The Christian Courier is a faith-based independent news organization based in Canada. Their monthly newspaper publication has been providing community news, editorials, reviews, advertising, and classifieds to Christian subscribers across the country for the past 75 years.

While Christian Courier continued to circulate thousands of copies in print, with the rise of smartphones and greater access to the internet, they also moved some of their monthly newspaper publishing online. However, it soon became obvious that their website could benefit from a fresh update, one which was also responsive to smartphone or tablet screen audiences. Even on a PC, their website had a number of technical issues that were becoming difficult to solve.

Christian Courier were well aware that they needed a modernized website that would meet their needs to cater for their online news publication. Their publication also needed the ability to complete secure transactions for accepting donations and billing advertisers. They approached us knowing that we, at Happy Bits, offer the expertise needed to create an enhanced and cohesive website experience for both their readers and advertisers, all the while preserving the integrity and Christian ethos of their publication.

Creating a Functional Modern Website

Christian Courier wanted a website with modern aesthetics that functioned well for mobile users. They liked how WordPress websites looked, but they lacked the in-house expertise to create the professional look they envisaged.

Goal #1: Christian Courier Needed an Updated Website

Our clients needed a complete website redesign. Their original website looked tired, and it didn’t offer much in the way of marketing tools, and many of the features no longer worked. Mobile visitors were also unable to render the website correctly. Christian Courier’s team members envisioned an attractive design that looked good on all screen sizes and also offered the functionality they needed for marketing.

Goal #2: They Needed a Secure Billing System

The legacy version of Expression Engine CMS posed security issues that the client couldn’t fix without switching to a new system. They needed a billing system that offered secure and efficient transactions. They also wanted to have the ability to track subscriptions better.

We Enhanced Christian Courier For All Readers

We completed a website rebuild for Christian Courier to modernize all of their processes, from publishing content to posting classified advertisements.

Step #1: Discovery Phase

We spent some time completing research to determine the best features that Christian Courier would need moving forward. We also brainstormed new features that we could add to their website that they did not have previously.

Step #2: Tear Down & Rebuild

Our first major project was migrating all of their data from Expression Engine CMS to WordPress. Once complete, we started designing the new website. Building their website within WordPress offered the best mix of features and flexibility and the ability to automate many of their work processes.

Step #3: New Features

We chose WooCommerce to handle billing and subscriptions because of how well it works within WordPress. Using WooCommerce, we developed streamlined automatic processes for starting and stopping subscriptions. The Christian Courier team soon gained the expertise to manage their online and print advertisements via WooCommerce.

During the process of the website design, the client came to us with a dilemma— their classifieds section was very labour-intensive to publish. We did some research and decided to create a new Classifieds page with automation features. Now advertisers can submit their ads to Christian Courier through an online platform we built and pre-pay for them, avoiding the need for manual quotes and invoices.

Our Achievements with Christian Courier

As per our client’s vision, we took a dated website and modernized it to cater to a growing digital audience. Furthermore,

  • Their website loads much faster and looks sleek and modern on all screens.
  • Billing information is secure, and all subscriptions and advertising are automated.
  • The team has access to all the latest marketing tools.
  • The Classifieds page is automated and continues to bring in ad revenue.

“The year after Michael redesigned our website, we had our most successful fundraising campaign yet. We raised $18000 over our goal of $25000 and 20% of those donations came from people who do not subscribe to our print publication, they only read online. Our readers love using our new website, the format is easy to navigate, engaging for all ages and feels very contemporary.”

— Meghan Kort, Assistant Editor at Christian Courier

We created an enhanced experience for subscribers of Christian Courier and an easy website for their team to maintain. Now they can fully focus on their mission to provide community-oriented journalism and Christian testimony.

Providing Future Website Maintenance

Today, Christian Courier has a cohesive website that is built to last for years to come. However, staying relevant and innovative requires regular maintenance. This is why we, at Happy Bits, are staying in contact with our client to provide all the relevant maintenance advice and services to ensure that Christian Courier’s website is always up-to-date and secure.

“I’d just like to again express my appreciation to Michael for making our new website project such a wonderful experience. He has also continued to provide support since, as Christian Courier continues to utilize his maintenance services. Having Michael as an extended part of our team gives a great peace of mind. Thank you Michael!”

— Jennifer Neutel, Christian Courier