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    Best Practices! - Entries written by David Pohlmeier

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    TueTuesdayJulJuly16th2013 No Photoshop? No Problem!
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Technology 0 comments Add comment
    Building a website is more than just text. Graphics and images play an important role in how your church or ministry is presented online. It's also important that images are created the correct size and at the correct resolution to ensure they can be viewed quickly and accurately.

    For the best experience, Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard. There are other options. We did a write-up on Pixelmator, a Mac app for just $14.99.

    Today, I stumbled upon something entirely different, a web app called Pixlr. It's interesting because Pixlr seems to work just in your web browser and provides a fairly complete Photoshop like experience. There also doesn't seem to be any sort of cost associated with using the product. I edited a few photos, save them to my computer and it all seemed to work great. Creating graphics and re-sizing images appear to be a breeze with this product.

    Below is a screenshot of the editing screen. As you can see, it's fairly similar to what you'd expect from a Photoshop alternative.



    Have you had any experience using this or a similar product? We'd love to hear your comments.
    MonMondayJulJuly8th2013 The Digital Pastor
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Social Media 0 comments Add comment
    You can always count on the Barna Group to release interesting studies/statistics on churches and christianity in general. If you're interested in stats, they are the people to follow. Recently, Barna Group posted an article called "The Rise of the @Pastor." It's full of interesting statistics and has a great infographic. Some highlights and the infographic are below. Be sure to check out the complete article if you have time.
    • More than one in five American pastors (21%) say their churches use Twitter, up from only 14% in 2011.
    • Facebook usage in churches has likewise jumped from just over half (57%) to a full seven in 10.
    • Pastors themselves are also engaged in online communication, with nearly one-quarter (23%) who use Twitter, well over six in 10 (66%) who are on Facebook, and over one in five (22%) who have a personal blog.
    • While both Twitter and Facebook gained church-based users in the last 24 months, Twitter’s growth has been more impressive: Facebook increased penetration among pastors 12% in the last year, while Twitter jumped by 77%.
    • In 2013, 70% of churches report they use Facebook, compared with 57% in 2011.
    • About two-thirds of pastors (66%) say they use Facebook in their role as a pastor.
    • In 2011, only about half of pastors (51%) said social media would be a major part of their church’s ministry. That means there has been a 27% increase in the percentage of pastors who believe social media tools are important to leverage for the sake of ministry.
    The lesson learned is that social media, love it or hate it, is here to stay. Usage and the perception of it's importance is increasing. Social media is a vital part of ministry and should be taken seriously no matter church size or budget.



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    WedWednesdayJulJuly3rd2013 Mobile Browsing Habits on Church Websites
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Technology 0 comments Add comment

    It's pretty much official, people love to use their smartphones.


    Ein Handydrama in 7 Akten

    According to a recent study conducted by Experian, Americans spend an average of 58 minutes of time on their smartphone every day. 14% of that time is spent visiting websites. It's also interesting to note that Android users spend 16% of their time browsing websites while Apple iOS users spend 12%.

    Digging in a little deeper in some stats, IDC has informed us that in the first quarter of 2013 Google Android powered devices hold a 75% market share in the smart phone market. Coming in second is Apple iOS with a 17.3% market share. The rest of the market share is populated by Windows Phone, BlackBerry and a couple of others that I've never even heard of.

    What I find so fascinating about this is how the church websites on our platform are getting used. Here is what our Google Analytics report shared with us over a one year period starting June 1, 2012.

    The numbers below show how many visits came from each mobile operating system and how many of those visits were new.
    • Apple iOS - 653,576 (47% new visits)
    • Google Android - 214,413 (46% new visits)
    • BlackBerry - 12,597 (57% new visits)
    • Windows Phone - 4,855 (63% new visits)
    Apple even takes up places 1,2,4, & 7 of the top 10 slots for the actual device being used to navigate to our websites over the last year. To their credit, Samsung does hold on to 8,9, & 10.

    Clearly, church and ministry websites hosted by iMinistries are being accessed more by Apple powered mobile devices. Significantly more. Why is that? Sadly, I don't have the answers. It's something that I really have often wondered about. Based on market share and even smart phone usage statistics, I would have assumed Android powered devices would have come out on top.

    What do you think? Why is there so much Apple love with mobile browsing habits on church websites?


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    SatSaturdayJunJune15th2013 Summer Sale: 1/2 off Site Setup Fee
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Company News 0 comments Add comment

    This summer is a great time to setup a new website for your church or ministry with iMinistries.


    From June 15th to August 31st we will be offering a discount on the site setup fee for all new website sign-ups. Normally, there is a one-time $700 site setup fee. We'll be discounting it to $350. For full details on our pricing please visit our pricing page.

    The process is simple.
    1. Sign up for a free trial account
    2. Email us at and let us know you are ready to go. We'll help you start moving forward with setting up your new website. 

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    Customer will be charged the full $700 and then reimbursed $350 immediately after signing up.
    WedWednesdayJunJune12th2013 IMPORTANT: Twitter API Changes
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Company News 0 comments Add comment
    Twitter recently made a significant change to their API. This has affected how the iMinistries Twitter Widget works. Tweets will not display on your website unless you follow these steps to utilize the widget correctly. The changes made are an effort by Twitter to make sure that the Tweets showing on your website are authorized by you.

    Please follow the steps below to have Tweets appear again on your site.

    1. Login to you Twitter account

    2. Click the gear in the upper-right corner and click settings

    3. Click Widgets on the left side

    4. Click Create New

    5. Change any settings you like, but the default should be okay.

    6. Click Create widget

    7. Copy the code they provide to you

    8. You will need to paste that code somewhere where you can see it. You can paste into notepad or a similar text editor. You'll notice that what you copied is different from what is pasted. (Not sure why Twitter does this) You only need one thing from it. In the first line it should say something like:

    <a class="twitter-timeline" href="https://twitter.com/username" data-widget-id="344851729025744898">

    All you need is the widget id (in this case 344851729025744898).

    9. Now, you need to login to your website and find anywhere where the Twitter smart tag is being used (It will be a string of code inside of brackets and dollar signs). You'll change it so that it now also includes your widget id. For example, with the code above, you would add this string of text to the widget:

    WIDGETID="344851729025744898"

    Be sure to put it before the dollar sign and bracket and inside of the actual smart tag.

    If you have any questions feel free to submit a ticket to our support website.

    Note: The DISPLAYHEADING and SHOWITEM attributes are no longer necessary as the Twitter widget manager now controls those things.
    MonMondayMayMay20th2013 Thoughts About 'Dangerous: A Go-to Guide for Church Communication' I just finished reading Dangerous: A Go-to Guide for Church Communication. It's a concise (by that I mean short) read from various professionals in the area of church communications. It gives some basics on the who, what, how and when of communications. I enjoyed it as it confirms a lot of what we discuss with churches. We now have a resource to share with churches and ministries if they want to dig a little deeper on the topic without getting overwhelmed. Clocking in at 89 pages, it doesn't take long to read it cover to cover.

    Here are some thoughts and quotes that were worth sharing from the book.

    I always suggest that churches start off with what they are capable of doing. Our websites have lots of features available and when you add the social media layer on top, it can quickly overwhelm you. This book confirms that.

    "We little guys are no megachurch. We’re not ready to tweet and blog and podcast. So start small. Make one steady, consistent, maintainable improvement at a time. Baby steps to the website. Baby steps to bulletins without typos. Baby steps to ditching clipart. Aim for incremental improvements. Good communication is like a light guiding you in the darkness: It can’t flare up and fade out, it has to burn slow and steady through the night."

    Looking at the church website as the central hub of all communication is another way to state this.

    "Your website should always be the most trusted source of information. Then all other media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) should point to that content."

    Couldn't say it any better myself.

    "The most important element about reaching your online audience is engagement."

    The next quote discusses announcement slides and bulletin news and announcement. There is no reason it couldn't apply to a church website. Sometimes I suggest that churches should celebrate what has happened at the church more than talking about what it coming up. Past events are more interesting and worth sharing. It will help create engagement.

    "There are important updates that need to be communicated. But they’re not everything. Your church has the greatest story ever told. Are you telling that gospel story in your communications or are you talking about diapers in the nursery?"

    Similar to the above idea.

    "Put people and their stories before events and their details. Stories are engaging. Don’t just talk about reading the Bible, tell stories about how it changes people"

    Have you read the book yet? What did you think? 

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    MonMondayMayMay6th2013 Screen Resolutions Visiting Church Websites
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged User Experience (UX) 0 comments Add comment
    We talk a lot about responsive websites here at iMinistries. The short explanation of a responsive website states that the website shall scale in size to fit the size of the particular device it's being viewed on. It's interesting to note that there are a lot of different screen sizes. I checked our Google Analytics account and we've maxed out at 5,000 as the amount of different screen resolutions that have viewed the websites on our server. That covers just one year of statistics and almost 13 million pageviews.

    As a visual point of reference, here is an illustration of the top twenty screen resolutions visiting church websites on our server in the past year.



    The average screen size, based on the top twenty resolutions, is 1,214 x 886. 

    Over this period of time, the top ten screen sizes are as follows:
    1. 1280x800
    2. 1366x768
    3. 320x480
    4. 1440x900
    5. 1024x768 
    6. 768x1024
    7. 1920x1080
    8. 1280x1024
    9. 1680x1050
    10. 1600x900
    Seeing this makes for a compelling argument for the need to have a responsive church website. Number three on the list is the iPhone. There are so many devices and screen sizes available to consumers. It has been speculated that by 2014, more internet traffic will come from mobile devices instead of  traditional personal computers (source).

