If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that one of my biggest pet peeves is Catholic parish websites that don’t display Mass times. You can find the bingo times, the car raffle, Sister’s newsletter, and a photo of the pastor’s dog, but you can’t find the Mass times!
The information that we laypeople need (confession times, Mass times….and especially Holy Day of Obligation Mass times) are often deeply hidden under embedded tabs of a Web 1.0 parish website with broken links.
Can I get a witness?
For example, if you are traveling in a different city and it’s August 15 or December 8 or January 1 (each is a Holy Day of Obligation), then you need to look up the Mass time and plan the day accordingly. Usually, you’d do this on a smart phone: find the parish, find the right time, the address, and then plan accordingly.
In my experience, it’s hit and miss. Often the websites are not mobile responsive – so it doesn’t display correctly on a smart phone. Then to find the address and Mass times is another hurdle. Usually, you have to find the bulletin, download the bulletin pdf, then open the bulletin, and read through it to find the Mass times! Is the Eucharist worth it? Yes. But I wish parishes would make it a bit easier for us.
I think about 50% of American Catholic websites are regrettably living in 2004 and not 2014. 50% of parishes out there have awesome web pages with everything right there under your nose in clear daylight. The other 50% are truly medieval (not in the good Thomas Aquinas medieval way, but in the bad tortuous medieval way).
A recommendation for Catholic websites:
My friend Josh Simmons (he’s also an Aggie – we graduated from Texas A&M in the same year) has been solving the “Catholic website problem” for several years now and he is even helping with the parish websites for the Archdiocese of New York. Now we can know for certain that all the Mass times in NYC will be discover-able and accurate!
Josh’s company is eCatholic and they provide a plug and play solution for Catholic websites. It’s literally a drag and drop template for Catholic parishes – so you can easily create beautiful Catholic pages (and let people easily find your Catholic parish Mass times).
If you need to have a snazzy custom Catholic website but you’re not a web developer, then check out eCatholic. It’s inexpensive, they provide hosting, support, and training.
Josh is offering free trial of eCatholic by clicking here. So if you are a pastor, work for a parish, or have some influence in your parish, please hook us laypeople up, and get one of these beautiful Catholic sites with excellent user experience.
PS: If you’re not a parish and want to get into Catholic blogging like me, I recommend using self-hosted Word Press and going with Bluehost for your Word Press hosting. Bluehost has great customer support, incredible value (only 4 bucks a month!), and their company doesn’t host pornography. Start your website or blog now by getting started with Bluehost: click here.
If you want plug and play all-in-one service with no required tech knowledge, then go with eCatholic.