Observations from the Unitarian Universalist website scan

Table of Content

Some notes from my quick survey of Unitarian Universalist websites. This speak to the broad middle in quality; I'll be writing about the really amazing ones and some deeply problematic habits another time.

  • Unitarian Universalists sites make little use of web fonts, which is unfortunate as Google makes many families available free of charge. (This blog uses two.) Noteworthy exceptions:
  • And yet much too much Papyrus.
  • Congregation size (or influential pastor) is no guarantee of a high-quality site; some very small congregations punch above their weight (or some other sports metaphor.)
  • Unitarian Universalist sites are prone to be wordy -- a shocker, right? -- and many seem to value long lists of service and newsletter archives. On the front page. Why?
  • Many sites are not suited for mobile devices; I'll keep harping on that one.
  • Lots of sites independently designed, I'm guessing locally; most of these are reasonably well designed.
  • There was an obvious shared effort in collaborative web development in past; will try to track down the initiators.
  • The "off center cross" appears on three Unitarian Universalist sites, all of Universalist origin:
  • Also, more use of the 2005 "flytrap chalice" than I would have guessed.
  • Lots of Weebly sites. Also some WordPress.com ones, but fewer Google sites that I would have anticipated. All, at a basic level, are free of charge.
  • Saw some Drupal installs -- which will power the new UUA.org site -- even for churches too small to make the best use of it. Surely hobbiest interest; been there myself -- and turned back.
  • Installation photos seem to be a thing as a front page image.
  • Massachusetts sites tend to feature the prominant meeting-house photo, and also tend to be better designed overall. Those areas with fewer Unitarian Universalists, in my impression, have poorer sites overall. That deserves a rescan.
  • One Reply to “Observations from the Unitarian Universalist website scan”

    1. The old intersection of personal free time and advanced technological skills has disappeared. The latter concentrate in young folks desperately trying to get into, or pay for having been to, the higher education mill. Personal free time clusters in a growing pool of able-bodied retirees with dwindling funds for self-improvement. Until the Association decides to recognize that the old humanities skills that support ministerial presence no longer coincide with the new technological skills of outreach, and even of interconnection, and honors the ethical obligation to pay young adult techies for hard-won, high-cost capabilities, the sad situation you describe will only get worse.

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