    What are you doing to prepare for this?

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    WedWednesdayMayMay1st2013 New Free Church Website Template - Samaria
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Template 2 comments Add comment
    We are happy to announce the arrival of our latest free church website template. We're calling it Samaria. This new template is a clean, simple, and modern looking site. It features a full-width rotator that is sure to impress.


    Samaria - Visit Website




    TueTuesdayAprApril30th2013 What Should a Giving Page Look Like on a Church Website?

    According to the website internetworldstats.com, 79% of the North American population is considered an internet user. The United States alone claims to have 78.1% of it's population online. 

    This simple statistic tells me two things:
    1. You had better have a good website for your church!
    2. The people in your pews are online and it's important to make online giving an option.
    Utilizing a church website to help answer questions about giving and provide opportunities for online giving is essential. A question we get often is "what should a giving page look like on our church website?"

    money

    While researching this article I came across a great article at billygraham.org that answered the following question.

    Q: Why do churches keep asking for money all the time? Frankly, it turns me off and I think it does the same to lots of others. If people want to give that's fine, but I don't think they ought to be talked into giving money.

    A: The Bible says we should give because we want to, and "not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7).

    At the same time, churches and other ministries need money to operate; to be blunt, if they don't have any, they'll go out of existence. Even Jesus' little band of disciples had a treasurer, and the Bible mentions several women who "were helping to support them out of their own means" (Luke 8:3). In our own ministry, we have always tried to make people aware of the opportunities we have before us, and encourage them to support us if God leads them to do so.


    In the answer he suggests that they are "trying to make people aware of opportunities we have before us, and encourage them to support us if God leads them to do so." This is exactly what I propose an online giving page should do. I couldn't say it any better myself.

    The giving page (like every page on your site) should be simple and concise. First, provide an opening statement reminding the site visitor of the importance of giving. Something like this from First Baptist Church Elgin is a great example.

    "It is through the generous financial gifts and offerings of God's people that we are able to spread the Gospel throughout Elgin and the World. We are committed to faithful stewardship of all that God would entrust to us. We have the privilege of partnering with God’s work in the World by using our gifts and resources through the local church."

    The online giving page shouldn't be used to "preach" at the site visitor. It's safe to assume that a site visitor who views the giving page is a church member or regular attender who has already made the decision to give. It's probably not a page that's getting visited much by the casual site browser thinking of attending your church.

    Second, outline the various methods of giving. Be sure to include, along with the option to give online, other methods of giving. Wheaton Bible Church has setup a great page outlining what giving looks like for them. WBC talks about stock gifts, personal property, and "in memory" gifts among many other opportunities available. If your church offers other options for giving besides check and credit cards, be sure to share it. Church members may not even be aware of their options.

    If there is a give link on your website, whether it's in the main menu or as a prominent button/call to action, try and avoid linking directly to an online form. Some sort of in-between page outlining giving and providing some context will help ensure a good experience for the giver. Be sure to let them know that all giving is safe, secure, and confidential.

    Lastly, I'll leave you with the best example of an online giving page I've seen at a church. The page to view is by New Spring Church. Here is what they do that works:
    • They have a great video on why to give. This acts as an opening statement.
    • They are transparent in the fact that they provide an annual report. The giver knows where the money is going.
    • They answer frequently asked questions. It's detailed and helpful.
    • They offer financial coaching. Maybe you want to give but can't, they will help you. Awesome.
    • They outline how to give.
    All this is clearly outlined and displayed on one simple page.

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    TueTuesdayAprApril23rd2013 Church Communication Strategy: Why Have One? The website for a church can be looked at as the central hub for all communications. Events, news, sermons, and blog entries are all added to the website and disseminated to email newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media platforms the church uses. When creating a strategy for how this might work, the church has three main questions to answer:
    1. Who are we communicating to?
    2. How will we communicate?
    3. When will we communicate?
    Prior to launching a new online presence, especially building a new website, it's important to have these questions answered. This article will help identify how to apply a communication strategy to a church website and overall online presence. It is healthy to look at this broader and ensure that everything from welcome slides to bulletins to printed communications are addressed with the strategy. Even something like the chuches branding should be addressed when building an overall communication strategy.

    communication

    Who are we communicating to?

    Most chuches will say that they are intending for the website to communicate to existing members of the church congregation and perspective members. So, they are trying to reach everyone. From the analytics we study, roughly 50% of hits to our server are first time website visitors and 50% are returning. 67% of those visitors stay on the website for less than one minute. With that number, I propose that the homepage, the most important page, of a website has a strong focus on communicating to the new website visitors. The new person who is researching and thinking about attending on a Sunday morning. Allow the homepage to set the tone of the church. Just placing upcoming events, some graphics to announce those and the churches address may not be enough. Remember, 67% of visitors stay for less than one minute. In fact, 50% stay for less than 10 seconds. The time you have is limited, wasting it on having the person decide to make a click to dig deeper into the site might be losing site visitors.

    How will we communicate?

    With the iMinistries CMS there are many avenues to communicate though. Examples include:
    • Events
    • News
    • Sermons
    • Newsletters
    • Blogs
    Most churches jump on board and want to utilize all of iMinistries' features right away. We have churches with over 10,000 weekly attenders that have a full staff dedicated to updating a website and church plants with less than 100 weekly attenders and one staff member, the pastor. These two churches will communicate much differently and much of that has to do with resources. It takes time and some dedication to keep a website updated. I haven't even addressed social media yet! My suggestion is to identify what's important to communicate and ensure that you have time to do it through the methods that make the most sense. If you are a church of 100, don't try and communicate like a multi-campus ministry such as Harvest Bible Chapel communicates. Create a strategy that works for you.

    When will we communicate?

    Creating a schedule and realistic expectations for when communication will occur is often overlooked. These expectations will help determine what you communicate. Try and determine what the availability is and create consistency so that website visitors know what to expect. Then stick to it. A church with a dedicated staff needs to evaluate this just as much as the church plant with only the pastor updating the website. Erratic and inconsistent communications should be avoided. A big part of creating an online presence is consistent communication. Keeping the online community aware of your existence and reminding them often of who you are is important.

    Resources


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    MonMondayAprApril15th2013 Cheaper Alternatives to Adobe Products for Churches and Ministries
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Design 3 comments Add comment
    Part of maintaining a successful ministry or church website is publishing professional photos and graphics. The industry standard for image editing and graphic design is the Adobe Creative Suite. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premier, etc, they truly are great pieces of software. They also come with a pretty steep price tag. Photoshop alone costs $699.00.

    Gouda Loves The MacBook Pro.

    Are there viable alternatives? The author of this blog post suggests there are. The article only features Mac software (Sorry PC users). Below is the Adobe product and the comparable Mac App you could use as a replacement. I'm only going to list the three products that will benefit a content creator for a website. Check out the article for more.
    • Photoshop will run $699. Instead, use Pixelmator for just $14.99
    • Illustrator will set you back $599. Try Indeeo's Draw for $24.99
    • Dreamweaver costs $399. RapidWeaver has similar name and costs just $79.99
    I have used Pixelmator. I've even recommended it in the past. I cannot speak for the other two pieces of software. I'd suggest researching and downloading free trials if they exist. As a professional graphic designer, there probably won't ever be a replacement for Adobe products. For someone who's tasked with keeping their church or ministry website up to date and looking good, the software above just might be the ticket.

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    WedWednesdayAprApril10th2013 Google Analytics Infographics for Churches
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Communications 0 comments Add comment
    A few days ago we posted an article discussing what kind of attendance and web traffic churches receive in the weeks prior to Easter. Today, I was introduced to a great new tool from visual.ly that creates an infographic of the last week of statistics from a Google Analytics account. Below, you'll find one that I ran for all the church websites hosted by iMinistries.

    It's interesting to see the major dip in the stats from the week prior to Easter.



    Create your own infographic.

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    ThuThursdayAprApril4th2013 Website Traffic and Church Attendance Prior to Easter: What Does it Look Like? Eric Smith, the resident web and social media specialist at Wheaton Bible Church asked me an interesting question the other day.

    "I'm looking at our analytics around Easter time and comparing it to previous years. Do you know the percentage of increase the average church website sees around Easter time/Holy Week or other information similar?"


    I didn't know. We monitor the traffic on our server through Google Analytics and I looked into his question and discovered some interesting results. I also talked with Jason Poland, the executive pastor at First Baptist Elgin (my home church) about the churches attendance numbers for the three weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.



    How the numbers break down.


    Easter Sunday 2013 - March 31st
    • March 25, 2013 to March 31, 2013 had 64,232 unique visitors. 45.27% of those were new visitors.
    • March 18, 2013 to March 24, 2013 had 49,891 unique visitors. 43.40% of those were new visitors.
    • March 11, 2013 to March 17, 2013 had 48,601 unique visitors. 42.63% of those were new visitors.
    Weekly attendance numbers at First Baptist Church Elgin 
    • March 31, 2013 had 550 adults in attendance.
    • March 24 1, 2013 had 354 adults in attendance.
    • March 17, 2013 had 295 adults in attendance.


