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The E-zekiel Technology Blog

E-zekiel Technology Blog

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E-zekiel Technology Blog

Create a Virtual Library with the Resource Manager

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 View Comments Comments (0)
One of the qualities of websites that can't be matched by other types of communication is the vastness of space available. Publish an ad, for instance, and you're limited to a portion of a page. Publish a book, and you're limited to a couple of hundred pages. And yet… create a website with E-zekiel, and you can provide so much content that you're essentially establishing an online library.

The starting place is the Resource Manager. "Resource" is basically a catch-all term for "any information you want to offer." That includes Bible studies, Sunday school literature, sermons and/or sermon outlines, newsletters, job listings, reference links and more. The material can be cross-referenced and made searchable by category. You can make the material available to all visitors and with higher plans, impose access restrictions.

Visit the support site for instructions on building your "virtual library" today.

Google Analytics Announces Improvements

Friday, May 25, 2007 View Comments Comments (0)
For all the E-zekiel customers who are using Google Analytics – a free web analytics reporting tool that helps you measure your site's success – we've heard word that the interface will be changing over the next few weeks. Google Analytics team member Jeff Gillis says their goal is to make Google Analytics "more collaborative, more useful, and easier to use, while continuing to provide the same comprehensive data."

In addition to interface improvements, Gillis says, Google Analytics is also adding new features, including a customizable reports dashboard, scheduled emailing of reports, improved geographic map view, and over-time graphs for at-a-glance analysis.

Take a look at the tour to find out more.

If you're not yet using Google Analytics (and we think you should be), you can sign up on the Google Analytics homepage. Remember, it's not only a helpful service, it's also free!

Paste from Word Prepares Text Ready for Website Formatting

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 View Comments Comments (0)
The "Paste from Word" icon in the E-zekiel toolbar enables you to copy and paste the text from a Word document without the formatting of a Word document. That's important because, when the Word formatting is removed, you end up with plain text that is ready to pick up the formatting already in your website.

Start by selecting and copying the text within your Microsoft Word document. Then move to E-Zekiel and open the page where the text is to be added and place your cursor in the designated location. Click the icon labeled "Paste from Word" in the E-Zekiel toolbar. Follow the instructions in the web dialog box (paste text inside box, then press OK – and voilá – you've got clean, unformatted text on your page.

Conducting Website Polls

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 View Comments Comments (0)
Want to know what's on the minds of your visitors? A poll on your website can help.

The Poll Manager, which is available with E-zekiel plans of Silver level and above, provides a simple means to seek visitor interaction and input by posting a short question and answer series within a box on any of the pages in your site.

E-zekiel polls serve as opinion polls – meaning, there's no right answer. It's simply a sampling of opinion, ranging anywhere from a lighthearted question to the youth group to name their favorite pizza topping to a more serious question to the congregation about preferences for music and worship style.

For more information on setting up polls, visit our support site.

Keeping Your Account Information Current

Friday, May 11, 2007 View Comments Comments (0)
With "change" a constant for most organizations, keeping information current can be as important a communication task as any other. Should changes within your organization impact your E-zekiel account – including contact changes, address changes, billing preferences, website package upgrades and the like – the Account Manager is your one-stop shop for making these updates.

Simply access the Account Manager from the Control Panel and click the appropriate tabs if you want to change your payment option, review your current level of services, buy add-ons or upgrade to a higher level package. Also, customer contact information is stored on the Account Manager main page, so it's a good idea to check back from time to time to make sure your current information is displayed.

How To Communicate Effectively

Friday, May 04, 2007 View Comments Comments (0)
One of the challenges churches and organizations face is how to communicate with members, leadership, staff, committees, prospects and others in a way that gives attention to the most important messages, producing the greatest results. E-zekiel addresses that concern.

If your website plan includes the Group and Communications Managers, you can easily manage the delivery of messages to multiple and varied audiences. In other words, rather than inundating every group with every available piece of information, the communication process is greatly improved by targeting specific messages to specific audiences.

Here's the basics of how it works. In the Group Manager, you create multiple groups (Staff, Youth, Women's Ministry, Finance Committee, etc.) and assign individuals to the groups. You then use the Communications Manager to send target email messages to the particular groups.

It's safe to say that the majority of people with email addresses routinely receive unwanted or unrelated email. By categorizing your members and visitors into groups based on their interests, you increase the chances that your message will be received, read, and acted upon. And you increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your email communication.

Extra Tip! If you are sending communications to groups larger than 250, use an email marketing application such as Constant Contact instead. These applications provide reporting functionality that can help you determine your success in communicating with the group.

Scheduling Annual Events in Event Manager

Tuesday, May 01, 2007 View Comments Comments (0)
Did you know that you can use the Event Manager to schedule events which occur on an annual basis, including holidays, anniversary dates, birthdays and other observances? As long as the event happens on the same date or day each year, it's easy to do.

First, create a new event in the Event Manager. Enter the month and day of the special day as the start and end date but include a wide range of years between them. For example, use "2007/05/20" as the start date and "2020/05/20" as the end date.

Then, after you save your event information and the dialog box prompts you to set your event schedule, enter the number "12" in the number blank and select "Month(s)" from the drop-down list.

Next, select the date or day on which the event occurs. For example, for an event which occurs every year on May 20, choose "20th" from the drop-down list; for an event such as Mother's Day, which occurs every year on the second Sunday in May, choose "2nd" from the first drop-down list and "Sunday" from the second drop-down list.

Finally, click the small save icon in the upper right corner of the event schedule dialog window, and you're done. That's all there is to it.

The Helpful Assistance of the Site Map

Friday, April 27, 2007 View Comments Comments (0)
When someone is looking for specific information, but doesn't know where to find it on your site, the Site Map will help. This is an automatic part of your menu listing that is generated and updated whenever you create or delete pages in E-zekiel. The Site Map gives visitors a quick listing of every displayed page and also provides a link to get there in just one click.

Another good use: the Site Map not only helps site visitors, it also helps search engines find all the pages within your site.

Creating Mailto Links

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 View Comments Comments (0)
You can create a link anywhere within your site content to give your visitors an option to send you an email. And if you want to make this communication as easy for them as possible, this link can open an email program with the destination address, the message subject and even the message body already filled in. Here's how:
1. When you're in the Page Editor within the Site Manager or other content-adding manager, type in the email address you wish to link to and use your mouse to highlight the text.
2. Select the Insert/Edit Link icon from the Editor Toolbar
3. When the Web Page Dialog Box opens, click the arrow next to Link Type and select E-Mail from the drop-down menu.
4. In the box for E-Mail Address, enter the destination e-mail address. (This will automatically be filled in when the user's mail client opens.)
5. In the box for Message Subject, enter the default message subject. (This will automatically be filled in when the user's mail client opens.)
6. In the box for Message Body, enter the default content of the message. (This will automatically be filled in when the user's mail client opens.)
7. Click OK to insert your link.
8. Click the Save icon in the upper right corner of the screen to save your work.

Creating Links to Pages Within Your Site

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 View Comments Comments (0)
If you want to make it easy for visitors to one page in your site to get to another page with related information, the Insert Link tool is ready to help. Here’s how it works:

1. Open (or create) the page in your Site Manager. Using the mouse, highlight the text or image you would like to use as a link.
2. Select the Insert Link icon from the Tool Bar.
3. When the Web Page Dialog box appears, click the button for My Pages. Use the drop-down list to choose the page, event, resource, group, store item, person, or discussion board you wish to link to.
4. Click the save icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

For more tips on how to create links visit E-zekiel's Tips, Hints and Ideas page.