January 26, 2023
Request for suggestions: Use of photographs to seize consideration

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (
bio –

– e-mail

) | Jan 13, 2023

The workers of CatholicCulture.org are at present evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of our web site and sure probably fascinating new options. This can take a while, however there’s one query particularly on which I would love as a lot speedy suggestions from our customers as attainable.

Ought to we modify our current house web page?

Our present house web page is populated by many small tiles which result in all of the information, commentary, podcasts, and library gadgets we’ve posted over the previous week and a half. The current Featured Content material seems on the prime, after which, as you scroll down, the fabric posted day-to-day comes into view, first for in the present day, after which in reverse order by date going again ten days. The format that separates every day from the day gone by features a small image and details about the liturgical day that you’re scrolling into (with a background coloration acceptable to the liturgical season).

That is extraordinarily environment friendly use of area however it isn’t an attention-grabbing graphics design. CatholicCulture.org has by no means positioned a giant emphasis on using graphics in our pages. For instance, the house pages of most different web sites, Catholic or in any other case, are actually filled with images, with hyperlinks to a correspondingly smaller quantity of written or recorded content material. We additionally discover amongst our workers a generational distinction between older workers who should not significantly within the flashier picture-driven layouts and youthful workers who regard these as enjoying a significant position in attracting and retaining curiosity amongst potential viewers, readers and listeners.

A major value issue additionally enters in. The constant use of latest photos will increase prices as a result of:

  • The web site wants a paid picture subscription service and, extra importantly…
  • The web site wants a workers member who will choose photos and mix them with the written or recorded content material in a well timed method, retaining tempo with the posting schedules of our writers and podcasters.
  • After all there’s additionally the price of doing a picture-flexible redesign within the first place, however that may be a one-time expense.

A phrase about promoting photos

Proper now the one graphics/photos of great dimension on our house web page are the commercials. Though we not settle for paid advertisements, we do embrace our personal promotional materials on the prime and alongside the best facet of our pages, and we provide some free advert area to individuals or corporations we want to assist as a result of they’re doing one thing of Catholic worth. However I’ve observed that many, maybe most, of the strong Catholic web sites (those we respect) have eradicated advert area altogether.

That’s not stunning, as a result of there’s little or no cash to be made with paid advertisements on the net any longer—so little, in actual fact, that it doesn’t make a lot sense for devoted Catholic web sites to trouble promoting their area. That’s basically why we stopped accepting paid advertisements a few years in the past. However we didn’t quit the concept of utilizing the area to advertise worthy causes (together with our personal ebooks, which after all are free).

And but there’s a vital benefit to eliminating advert area if you’re designing a graphics-heavy web site, filled with its personal photos to seize consideration for specific information tales or articles. It signifies that you don’t must cram textual content AND photographs into such a small area; as a substitute you now have the entire web page. There may be nonetheless the disadvantage that, with an emphasis on extra attention-grabbing photos, you won’t be able to hyperlink to as nice a wide range of materials conveniently on your house web page.

Suggestions requested

So do we would like a photo-rich design? We would really worth your opinion:

  • Would you favor a extra attention-grabbing show of photos with fewer gadgets linked on our house web page?
  • Or do you worth the content-intensive show of way more materials that we signify with our easy tiled design?

We actually do need to hear from you! Please e-mail me at [email protected]. Thanks, and should God bless you for serving to us make clear this determination.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in mental historical past from Princeton College. A co-founder of Christendom Faculty, he additionally pioneered Catholic Web providers. He’s the founding father of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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