Holston Conference Gets More for Less With New Website

Tim Jones, Director of Communications, Holston Conference of The UMC


When Tim Jones, Director of Communications at the Holston Conference, started his new job in 2018, he knew his clunky website had to go. “Coming from a pastor position and dealing with the website in that capacity, I was pretty frustrated,” said Tim. “My number one goal was to redo our website and start from scratch.”

To make matters worse they had an ancient database that wouldn’t even be supported in a few months. Good riddance too: burdensome processes that had them entering data in four or five systems.

“Ever since I arrived, I heard about the difficulty in finding things on our website. Our number-one goal was to make this new website user- and resource-friendly.” 

He highlighted difficulties with their old search engine. “If you searched ‘Tim Jones’ on the old site, you’d have to click through two or three pages of blog posts before stumbling upon my contact page.”

They wanted the new site to be cleaner with an “intuitive structure and powerful search engine that ensures everything you need is only a click away.”

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In the new design, the top bar makes navigation simple and gives them space to promote content—unlike their last site which was a cluttered dumpster fire. Website analytics showed that the most clicked pages were buried within the site and not visually accessible upon initial navigation.

Now, their first time visitors aren’t struggling to navigate and their staff can quickly access the resources they need.

“From a design standpoint, I loved working with Paul because of his background,” said Tim. “I've got a marketing background and have worked in website wireframing, and so Paul was very open to my ideas—and our personalities worked very well together.“

Search engine configuration is baked into Brick River, so they can prioritize things like contact pages and newer content. This is important for things like forms, because people would find and fill out old forms on the previous site.

They’ve sped up their work by rolling multiple unintegrated systems into one. It’s all together: website, contact management, emailer, and event registration. Nobody needs to break a mental sweat or enter data multiple times.

It’s not just easy to automate workflows like this, but it keeps cumulative errors from occurring. Entering data into five or so different places increases the chance of errors. Small errors, while generally harmless at first, can pile up after a few years to create a tech nightmare.
“Over the past 20+ years I have worked with several website, content management, event registration, and email marketing companies. At best, two out of the four would be decent. However, Brick River has been my all-in-one solution, and they are phenomenal. I no longer have to work with four different companies. I can do everything I need from one place, and if I can't do it, I can contact the customer service team and they take care of me right away. I am convinced there is no other company that offers the professional services and customer care like Brick River does. If you are looking for a company that can reduce your costs and increase your efficiency, then Brick River should be your go to.”