    Easter Sunday 2012 - April 8th

    • April 2, 2012 to April 8, 2013 had 56,557 unique visitors. 46.23% of those were new visitors.
    • March 26, 2012 to April 1, 2012 had 43,967 unique visitors. 47.41% of those were new visitors. 
    • March 19, 2012 to March 25, 2012 had 39,331 unique visitors. 46.10% of those were new visitors. 
    Weekly attendance numbers at First Baptist Church Elgin 
    • April 8, 2012 had 587 adults in attendance.
    • April 1, 2012 had 332 adults in attendance.
    • March 25, 2012 had 312 adults in attendance.


    This exercise brought interesting results for me. I expected to see a higher percentage of new website visitors. I assume that most churches would like to see that number increase significantly, too. There was an increase but it's just not as dramatic as I would expect. The numbers do tell me that attendance increases significantly, at least at the church I attend. I could also tell by the church across the street from FBC that they experience a significant attendance increase on Easter Sunday.

    1. Is that what you experienced at your church?
    2. What do these numbers say to you?
    3. Can anything be done differently next year at your church?
     
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    ThuThursdayMarMarch21st2013 5 Truths About Giving and What it Means for Your Church Website

    The following statements were originally posted in the article "6 Truths Behind Why People Give." I thought it was worth reposting as some are useful in the thought process of setting up online giving for a church website.

    I'll Give You All I Can...

    1. Giving is mostly emotional and irrational.
    The right brain tends to rule the left in giving, and people donate out of feeling more than thinking.  In fact, if you get people to stop and think, they tend to give less.

    2. Giving is personal.
    The closer we feel to a cause or the person advocating that cause, the more likely we are to give.  We give more when we feel we’re helping another person to whom we can relate – or when a cause is made so highly tangible we’re sure we have the chance to make a real difference.

    3. It’s really hard to change #1 or #2.
    If your job is to raise money, just roll with these truths.  As researcher Daniel Oppenheimer told me: “Crafting solicitations that appeal to human psychology can feel manipulative at times, which is why it’s important to remember people really do want to give.  They like giving; it makes them happy; it provides meaning.  When we help people give, we’re not just assisting charities and the causes that receive the money—we’re also helping the donors.”

    4. Giving makes people happy.
    Researcher Michal Ann Strahilevitz puts it this way:  “Most fundraisers probably don’t think of themselves in the business of selling happiness to donors, but that is ... their job.”  Giving makes you happy, and when you’re happy you give more, which makes you happier, which makes you give more. 

    5. Giving is a social act.
    Since we’re all social creatures who are well-versed in peer pressure, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that our giving is heavily influenced by what we perceive other people to be donating.  We’re all about keeping up with the Joneses even when it comes to philanthropy.


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    WedWednesdayMarMarch6th2013 Denomination Name in Church Branding
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Communications 0 comments Add comment
    I shared a link on Twitter recently and something about it really stuck with me and I thought it would be helpful to highlight a few items here on our blog. The article asks the question, "Should Protestant churches include or exclude a reference to their denomination in the church name?"

    Church Messages #2

     I think about this all the time when working with churches. I've even suggested not using the word church as it's not needed when using the denomination name. Why call yourself First Baptist Church when you could simply go by First Baptist and I'm assuming everyone would know you are a church? The Baptist in the name clearly identifies that.

    It's interesting to learn what that word Baptist means to individuals.

    Here are my biggest takeaways from the research that was done. Taken directly from the original article by Grey Matter Research.
    • When a church does not reference its denomination in the church name, unchurched people tend to see that church as less formal, rigid, and old-fashioned, but this also makes them feel more uncertain and wonder whether the church is trying to hide its beliefs.
    • When people see a church with a denominational reference in its name, they are over four times more likely to perceive that church as formal than if it has no such reference.
    • Denominational references are also three times more likely to make people see that church as old-fashioned, and almost three times more likely to make them feel it is structured and rigid
    • Including a denominational reference is more than twice as likely to help people feel the church is honest.
    • Excluding a denominational reference is more than twice as likely to give people feelings of uncertainty, and almost five times more likely to lead to thoughts that the church may be trying to hide what they believe.
    • People who attend a denominational Protestant church believe (by a margin of 33% to 20%) that a church with its denomination in its name would be more welcoming to visitors. But the unchurched, by a very similar margin, have exactly the opposite perception (30% to 19%).
    • People already attending a denominational Protestant church say they’re more likely to consider a church with the denomination in its name (39% to 23%).  But among the unchurched, it’s a split decision, with 24% opting for the denominational name, and 20% preferring a church without a denominational reference.
    • People age 65 and older are especially likely to see non-denominational names as the church trying to hide what they believe (55% to 3%) and as making them feel uncertain (51% to 7%), as well as to see denominational names as welcoming new visitors (38% to 18%) and as a church they might consider visiting (48% to 14%).
    • On the other hand, adults under the age of 35 are much more divided over this issue.  For instance, while they agree with older adults that non-denominational names are more likely to make them feel uncertain, the split is only 34% to 22%, and it’s noteworthy that 22% say a denominational reference is what would be more likely to make them feel more uncertain.  Younger adults are also more likely to see non-denominational names as welcoming to new visitors (36%, versus 27% who say this about denominational names), as a church for people like them (27% to 18%), or as one they might consider visiting (27% to 19%).
    I know that I'll refer back to this study when helping brand a church and I hope churches take this study into consideration.


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    TueTuesdayFebFebruary19th2013 Faith Baptist Mill Creek
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Portfolio 0 comments Add comment
    Last week, iMinistries helped launch a new website for Faith Baptist Mill Creek in Geneva, IL. Along with the website, iMinistries was hired to design a new logo and provide the church with a branding strategy.

    Visit Website

    Check out FBC Mill Creek's new website.
    Be sure to view it on different devices as it's a responsive layout.


    Faith Baptist has a simple, yet important mission, "Our prayerful hope is to see self-reliant people become God-reliant disciples." iMinistries wanted to creatively represent that vision with this new logo. Thus, the concept of the fishhook was born. The idea originates from one of the most famous verses in the Bible, Matthew 4:19:

    “Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

    Jesus was calling for his first disciples.



    Grant Diamond, the senior pastor at FBC said these kind words about the logo/branding. "iMinistries offered very competitive pricing for thier design work and worked up a logo for us that has already started a number of conversations about our church even though we've only had the logo rolled out for a week! Looking back, investing in iMinistries to not just build our website, but also customize it through logo and color work was no doubt the best decision we could have made."
     


    Grant also had this to say about the website. "As the Head Pastor of a growing church I knew our church needed to drastically improve our web presence, but I also knew that I didn't have much time to dedicate to the project. Enter iMinistries. I truly cannot sing the praises of iMinistries loudly enough. David and the rest of the staff walked me step by step through the process and along the way turned me from a doubter, that building and updating an incredible new website could really be as easy to learn and use as they claimed, to a believer. Stop looking for the company that's going to build your new church or non-profits website, you've already found your best option in iMinistries."

    The website for FBC Mill Creek is a customized version of our free template called Bethany. This church website template is easily customizable and is a responsive design. A responsive website scales and adapts to meet the resolution and size of any screen it's being viewed on.

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    MonMondayFebFebruary18th2013 IMPORTANT: Email Hosting ends March 1st
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment
    This article was originally posted December 10, 2012.

    Current iMinistries email customers,

    In an effort to provide our customers with the best possible services, iMinistries will be discontinuing email hosting on March 1st, 2013. You may be asking yourself, “wait a second, how does this help provide our customers with the best possible service?”

    Let me explain.
    1. Recently, there has been an uptick in the amount of email accounts being hacked into and used to send out spam. This gets our email server blacklisted, email stops working, and we have unhappy customers. We don’t like that. Besides it affecting actual email accounts, it also affects our servers ability to send out notifications from the websites. Not only is it affecting email subscribers, it’s also affects every church that uses our system. Prior to the most recent attack, that you are already aware of, there had been several smaller attacks that didn’t have the same impact on our email server. It has been a growing trend recently and we feel it’s time to move on from email hosting.
    2. When we have to deal with hacker/spam attacks, and providing general support for email, it takes away time we could be working on improving what matters most, our CMS.
    3. We can’t provide what larger, dedicated email hosts, can provide you. There is a limit in the storage we can provide. With so many better options, it just makes sense for a church or ministry to utilize those.
    Our recommendation is for churches and ministries to use Google Apps as their email vendor. Google offers several different options for a church or ministry. The business plan (http://www.google.com/intl/en/enterprise/apps/business/pricing.html) is appropriate and affordable for most churches and ministries. If you have a valid 401 3c, then you might consider taking advantage of the Google For Non Profits option (http://www.google.com/nonprofits/products/). This option can take up to 30 days as it’s something you will need to apply for. Google even offers several email migration options which can be found here - http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=57920

    If Google Apps is your option please follow these steps to verify ownership of your domain.
    1. Select the option to change your TXT record.
    2. Click Continue
    3. Look in step #2. Google provides you with a value that looks similar to googleffffffffe683be0a. Copy whatever this value is and send an e-mail to . Provide us with your domain and the value.
    4. Click the “I will verify later” button.
    Once we have added this DNS entry for you, we will respond to your ticket. At that point you can finish verifying your domain ownership.

    If Google Apps isn’t an option, there are other email hosting options available to you. You could contact the company that hosts your domain name, many times they provide solutions. You could also setup your own exchange server and self host your email.

    Once your new email is setup, please let us know so that we can change your account settings and remove the monthly charge from being billed to you. All you need to do is submit a support request at support.iministries.org. Let us know the URL of your church and the churches name and we’ll make the change immediately.

    If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to help get you moving in the right direction.

