Responsive content for easy use, anywhere

By Stephen Previtera Of The Catholic Virginian

Behind the scenes at the Diocese of Richmond’s Pastoral Center a new website has been taking shape. Pastoral teams from Information Technology and Communications, with the help of an outside vendor, have combined their expertise to produce not only a new look, but a streamlined interface for both internal and external users.

“The primary objective of our site development effort focused on aesthetics, simplifying our content, and increasing access via mobile devices,” said Eric Sund, Director of Information Technology for the Diocese.“The new design also allows for easy access to menus, clear navigation, and a responsive layout for all platforms.” Those platforms, whether mobile devices or desktop computers, will now be recognized by the new website, which will automatically reformat itself to accommodate the viewer’s screen size. In May, 2016, the Catholic Virginian website underwent a similar overhaul, utilizing WordPress, the same content management system (CMS) as the new diocesan site. This software powers nearly 16 million websites worldwide and because it is open-sourced – meaning the original code is freely available – website developers can customize it to fit the specific requirements of the organization it will serve. The Diocese of Richmond developed its first website in 1998. At the time, staff had to learn complicated coding known as HyperText Markup Language (HTML) in order to create the website’s structure. Times and technology, of course, have changed. Today, with improved backend functionality, multiple diocesan staff members can easily access and upload new content without coding. The Pastoral Center will also conduct additional training for designated staff within each department who will then have the responsibility of managing the online presence of their particular office. “We are excited about the debut of the new website and hope the people of the Diocese will be too,” said Deborah Cox, Director of Communications for the Diocese. “This is one step to enhancing and improving our communications efforts by allowing the website to be more user-friendly, to find information quickly, and making the site more accessible through all devices.”