Which makes the work the folks at eCatholic are doing even more important.
In case you’re not familiar with them, here’s a bit about them:
eCatholic was launched in late 2005 in order to provide Catholic parishes, schools, and other ministries with beautiful websites that are easy to update, all at an affordable price. The idea of eCatholic was conceived by our founder Josh Simmons, who worked as a Youth Minister, Director of Faith Formation, and Music Minister at multiple Catholic parishes. While working in the Church, he recognized the vital role that the web must play in the future of our Catholic parishes, schools, and other ministries if we are to connect with today’s culture. Thus was born eCatholic.
And earlier today, they launched version 5.
There’s a 30-day free trial that, I’ll admit, is on my to-do list. Why’s that? Well, almost-award-winning though our current parish website is, it’s been 18 months. It’s time for a new look. Chunks of this and that need updated. And I have become, over the years, slightly nervous about all the web info residing with me. (And it mostly does.)
Why would I consider eCatholic?
They give the reasons on their features page, as far as I’m concerned.
1. Beautiful responsive designs.
That means that for all those people who are only online through their devices (phones and/or tablets), your site looks just fine (that’s the responsive part). That means that for all those people who have been active online for the last few years and can tell a good-looking, easy-to-navigate site, you’re in (that’s the beautiful part).
2. Easy peasy.
I’m pretty sure that I could teach a certain parish colleague how to use this interface. I’m confident I could even get that person (and maybe another one I have in mind) to use it successfully and regularly. This is nothing short of miraculous.
Granted, I haven’t tried it, but…well.
3. Collaborate and engage.
Social media is where it’s at, right? But…dude, one more thing and I will LOSE IT. (All the parish employees reading this just nodded sympathetically.) And keep in mind: I LOVE social media! Pulling it all together over and over and OVER on and on and ON for the parish, though, can be nothing short of draining.
And that’s where the collaborative drafting and workflow side of things at eCatholic looks really appealing to me. There’s also a notification center. This could change the name of the parish website game.
There’s more, and Brandon Vogt has outlined it far better than I will.