    Thank you,
    iMinistries
    MonMondayFebFebruary4th2013 Lightstock - Christ Centered, Royalty-Free Photos
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Design 0 comments Add comment
    Churches and ministries using our CMS ask all the time about where they can find quality images for their website. Recently, I was introduced to lightstock.com Lightstock has some amazing photography to purchase, it's affordable, and it's Christ Centered.

    I asked if they would write a little about their company so we could share it with you.

    "Launched in late November 2012, Lightstock is a faith-focused, safe-searching, carefully-curated stock photography website geared exclusively for the Christian community. Its images are perfect for any number of church or ministry uses, whether it's bulletins, church websites, sermon slides, worship backgrounds, or video illustrations.

    Founders, Jon & Josh Bailey explain what compelled them to create Lightstock. “We had this big dream in our hearts that Lightstock could fundamentally change the way Christian designers, chief-creatives and church staff members go about their creative endeavors for Christ’s kingdom. For nearly a year we’ve been on an unrelenting journey to forge a strong link - connecting an army of faith-based photographers to the Christian community at large - an audience, hungry for meaningful visual resources.”

    Lightstock fills a gaping hole with faith-focused content that can’t be found anywhere else. Professional photos portraying Christian themes are no longer a distant wish, but a concrete reality. You’ll love viewing thousands of professional, Christ-centered images portraying Bible-based themes."

    Check out Lightstock.com today.

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    MonMondayJanJanuary28th2013 Rotator/Carousel Interaction Analysis Church website administrators love to use carousels. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find any website that doesn't feature some sort of rotating image carousel. We even base most of our designs here at iMinistries around them since we know churches love to use them. Have you ever wondered how effective they are? It's often the most prominent feature on a churches website. Is it actually being used by site visitors? One designer who manages the websites for Notre Dame University monitored the usage and gathered some interesting results.

    First, let's get some terminology straightened out. In the aforementioned article, it referes to the feature as a carousel. In the iMinistries church CMS, we refer to this feature as a rotator. 

    Highlights from the article:
    • The average number of clicks was between 1.7% and 2.3% on the carousel.
    • The first position/slide received 48%-62% of clicks.
    • The most evenly distributed percentage of clicks was with carousels using the least amount of images.
    • The carousel with the most clicks, had the least amount of images (3).
    • The site they tested that received the most clicks to the carousel was static. (This means it didn't cycle to the next slide automatically.)
    The article summarized the finding nicely. "First, if they’re [the client] going to insist on a carousel, they need to include compelling content that not only entices users to click, but can get their attention in the first place. Second, I might suggest keeping the number of features to a maximum of four (or better yet, three), as it appears that as the number of features increases, the click-throughs on sub-features decreases dramatically."

    So much can be taken out of articles like this. Obviously, each website is different and each audience is different. Churches need to be sure that the content in the carousel is well designed and is meaningful to the site visitor.

    For further reading on this topic, check out these two articles:


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    WedWednesdayJanJanuary9th2013 iMinistries is Published
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Company News 0 comments Add comment


    iMinistries is happy to annonce we have been published for the first time by a major magazine. While it's a small article, we are quite proud of it. Go grab the January/February 2013 issue of Outreach to check it out. The article, 'Less Clicks, More Visits' was written by Bryan Young.

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    TueTuesdayDecDecember11th2012 Church Website Statistics...the British Version The website British Religion in Numbers (BRIN) compiled a survey of church website usage that was conducted by Sara Batts, a student at Loughborough University. The study reviewed churches and new media use. Much like over here in America, the results were predictable for someone like me who looks at church websites day in and day out.

    In her research, there were two key questions that Sara asked:
    • Are English churches establishing their own individual web presence, and then using online tools?
    • Is this having any influence on, or being influenced by, traditional hierarchies within church organisations?
    The table below represents the percentage of churches within a specific denomination that have a website. According to the source, research is being reviewed that will show the statistics over a full five year period. Clearly, some denominations seem to be moving at a quicker pace than others. It's surprising that within the Anglican denomination just 58% of churches had websites in 2010. I'd be interested to see if there is any correlation with an online presence and the attendance within denominations.



       Anglican Baptist  Catholic  Methodist 
     March-June 2009  40% 57% 37%  28% 
     December 2009  46% 67%  41%  39% 
     July 2010  48% 72%  53%  59% 
     December 2010  58% 84%  63%  61% 



    It's also interesting to note that two-thirds of chuches had a website as of December 2011. According to her poll, this is up from two-fifths in 2009. Additional research shows the content was not optimal on surveyed church websites.

    Some not-so-surprising statistics:
    • 63% were non-current in terms of content
    • 12% of sites were more than three months out of date
    • 5% didn't provide service times
    • 22% failed to provide a location map of where they worship
    • 35% contained information on weddings
    • 30% contained information about baptisms
    • 14% contained information about funerals
    • 8% had blogs
    • 16% had a link to a social media service
    At iMinistries, we've done our own research confirming many of the content pieces above that aren't getting updated are items that get viewed when someone visits a church website. From our studies, the most clicked types of content pulled from 3,744,009 unique pageviews are:
    1. Ministries (449,812)
    2. Events (313,268)
    3. Staff Pages (253,608)
    4. Sermons/Blog (248,428)
    5. News (223,988)
    Church website users want to know what's available for them at a church, when it's available, who's in charge, and what's happened already. Content is much more important than the time it's typically given to administer. Gone are the days of "brochure" style websites. Site visitors clearly expect more.

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    MonMondayDecDecember10th2012 IMPORTANT: Email Hosting Update
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Company News 0 comments Add comment
    Current iMinistries email customers,

    In an effort to provide our customers with the best possible services, iMinistries will be discontinuing email hosting on March 1st, 2013. You may be asking yourself, “wait a second, how does this help provide our customers with the best possible service?”

    Let me explain.
    1. Recently, there has been an uptick in the amount of email accounts being hacked into and used to send out spam. This gets our email server blacklisted, email stops working, and we have unhappy customers. We don’t like that. Besides it affecting actual email accounts, it also affects our servers ability to send out notifications from the websites. Not only is it affecting email subscribers, it’s also affects every church that uses our system. Prior to the most recent attack, that you are already aware of, there had been several smaller attacks that didn’t have the same impact on our email server. It has been a growing trend recently and we feel it’s time to move on from email hosting.
    2. When we have to deal with hacker/spam attacks, and providing general support for email, it takes away time we could be working on improving what matters most, our CMS.
    3. We can’t provide what larger, dedicated email hosts, can provide you. There is a limit in the storage we can provide. With so many better options, it just makes sense for a church or ministry to utilize those.
    Our recommendation is for churches and ministries to use Google Apps as their email vendor. Google offers several different options for a church or ministry. The business plan (http://www.google.com/intl/en/enterprise/apps/business/pricing.html) is appropriate and affordable for most churches and ministries. If you have a valid 401 3c, then you might consider taking advantage of the Google For Non Profits option (http://www.google.com/nonprofits/products/). This option can take up to 30 days as it’s something you will need to apply for. Google even offers several email migration options which can be found here - http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=57920

    If Google Apps is your option please follow these steps to verify ownership of your domain.
    1. Select the option to change your TXT record.
    2. Click Continue
    3. Look in step #2. Google provides you with a value that looks similar to googleffffffffe683be0a. Copy whatever this value is and send an e-mail to . Provide us with your domain and the value.
    4. Click the “I will verify later” button.
    Once we have added this DNS entry for you, we will respond to your ticket. At that point you can finish verifying your domain ownership.

    If Google Apps isn’t an option, there are other email hosting options available to you. You could contact the company that hosts your domain name, many times they provide solutions. You could also setup your own exchange server and self host your email.

    Once your new email is setup, please let us know so that we can change your account settings and remove the monthly charge from being billed to you. All you need to do is submit a support request at support.iministries.org. Let us know the URL of your church and the churches name and we’ll make the change immediately.

    If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to help get you moving in the right direction.

    Thank you,
    iMinistries
    MonMondayNovNovember19th2012 3 Reasons Churches Should Utilize Buffer
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Social Media 0 comments Add comment

    For the past several months iMinistries has been using Buffer to schedule all of our tweets to Twitter and posts to Facebook.

    It has helped increase our following and improved our abilities to effectively engage iMinistries with our audience. Buffer provides real-time statistics of your tweets and posts. It shows who has shared, liked, favorited, re-tweeted, etc.

    Here are a 3 ways that Buffer can be utilized to help your church or ministry with it's social media presence.

    1. Know what's working - With it's ability to show you statistics of engagement, you'll be able to start posting content based on your experience. Trial and error at the beginning can lead to much higher engagement after you know what's been working.

    2. Get on a schedule - It helps you, the content creator, to know that you've set expectations for yourself. Setting a schedule and sticking with it is easier than posting randomly.

    3. It makes posting downright easy - There are browser plugins. Find an article you want to share, click the Buffer icon, modify the text as you wish and hit schedule. That's it. (Quick tip: if you highlight text on the page, then hit the Buffer icon, it will use that text as your post message making it even easier.) Add multiple social accounts and work with multiple team members. All with one Buffer account.


    Does Buffer interest you? If so, let us know in the comments below.

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    ThuThursdayNovNovember15th2012 Recent Email Issues
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Company News 0 comments Add comment
    As many of you are aware, iMinistries has recently been suffering some downtime with email over the last few days. One of the accounts on our server was compromised by a hacker and was used to send out spam. Lots of spam. When we caught it, that account had already shut down our mail server and there were over 150,000 emails left on the server to be deleted. Unfortunately, it takes time to dig out of a mess like this. For over 8 hours yesterday email after email was being deleted continuously. We also got blacklisted by email watch groups and have applied for reinstatement with all of them already. This can take some time to process as it's out of our control.

