased sense of unity. I’d be curious to see parishes lacking in unity try this little experiment.

Keep exploring, and you’ll discover that everything about this website is polished. And why shouldn’t it be? Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle represents the Catholic faith in the nation’s capitol, and they do a brilliant job of it online. Bravo.

This website was designed by the talented Melissa Armstrong (Planned Parenthood recognized her talent and got her to work for them, as well) and developed by Jason Cho of Lattice Group.


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