We were delighted to partner with Hillsong Church and worked very closely with their team for nearly 18 months to build a completely new web presence and ecommerce platform.
It was a major task to align all their many churches individual websites from around the world under one single domain and Umbraco CMS.
Our role as Umbraco specialists was to plan, prototype and build the front end of the website along with the entire CMS and eCommerce platform including an extensive translation system to allow Hillsong to provide content to their visitors in many countries.
Working with Hillsong's design team who provided the visual designs and layouts, we're delighted with the outcome.
Having been given full visual guides for all the pages, we set about breaking down the masses of content that would fit into the new design into tiny, self contained "content rows" that each used a specific template and a standalone stylesheet (loaded dynamically if needed) ensuring that on any given page on the site a content row could be added by a site admin to support or promote anything that was required.
Using Umbraco we were able to create an incredibly flexible and powerful management system that allowed:
We had an exceptionally strong set of visuals to work from and build the adaptive layouts used throughout the site so our role was to ensure that the HTML and CSS was efficient, modular and reusable and well optimised.
Over the course of the project we ran into a number of interaction issues which visuals don't always communicate as well as our preferred prototyping process but ultimately we got to a result that balanced interaction with usability and a strong user experience.
A key component of the site is its flexibility, one of the main requirements for the “brand pages” which promote their content, conferences and other interests was that content editors be able to create “rows” of varying styles and using different design elements. As such, any row could appear on the brand pages of the site in any place.
We made entirely modular elements and load in row specific stylesheets before we merge and compress them on the fly to improve performance.
The store and social elements of the site also provided a significant design and build challenge largely due to their functionality and modal window based design. For me, building such a massive number of pages and styles was a significant management challenge and keeping on top of ongoing changes for more than a year!
Creating a bespoke eCommerce section and importing thousands of products was no mean feat but Umbraco handled it perfectly.
Hillsong.com was launched on schedule and in live in front of 30,000 people attending the annual Hillsong Conference (2014) and has received widespread praise for its innovative design and build functionality as well as how it works on a wide range of devices.
No pressure ....
The tools we've built have given their internal design and development team a platform to publish and create innovative and creative content as well as bringing together their vast array of social media channels into one central hub.