Our church website presentation was generally fine. I only had the past week to figure out the stylesheets and templates and make some changes. Considering my working hours and band practice, I’ve probably only spent several hours on it.
We thought the council members would generally be more senior in age, thus we had to keep things simple for them. From what I saw, none of them had used a content management system before, so they were fairly impressed with Joomla. So far, so good.
We had just told everyone about how the CMS could update web pages instantly, when Auntie M – a family friend and grandmother – spoke up.
“What about indexing for search?”


A younger council member sitting across the table gave a startled look. Auntie M elaborated that she wanted to know if our internal search engine would reflect new changes made. Our web developer replied that our built-in search engine indexed changes automatically. Then I remembered, Auntie M was a retired librarian!
You go, grandma!
Another council member then asked if we could enter metadata. Our developer replied yes, Joomla had that field but it wasn’t compulsory. We had requested council members to contribute content, and a few thought that included metadata as well!
A younger council member asked if we would buy search keywords, which sparked off a longer discussion. Frankly I think it would be weird to advertise online. Like we were monetising our publicity. Besides, someone noted we did well in the rankings already. We made a point that important keywords should also appear in the copy text of our web pages.
I added that we could re-submit the revamped website (with new content) to Google and other engines. Another grey-haired council member said yes, “We should submit it to search engines like Google.com and Clusty.com.”
Clusty.com!
Was I in the geekiest church council meeting ever, or what?
[Addition: I just remembered that someone asked if we could display videos. We said, of course.]
All in all, things were fine, though I painfully anticipated someone would talk about the design, which they did. I had to explain things were not final yet. In fact, it was not entirely like what I had envisaged in my mockup. Colour can be a very subjective issue too. I remember why I stopped working as a web designer. However, for God I’ll do it again.
[In case you’re wondering: The majority of council members there were not Singaporean/Asian but expats.]