The Latest in Church Website Design and Development: Savannah's Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

February 12, 2016

United WebWorks Church Website Design and Development Presents…

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist of Savannah, GA! 

 Church website design and development

 

By 1791, the French colony Saint Dominigue (now known as Haiti) had begun to feel the effects of political revolution in France. Many of the 40,000 colonists fled the turmoil boiling over in their adopted homeland, and along with refugees from the chaos in France herself found their way to Savannah, GA. With them came a strong Catholic faith that established a small wooden chapel in 1799 on Liberty Square. By April of 1876 a new French Gothic Cathedral was dedicated by the Archbishop of Baltimore.

Now, more than two hundred years later, what began as a tiny remnant of French immigrants celebrating mass in an equally tiny structure called The Congrégation de Saint Jean-Baptiste has transformed into today's Savannah Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, presiding over the 54 parishes, 25 missions and 77,000 lay Catholics of the Diocese of Savannah.

And this innovative congregation is not finished transforming the way she serves her parishioners - not by a long shot.

After a year of thoughtful planning, the Cathedral is settling into her new home on the internet. Father J. Gerard Schreck's hope that it would be both beautiful and functional has been fulfilled by their partnership with United Webthe  Works. Our church website design and development expertise was a perfect fit with their goals for the future of their home on the web. Along with the some great ideas and photos from the congregation, we were able to meet a number of specific goals, including:

  • Reducing workload by automating many of the office's administrative functions by leveraging electronic forms and other features.

  • Growing their parish by heightening their presence to locals and tourists alike. Being a landmark in Savannah, the Cathedral holds public tours and is very popular for weddings; now, inquiries can flow through an online form in the "Contact" page.

  • Live streaming each week's 10:00 AM Sunday Mass, for viewing anywhere on the planet. This is an especially important feature for those who are unable to attend on Sundays due to infirmity. A click on "Mass Times" gives you the Daily Gospel Reading.

  • Adding responsiveness so that viewers on all devices - desktops, laptops, phones, tablets - could view the content with ease.

  • Incorporating beautiful media by building on a platform that had much more space than the old website. Now, the website allows visitors to veiw high-quality images and listen to music that was difficult to access through the old site.

  • Adding eCommerce to develop the online store for Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. As a regional administrative center as well as a place of worship, the Savannah Cathedral receives a large number of visitors each week. Tourists often consider a visit and a tour a highlight of their visit to Savannah. Their new web design now allows the office to handle requests for souvenirs, books, event tickets and other items as they become available. Since the launch they have actually expanded their store!

  • Handling donations given by generous visitors. The church's new website is equipped for regular offertory giving and donations to various special funds as needed. A simple click on the "Give" link enables donors to make an electronic contribution to the life of the church.

  • Providing the most up-to-date information to parishioners, who can now access a calendar of planned parish suppers, adult formation events, book clubs, special events, and holiday and Holy Day Mass schedules. Not only that, but Lector, Usher, and Extraordinary Ministers schedules are available through a registered login. 

The Cathedral is also taking full advantage of modern social media outlets. The header on each page contains links to their Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and Instagram accounts, where you'll find more content and the opportunity to follow ant and all late-breaking information.

Click on the "Twin Spires" link on the home page and you'll see the Cathedral's impressive monthly news publication packed full of photos and articles describing the life of the congregation. In addition to the weekly bulletin also accessible through a link on the home page, this congregation is one well-informed group!

 

The team at United WebWorks is proud to have taken part in modernizing Savannah's Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist with a brand new, state of the art, responsive website that incorporates beautiful photos and music, needed functionality , and a brand new e-commerce function. It really is an easy, one-stop center for parishioners to stay current and interact with their church.

 complementary inbound marketing mini audit We thoroughly trained the church staff to maintain and use the features of their website, and we offer support for any questions that might arise.

Susan Hansel, United WebWorks' Client Relationship Manager says,

"We were honored to work with Catherine Kostilnik and her group on such a landmark organization's web presence. They were open to new ideas regarding technology and together we were able to create a website that is not only beautiful but is able to streamline administrative functions as well."

Every structure built by the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in its long history in Savannah was carefully planned, constructed and celebrated. Church website design and development should always be that way - beautiful, functional and responsive. We can help you lay the foundations of your own fantastic website, too! Contact us today to learn how.