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The Power of Custom Visuals in a Parish Website

Colours, photos, spacing, typography… It’s all about picking what you like, right? 

It might not be that simple. Your visual choices on your homepage make a difference and communicate messages beyond just the title on your latest bulletin or what event you are promoting. 

Here’s a little insight on the the power of visuals on your homepage from Tilma’s Art Director, Bryce Perry. 

Q: What does it mean to personalize our website?

BP: It means making the website feel like your community in a way that is identifiable from others. This helps make the experience feel more personal than generic. It reminds people that your parish is made of unique individuals, not just a building or name. 

Choose colour, images, layout options, type of content to represent your community. For example, colours that align with your logo, content that speaks to your main parishioner demographic or cultures, and images that have your people in them. 

Q: Why is it important to make the website look / feel unique to our community? 

BP: Your website, or more specifically your homepage, is like the front door to your community. It’s often the first thing people see when they come to your community for the first time and creates a space of familiarity for your existing community. This will help increase a sense of belonging and welcoming. 

Q: How can I use our website to make someone feel welcomed?

BP: Being welcoming (and clear with where to go and what to do) is one of the most important things for your homepage. Images with your people smiling and gathering together might sound a little cheesy but it gives people a glimpse into what they could experience. Colour can also play a pivotal role in what emotion you want to convey to your site’s visitors. Light, soft colours can help make your site feel inviting.

Q: What are best practices on a website for those that are not sure where to start? 

BP:

Colour
Some basic principles in good layout that will help make the website a higher quality is using contrasting colours for the background and text to ensure legibility. Try to choose colours that line up with your logo, parish branding, or city to help customize it. Don’t use too many colours and make sure they complement each other. 

Here is an article for interior design that can apply directly to the colors you choose for complementary colours on your website. 

Photography
Photography should also be of people in your community, and as high quality as you can get (no iPhone photos or blurry images). If you do not have access to your own high quality photography, use free stock photo websites like unsplash.com

When using stock images, try to pick ones that have a similar aesthetic so they feel unified rather than random. This can help make different ministries and the parish overall feel like one strong community rather than several that are scattered and disconnected.

For other pages, like events and ministry pages, the same rules apply. Keep your visuals friendly, warm, clear, and high-quality. Try to use images as much as possible as it makes the pages feel more like you're getting a glimpse into a community instead of just a bulletin of information. 

Layout
Here are some questions to ask when creating your custom layout: 

  • What is a defining aspect of your community's personality/brand? 
  • The church architecture? 
  • Your mission statement? 
  • Certain members of the community? 
  • What layout would best showcase one or all of these aspects?

For those on TIlma, you can find resources on editing the homepage here

Clarity
Whether adding images, changing the layout or adding new events to your page, keeping things from getting overcrowded is a way to add to the feeling of being welcomed in. Cluttered and disjointed websites feel like an awkward hug. 

Here’s an example of even and spacious layout: 


If you have any questions about Tilma Parish’s customizable websites, we’d love to talk to you

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