The new site, launched Dec. 18, consolidates more than 20 individual departmental web sites, including LCMS World Mission, LCMS World Relief, the President’s Office, Higher Education, Black Ministry, and District and Congregational Services.
Since the site was last updated in July 1998, advances in software and web design have enabled the Synod’s Internet technology team to coordinate the “look and feel” of the entire site, so that visitors will always know they are on the LCMS site.
David G. Berner, director of information services for the Synod, said the new site not only increases the navigability of the thousands of pages on the site, but increases the productivity of the departmental webmasters at the International Center.
“We’ve installed a content management system that makes it easy for support staff, as well as skilled webmasters, to add content to the site,” Berner said. “It streamlines staff effort by utilizing one system for web-site administration.”
The new site uses a “breadcrumb” feature that allows visitors to see what path they have taken to the page they’re currently viewing. By clicking on the “breadcrumb” path, visitors can go back two or three pages with just one click, rather than several.
Site visitors also will be able to navigate via the common taxonomy used throughout the site, common links that are on individual ministry area pages. In addition, a direct link to the LCMS home page is designed to be on every page.
The unveiling of the new site is the second innovation connected to the Synod’s Internet presence. In March, the LCMS e-News subscription service was introduced, allowing visitors to self-subscribe to various newsletters produced by Synod departments and entities.
The Synod began its web-site presence in December 1995 with about 50 pages of information. Today, the site is viewed by nearly 11,000 visitors each day.