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Monday, November 20, 2017
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The E-zekiel Technology Blog

E-zekiel Technology Blog

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E-zekiel Technology Blog

Thanksgiving Schedule

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)
Our offices will be closed Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25, 2011. Customer support staff will return on Monday, November 28 at 8 a.m. CT.
 

How to Use Address Shortcuts

Friday, November 11, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)
"Shortcuts" are brief descriptions of the web page summed up in one word or a very short phrase (no spaces). They are added to the end of your site's URL to give an easy reference point for accessing the page quickly - without having to navigate through the site to find it.

For example, you might enter the phrase "youthministry" in the "Shortcut" field of your "Youth Ministry" page so that you could offer a direct link to this page, like www.yourdomainname.com/youthministry.

Only letters, numbers, and underscores can be used in the shortcut field. Be sure to keep your shortcuts easy to spell and easy to remember. Since they are actually part of the URL of the page, shortcuts are not case sensitive (entering them in all lower case is fine).
 

Who is your target audience?

Friday, November 04, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)
Despite what we'd all like to think, the best target audience for a website is not "everybody."  The more effective communication approach is to identify the group or groups you are trying to reach and design your site to meet their needs.  For instance, is it church members?  Church prospects?  If that's the case, is it the neighborhood?  A certain segment of the population?
 
Church websites are generally trying to reach more than one target audience – typically a division between members and visitors.  Members, however, can range from the ones in active leadership to others who are trying to find out when the Easter services are.  And visitors, of course, can range from Christians seeking a church home to non-believers seeking to find out more about Christianity.
 
The key is to identify to the purposes and groups your site should serve and then seek to address those needs with an easy-to-follow format.  Make your site accessible, informative and obvious to navigate.  In the case of visitors, help make your audiences feel comfortable finding out more about you through this Internet introduction.  And in the case of those who know you well, let your site be a reaffirmation of what's best about your ministry.
 

Essential Info for the Home Page

Friday, October 21, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)
Many visitors to your website are making plans to visit your church, so make sure you’ve got need-to-know information in an easy-to-find format.  The home page is the best place for the basics, including church address, phone number and worship service times.  Depending on the size of the church, a link to a church map and a description of the facilities would be helpful.  And churches of any size should provide directions to their locations – if not on the home page, at least in a link.
 

A Few Tips for Improving Local Searches

Monday, October 17, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)
If you’re looking for a church home, you’re typically looking for one where you live (or will soon be living) – not a site a thousand miles away. So, if you’re a church and you want to be found by someone in your community searching the Web for a church – you’ll want to optimize your site for local search results. Here are some possibilities:
 
  • Get a Listing in Google Places – Provided free by Google, it’s one way you can show up in local searches.
  • List your church name and address in reputable online directors. Use a consistent address for each listing. 
  • Post your address on your site. You could also add it to your footer or blog, and you’ll have it listed several times on your site without being suspected of keyword stuffing.
  • Add directions to your church from nearby cities. This allows you to add local words and locations that people may use in their searches.
 

Communicating in Color

Friday, October 07, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)
Color communicates more than what you see; it also affects what you feel. What could the color choices in your site be communicating to your visitors?  The overall color chart falls something like this:

Blue – stability, security, trustworthiness
Red – passion, energy, strength, attention grabbing
Yellow – optimism, sunshine, ideas
Green – nature, calm (if light), financial (if dark)
Orange – energy, cheerfulness
Purple – nobility
Beige/gray – neutrality
Brown – reliability
Black – power, sophistication
White – simplicity, purity
 

Facebook Usage Grows

Friday, September 30, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)
Facebook is in the news a lot lately because of recent changes that prompted complaints from many users. More changes are coming, including a Timeline feature that will be a departure from the user profiles that customers have known. In the meantime, the use of Facebook is growing at an astonishing rate, so says the Chart of the Day from Business Insider. Americans are now spending about 16% of their time online on Facebook – that’s up from 10% during the same period in 2010.
 

Online Planning for In-Church Fun

Friday, September 23, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)
Got a big church-wide and/or community-wide event coming up? Like, say, a Fall Family Festival? E-zekiel can help you manage the details and get the word out. Starting with…
 
Pages – Create a landing page for your festival with all the details, and display a link to this page on your home page. Encourage site visitors to forward this page to their friends and family.
 
Panels – Create a panel for your home page (or any page) and highlight your details and give the link to the landing page. (The E-zekiel store will soon be releasing ready-to-go Easy Panels with Fall themes that you could use for event promotion. Watch for the announcement.) 
 
Event – Place the Fall Festival on your event calendar.
 
Designs – E-zekiel has Fall designs would be a good fit for your festival promotion. Check them out.
 
Volunteer – Need people to help? The HelpRoot Volunteer manager can provide organizational tools to request and collect volunteer names and contact information, and manage their assignments.
 
Communication, People and Group – Send out email blasts and targeted emails to groups to let them know this fun event will be taking place.  Each group should receive specific messaging tailored to their abilities as volunteers and interests as participants.
 
Media – Create a short video promoting your festival and upload to E-zekiel.tv. You can also provide scenes from previous festivals and video testimonials from previous participants.
 
Syndication – Include the festival in blogs or podcasts.
 
Album – During the festival, have someone (or several people) take photos and add these to the albums on your site as good memories of good times… and as your first step toward promoting next year’s festival!
 

Writing for the Web

Friday, September 16, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)
Writing for the Web does have many of the characteristics common to other types of expression. It’s based on words and sentences, after all – and typos are still frowned upon. However, there’s also a style of writing for the Web that fits with how people take in information from the Web (quickly, often scanning, for example). As you develop your own writings for the web, these 10 principles might be helpful.
 

Keeping the Faith as a College Student

Friday, September 09, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)
The freshman year in college – now kicking off across the U.S. – often launches a season of change for the young person, including changes in academic demands, study habits, social activities, relationships, separation from family and early steps at independence. But as we also know, the college years can prove to be a test of faith. Literally. How can families and churches help create a “sticky faith” that helps kids hold onto their religious upbringing in this time of change? A blog on Pastors.com reviews a book that speaks about this very subject.