We've redesigned the Messy Church website - read why

Over a year in the making

We've just launched a complete redesign of the Messy Church website. We've been working on this project for over a year, with input from the Messy Church team, the wider staff team at BRF and our developers.

The previous site was launched in 2013. Since then, the size of the Messy Church network has exploded to more than 3,900 Messy Churches in over 20 countries.

While Messy Church has grown significantly since 2013, the systems on the website had stayed much the same. The new website is a big step forward, and our prayer is that it will serve the whole Messy Church community well.

Visit the Messy Church website

The Messy Church website

Why we rebuilt the site: the short version

Users told us that it was hard to find what they were looking for, especially on mobile devices. Mobile use across websites is going up, and this redesign brings the Messy Church site up to date.

The systems on the old site relied on our staff making lots of manual changes. The redesign includes systems that will automate tasks and improve efficiency. This will free up time and help our staff focus on other priorities, and spend less time on admin.*

* We do a lot of administration, and we have some fabulous administrators. Administration is a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:28); this development, however, redresses the balance where manual admin was taking too much time and restricting other opportunities.

The development of projects like this is funded by donations. If you can support us, please consider donating.

Why we rebuilt the site: the long(er) version

A lot has changed for Messy Church since we built the previous Messy Church website in 2013. The number of Messy Churches has grown year on year, as has the number of site visits.

We could pick any number of areas to talk about, but here's a couple:

1. Mobile usability and navigation

Back in 2013, mobile users represented 25% of all site traffic; today the figure is 51%. While the previous site ‘worked’ on a mobile phone, it wasn’t easy to use, and the mobile experience was much poorer.

Along with updating the design of the website to better reflect Messy Church today, we’ve re-organised and rewritten content to make everything easier to find and use on a phone.

Over a third of all pages viewed on the site are resources pages, as Messy Church leaders explore what is on offer and would most help their situation. We’ve paid particular attention to the resources section, retiring a hard-to-navigate menu of categories and building a tighter and better-focused set of pages.

Messy Church mobile view

2. Regional Coordinator volunteers

One of the ways we seek to support the network of Messy Churches is by supporting local volunteers called Regional Coordinators. Their role is to promote and support Messy Churches in a given region.

We work with over 150 Regional Coordinators, spread among the more than 20 countries where Messy Churches meet.

How it used to work

On the Messy Church directory, every Messy Church was manually linked to one or more volunteers.

As a result, when volunteers or the regions they support changed, a lot of work had to happen.

How we figured out a solution

Having discussed the problem, we decided the best solution was to base our regions on postcode districts (i.e. the first part of the postcode). So, our region 'Exeter and East Devon' contains postcode districts EX10, EX11 and so on. We've done this for the UK (2,982 postcode districts, not that we're counting...) as well as several other countries.

What this means for website users

  • Website users will be able to easily find Regional Coordinators and get the support they need to discover, start or sustain Messy Church, and get in touch with the right people in their region
  • Our team in the office and the Messy Church team will save a lot of time in admin; time that we can redeploy to focus on other priorities.

And that's just two of the things we've worked on...

Regional Coordinator volunteers

How we've funded the new site

The work of BRF's Messy Church team is largely funded by grants and donations from individuals and churches.

The new website and systems represent a significant investment of time, energy, passion and money. We’re really excited about this development and - God willing - trust it will serve Messy Churches well and bear fruit.

If you’d like to support BRF as we develop projects like this, please do consider donating.

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