    We realize this has been very frustrating for many of you who do use our email and haven't been able to send or receive emails. We do apologize and understand the frustration.

    You can help us avoid this in the future. Here are the two simplest ways:
    1. Use good passwords. Use combinations, of numbers, letters, capital and lowercase, fake words, etc. Please make them difficult. We cannot stress this enough.
    2. Do not provide your login credentials to anyone. Ever. We won't ever ask for it and there is no need to give it to anyone.
    We also cannot stress the importance of following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook. When major issues like this occur it's the best way for us to communicate with our clients that we are having an issue. You don't even have to follow us on Twitter, you can simply check our page to see the updates if you want.

    www.twitter.com/iministries
    www.facebook.com/churchcms 
    MonMondayOctOctober15th2012 Missional Church Websites: An Interview with JR Rozko
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Content 0 comments Add comment

    At iMinistries, we've worked with churches of all types, denominations, and sizes, and we take pride that our system works well for everyone. Over the years, we’ve acquired expertise along the way as to what makes for a healthy online presence. But we want to be able to walk side-by-side with every denomination by giving valuable input and advice to help create a great website.

    Recently, missional churches (or missional communities) have been a hot topic in the Christian world. There is no doubt that their teachings and ethos could benefit any church, no matter the denomination. After talking with a few missional churches, we found the need to be better educated on this topic. We didn’t know what advice to give and don’t have experience to work from.

    So, an idea was hatched to interview pastors, authors, students, educators, and anyone we could find who has something to say about missional communities and how that community should represent itself online.

    (Please look at this as a resource and a tool to help improve your website. Not as a statement of what iMinistries believes or thinks a church should be.)


    Our first interview: JR Rozko

    JR has made a name for himself as a leader in the missional movement. Along with some time spent as a pastor, he is currently conducting doctoral research as a part of a cohort focused on Anabaptist Perspectives in Missional Ecclesiology through Fuller Theological Seminary’s D.Miss. program. He also serves as Director of Operations & Advancement for the Missio Alliance, an initiative that aims to provide a place for theological dialogue, training, and the creation of resources to help pastors and other Christian leaders navigate present and future missional challenges. JR is part of the missional community Life on the Vine.

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/jrrozko
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jrrozko
    Blog: http://lifeasmission.com


    iMin: What are some of the unique features of "missional churches" and how does this translate into the development and presentation of a website?

    JR: To my mind, what makes a church "missional" is three-fold.

    • First, and of primary importance, understanding God as, himself, a missionary. That is, that far from being a static being to relate to, God is a "fount of sending love."
    • This theological vision holds implications for a second mark of missional churches, a missionary understanding of the gospel. In other words, the Good News, for missional churches, isn't so much about facts to be believed, but about faithful participation in God's mission in the world.
    • These two characteristics result in a third unique characteristic of missional churches, an intense focus on equipping congregations for mission—discipleship in the truest sense of the word.

    In light of this, websites have value, but probably won't be a major locus of financial resources for missional churches. Development and presentation of missional church websites is often simple and minimalistic. The point isn't to present a compelling or overwhelming presence, but a clear and concise one.

    iMin: We agree with your assessment that there shouldn’t be an “overwhelming presence, but a clear and concise one.” This is excellent advice for all churches. Too often, church websites overwhelm the site visitor with unnecessary and too much content.


    iMin: What is the basic purpose of a "missional church" having a website? Why even have one?

    JR: First, inasmuch as missional churches assume a context in which people have no immediate resonance with Christianity or the Church, they place little stock in vying for the attention of people because of compelling advertising and programs. Their "evangelism strategy" is a community of disciples on mission together, not marketing or advertising, however creative. Thus, their websites exist to provide a point of reference, but not necessarily as a point of attraction. Second, missional churches seek to develop websites that will be helpful to their congregations or the sake of connecting and resources.

    iMin: You mention the site being helpful to the congregation and providing resources. What about the visitor who isn’t yet a part of the community? What sort of focus should the website take for communicating with those individuals? We study a lot of statistics and see that with most websites, 50% of the visitors are unique and 50% are returning. The assumption can be made that many of the unique visitors are individuals who are considering attending your church or being a part of the community.

    JR: For those who are “just checking the church out,” I think websites need to give a clear picture of what the Church is all about, but I mean this more in terms of how the community functions together than just their doctrinal statement or something of that sort. Those things are scrutinized by Christian “church-shoppers,” but unintelligible to those who lack a history or vocabulary for that sort of thing. It’s this second category of people that missional churches are mainly interested in.


    iMin: Are there some characteristics of mainstream church websites that you think work against a missional ethos?

    JR: Yes. Many mainstream churches continue to suppose that they inhabit a context in which Church involvement is a given or at least an important cultural good. In light of this, their websites take shape around a vision of being the "best in the business." They therefore come across as little more than vendors of religious goods and services as opposed to communities of missionary disciples.

    In addition, mainstream church websites often give much more space and attention to who the paid professionals are than the community itself. Again, this betrays a lingering allegiance to ways of operating that assume working in a Christian (as opposed to missionary) context.

    iMin: Many of the churches who use our system might take some offense to the statement that they are “vendors of religious goods and services.” Can you clarify what sort of content you see that depicts this?

    JR: In league with Jesus on this issue of who we (as the Church) orient ourselves toward and how we steward our resources. I’m OK with offending some people here or at least provoking a discussion. The issue isn’t content, the issue is mission. [Web]sites that posture themselves as being the best church around are targeting Christians plain and simple.

    “Going to church” is a concept that makes complete sense to those with Christian sentiments and no sense to those who don’t. Missional church websites may want to peak the curiosity of those who are not Christians with the use of content and media, but their driving assumption is that this is mainly a cross-cultural affair necessitating relational translation.

    To draw a fine point on what I am saying here, missional churches simply put little to no stock in the “marketing power” of websites for the purposes of reaching those who are far from Christ.


    iMin: As a resource to participants in a missional community, what should the website provide?

    JR: In this case, the things that are most important are:

    1. Opportunities for people to connect and collaborate
    2. Access to a calendar of events
    3. In-house resources that can contribute to spiritual growth and opportunities for ministry and mission.

    iMin: With the exception of #2, these resources seem to be more focused on individuals who are already “believers.” This seems like a very internalized approach to an idea that is, at its core, very external in nature. Do you have any comments on that?

    JR: Along with what I said above, while missional churches will want their website to provide some helpful information to those who may visit (who don’t have a Christian background), they acknowledge that advertising their programs and content just won’t mean that much. In fact, it may be more intimidating than anything else.

    Thus, I’d suggest that the usefulness of websites for missional churches is mainly an internal affair. To circle back around, missional churches are far more concerned about making relational connections with those who are far from Christ than they are with attracting those who get the Church/Christian thing. In other words, missional churches aren’t interested in outsourcing making connections with non-believers to a website.


    iMin: What are your thoughts on "missional churches" using social media/networking?

    JR: Social media and networking provide excellent opportunities for missional churches to enhance their life together. They can augment existing relationships and provide on ramps to new ones. The trick is not believing that these avenues of connection can ever replace the embodied, face-to-face connection that marks truly missional communities.

    iMin: Most will agree that social media should never replace face-to-face connections. This is the first time you mention something as an on ramp to new relationships. This relates to the previous question: Isn’t it possible for a website to be an on ramp to a new relationship?

    JR: Of course, but here’s the deal ... in a consumer-driven culture such as ours, as soon as you introduce a way for something to get done that seems to alleviate someone of their responsibility for that thing, you can bank on it happening.

    The quickest way to undercut the spiritual life and growth of a community is to provide ways for them to avoid taking ownership and responsibility of key practices. Case in point, it’s not that Christians can’t study the Bible on their own, but few take up that responsibility because we have provided so many ways to have this provided for us. In many cases, the best way to form people for mission is to make sure that they have no recourse to rely on external means to accomplish it. This is what makes it so tricky.

    As a quick example (easy one for a new dad!), if I want my daughter to learn to walk, I have to stop carrying her everywhere. This doesn’t mean I never carry her again, but it does mean that I take this option away until it takes on a new sort of significance ... until it truly becomes a supplement to what is normal and natural as opposed to a replacement for it.


    iMin: In general, do you see an online presence enhancing the community or detracting from it?

    JR: If done well, it can enhance the life and formation of community. The trick is not creating or allowing the opportunity for an online presence to take the place of the sort of connection and work that can only happen in the flesh. Reconciliation is a life-on-life issue that can't be experienced in its truest or fullest sense in a merely electronic forum.

    iMin: We can say with confidence that every church that partners with iMinistries uses its website to build a bridge that connects the individual with the church. In what ways have you seen churches replace a real “in the flesh” connection?

    JR: An extreme example are some attempts to create completely online/virtual congregations. A less extreme, but still problematic, example would be those churches who, instead of really giving themselves to the identification, equipping, and mobilization of leaders, put more stock in video venues, hologram imaging, and online/virtual resources that introduce a technological space would be better filled by a human presence.


    iMin: What story should a healthy online presence tell?

    JR: It should tell the story, good and bad, of a people on mission together. The presence and work that they have in a given community is of primary importance.

    iMin: Can you give some examples or stories of people on mission together? It can be general examples.

