How do you most effectively grow your church’s digital team? Through great experiences and learning opportunities. It would be easy to hire the world’s premiere web specialists. It would also be expensive. If you do not have the resources to make that happen, the next best thing is to create them yourself. This article discusses how we can best grow and nurture our digital teams.
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Many of my readers are tech enthusiasts. You see new technologies emerge and immediately see the benefits. Your brain is spinning with ideas that will benefit the church. In a flurry of excitement, you present your ideas to your church leadership. Then you are hit with excuses of time, budget, and lack of perceived value. I imagine many of us have thrown up our hands in frustration. Why do our pastors and leaders not see the potential? It is not their fault. We as tech enthusiasts must present simple solutions with clear value to the church’s ministries.
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Creating responsive websites and native mobile applications for your church is a massive endeavor. If you decide to create a native application, I applaud you for your desire to jump into this market. It is not easy to determine the scope of your app, nor is it cheap to publish a native application to several markets. However, this article is targeted to those of you that have not yet jumped on this trend.
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The Internet does not wait for anyone, and this includes your church. If you are waiting for the right time to move ahead with your use of the web, you will be left in the dust. This does not mean you need to jump at every advancement. Nor does it mean you should not prayerfully and carefully integrate technology. The problem is that latest technology may or may not be exactly what your church needs. Yet the longer you wait, the further you will lag behind. It is a tough decision whether to move ahead or continue to tweak what you already have.
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Some projects dictate that you look at every detail. Are you building a house? You need to know where every light switch and electrical outlet will be. They may seem like trivial when figuring out the arrangements of the rooms, but it needs to happen. You may have a kitchen window that lets in the first rays of morning sunlight. Yet your toaster, blender, microwave, and mixer all share one outlet. Please realize that getting the big idea is the first step. Next is digging into the details that will make using your church website a truly pleasurable experience.
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How you deliver content dictates how your visitors can consume it, as well as what they can do with it. The easy route is often to simply a link to a file, but why restrict your audience. Give them content the way they want it, and with the ability to share it with their friends and family. The first part in this series will deal with the common approach to posting weekly bulletins; the PDF.
Continue reading “CWS Podcast – Ep. 68: Say No to PDF’s”
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When we think of mobile technology, our minds go to phones and tablets. Yet the wearable technology market is growing. How do devices such as watches and glasses impact how we use technology? More important, how will it impact how churchgoers consume content? The announcement of the Apple Watch has pushed these questions to the forefront of our minds. So what are you going to do today to prepare for tomorrow?
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Sitemaps mean different things to different people, and this article will explore the most popular definitions as well as their importance. The problem is that they all use the word “sitemap” for very different web tools. However when you begin to define what they really are, their purpose, how they are structured, and how to create them; you see they are indeed very different. This article will explore what they are and hopefully give you a better idea of how to use them to make better church websites.
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Sandboxes are an amazing place for children to play. They can dig, build, explore, and imagine so many things. Castles, fortresses, caves, battlefields, and racetracks were some of my favorite creations. Yet I never recall being upset that those creations would eventually crumble in a few days.. It was the journey, not the destination that was the fun part. Websites are all too often the exact opposite. It is a rush to build the site, exploring ideas is often viewed as wasted effort, and the finished product is expected to stand on its own for years to come. This article advocates the use of a website sandbox; a space to let imagination run wild and God’s creative spirit to flourish.
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In my series on mobile I discussed the various kinds of approaches you can take to mobile sites; with a responsive website as the clear leader. Yet I am seeing the term “responsive website” casually thrown around on many other blogs and realize that it is still the latest buzzword with a nebulous definition. Many people understand that it means the website will change to adapt to the size screen and device it is shown on. Yet a responsive website should be far more than just your existing website with breakpoints for tablets and phones. With the correct thought and approach, your church’s responsive website will provide value and not just another feature.
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When you decrease the amount of time your website takes to download, you will increase the likelihood they will stay. This has been proven by studies conducted by several giants of the web, including Google and Amazon. They understand that time is money, and the longer someone spends waiting for a page to show up, the more agitated they become. When you optimize for speed, your church website visitors should be surprised with how quickly your site appears. This is especially true if they are viewing it on a mobile device over a cellular network, where every megabyte of data is money.
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Emergencies and problems tend to sneak up on us at the worst possible moments. Annoying things like losing your keys when running late happen on a regular basis, but real disasters can set us back a lot. Similarly, digital disasters can set a church back weeks or months; slowing progress and momentum they were gathering. Yet by preparing today you can help mitigate the possibility of your online ministries grinding to a halt. This article will cover four areas you should prepare for, and the steps you need to take.
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