This website is the online presence for the Benefice of St Mary-the-Virgin church, West Malling, and St Michael & All Angels, Offham. As part of a wider ‘Cluster’, this site currently hosts information concerning the Church of England congregation on Kings Hill; a new church plant into the growing new development of Kings Hill.
This website is intended to provide basic ‘brochure’ level information for those looking to join us for Sunday worship or other activities that we organise, as well as those seeking help with the occasional offices of baptisms, weddings and funerals. It also provides news and up-to-date information regarding current events which our churches either organise or in which we participate.
The site is updated approximately once a week.
Web site maintenance
This web site is operated and run by volunteers from the church communities in West Malling, Offham and Kings Hill.
Web site design
This is the second iteration of a web presence for our church communities.
Our website was built using the open-source and freely available CMS, WordPress. Although WordPress started as just a blogging system, it has evolved to be used as full content management system and so much more through the thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes built by members of that open source community.
WordPress represents an excellent choice for a church website being run on a shoestring because we get fabulous expertise from across the world without any charge at all. Because it is a Content Management system, it also means that the addition of new material can be made by those without masses of technical expertise and without any fears of ‘breaking’ the site.
On top of the WordPress CMS, we laid a front-end design based upon the Xi theme by Tim Hyde at the ThemeLoom which was then further customised. Tim is the founder of the WordPress Driven Church website and one of the foremost proponents of encouraging churches to make use of WordPress as a tool to drive their web presences. The XI Theme is a responsive theme that adapts to the size of the screen. It was chosen to help ensure the website works reasonably well on a range of devices including smartphones, tablet devices and full-screen computers.
This separation of front-end design from content is good practice in web design in that it enables us to make easy changes to the content or design at a later date without having to worry about too much about its knock-on impact. Isolating content from design makes adding or updating things easy while maintaining the design consistency of the site. Isolating design from content simplifies design changes prevents slight design adjustments becoming a full-fledged redesign.