    JR: Many missional communities will incorporate a blog into their website where congregation members have the opportunity to share stories of God at work in their common and personal lives. Many of these same churches will offer a brief overview of their own history—how they came to be, what kinds of challenges and opportunities they have faced, and what sort of common mission they are seeking to journey into together.


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    WedWednesdayOctOctober3rd2012 Volunteer Opportunities Updated
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged New Features 0 comments Add comment

    EQUIPPING THE CHURCH TO SHARE ITS STORY

    We recently changed our mission statement to equipping the church to share its story. What better way to generate stories that tell of the exciting work that Christ is doing in your ministry than connecting willing volunteers to your ministry? We are happy to announce that in our latest release, we updated our Volunteer Opportunities feature.

    Volunteer Opportunities Update

    Did you know that an iMinistries website can equip a visitor with an easy way to volunteer? If you answered yes, you are at least aware of the feature, that is great. However, you might also be aware of a previous limitation. Prior to our latest system release, website visitors were required to be logged into your website to be able to communicate interest in volunteering. This is no longer true. Anyone visting the website will now be able to see and communicate with the church easily about volunteer opportunities.

    In addition to that, visitors were presented with a blank volunteer page and were required to click on the Search button to see results. The usability of this page required an unneeded additional step, causing confusion, and potentially missed volunteers. This too, is no longer true. Website visitors are now presented with all opportunities at once. Choosing the search criteria will now filter down those results to a manageable list.



    As with everything our system provides you, opportunities can be sitewide or associated with a specific ministry.

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    WedWednesdaySepSeptember19th2012 First Family Church Website & Branding
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Portfolio 0 comments Add comment


    Just recently, iMinistries finished a complete logo and branding package along with a semi-custom website for First Family Church in Antioch, California.

    The logo and branding design incorporates a few specific elements:
    • The abbreviation for the church 'FFC'
    • Simple/clean logo mark
    • A logo mark that is suitable for social media
    • New colors that incorporate an existing color scheme
    The color and branding was then applied to one of our free website templates called Jericho. iMinistries helped create some of the imagery on the website as well.




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    MonMondaySepSeptember10th2012 Pixelamator - Image Editing Software While helping a church build their website one thing becomes obvious - many churches don't own a copy of any sort of image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. This can hinder their ability to add graphics to a website and doesn't allow them to edit images to be sized appropriately for the web.

    Allow me to introduce you to Pixelmator.



    At just $14.99, you aren't going to find a better solution. I'm a heavy Photoshop user and have been for years. I'd like to think that I know what to expect from an image editor and I'd like for any "Photoshop alternative" to actually be a Photoshop alternative. I've been using the trial version for Pixelmator for a few days and I'd recommend it to anyone using a Mac. Sorry Windows people, this one is Mac-only.

    Right when Pixelmator opens your introduced to a great looking user interface. I like the dark color scheme and simple look of the program. Even better, it's a similar layout to Photoshop and many of the same keyboard shortcuts and core functionality are used. This made it very easy for me to jump right in and go to work.

    So, if you're looking for a great way to edit photos and create graphics, give Pixlemator a try.

    Are there other "Photoshop alternatives" out there that you or your church uses? What has been your experience? 

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    MonMondayAugAugust27th2012 A New Story
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Company News 0 comments Add comment

    Recently, iMinistries has put a more focused effort on how we'd like churches and ministries to view us. We'd like to share this vision with you.

    At our core, we're a bunch of guys who love Jesus and truly want to serve the Lord in all the work we do. We love the churches and ministries we work with and appreciate the relationships that have been formed. Through these relationships, we've seen the amazing things that Christ has done in so many shapes and forms. 

    We've realized that a website for a church or ministry is more than "just a website." A successful website is a collection of stories that tell about your community and share God's love within your church or ministry. We've done some research that shows what makes for a healthy online presence, and this presence is dependent on you effectively sharing your story.

    Engaging an audience with your story can be achieved by utilizing all the great features in our CMS and participating in various social media networks. We make all that easy and affordable. Plus, we've got the knowledge and experience necessary to help you tell your church or ministry story along the way.

    Taking all this into consideration, moving forward, our mission statement is ...

    EQUIPPING THE CHURCH TO SHARE ITS STORY

    An engaging online presence for churches and ministries is created through storytelling. Stories that minister, stories that teach, stories that connect, and stories that share God’s love. iMinistries Church Website CMS is built to help share your story through integrated communication features that are affordable, secure, and easy to manage.



    If you've got any stories to share with us about how your website has impacted your community and told your story, we'd love to hear it. Please share them with us in the comments below or send us a message.

    We love the story that Pastor Brian Edwards shared with us about his church using the website to connect with a soldier from his church serving in Afghanistan:



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    MonMondayAugAugust20th2012 New Responsive Church Website Templates
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Template 0 comments Add comment
    We are pleased to announce the release of two new free responsive website templates to our church CMS. Both designs will look great on all devices and screen resolutions. The templates are called Cana and Bethany. Check out the screenshots below and be sure to visit the actual website for each design.


    Cana Responsive Template - Visit Website




    church responsive template - iPad
    church responsive template - iPhone


    Bethany Responsive Template - Visit Website


    church responsive template - iPad

    church responsive template - iPhone

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    ThuThursdayAugAugust16th2012 Quick Church Survey
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment
    Please take a moment and fill out this 5 question survey. It's for some research iMinistries is conducting to further our studies on what makes for a healthy online presence for churches.

    Click here to take survey

    MonMondayAugAugust13th2012 Does Your Church Need a New Website? [INFOGRAPHIC] Are you having trouble deciding if iMinistries is the right fit for your church or ministry? Below are two helpful resources for you.

    First, if you have (serious) questions about what we offer, visit the Boardroom. This page highlights the important features and advantages of using iMinistries. Often, our staff isn't the one presenting to churches and fellow staff members why you would use iMinistries. The Boardroom page should help you better present us.

    The second resource is the infographic below. All roads really do lead back to iMinistries. Who knew?


    View Larger

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    MonMondayAugAugust6th2012 Wheaton Bible Church Responsive Website
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Portfolio 0 comments Add comment

    Wheaton Bible Church launches new website.

    Wheaton Bible Church is a "nondenominational church that has been serving DuPage County for more than 80 years. For all of those years our desire and passion has been to see people’s lives changed by God."

    Their new website design is responsive. This means that no matter the device or screen resolution it's being viewed on, their church website will look great. It even changes layout to look better on narrow screens. Go ahead and see for yourself. Try looking at the site on your phone. You'll notice the content stacks in order to adjust for a vertical layout.

    We designed this website in partnership with Wheaton Bible Church and this same site is available for all to use that have their website on our church CMS. We call the website template Bethany. The colors are different, but all the same functionality exists. Read more about Bethany and another new responsive church template we released called Cana.

    iMinistries is the best possible partner for Wheaton Bible Church! They're flexible, understanding people who have one of the best content management systems I've ever worked with—and on top of it, they're a forward thinking company who always open the door for our website to be on the cutting edge of technology. We could not have found a better ministry partner!
    Liz Carver - Communications Manager


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    MonMondayJulJuly23rd2012 What Pages are Viewed Most on Church Websites? [INFOGRAPHIC] Have you ever wondered what pages are viewed most on a church websites? iMinistries hosts hundreds of websites which get millions of pageviews, so I hopped onto Google Analytics and reviewed our data.

    The Process
    I searched for the types of pages that most churches on our system have on their website, identify a key word in that title, and then see how many unique pageviews those pages with a particular word or phrase received over a 6 month period.

    Examples:
    • I'm New/New Here - it would be listed as just New Here
    • What we Believe/Beliefs - it wold be listed as What we Believe
    • Statement/Statement of Faith - it would be listed as just Statement
    The reason for choosing unique pageviews is to see what visitors looked at the first time they checked out your site. Since we just wrote a post on what should be on an "I'm New" page, I wanted some numbers that might help churches decide what to show. This might also help evaluate what's most important to display on your home page.

    First impressions are everything. You had better make it a memorable one.


    View Larger


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    WedWednesdayJulJuly18th2012 $200 Discount Through August 31
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Company News 0 comments Add comment

    Starting today and ending August 31, 2012, iMinistries will be giving a $200 discount on the site setup fee.* What would normally be $700 is now only $500. The only requirement we have is that you 'Like' us on Facebook.

    www.facebook.com/churchcms

    After doing that, sign up for a free trial account and convert that to a full account to get started.

    If you're in the middle of a free trial already, no worries. The same $200 discount is still applicable. 



    *This offer is not valid combined with any other special promotions or discounts that we currently offer. A $200 refund will be issued to your credit card after converting to a full account by paying the $700 sign up fee. Home page photo.
    WedWednesdayJunJune20th2012 Internet Usage for Religious Purposes [INFOGRAPHIC]
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Communications 4 comments Add comment
    A recent study from Grey Matter Research and Consulting compiled statistics on how Americans use the internet for religious purposes. "The sample of 1,011 online adults is accurate to within ±3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level with a 50 percent response distribution.

    "The study was conducted in all 50 states. Respondents’ age, education, household income, geography, racial/ethnic background, Internet use, and gender were carefully tracked and weighted to ensure appropriate representation and accuracy."

    We here at iMinistries thought the information was interesting and decided to create an infographic with the results. Rather than detailing everything, we chose a few of the topics we felt gave the best overall viewpoint of the results.

    What's Up With Evangelicals?

