Equipping youth leaders online
Energize is a web-based resource platform from Urban Saints, designed to allow youth and children’s ministry teams to access engaging, dynamic, Biblical meeting plans for children and young people.
Our original brief in 2000 was to help Urban Saints create a customisable platform to deliver meeting plan content to youth leaders online. We then upgraded the site in 2008 and again in 2016 to take advantage of new technologies and keep the site fully up to date.
We’ve had dealings with web companies where they’ve simply done what we asked. Worthers doesn’t just do that.
The old version of Energize was desktop only, so we needed to make this latest one responsive, so it would work on all devices. We also needed to make the meeting plans even more user friendly and refresh the design and the technologies involved to bring it right up to date.
We rebuilt the underlying architecture on more modern technologies to increase its flexibility, shifting from a CMS system to a more powerful application framework. This gave the site much more functionality, for example within the search - users can now search over 17,000 resources (either whole plans or individual items) by age group, book of the bible etc.
Once users are in a plan, they can customise it e.g. drag and drop to reorder elements, remove unwanted items, add personalised notes, and even add activities from other plans. We added a ‘favourites’ function, a session length calculator and the ability to save and share plans with other users. Once planning is completed, users can then switch to presenter mode while running the session.
The new site is a massive step up from where we were.
“The new version of the site is a massive step up from where we were - better layout, greater flexibility and with the capacity for presenting as well as planning content.
“We’ve had dealings with web companies where they’ve simply done what we asked. Worthers doesn’t just do that. They meet with us, they chat to us, they get under the skin of what the problem is about, thinking it through from a technical and a conceptual point of view. So in the end they’re not just delivering a website, they’re delivering a solution to our problem.
“For example, we originally thought about developing an app. Worthers could have charged us a lot of money to do that but that wasn’t what was needed. By working out what the end users actually needed to achieve, they provided us with the best possible solution, which was the session viewer element of the website.
“We really appreciate the Worthers team; we know that they know what they're doing. Being able to explain what we’re after in simple English and have that reflected back to us with mock ups and demos, that’s really, really helpful. With Worthers, every step of the way, you know you can pick up the phone, speak to a person and know they’ll be able to help you.”
Paul Windo, Communications Manager, Energize
Responsive, Mobile-first, Bespoke search system, Single-page-app meeting plan builder, AngularJS, Laravel, MySQL database, Rocketeer deployment