Website Redesign: Congregation Beth Shalom

Congregation Beth Shalom redesigned


This organization had several difficulties with their original website. It been had developed using tables, which was inhibiting full search-engine optimization and making updating the website tedious. The 3rd-party PHP calendar was problematic, sometimes not receiving input updates and frequently not available to browsers.


I revamped the website both visually and structurally, transforming the website to be standards-compliant with semantically correct, validating HTML and CSS. As a result, it quickly rose high in Google rankings for key words relating to the organization. Not obvious in the screenshots, the old website's single image has been replaced with random-order slideshow of about 40 images that change with the seasons.

The calendars are tied to Google Calendars and can be shared with congregants. Updates to Google calendars are imeediately reflected on the congregation's website. There are several calendars, one for each area of activity in the congregation, such as children's education, adult education, general events, and so on.

To ease the ongoing chore of website maintenance, I developed an admin area (PHP and MySQL) which allows office staff to input information about upcoming events on their own schedule. The website automatically display these events on the front page beginning on a desired date and time, and automatically stops displaying events once their dates have passed.

Here are other new website functions which I implemented:

  • Staff can now take reservations and PayPal payments for catered dinners. Logged-in staff cand also monitor and/or edit those reservations through the admin panel.
  • The weekly message is posted through the admin panel, and the most recent weekly message displayed until a newer one displaces it.


Congregation Beth Shalom before redesign

Click on the above images for a full-sized screenshot.