    I found it interesting that overall, Evangelicals claim to attend church more and use the Internet for more religious purposes. I've been trying to come up with a reason for that but I've got nothing. Anyone have a hypothesis as to why this is? I have some generalizations based on my own life experience with my family and friends but it is by no means backed by any known research or knowledge. Are Evangelicals more susceptible to the "Hawthorne Effect," saying something because they know they are part of a study and they know this is what the "Christian world-view" expects of them?



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    TueTuesdayJunJune19th2012 Cedar Heights Baptist
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Portfolio 0 comments Add comment
    The website for Cedar Heights Baptist Church is the first full custom responsive church website iMinistries has implemented. We're quite proud of it. Cedar Heights has a strong connection with The University of Northern Iowa and it's Navigators group. This was featured prominently on the website.

    Tablet View



    Mobile Device View



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    WedWednesdayJunJune13th2012 Introducing Multi-Campus Support iMinistries is pleased to announce our powerful new multi-campus church website feature. Churches or organizations with multiple locations can now clearly display content from each campus on one single website. Users visting the website can choose what information they want to see based on the selected campus. Using a feature like this creates a perceived sense of unity for a church. After all, it is one church body, simply worshipping and ministering in different locations.



    Why is this important to Visitors?

    Site visitors know that they go to a multi campus church, but they care most about the campus they attend. Weeding through information that isn't pertinent to them can be a hassle. With this new feature, you give website visitors the ability to set their campus once and display everything based on that selection, nothing more.

    Selecting a campus preference sorts:
    • News
    • Blogs
    • Events
    • Ministries
    • Staff (Coming Soon) Implemented
    • Volunteer Opportunities (Coming Soon) Implemented

    Why is this important to Administrators?

    It makes website administration faster. Admins no longer have to create ministries, news and event items or volunteer opportunities, etc. on each campus website. Create it once, select the applicable campus(es) and your done. 

    Why is this important to your bottom line?

    We've made it affordable and flexible. If you hosted 2 Enterprise plan (10+ Administrators) websites on our Church Website CMS, we just saved you $1,188 per year! This will make any Executive or Financial Pastor very happy.

    Be sure to contact us if you are interested in setting this up on your website. View the pricing details.

    See it in Action

    Harvest Bible Chapel and it's seven campuses located in Chicago, Illinois and it's suburbs uses the multi-campus feature. Take a peek at some screenshots below or visit their website to see for yourself how it works.


    The campus selector



    Our new ministry sorting feature filters by campus



    News (on the left) and events sort by campus preference


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    WedWednesdayJunJune6th2012 New RSS Feed Link
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Company News 0 comments Add comment
    To all of you who read/subscribe to our blog on a regular basis - Thank You.

    We are making a small change to the link for our RSS feed. If you currently subscribe via RSS, please change over to this link when you get a chance -

    http://feeds.feedburner.com/iministries?format=xml

    Thanks!
    MonMondayJunJune4th2012 Should I Have a Responsive Church Website? These days, websites are being viewed on a myriad of device types. Besides computers and laptops, your website is being viewed often on tablets and mobile devices. In just the last six months, our analytics reveal that the amount of views has grown by leaps and bounds.
    • From Oct 28, 2011 to Nov 28, 2011 there were 29,580 visits via mobile devices.
    • From Apr 28, 2012 to May 28, 2012 there were 44,740 visits via mobile devices.
    That represents a 51% increase in the amount of visitors.

    During this time, the top ten devices used were:

    1. Apple iPhone
    2. Apple iPad
    3. Apple iPod Touch
    4. SonyEricsson LT15i Xperia Arc
    5. HTC EVO 4G
      6. Samsung SC-02B GALAXY S
    7. Motorola DroidX
    8. HTC ADR6300 Incredible
    9. HTC ADR6350 Droid Incredible 2
    10. HTC ADR6400L Thunderbolt 4G

    Some interesting observations:

    • A Android powered tablet device doesn't make the list until #22
    • A Blackberry lands at #33 for the first time
    • The Barnes and Noble Nook makes the list at #78
    • The Amazon Kindle lands at #101
    Clearly, Apple is the winner in the mobile and tablet department accounting for the first three most popular devices on the list. Over six months the iPhone accounted for 93,772 visits while the first non-Apple device, the SonyEricsson LT15i Xpreria Arc, only accounted for 8,170 visits. A massive 1,147% increase! Even the iPod Touch accounts for more traffic than any other device.

    What does this mean for your church website?

    Simply put, don't lose focus on the thousands of internet browsers who are viewing your website on tablets and mobile devices. The easiest way to ensure the best experience for all users is to use a responsive layout for your design. According to Smashing Magazine, a well regarded website and development blog:

    Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.

    In simpler terms, the website looks good no matter what ...
    • device is being used
    • screen size is being viewed
    • web browser is being used
    • operating system is being used


    Image via John Polacek

    It should do all of this automatically based on the user. It doesn't matter what gadget is currently on the market or what will be coming out soon. The website will just work and it will look good.

    If you are interested in seeing this in action, check out the website jericho.iministries.org on your computer in a normal web browser. Then, either view it on your phone or tablet or visit this website to see a (rough) preview of what it will look like on various devices.

    Here at iMinistries we offer many of our new(er) free church website templates as responsive. We can also be hired to implement a custom responsive church website design that's integrated with our CMS. Sign up for a free trial below or contact us to learn more.

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    ThuThursdayMayMay24th2012 iPhone Home Screen Icon
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged New Features 0 comments Add comment
    Many of the great people who we get to work with on a daily basis provide us with feedback on how our CMS works. Many also provide us with great suggestions. We take all of these suggestions and analyze them and see if it fits into our system.

    Recently, Josh Viveros of Harvest Austin suggested that we provide churches with a way to add their own icon to the website for use on the home screen of an iPhone. It was a brilliant idea so we implemented it.

    While editing your website, go to Site Controls > Site Preference > Design. Here, you will see an item called Touch Icon. Upload a 114 x 114 pixel PNG file and click Save.

    Now, on your iPhone, when a user saves the website to their homepage, it will show the icon you created.

    Check out this video I found on YouTube that shows how to add a webpage to your Home Screen if you are unsure how it works.



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    MonMondayMayMay14th2012 Above the Fold - Should I Worry About It?

    As a web designer there are a few "suggestions" that clients throw at me all the time.

    • Can you make my logo bigger?
    • Can we have only pictures and no text?
    • Can we have a flash website?
    • Can you be sure to keep everything "above the fold?"

    In this post, I'd like to address the concept of above the fold.

    The term comes from back in the days of printed newspapers. The best photographs and most attention grabbing headlines were placed above the newspaper fold to entice buyers to purchase that particular issue. There was literally no way to see what was on the bottom half unless you made the purchase, costing you money.

    For years now, the term above the fold has been used to represent the information that is placed above 600px on a website. According to the people who use this term, users aren't willing to scroll on a webpage. The fact of the matter is that this does not cost the website visitor anything other than a quick flick of the finger on the scroll wheel. It's free, unlike a newspaper. There is no reason someone won't look below the fold unless you have a poorly designed website.

    Take a second and read this quick post called "Life Below 600px" by Paddy Donnelley. I subscribe to the concept of the build up. Simply put, provide information and graphics that a website user will want to see. Then entice them to scroll down and want to see more by even more great graphics and written content. Maybe the best example you can find out there on the internet is the website for Charity Water. I want to scroll on just about every page on this website. The data is presented so well. There is breathing room around everything and pages have important information 3000px down. I saw it though.

    We analyze the statistics and how our iMinistries website is interacted with on a regular basis. We've also noticed on all of our pages, users are willing to scroll. With the above the fold concept you'd think that most of the clicks to our "Free Trial" or "Pricing" button would happen only at the top of this page. Clearly, we are getting many clicks all the way at the bottom. We believe this is because we've presented the information on this page in a simple, clean  visual way and have provided content that our website visitors want to see.



    On a Church Website, what do you think should be above the fold?

    • Important calls to action
    • Good graphics or pictures
    • The main website navigation
    • Some well written, SEO friendly text
    Spend some time on good copy and good graphics and persuade users to scroll and they will. A successful church website needs both of those to encourage interaction.

    If you'd like to read up on what some industry and research experts have to say, I'd encourage you to check out these articles.
    1. Blasting the Myth of the Fold
    2. The Myth of the Fold: Evidence from User Testing
    3. Utilizing the Cut-off Look to Encourage Users to Scroll

    And finally, check out this article written in 1997! It even suggests that users are willing to scroll.



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    ThuThursdayMayMay10th2012 Galilee Responsive Church Website
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Template 0 comments Add comment

    Today we are pleased to announce our latest addition to our growing list of free responsive church website templates. In addition to Jericho and Olivet, we now offer Galilee.



    Galilee features

    • Responsive layout
    • Tablet friendly design
    • Mobile friendly design
    • jQuery enhancements
    • Custom fonts
    • Easy customization

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    TueTuesdayMayMay8th2012 Olivet Responsive Skin (re)Release Lately, we've been working on creating our new free website skins using responsive layouts. We released Jericho a few weeks ago and will soon be releasing Galillee. Today, we are announcing the (re)release of Olivet as a responsive skin.

    Responsive church designs are websites that scale to fit any screen size. It looks good on computer screens, phones as well as tablets. Each even has it's own layout.

    If you are wanting to change over to the responsive version of Olivet follow these steps:
    1. Log In to your website.
    2. Expand Site Control.
    3. Click Site Preferences.
    4. Click Design.
    5. Change your skin to Responsive Olivet Skin.
    6. Follow our support files to finalize the setup.
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    WedWednesdayAprApril25th2012 Improved Page Toolbar Last year we introduced the page administration toolbar at the top of the screen when you are logged in and editing your website. This useful addition to our church CMS sped up page editing and creation for site administrators. With our latest system release, we've made some major improvements to this valuable tool.

