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    Best Practices! - Entries tagged "Company News"

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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. 

    Free Trial

    See how easy it is to build your church website!
    Start your 15-day free trial account,



    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.
    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.

    Free Trial

    See how easy it is to build your church website!
    Start your 15-day free trial account,

    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
    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 
    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:



    Free Trial

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    Start your 15-day free trial account,

    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.
    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!
    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.

    Free Trial

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    Start your 15-day free trial account

    MonMondayAprApril18th2011 3 Bad Website Consultant Mistakes That iMinistries Doesn't Make
    byBryan Young Tagged Company News 0 comments Add comment

    Over at Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com, Kivi Leroux Miller frustratingly describes how "bad" web consultants can limit what their clients can accomplish by making their websites hard to update.

    At iMinistries, we pride ourselves on not making those mistakes. Our church CMS is easy to update, our help system is comprehensive, and our church websites are flexible and well-designed.

    Here are the three biggest mistakes web consultants make and how iMinistries stacks up.

    Mistake 1: Not using a standard content management system.

    "Nonprofit staff should be able to login to a content management system (CMS) to make simple changes to the text and graphics on their own sites." - Nonprofit Marketing Guide

    iMinistries' church CMS is built into each one of its websites. Your church or ministry staff can log in at any time and add, remove, or edit content as you see fit. You can even determine who can manage specific sections of content on your website. With an iMinistries website, you have 100% control over what your site says and how it looks.

    "Adding a new page of content, or editing an existing one, should be as simple as writing an email — which demands that consultants use content management systems." - NMG

     Not only is iMinistries' church CMS built in, it is easy to use. Adding a page is as easy as creating a new document in Microsoft Word. If you can do that, you can create your own website.

    Mistake 2: Not explaining how to use the content management system.

    "I do ... believe that web consultants are obligated to [provide] some basic training." - NMG

     Each iMinistries website is equipped with "Beginner Mode," an interactive, step-by-step tour of your new website, its many features, and how to update its content.

    iMinistries also provides each new client with online written documentation as well as a growing library of video tutorials. These instructional videos provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to build and maintain your website. If you are not able to find the answer to your questions, you can also ask for assistance through our support website.

    "I think good consultants should ... [help] the nonprofit learn the difference between what they should and can do themselves and what should be outsourced." - NMG

     At iMinistries, we consider ourselves Web experts, and we understand some of our clients don't have that same confidence. That is why we offer extra services to help you make your church website the best it can be.

    Mistake 3: Not creating adequate space in the design for timely updates.

    "I’ve seen many nonprofit website home pages that look perfectly lovely, and yet are communications disasters ... Because there is very little space in which the nonprofit can make timely changes." - NMG

     One of our favorite integrated features is Rotator, a large rotating header that displays banner images which you can link to news, events, blogs, and any other page on your website. As with anything on iMinistries' ministry websites, Rotator is easily updatable and allows for complete customization.

    "Give your nonprofit clients at least several paragraphs worth of text they can update, especially in the key locations on the home page. Give them space where they can upload photos or embed videos — and where those can be changed easily over time without having to rely on you or another consultant." - NMG

    With exception to the content built into the website's skin, every page, image, link, banner, and ad is determined by the site administrator. With an iMinistries church website, you create your content, you update your pages, and you don't have to rely on a "bad" web consultant.

    Free Trial

    We believe the best way to describe our tools is for you to try them out yourself. We offer a 15-day free trial account which will give you a few days to use all of the features available to our paying clients. There's no risk and no obligation. Who knows, you might even enjoy the new control you have over your very own website.

    Create Your Free Trial Account
    FriFridayAugAugust1st2008 First iMinistries Employee
    byTravis Hickox Tagged Company News 2 comments Add comment
    We are excited to announce that iMinistries has it first full-time employee. I (Travis Hickox) have taken the leap of faith that the Lord has placed in front of me and will be running the company, every day...all day long.



    I am very excited about this new chapter in my life, but will readily admit that I am a bit scared. I have been humbled at what the Lord has done for iMinistries over the past four years, but even more so in the past two months. We have had a continued influx of new customers every week and I am eagerly awaiting what exciting things God will bring and do next.

    Free Trial

    We believe the best way to describe our tools is for you to try them out yourself. We offer a 15-day free trial account which will give you a few days to use all of the features available to our paying clients. There's no risk and no obligation. Who knows, you might even enjoy the new control you have over your very own website.

    Create Your Free Trial Account
    If you know of anyone that needs a ministry website, please tell them to contact me at . I would love to talk to them!

    Travis
    TueTuesdayAprApril15th2008 Our New Site and Logo
    byDave McCall Tagged Company News 0 comments Add comment
    Have you visited iministries.org lately? No? We don't blame you. We haven't done much with it in the last year or two and we don't feel badly about it either. We've been busy working on your websites. We finally got around to an update and wanted to tell you about it. Specifically, we wanted to go over some of the choices that we made which we feel might help you think about your own website.

    First off, we want to point out that we absolutely use our own product. Our site is built entirely using the same tools that you use.* With this being the case, you might choose to use some of the same techniques.

    Simplified Navigation
    We've simplified our navigation to make it easy for visitors to find what they need. We've chosen five simple top-level menu options (right in between the 4-7 recommendation which we will talk about in a future blog entry) and have chosen to have only a single level underneath of no more than five items.

    Using Blogs
    We've chosen to use blogs to highlight our portfolio, system updates and this little feature where we tell you things. This allows us to put each new client out there and to accept comments very quickly, communicate to our users about system updates and get our thoughts out there. Find out how to use RSS and subscribe to any one of our blogs. We feel that you will be glad you did.

    Using Photo Galleries
    We're using photo galleries to provide you with thumbnails that you can use in your own website. These are royalty free so you can use them as you see fit.

    Simplified Homepage
    We have simplified our homepage to offer a little less information up front. We have learned over the years that if you have too much information, it scares people. If you go to a website that has so much information right out of the gate, it seems a little overwhelming. We don't want visitors to feel like there's too much there and have them decide to "come back later." Instead, we have selected specific things to present.

    New Logo

    Free Trial

    We believe the best way to describe our tools is for you to try them out yourself. We offer a 15-day free trial account which will give you a few days to use all of the features available to our paying clients. There's no risk and no obligation. Who knows, you might even enjoy the new control you have over your very own website.

    Create Your Free Trial Account
    Not that anyone has asked, but you might have thought for a second, "What's the deal with your new logo?" We are glad you almost asked. Our goal these days is to provide the most flexible websites for churches and ministries. We want the tools and design options to be flexible. We hope that you are able to use your website for just about whatever you can dream up.

    Our new logo is supposed to evoke the flexibility of a rubber band. I have to admit, we think it's pretty sweet both as a concept and in its execution.

    Custom Design
    We want to offer a big thank you to Baron3, our design partner. A good number of you have probably already worked with Nate Baron. Nate designed our site and logo personally and we are very grateful for it. We're pleased to offer a professional look and feel. If you'd like to look into a custom design or a refresh of your site's design, please let us get you in contact with Baron3.

    We hope you like our new look as much as we do.

    * I feel compelled to state, for the record, that our Pricing page is a custom-built page we built to pull the pricing from our database so we don't have to update it in two places. Otherwise, we use everything else "out of the box."