Written by Jase Clamp Monday, 14 June 2010 19:00
WinWorld recently upgraded the website for the Potter's House Worship Center, a church in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The Potter's House has been worshiping in the Shenandoah Valley for over ten years and is led by Pastors Dan and Renee Garber.
Jase Clamp, the director of operations at WinWorld attends the church and led the project. The former website had been in opperation for over five years. One of the main things in need was a design upgrade. The former site hosted a membership directory behind a secure login. Also included were calendaring, photo gallery, a contributions system, content management system, bulletin and newsletter. "The old site was full of functionality," said Jase Clamp, "but we could see places where we could streamline and make the site more self managed."
The first thing we did to address the design upgrade was to look and see what other large churches were doing with their websites. Although some might think you should start with a blank slate and be original, observing other sites can help one glean current design trends in a certain industry as well as gathering usability tops that 100s of people have put a log of thought and effort into. As we did our research, we reviewed the top 10 largest churches in America. This particular article on churchrelevance.com provided a good list to go on. These are some of the church sites we focused on especially:
Written by Jase Clamp Tuesday, 08 June 2010 02:57
One of the favorite components that we offer is called RS Form. It's a form builder that lets you create and render forms for website visitors to submit all types of information, anywhere within your site. We like it because there is almost nothing it can't do. Its built in a flexible way where field types are added to build a form, the inputed results can then be saved in a database as well as emailed to various people. The layout of the form is totaly independent of the fields themselves so you can make the form look however you'd like. Finally there are extra scripts that you can insert into the form that let you do pretty much anything you want with it, such as submitting data to a payment gateway or doing post validation on the form.
We added the following pages to our knowledge base that explain how to do two really hard things with this form building component:
Written by Jase Clamp Monday, 07 June 2010 03:10
So beyond the fact that you "can" and that it's free, why should one consider using Google Apps Mail for their email? I'll quote from a recent comment I made on this topic over at hburgnews.com:
"I would encourage all schools, including JMU (hah) to migrate to Google Apps Mail. We offer this to all of our clients for free as part of our hosting. We used to bundle in-house email service with our hosting but then we just got overwhelmed with all of the spam. Our servers literally were drowning in spam. We did a LOT of research on Email solutions. We tried other companies like bluetie.com and fusemail.com. Aside from the fact that Google Apps mail is free, they also have a hands-down better service. The webmail is incredible, full of all the features you need, fast. It’s amazing to me that a web page is faster than an Outlook software on my computer, but it is. We used Exchange in-house for years and I hated how slow it was. I hated how it took 5 minutes to search. It takes no time to search in Gmail. I’ve been using Google Apps Mail myself for 2-3 years now and I’ve never had any problems. I can sync my iphone contacts and calendaring because of Google Apps mail..."
Written by Jase Clamp Friday, 04 June 2010 03:21
I have a friend I am helping with web marketing. I help them decide how to spend their ad budget every month. They get a lot of offers to be featured in various directories. My algorithm for evaluating these offers is quite simple.
1. Does the directory give them a direct link back to their website?
2. Are the directories pages actually indexed in Google?
3. Does the directory have a good pagerank?
I end up talking to some of the sales people. They try to tell me what traffic their site gets. I have politely explain to them that while their site's traffic is lovely, we're not really interested in that - it does not factor in. Google's traffic is in the billions and trillions while their site's traffic might be 200 per month. What is of value is the contextual link they provide back to the website. That link will give us just one more little bump upwards on the totum poll in Google's eyes. With ever bump up we get, the more people on Google will see the website. Maybe only 2 in 10 of the sales people really understand what I'm up to.
So back to this algorithm, how to judge a directory to see if it's worth advertising in. (read more)
Written by Jase Clamp Thursday, 03 June 2010 03:23
So I've been researching more and more about SEO (search engine optimization). One of the things I've done is sign up for Aaron Wall's free one-tip-per-day email. Its basically a free training course that helps you build an SEO campaign from scratch day-by-day. Each day only takes about 5 minutes. I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. I've also read Aaron Wall's book and would recommend that also. You should really sign up for the training though. The free course starts you out at a basic step-one approach and takes you from there. It does not move too quickly either.
Page 8 of 9