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eCatholic Demo and Q&A (Webinar Recording) eCatholic Demo and Q&A (Webinar Recording)

Emily Mentock (Director of Creative and Marketing Services for the Archdiocese) and Luke Tristani (Happiness Engineer with eCatholic) demo the website template developed by the Archdiocese Communications Team in partnership with eCatholic to help parishes in the AOD have not just a functional website, but a strategically effective one.


Who is eCatholic?
eCatholic is one of the largest providers of digital tools for the Catholic Church, serving more than5,000 dioceses, parishes, schools, and ministries in 50 states and 20 countries.

Why did the Archdiocese of Detroit decide to partner with eCatholic?
Here are just a few of the qualities that we considered when deciding to partner with eCatholic:

  • Catholic: The eCatholic team is Catholic and many of them have worked in the Church in some capacity, so they understand the needs of the Church.
  • Experience: Over the past 15 years, they have had the opportunity to serve thousands of Catholic dioceses, parishes, and schools.
  • Great Customer Service: They have one of the best rated customer support teams serving the Catholic Church.
  • Priced for Ministry: eCatholic pricing is simple and affordable. Instead of costing thousands of dollars like some similar services, each website supported by eCatholic is only $50 per month.
  • Continue to Improve: eCatholic is constantly improving their platform.

What is the partnership?
Through this partnership, parishes and schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit will be able to upgrade to a beautiful website that is very easy to use and maintain.  Parishes can build eCatholic websites using a template that has been designed exclusively for the Archdiocese of Detroit and, importantly, that is optimized for mission.

Parishes and schools will also have the option to easily add content from the Archdiocese of Detroit directly to their websites. This content includes: Unleash the Gospel, Detroit Catholic, Detroit Catholic en Español, live streams from the Archdiocese of Detroit (Masses, rosaries, and other liturgies), COVID-19 updates, and more. 

If my parish does not already have a website, or has one that is in need of an overhaul, why should we consider using an eCatholic website?

  • eCatholic can transform your parish website from outdated or non-existent into beautiful, welcoming, and mobile-friendly.
  • If your existing site needs an overhaul, eCatholic can help transform it from stale and difficult to maintain into a site that is easy to update and manage going forward.
  • eCatholic will help your parish create dynamic and engaging websites.
  • eCatholic will make your website unified, consistent, and connected.

What are the advantages of using an eCatholic website as part of the AOD partnership?
The website template and strategy have been developed by eCatholic and the Archdiocese of Detroit to optimize your parish’s engagement and reach. In a user-friendly platform, with training provided, you can rework content for a welcoming, mission-focused website. Call to action buttons are clear and website updates and calendar management are especially easy to maneuver. This also provides an opportunity to integrate diocesan content (Unleash the Gospel, Detroit Catholic, live-streamed events, etc.) that automatically updates with the most current information. If you decided to upgrade your website to the eCatholic template and need new photo assets to populate your website, the Archdiocese will send a photographer to capture those for you to use. We want to support you in achieving a successful web presence as much as we can.

Am I able to change title wordings on the eCatholic template?
We strategized certain names for categories like events and ministries, but if your parish uses certain terms already, you are able to change those. You have the final authority over what copy lives on your website!

Will I need another design for iPhone or iPad accessibility?
This template is designed to be dynamic on both a desktop and a mobile device.

Will there be a school website template?
There isn’t one currently, but we will be developing this over the summer with the Department of Catholic Schools. If you have an urgent need for a school website, eCatholic has experience with these as well and can help you create something. If this need is less pressing, we will be creating a similar template and engagement plan for schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit in the coming months.

Will we be able to keep our domain name?
Yes. We’ll build you a draft website that will not affect your currently existing site, and when you are ready to make the switch to the eCatholic site, we will help you launch your website at your same domain. We can also transfer your domain to a centralized account managed and funded by the Archdiocese of Detroit, who will take over the responsibility of renewing your domain for you.

We’re ready to go! When can we get our new website?
As soon as you sign up at ecatholic.com/aod and fill out the form, you’ll be put in line to get the content from your current website transferred over to your draft site, which you’ll get as soon as it’s ready. We can work with you on a specific timeline depending on your situation. A timeline is dependent on how many other clients are in the queue, but on average, we try to get a draft to you about a week after signup.

How does pricing work?
The cost is $50 per month, which is billed through the Archdiocese of Detroit. This price includes unlimited pages, the online giving tool, access to AOD content modules, the eCatholic template site, content migration, photo assets, domain management, and our developed website strategy.

Are there additional charges?
The $50 fee includes everything from the new design to new content modules. The one thing that might be additional are transaction fees that may accompany the eCatholic online giving. These transaction fees are separate from the regular $20 fee to use the tool, which is waived through the partnership. You will not pay this $20 fee. Other eCatholic services that are not part of the website partnership, such as live-streaming services, etc. may cost extra. There are no hidden fees.

Does the welcome page accommodate rotating images?
Yes! This can also accommodate video. Whatever you include, you want to ensure that there aren’t too many photos or too long a video in this spot so that nobody misses out on any high quality, engaging assets.

Can we add photos to our main website feed?
Absolutely yes! Photos are an excellent engagement and evangelization tool. Ensure that the photos you include are high quality, and if you need to update the photos of your church interior and exterior — and your community! — contact Emily Mentock at [email protected] to arrange photography at your parish.

Can I add photos to more than one page?
Yes. You can create a gallery or album to show up on multiple pages, rotating images, a different album for each page, or a number of other photo options.

Can I crosspost events from the parish and school websites?
If these sites are different you’ll have to make updates manually, but if you have a parish page on the school website or a school page on the parish website you can push news or events that way. For news, you could use an RSS feed.

Does the website only have that one layout?
Content can be arranged in a variety of ways and you have control over that. You can use sections to organize photos, events, and any other information in whatever way you choose.

Does the website offer an email or newsletter list?
Yes, there is a forms module to capture parishioner contact information and this can easily integrate with Flocknote. Please contact Luke Tristani at [email protected] for more information on emailing and integrations.

Do daily readings update automatically?
Yes. Content like the daily readings from the USCCB and any of the archdiocesan-wide information (Detroit Catholic, Unleash the Gospel, etc.) automatically updates to reflect the most current information available.

Can I use a Google calendar on my website?
Google, Facebook, and many other third-party integrations are available through the eCatholic template.

Are we expected to use the same fonts and headers?
The template is developed with this specific, serif font for its legibility on both desktop and mobile. We recommend this font, but we can discuss how fonts, sizes, and colors can be customized on your parish’s website.

Is the purpose to have a similar design for every parish?
The goal is not for every parish to have the same website, but this template has been designed with the aim of maximizing engagement. We believe this design embodies some website best practices. You still have the opportunity, through this partnership, to customize color schemes and content layouts.

Can I populate content myself?
If you’d like to start from scratch on your own, you may. There is a comment section on the form on eCatholic.com/aod where you can indicate if you’d like to do this yourself. We do, however, recommend starting from a template, as it is easier to delete things you don’t want than keep adding in new ones.

As a current eCatholic customer, is there an additional fee if I want this or another eCatholic template?
No. There are no additional fees, and you are not required to use the template developed in this partnership.

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Mentock at [email protected]