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Update: New Archdiocese Website Project Moves Forward

Thursday, April 7
Douglas Cramer, Antiochian Archdiocese Director of Internet Ministry

As was announced in February, under the leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, the Department of Internet Ministry has been at work for over a year on one of the biggest technology projects undertaken by the Archdiocese: the construction of an entirely new website at Antiochian.org.

The team at Antiochian.org is hard at work on this improved version, which we will launch this Spring. If you aren't experiencing the usual quick response time, this is why. Thank you for your patience, while we apply pedal to the metal to get the new site up and running! The Archdiocese website, serving an audience of over 100,000 monthly visitors, is being completely rebuilt using state-of-the-art Internet design software and principles, centered on deployment of the latest major version of the world's leading open source content management platform, Drupal. (Learn more about Drupal, including the wide range of organizations basing their Internet publishing strategies on its capabilities, here.)

Changes on the way include:

  • An integrated and more intuitive presentation of our most important devotional resources for clergy, parish leaders, and the faithful that brings together liturgical texts; sacred music; Scripture readings; articles devoted to our Orthodox Christian Feasts, Fasts, and Saints; and more.
  • Improved navigation and menus across the website to allow visitors to quickly and easily find the material they need.
  • Website architecture built using "mobile first" design principles and tools to ensure that Archdiocese resources are quickly and easily available on the growing range of mobile devices used today to access Antiochian.org, such as smartphones and tablets. (The approach is also called "responsive design," as it centers on building a website that "responds" and resizes to the device you are using to look at it. Mobile devices now account for almost 40% of visits to our website.) 
  • Major updates and revisions to our homepage and all our most important sections, including those dedicated to His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, our hierarchs, and our dioceses; our parish directory; our Great Lent section; our Discover Orthodox Christianity section; a new Antiochian Orthodox Institute section; the department sections for Christian Education, Youth and Parish Ministries, Conventions and Conference Planning; the Order of St. Ignatius section; and much more.
  • A deeper integration with the growing Archdiocese social media presence, currently centered on Facebook and expanding this year to include other platforms for particular kinds of content and communities. (For example, we plan to launch an official Archdiocese Instagram presence for publication of photography and other images.)

We will also be maintaining an archive of the current Antiochian.org website for many months at a new address. This will safeguard the historical treasury of information and resources that have been amassed over 20 years of digital content creation. As we migrate from our old site to the new, we will make final decisions alongside Archdiocesan leadership regarding our long-term archiving strategy.