Friday, 7 January 2011

Church of England website changes

Updated

The Church of England has today launched a redesign of its website.

The new website can be found here.

However, all old links from Thinking Anglicans articles to Church of England documents are now broken. This affects in particular our pages relating to the General Synod. The new General Synod section of the CofE website now starts here.

UPDATE Sunday evening
Peter Owen has revised three of our most recent articles containing links to the Church of England website, namely
Yorkshire - Dioceses Commission reports
Women in the episcopate draft legislation referred to dioceses
Reference to Dioceses: Anglican Covenant
Where a referenced document could not be found on the new CofE website, a copy has been uploaded to TA.

The Church Times carried a news report about this new website design in its issue dated 24/31 December, which was published before Christmas. See ‘Anglican’ vanishes in web revamp by Ed Thornton.

In this article, the Church of England Director of Communications, Peter Crumpler, was quoted as follows:

Users of the current web address will be “automatically redirected to the new site” when it goes live in January, he said. “All the existing links should transfer across auto­matic­ally.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 7 January 2011 at 10:36pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

As Simon comments here, one can only wonder what has really motivated this change from the use of the word 'Anglican' on the ACO web-site.

Is it anything at all to do with the independent actions of certain of the Communion's member Provinces, one wonders - in a move to separate the Church of England from those Provinces which may find themselves unable to sign up to the Covenant?

After all, from the terms of the prescribed Covenant process, Provinces like TEC and the A.C.of Canada might find themselves marginalised on the grounds of their actions regarding the ordination of gays and lesbians, or the blessing of same-sex unions; while certain Global South Provinces may elect to opt out of the Covenant on account of their culture of border-crossings.

In other words, will the word 'Anglican' become subordinated to the Provincial nomenclature of the individual Provinces - which do not happen to be actually 'Church of England'?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 7 January 2011 at 11:59pm GMT

My sympathies as you update links, Simon.

[I sure hope the redesign is worth it!]

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 8 January 2011 at 12:25am GMT

It is very easy to do - you put a redirect in the header at the old website address and give it zero time.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 8 January 2011 at 12:41am GMT

Links to the old cof.anglican.org homepage seem to automatically end up on the new one. But stuff behind that seems to have gone: just had a look at the statistics pages, and all the raw data on attendance etc. is now unavailable.

Do we know if the new site plans to fix these links, or are they lost forever?

Posted by: David Keen on Saturday, 8 January 2011 at 9:19am GMT

Fr Ron - I doubt that there is any such motivation or that it was thought about at a level where such things might have been considered. There has long been a moan that cofe.anglican.org doesn't mean anything to the wider public (and is barely intelligible to some people inside the church) and so I'm sure the thought was that churchofengland.org is easier to understand. That said, not using the anglican.org is a real shame I think.

That said, why they launched on a Friday particularly with (as we are discovering) a host of glitches. You never launch a web project on a Friday. I've said more on my blog if anyone is interested.

Posted by: David on Saturday, 8 January 2011 at 10:34am GMT

Actually it's much easier than that 'Pluralist'. If you control the server then you can put server directives in place so that requests for page A deliver up page B. You just need to make a list of the mapping. (The header-redirection that you describe works, but requires an extra round trip from the server to the client and back.)

On the other hand, maintaining links in perpetuity is probably more than we should expect any website administrator to do. If a library gets reshelved would you expect to find a place holder for every book in its old place telling you where to find it now?

Simon K (website administrator for TA and elsewhere)

Posted by: Simon Kershaw on Saturday, 8 January 2011 at 11:14am GMT

The problem is that a library has an indexing system from a choice of several and the Internet has never had any indexing system. So if you reshelve a library you just use the indexing system.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 8 January 2011 at 12:11pm GMT

Well, the new CofE website has a Site Map, and a Search tool. So if you can't find what you are looking for you can try those. I can't say, however, whether the Site Map or Search tool work decently or not, as I haven't tried to use them for real.

Google (other search engines are available :-) is essentially an index of the visible internet. However, they are presumably not a lot of use in situations such as this, as they won't have indexed the new site, and there won't be any links to the new site from external sites (which Google etc will pay some attention to).

Posted by: Simon Kershaw on Saturday, 8 January 2011 at 6:54pm GMT

Dave Green has published a review of the new site at
http://www.wannabepriest.org.uk/?p=820

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 1:42pm GMT

Nice website. I especially like the picture of +Ebor at a baptism. ("If that's the way you treat your converts, no wonder there are so few of them." St. Teresa, or somebody like that.)

Posted by: Bill Moorhead on Friday, 14 January 2011 at 1:46am GMT
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