We have been running our theme for the past 3.5 years and some are wondering if we need to freshen up the look as styles and themes change so often. We are using the Epic theme but have it set up to a branded look for our church. Is there a way you can have the “feel” or “look” of your web site rated to make sure we are staying current and fresh with other web sites? (some of our older folks don’t like the dark look and think it depressing but others think the darker look is very appealing to younger folks – we would like to move out of the realm of opinion and get outside input).
When I look for tools to do this they all rank the usability and coding side and don’t score the look or feel of the site.
Any help you could give us would be appreciated.
Along with this question, is there a way to transport our current web site to a back up URL and play with the theme and change it around without it being “live”. This would give us the chance to sample how our site would look with a different theme.
You guys are always so helpful and it is greatly appreciated.
Excellent question about your site. I don’t know of any services that provide stylistic feedback on websites. That would be a bit tricky to handle via algorithm like most evaluators do. Generally you could do a focus group of people who are representative of the folks in your congregation and ask them what they think.
In the last couple of years, the trend has been to very large images, they’re called heroes, at the top of important pages. Generally these are the full width of the browser window and often the full height as well. That’s a very common design trend, but it’s best implemented when there is lots of good imagery available. It can be awful if you don’t have good pictures.
If you’d like to play around with a new design, what you could do is create a new folder on your server and install WordPress there. You might name it 2016 for example. Then use the export and import screens in the WordPress tools section of your dashboard to add the content to this new site.
Then you can develop it there out of sight until it’s ready. After that, there are a few small changes to make in WordPress and on your server to swap out your current site for the new one.
Let me know if I can help,
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