NextGen Ministries New WebsiteCleaning House

What does a faith-based youth-oriented organization like NextGen Ministries do when their website needs an overhaul? They make the decision to do something about it — because they know a healthy online presence will help them grow and serve their purpose in our community, not only as professionals but as leaders and supporters of faith.

Supporting our Community’s Impressionable Youth

NextGen Ministries is about one thing: strengthening the effectiveness, fruitfulness, and discipleship of the next generation of local Methodist congregations. Through hosting and sponsoring youth-centered events and facilitating youth ministry camps throughout the state of Missouri (psssst, we designed this site, too!), this organization brings guidance, love, and a structured understanding of Christianity to Missouri’s children, teens and college-age congregation members.

With such a diverse range of goals and activities to promote, it’s no wonder they needed an easy-to-use online base that would help them more easily engage with pastors and youth directors as well as the older-aged youth and their parents.

Taking Inventory

When considering where the love was needed most in this new website design, NextGen Ministries felt the first important thing was to get rid of the old branding so they could implement their fresh, new look.

The next challenge we faced was restructuring how the content would be organized within the site. The new website had to be organized in such a way that allowed visitors to easily access the information they needed, and be simple for NextGen Ministries to update on their own. To achieve this, we combined the content from their old website with our plan to reorganize the navigation, break text into clearly-labeled, easy-to-digest sections, and cross-reference content anywhere we could throughout the site.

Next Gen wanted a site with lots of personality but didn’t have many photos, so to compensate, we incorporated a lot of textures that worked well together into the section backgrounds, which gives the design extra depth and appeal. The textures and colors are consistent for each category creating continuity between similar content.

Going Modular

To keep the information easy to find, manage and cohesive from a design perspective we used a modular design for the overall layout, most easily spotted on the Resources section and Staff page. You’ll also notice this is how the featured events and resources pull in on the Home page. The idea behind this design is to clearly display the information so visitors are visually cued to flow through the site in a way that makes sense and is easy to understand. Plus from an administrative perspective you can enter the content once and it is highlighted throughout the site without duplicate entry. It makes updating the site faster and more streamlined.

The coolest thing about the Resources page (in my opinion) is the way the sorting options are displayed on the left sidebar. Each option is listed clearly under large headings using a modern and stylish sans-serif font. And what about those square, textured bullets repeated on the posts and individual posts pages to create the visual continuity we pointed out earlier?? So fun!

The Staff page presents members in a grid format using gorgeous professional shots, relevant contact information, and “Learn More” buttons for each so visitors aren’t immediately bogged down with information they weren’t necessarily looking for…like how many dogs Sarah has or where Scott Burdin grew up. All interesting facts, but not necessarily the most sought-after when visitors first land on this page.

Encouraging Connections

The idea behind an organization like this one is to humbly encourage and grow community connections. MayeCreate helped them achieve this in two ways:

1. Social Media Feeds

At the bottom of the Home page, you’ll find NextGen Ministries’ most recent Instagram and Facebook posts, further showcasing their hip, fresh side. This is also a great way an organization of any kind can use their website as a central hub to make connections with their target audiences.

2. Single Event Landing Pages

There are times when NextGen Ministries wants to promote an event without promoting the entire website. For this, we designed single event pages (featured on the main Events page) that feel a lot like landing pages, which helps funnel visitors’ focus onto the event information and the cause behind it rather than what’s featured throughout the rest of the site.

Additional features included on the new NextGen Ministries website are:

  • Custom WordPress Theme
    With Custom WordPress Themes, the website design is unique and the structure is flexible, scalable, and easily manageable. Let’s just say websites with custom WordPress themes aren’t forced to reside inside the box.
  • Safe Site Plan
    The new NextGen Ministries website is enrolled in our Company Safe Site Plan, meaning we’ve enhanced the site in an effort to offensively protect it from hackers. We backup the site daily, maintain regular WordPress and plugin updates, and monitor site activity and link function.
  • Updates & Ongoing Maintenance
    It’s imperative to keep content fresh with regular updates to keep clients and prospects interested. With their website completed, we help NextGen Ministries stay on top of their game by performing requested updates and changes to the website as needed.
  • Custom Sorted Resources Section
    When visitors click to view the Resources featured on the NextGen Ministries site, they’re able to sort in three categories: by Age, Topic, and Type.
  • Expand and Collapse Staff Section
    In the main navigation, you’ll find a Staff page which displays the names, titles, emails and images for each NextGen Ministries team member. When visitors click the “About” buttons under each member, off-the-wall Q&As appear beneath the staff members information, questions like, “If you could have a super power, what would it be?” Again, so fun!

Are you looking for a website?

Does your site lack a fresh look and easy-to-follow organization, or do you just need a site in general? Contact the team at MayeCreate Design. We believe websites work when good design meets solid functionality. Our web designs always aim for ease of use and clear communication. Check out our portfolio for a look at our other projects and to get your pride on…today.

More about the Author

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Katie Guinn

Katie is a Designer & Content Developer at MayeCreate Design. Her responsibilities and experience include content development for websites and online marketing, blogging, general website maintenance, graphic design, ad campaign management, project management, office management, bookkeeping, and customer service. As a wife, mom, twin, seasoned karaoke singer and amateur rock climber, she’s seen the world from many perspectives and thrives to bring an open mind and clear vision to her position here at MayeCreate.

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