Since we launched the new Springfield website we have slowly been making incremental changes to it. I wanted to share with you some of the changes and some of the things about it that you may not have noticed. Some of these have come about due to user request and some just because they have! So, what are some of the things that are there but you may not really have noticed? Orr if you did notice weren’t really sure what it could do?
We have a totally new calendar package than on our old website. Produced by timely it is a lot easier and more flexible than the one that we used to use (Google Calendars). I chose it for a number of reasons that I thought would help users of the website. It is colour co-ordinated for different categories; you can select to view only certain categories (you can select more than one category which means that if you want all cell based events and youth events you can choose just to view them); if you use an electronic calendar you can subscribe to either the whole calendar or to individual categories.
We are also able to display upcoming events in the side column of pages – I have currently done this for the children and family and the youth pages.
You can display the calendar in different formats Month, week, day, agenda – and my favourite posterboard (have a try it looks great!)
Other little neat things are that in the events we can put in maps, links etc. If you click on an event then you will see that different information, pictures, maps etc can be put in each event.
Video is becoming more and more popular as a medium and there are a couple of things that we have been able to do on the website. We have been able to include appropriate videos in the right hand column for the topic. For example, under the youth pages there are two videos – Soul Survivor promo and The MiX video we did. Under Grow we have videos for The Marriage Course, Alpha and Growing Leaders. By clicking on the blue link it changes the video above and voila!
Stories are so powerful and it is great that we are slowly adding stories to the website of how God has been at work in peoples lives. Each story is represented by a picture and when you click on the picture the story will reveal itself! There are more to come!
At the top of the front page of the website there are a series of banners. These change every few seconds. To go through more quickly you can press the small radio buttons beneath the banners. You can also click on the banners to get to the underlying page or story. We can also embed videos in the banners which you can play.
It’s always good to share and there are a couple of different options. At the bottom of each page are some sharing buttons that allow you to email, share on facebook, twitter etc. Great for when there is an event on that you want to highlight or invite friends to!
The other share buttons are at the top of the website and take you to the Springfield channels for Flickr, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter (well that last one is mine but you get the idea!)
We haven’t really used Facebook a lot up until now. Partly that was because I don’t use it and because of who do we get to keep it up to date. I am hoping that in the next couple of weeks to finish setting up a Springfield Facebook page (I’ve registered it but need to work out the details!) -in other words you don’t need to be my friend! – you can see it here – http://www.facebook.com/springfieldwallington
Cell Notes and Notice sheets
We switched the embedding software that we use for cell notes and notice sheets. We now use a product called scribd because it allows users to download documents which we thought was useful! We do now and again get a problem but please let me or the office know if that happens to you.
We’ve changed the podcast software to allow you to subscribe either via itunes or via an RSS feed. I suspect that most people subscribe via itunes. You can also listen to them online. One word of warning, the podcasts are only available for three months before they are deleted by our host, buzzsprout (it’s a free plan!). If you have downloaded them then that is fine but otherwise be aware that they will go missing – if you really want one then we will have a copy somewhere.
Under the Grow heading on the website you will find a booking form on the right hand side of the page. This allows you to sign up (or inquire about) the various courses that we are holding. These will change overtime as different courses are available. I hope eventually that we can even have online payment for events and courses that require it!
Well, that’s where you come in! We would love ideas of what you would like to see on the website.
Are there things that you would like to see on the website; things that would make you use it more? If so, then please let me know and we can build a wish-list.