Celebrating 10 Years of Ministry with a Makeover
Revive Our Hearts is the radio teaching ministry of Nancy Leigh DeMoss. On September 3, 2001, they went live on the air bringing the kingdom message of revival and restoration to the hearts of women, unknowingly days before the tragic events of 9/11. Now we are ten years down the road, and the ministry is as strong as ever and still growing.
As the ministry of Revive Our Hearts has grown throughout these last ten years, it was time to review the web outreach. In particular, the focus was on the ministry's website—www.reviveourhearts.com—to make sure it was meeting the needs of those searching for resources and encouragement as well as its flexibility to meet future needs.
Planning for the Future
As more people used technology to reach the resources and media programming offered by Revive Our Hearts, it became clear that the current website didn't quite meet the growing technology needs. This was the perfect opportunity to evaluate and plan for what a revised website could be for the ministry.
The goals were simple:
- Highlight the extensive media resources that are produced by the Revive Our Hearts staff. The ministry needed a centralized area that users could go to to find articles, products, programs and more.
- Centralize the spin-off ministries. As Revive Our Hearts' sub-ministries continued to grow—TrueWoman.com, SeekingHim.com, LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com—the new website could bring greater cohesion among and between the audiences interested in these ministries.
- Revitalize the look of the website. After 5 years from the last major refresh, and never having done a full site redesign since launch, it was time to review and update the look and feel of the website.
- Lay the foundation for future growth. By using all the latest technologies—from updated server configurations, an updated website framework, clean HTML and CSS, and new social integration features—the website could be flexible enough to expand with the growth of the ministry.
With the goals finalized, Revive Our Hearts reached out to long-time partner Five Q to bring these goals to life.
Phased Approach with Feedback
With ten years of quality content already existing on the site, it was vital to nail down the content strategy and information architecture as early in the process as possible. This was very much a team approach, as we worked with the key Revive Our Hearts staff who were currently responsible for both maintaining the site and responding to the vistor feedback to help shape the new direction. With the information architecture and wireframes in hand, we partnered with designer Michael Schafer to help set and develop the creative direction for the site.
Five Q recommended building the new website with a model-view-controller (MVC) framework called Django. With Django we could create a custom content management system (CMS) that would allow Revive Our Hearts staff the ability to update portions of the website at any time as long they had access to the Internet. It also provided the flexibility to integrate with existing data and management systems, and new features such as social sharing.
The key feature on the revised website was the centralized Resource Library. Designed as a "one-stop shop", this area of the website combined all of the resources available online from the ministry—published articles, books, CDs, videos, wallpapers—as well as featured items from the sub-ministries. Users could search the site by resource format, topic, or author to help them find exactly what they need.
As the new site was getting ready to launch, Revive Our Hearts released the first version of the website for review that was running in parallel with their old website. This gave ministry advocates and followers the ability to try out the new features and provide feedback through a feedback gathering tool called Get Satisfaction. Combined with feedback from Facebook, Twitter, Disqus comments, and emails from users, adjustments could be made to the website before final launch.
10 Years: Growing and Thriving
In conjunction with the main website redesign, Revive Our Hearts also wanted to showcase the 10 years of success the ministry has had. The dedicated Tenth Anniversary page featured the use of HTML 5 to create a graphical look back at the ministry's impact and to showcase the plans for the future.
The redesigned website launched in September of 2011, and it's been a privilege serving with Revive Our Hearts as their strategic web partner for most of these first ten years. We look forward to what will come about in the next ten years of ministry.