    Out with the old



    In with the new



    The first and most obvious improvement is the design. We've streamlined the look and designed it to be more visual. We've also taken out the color so that it blends into the web browser so your focus can remain on the content of the webpage.

    Another improvement we made was the ability to access the full list of existing content with ease. This new feature changes dynamically based on the type of page content you are editing (News, Blogs, etc.). For example, if you're editing an Event, you will now see an additional button called View Events. This will bring you to the Event Administration page within the CMS.



    Another reason for the update was to help start moving some of our editing tools in a more touch-screen-friendly direction. While most tablet devices are for consumption, we do know that a few users create content with them. These buttons are bigger, making it easier to tap, and should help facilitate the use of them on these smaller-screened devices.

    This change was brought upon by our experience editing various websites and comments made by our users. We always welcome suggestions and comment from our users. Please share with us your thoughts.

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    TueTuesdayMarMarch6th2012 Harvest Christian Academy School Website
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Portfolio 0 comments Add comment

    iMinistries recently completed the design and development of a custom school website for Harvest Christian Academy in Elgin, IL. The website serves as a tool for both potential students and current students.

    The iMinistries CMS has many great features that work well with schools of all sizes.
    • News and events organized by grade levels for easy viewing by parents
    • Teacher pages so each educator can have it's own "online classroom"
    • Online registration and custom forms
    • Easy abilities to connect socially
    • Newsletter
    • Simple page updating



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    MonMondayFebFebruary20th2012 Dribbble Invite Giveaway
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged No tags 1 comments Add comment


    Thanks to Jesse Orndorff over at churchwebsiteideas.com I was drafted on Dribbble. In the same fashion, we are having a Dribbble invite contest here on our website. I have one invitation to give away. Here are the rules of the contest.
    • Follow iMinistries on Twitter
    • Like iMinistries on Facebook
    • Follow me on Dribbble so I can invite you if you win
    • If you want to get crazy, give us a +1 on Google+
    • Tweet us with a sample 400x300 shot and a link to your portfolio
    We'll announce the winner here on March 5th and we'll send you a DM via Twitter.

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    MonMondayFebFebruary13th2012 What Makes a Healthy Online Presence for Churches? [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Over a period of six months we monitored the usage of all of iMinistries websites using Google Analytics. Some results were to be expected. Others surprised us. From these statistics we've come to the conclusion that the convergence of technology, social media, and design/UX create a healthy church web presence.


    Technology


    Definition: The platform your website is built upon, and how you manage website content.

    A church should be using some sort of content management system (CMS). Website content includes, pages, blog entries, sermons, news, and events. This technology should be SEO friendly and easy to update.

    Why?: People come to your website for content (see the astounding numbers below). It is important to present that content in a way that is easy to find and interesting. A CMS is the best tool for completing those tasks because:

    1. A CMS helps you organize your content.
    2. A CMS lets you concentrate on the content, instead of the back-end technology.
    3. A CMS makes your website findable on search engines.

    Social Media


    Definition: Outlets used to engage and connect with users and draw traffic to your website.

    Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, and LinkedIn are a few examples. Newcomers are Google+ and Pinterest--both showed good results in the first six months, but not enough to give much thought to them yet. We plan on revisiting this in another six months and are curious to see if that changes.

    Why?: Social media hubs like Facebook give you a level of personal interaction that is usually lacking on your main website. Twitter and video sites can also help your content be shared to audiences who wouldn't normally come into contact with you.


    Design/UX


    Definition: How your website looks and functions.

    Is it easy to navigate and find content. Is your website visually appealing? Is it simple? Your website should look professional. This design should be carried over into the social media outlets to create a uniform online presence.

    Why?: What good is content if your visitors can't find it? Or if interacting with your website is not a positive experience? Your UX leaves a lasting impression to users, most of the time within seconds of their arrival.


    The Infographic


    Put all these things together, and you have a healthy web presence. Here is a visual representation of our data:

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    MonMondayFebFebruary6th2012 Church Location Feature
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged New Features 0 comments Add comment

    Among many of the great features that the iMinistries church CMS has to offer, a few of them really stand out as powerful tools for a church or ministry to use. One of them is the location feature--a dynamic Google map that marks your locations.


    Three of our clients use locations especially well. Check out their websites below, and you might be inspired to use this feature for your church or ministry.


    Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches

    First on our list is a Baptist organization in Iowa called the Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches (IARBC). According to the IARBC website, their mission is:

    "The purposes of this Corporation shall be to maintain an association of sovereign, Bible-believing, Christ-honoring Baptist Churches; to promote the spirit of evangelism; to spread the Gospel; to advance the Regular Baptist educational and missionary enterprises at home and abroad; to raise and maintain a testimony to the truth of the Gospel and to the purity of the church, and to raise a standard of Biblical separation from worldliness, modernism and apostasy." 

    The IARBC chose to use our location feature to give it's website users a clear and easy to use method of finding churches. In addition to that, they were seeking a simple way to update this list. Because the page is database-driven, there is no special coding or HTML knowledge involved with creating the web page. Updating the location is as simple as updating a few form fields, saving, and letting the CMS do the rest. It's that simple.


    Harvest Bible Fellowship

    Let's now take a look at Harvest Bible Fellowship (HBF). Here's a description of HBF from their website.

    "Harvest Bible Fellowship is the church planting arm of Harvest Bible Chapel. Passionately pursuing the fulfillment of Jesus Christ's promise to build His church is what we're all about. Founded by Pastor James MacDonald, the Fellowship trains, equips and coaches men to serve as Harvest Bible Chapel Senior Pastors. We oversee the development and launch of new Harvest Bible Chapels and the replant of existing churches into Harvests. We support every Harvest Senior Pastor through ongoing equipping and training throughout the life of their church."


    Harvest attendees traveling on vacations or moving to new areas have used this feature to find a church wherever they are. Harvest Bible Fellowship plants churches all of the world. The location map they've created displays that nicely, and allows for visitors to easily visualize the depth and breadth of their global ministry.



    Entrusted Ministries 

    Another creative implementation of the location feature can be found on the website for Entrusted Ministries. From the Entrusted website:

    To impart to parents a personal, God-honoring vision and biblical plan for family life which acknowledges that they have been entrusted with the nurturing, training, care, protection, discipline and discipleship of their children for the glory of God, while stressing the need for a precious connection and understanding of their child's heart.

    The location map for Entrusted shows locations of local churches where studies are held. Displaying a dynamic Google map is more useful to users than making them sift through location lists.

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    MonMondayJanJanuary30th2012 Free Fully Customizable Social Media Icon Set
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged No tags 3 comments Add comment

    We here at iMinistries recently created our own editable social media icons to add to our church websites. And we want to give our work away ...

    This set of icons are scalable and completely customizable. Scroll down to download our zip file which contains a PSD and PNGs. Who doesn't love free stuff?




    Download


    Zip file includes 20 PNG files and 1 PSD.

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    MonMondayDecDecember19th2011 New Church Plant Websites iMinistries continues to be blessed by our relationship with Harvest Bible Chapel. Not only do we get to work with the church and its six main campuses, we also have the privilege to work with their church plants all over the world. Each year a new group of pastors partner with us to create their new church websites. This year literally had church plants from the east coast to the west coast. We set up seven websites in just two months!



    Harvest Greenville Southwww.harvestgreenvillesouth.org
    Harvest Los Angeles Southwww.harvestlosangeles.org
    Harvest Nashville Centralwww.harvestnashvillecentral.org
    Harvest Cambridge Ohiowww.harvestbiblechapelcambridge.org
    Harvest Clear Lakewww.harvestclearlake.org
    Harvest Fort Waynewww.harvestfortwayne.org
    Harvest Traverse Citywww.harvesttraversecity.org



    Because of our unique and ongoing relationship with Harvest Bible Chapel, we're able to move quickly on each website. We understand the culture of Harvest and are able to work with them efficiently with a great deal of mutual trust and support. If you're a large church or church planting organization and would like to talk with us about partnering with iMinistries, . We'd love to learn about your ministry and see if there is any way that we can further the Gospel by working/partnering with you.



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    FriFridayMayMay6th2011 His House Christian Fellowship
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Portfolio 0 comments Add comment
    iMinistries had the privilege of working with His House Christian Fellowship to setup a website and create the branding for the ministry.

    According to the website -

    "His House Christian Fellowship has been serving Christ on the university campuses since 2001. It was at UW Oshkosh that the first ministry was begun by Jeremy and Lori Rush. In 2004, we incorporated as Wisconsin Christian Campus Ministries with a vision to reach the students across all the universities in Wisconsin. In 2007, a ministry was begun at UW Madison. Utilizing a house that had been associated with a previous ministry known as Koinonia House, His House began it's first bible studies and outreach meetings. In 2011, a ministry is forming at Lawrence University, located in Appleton, WI. "

    Along with the website, iMinistries created:

    • Logo
    • Branding Scheme



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    SunSundayMayMay1st2011 Fellowship Life
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Portfolio 0 comments Add comment
    iMinistries had the privilege of working with Ty Gooch at Fellowship Life Bible Church to setup a website and create a logo and overall branding.

    Along with the website, iMinistries created:
    • Logo
    • Web Graphics
    • Printed Invitations


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