Website design and hosting


Our Process

FAITH Catholic will appoint a Project Manager to direct the process of developing the new site. We recommend that your diocese also will name a Project Manager to facilitate involvement and task definition for diocesan personnel. We mutually will establish a project plan and schedule.

Our website services include:

  • Consultation and discovery, leading to an agreed-upon Site Map
  • Design services by our graphic artists
  • Development services by our programming team
  • End-user training in the use of the CMS
  • Hosting in our state-of-the-art data center
  • Service and support, including graphic artists
  • Content from print publications as well as “rich” content


Responsive Design Websites

The latest development in Web design allows your website to automatically adapt itself to any platform – computers, tablets, and mobile devices, where most people now access the internet. FAITH Catholic works with dioceses to create an easily-maintained site using Drupal’s content management system for exceptional performance that:

  • Integrates social media, diocesan news and information, and content from your magazine
  • Features CatholicEventFinder, our exclusive online calendaring tool for parishes and dioceses
  • Allows for magazine content to be read and shared easily using a desktop or mobile device
  • Conveniently uploads content in one spot for easy search via subject for related stories at the end of articles

Let us help you upgrade your website to better reach and serve your diocese or Catholic organization.


Site map

The key to success of the project is agreement on the Site Map, which we will create at the outset of the engagement. The Site Map consists of a set of charts that clearly indicate the content to be initially displayed on each page of the new site. We will create the initial Site Map using your current site(s) and your comments on desired features. We expect several iterations of review and revisions, then we will ask you to sign off on the Site Map so we can begin construction in Drupal. The Site Map is the tool we will jointly use to guarantee the diocesan and visitor goals are met.

Note that we will prepare Site Maps for any “Microsites” (e.g., Catholic Schools) that are part-and-parcel of the main diocesan site, but that may have a different theme or appearance.
The Site Map will look similar to the example pictured here, and will contain many pages:


Technical Basics

FAITH Catholic will host your website and will establish three website instances:

1. Production        2. Training/Sandbox        3. Development and Testing (FC use only)

You will have access to the first two versions and we will use the Training instance for our onsite and any subsequent remote training sessions. We will periodically refresh the Training/Sandbox instance with the latest version in Production. We will manage migrations from Development to Production until your site “goes live,” at which point you will be able to update your content in the Production area.
The recommended Drupal solution is based on the popular “AMP” platform (Apache, MySQL and PHP), which is known for reliability and performance. FAITH Catholic will validate the site for use by IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers running on desktops, smart phones and tablets.


Content Management

FAITH Catholic will utilize Drupal 7, which provides in its core version the ability for authorized users to create and manage content.

As Drupal has many modules that provide a variety of website features (e.g., Calendars, eCommerce etc.) FAITH Catholic and the diocese will collaborate to select the best ones to use.

We will provide a Drupal module for revision tracking. There are several candidates (e.g., Workbench or Workflow) and we mutually will determine the best one to use. These modules also will accommodate the “birth” or expiration of content, allowing you to publish content in advance and have it appear and dissapear in the future.

The Drupal core software includes an access control system for managing content visibility. (i.e., which groups of people can see which content). The more granular the access control you require the more roles or groups you will have to manage.

Drupal allows an unlimited variety of posts (e.g., press releases, documents) in its core software. You may define the types of fields used for each variety of posts. Drupal core also allows you to specify the pages where you want specific content to display; the content is entered once but displays on all the pages you would like it to.


Why Drupal?

Drupal is powerful, feature-rich website software that includes an excellent Content Management System (CMS) for website editors. Since it is Open Source software, Drupal has no license or maintenance fees. Drupal is maintained by thousands of developers, volunteers and contributors from around the world. The “Drupal Project” is coordinated by the Drupal Association, which provides the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, events, promotion and distribution. More information about Drupal is available at drupal.org.

Drupal consists of a core feature set that site developers enhance with packaged (or customized) themes, skins and features. Since thousands of people have contributed themes and modules to the Drupal Project over the years, there are literally thousands of “add-ons” available for free. The Drupal Association manages the framework for incorporating new “add-ons” into the core Drupal software, thus assuring quality control.

The FAITH Catholic engagement process necessarily includes collaboration with our clients to determine not only the functionality required in a new website but also the selection of the most appropriate Drupal modules to provide that functionality. For example, several Drupal modules provide “paste from Word” or Social integration functionality. We will work with you to determine the best ones for your unique needs.


