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Megalithe 1.0 – A Great New WordPress Theme for Bloggers

MegalitheInto photography and photo-blogging? Have a portfolio of visual works to show off? You’re going to love the new, mobile-responsive WordPress theme just released by StudioPress – Megalithe 1.0.

The Megalithe child theme includes the following features: 10 color styles, 6 layout options, custom background, custom header, featured images, fixed width, mobile responsive, theme options, threaded comments.

So if you have your web hosting and a WordPress-powered blog set up, consider giving Megalithe 1.0 a shot.

Here’s a full screenshot, but you need to navigate it and shrink the browser window to see the full effect of its beautifully-implemented responsive design features…

Megalithe — Premium Genesis Child Theme

When People Are Lost… On Your Church Website

404 errors. Web developers hate it when a website visitor finds a “page not found” error on a website. It’s a bug. There’s a broken link somewhere. Or maybe the visitor made a bad guess at a particular URL. Either way, they’re now lost.

Grace Hills’ website, along with 16% of the internet, runs on WordPress, which has a customizable template for the “404. Page not found.” error. So we customized ours like so…

Lost?

In case you can’t read it in the image, it says…

Lost?

We’re afraid that whatever you were looking for isn’t here. Try using the navigation above or the links below.

We understand what it feels like to be lost, and we believe that God has been on a search and rescue mission for you throughout your entire life, and He hopes you’re willing to be found.

If you are spiritually lost and looking for home, check out our First Steps page.

Visitors who click that link are taken to our page that explains God’s purposes for our lives, our lostness, and the gospel of Jesus who died for them. It’s a simple thing, and a simple way to use the website’s dead ends to head people back in the right direction.

Welcome to the New Grace Hills Church Website

We’ve just finished re-designing GraceHillsChurch.com from top to bottom. Check out this screenshot (or click it to visit the real thing) and then read more below…

Grace Hills Church Website

(Note that we have a separate design for mobile users – you’ll only see this if you’re on a desktop browser or if you scroll to the bottom of the mobile version and switch to the desktop version.)


By the way, have you "liked" Grace Hills Church on Facebook yet?


Why the Redesign?

Primarily, for better communication. Our former design looked okay, but its information architecture wasn’t the best. It was difficult to know what was important. Since most of the information on it tended to look the same, everything seemed to blend together. With the new design, we can more easily feature the pages of our site that lead the visitor through a progression of commitments.

We also re-designed because it was time for a new look. Our brand has changed a little bit. We emphasize having a messy ministry, but our site wasn’t very messy to match, so this new “grungy” look with its fresh greens better captures our church’s personality.

The Design Details

It’s built on WordPress. I’ve been a WordPress developer for several years now and I’m an enthusiastic promoter of the platform as an excellent resource for churches (I even founded and later sold a site all about using WordPress for ministry). There are other great platforms out there, but I’m sold on WordPress for church websites for several reasons:

  • It’s open source, which tends to reflect the values of our church’s culture.
  • It’s free. You simply have to have a place to host the website (aff).
  • It’s agile. As the social web changes, we can quickly adapt with it.
  • It’s easy to use, even for people with no web design experience.

The design is based on the Moses Theme, by Mint Themes, but we’ve already gutted some of the theme’s core files, added and subtracted from the stylesheet, and have plans of converting the theme to a responsive design.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback, and I’d also greatly appreciate it if you’d like Grace Hills on Facebook, which would really help us spread the word about our ministry in northwest Arkansas.

Visual Inspiration and Great Links for Creative Leaders

Being creative is a reflection upon our Creator. To be more creative, observe beautiful things made by creative people. Every day, I read posts from around the web that showcase some amazing creative talent. Each is a link, so click the picture for more. Enjoy…

25 Awesome Business Cards

25 Awesome Business Cards


Interactive: The New Wave of Infographics

Interactive: The New Wave of Infographics


The Top 25 WordPress Themes of 2011

The Top 25 WordPress Themes of 2011


Grace Hills Church T-Shirts

Grace Hills Church T-Shirts


The 10 Best Flickr Groups for Texture Inspiration

The 10 Best Flickr Groups for Texture Inspiration


30 Fresh & Creative Custom Business Card Design Inspirations

30 Fresh & Creative Custom Business Card Design Inspirations


Showcase of Logo Designs With Detailed Graphics

Showcase of Logo Designs With Detailed Graphics


20 Fabulous New Websites For Your Design Inspiration

20 Fabulous New Websites For Your Design Inspiration


30 Awesome Pictures of Eagles

30 Awesome Pictures of Eagles


20+ Incredible Multi Exposure Photographs

20+ Incredible Multi Exposure Photographs


15 Unbelievable Solar System Pictures

15 Unbelievable Solar System Pictures


50+ Amazing & Beautiful Photos from Tokyo, Japan

50+ Amazing & Beautiful Photos from Tokyo, Japan

Grace Hills Church Is Alive On the Web

And later this year, will be alive in the sense of a community of people gathering together to discover and deepen our relationship with Jesus. Someday, perhaps we’ll meet in some kind of building. But I’m far more concerned that we are actively and visibly present in the community to which God has called us to serve, being the church to northwest Arkansas.

GraceHillsChurch.com is now live, and will be tweaked, expanded, and redesigned many times over in the months and years to come. Take a peek…
Grace Hills Church, Bentonville, Northwest Arkansas

The site is built on WordPress. The design is a customized version of the Quantum theme, from ThemeTrust. We’re using MailChimp for email distribution, integrated with Gravity Forms for integration of email subscriptions with contact forms. Another must have is Yoast’s SEO plugin.

My goal is to produce a site that is easily integrated with social networks without being over-the-top, optimized for local keywords (which I’ll do more of later), and which serves as a simple, two-way communication device. Any feedback?