Diocesan Directory

FAITH Catholic will provide the database tables and the user interface for the diocesan site administrator to use to maintain:

  • Persons (e.g., priests, deacons, department heads, etc.)
  • Entities (e.g., parishes, hospitals, departments, ministries, etc.)
  • Assignments (e.g., the intersection of persons and entities)

These data elements will drive the directory lookup and mapping pages for an online diocesan directory. For example, the FAITH Catholic solution will allow you to add persons and information associated with them (assignments, notes, degrees, title, etc.), some of which will be visible to all visitors to the diocesan website and some will be visible only to authorized roles. When you add persons as users in Drupal it will notify them that an account has been created and invite them to log in to view and update any information you want them to be able to maintain.


Section 508 and W3C Standards Compliance

Upon request, FAITH Catholic will provide documentation certifying Section 508 and W3C Standards compliance for the initial implementation of the new website. Since a Drupal-based website may be easily modified by the diocese, FAITH Catholic and the diocese will rely on best practices when modifying the site. FAITH Catholic and the diocese will mutually agree on which modules and content editors to use to obtain best assurance to the standards.

The “Look” and Structure

FAITH Catholic will create mock-ups of the sites for your review as to the attractiveness. We expect several “review and change” iterations, but the final product will be one that you find attractive and appealing. The Site Map and the review of the mock-ups together will guarantee you obtain the most desirable structure for the website.

Visitor Interaction

We recommend that your diocese think of visitors as either “authenticated” or “anonymous.” You will maintain user accounts for the former and control their abilities to view or modify diocesan content via assigned roles (e.g., editor, administrator, viewer) and groups (e.g., priests, principals). This is the only way you will be able to control the creation of new content and access to appropriate content. The FAITH Catholic proposal does include secure group interaction for these visitors. The redesigned website will accommodate blogs, podcasts, social media interaction, Spanish language content, large document repositories and PDF files. Most of this functionality is in the core Drupal software, though some will be handled by Drupal modules.

Migration of Existing Content

FAITH Catholic will provide training and support for moving content to the new website. We will be glad to migrate content identified in the Site Map into the new website.

Website Design: Mockup

FAITH Catholic will design digital mockups and make revisions iteratively. FAITH Catholic will assure functionality of the website on IE 7+, Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

Social Features

Drupal core software provides the ability to allow comments or blogs. More than 1,000 modules already are available to integrate your website with the many social websites. Many of these modules also provide controls over what will actually be published in order to protect the site from inappropriate content. Workflow modules already referenced above give editors control over submitted content. We will provide your diocese with social media plugins to share content from your site to the selected social sites. This same mechanism allows your site administrators to share information with the official diocesan social site pages. Drupal modules allow you to easily embed video from various platforms as content in your website.

Advanced Webforms

Drupal modules (e.g., Form Builder, Webform, etc.) provide the ability to build forms, surveys or questionnaires and download results into Excel.

Content: URL Aliases

Several Drupal modules (e.g., Pathauto, Redirect, Sub-pathauto, etc.) provide the ability to automatically create URLs or allow you to specify a URL. We will work with you to select the most appropriate ones.

Event Calendars

FAITH Catholic recommends using the Catholic Event Finder calendar, which is easily integrated with your new website. Alternatively, Drupal has other calendar modules available and FAITH Catholic will collaborate with the diocese to select the most appropriate one(s) to use. The ideal solution will allow site administrators to search through all calendars on the site using taxonomy, then select from the results to update another calendar. To be successful, this approach requires all calendar administrators to use the same standard taxonomy and categorize their events accordingly. A taxonomy library that is too broad will be difficult for users to navigate and a taxonomy library that is too narrow will provide incomplete results.

Challenges and Existing Databases

FAITH Catholic recommends that all of the associated diocesan domains be folded into the redesigned, unified website. You may retain the domain names as they are, but traffic will be redirected to sites that have the same look and feel as the main redesigned website. We also recommend that any existing database applications be maintained in the current format.

Electronic Newsletter Management System

Drupal contains several modules or plugins that deliver newsletter functionality (e.g., Newsletter, Simple Drupal Newsletter System, etc.). FAITH Catholic will design and create the required templates and integrate with either a newsletter module or a service such as MailChimp.


Send your questions to: Patrick M. O’Brien, president and chief executive officer of FAITH Catholic. 517.853.7601 or pobrien@faithcatholic.com