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BIBLEtabletWe want you to have access to the most reliable information available for your instruction and enlightenment of the internet, and how to work with it to help spread the Gospel to as many as possible.  Just as Paul and Jesus went to the synagogue to reach people with the word, so is the internet to today's world.

Over the next few weeks, millions of sites worldwide could start seeing a massive reduction in traffic from smartphone search results – an event nicknamed “Mobilegeddon.”

Why is this? One word: Google.

Two months ago, Google announced that it would soon be overhauling its search-ranking algorithms to give significant smartphone search preference to websites that are “mobile-friendly.” That means that sites whose content is more easily viewed and usable on mobile devices will have greater visibility in smartphone search results. (Tablet search results will not be affected.)

Google recently predicted that the number of search queries performed on mobile devices will soon outnumber those done on computers, and they want to ensure these users are seeing content they can easily digest. Now, content and link building are no longer the only cool kids on the SEO block, but usability as well.

If your site currently ranks on the first page of results for a search on Google, and your site does not pass Google's "Mobile-Friendly Test", then your site will disappear and be lost in the mass of millions of other search results on mobile devices. Considering that 92% of all clicks happen on the first page, that's a huge loss in traffic.

The overhaul happened recently: April 21, 2015. If your business or blog relies on Google search traffic to attract users, and your site isn't "mobile-friendly," it will be affected by these changes. Here is the full FAQ from Google.

How do I fix these problems?

You need to make your website "responsive," specifically in the areas listed in the test results. Responsiveness is the term used in web design to describe the process of making a website "respond" to the device its being viewed on, and changing its content and styling to best suit varying screen sizes.

The steps you need to take to make your site responsive vary in complexity and difficulty depending on what's wrong, and how your site is hosted. If your site was custom built by a developer, and there's significant issues, this could cost you weeks, and thousands of dollars in developer time. Making a website responsive once it’s already built is not always easy.

What's involved with making a site responsive?

The overall goal in making a site responsive is ensuring that it is usable on a variety of devices. This can mean modifying your site by: increasing text and button sizes, adding additional space between clickable items, having the page width match the screen width, changing the layout of elements, and speeding up the page (for those on slow 3G connections).

Screen sizes used to access web pages can vary from 3" all the way to 30" and above, and can be in landscape or portrait mode. Having a one-size-fits-all site is definitely not going to work across the board.

Quite often, when a site is not responsive and is loaded on a phone, the content is extremely tiny, and the user has to pinch-zoom and pan to find what they need. This is not an ideal user experience. The first step is to make the site width match the device width.

After doing this, elements that are normally adjacent to each other may become visually cramped. Consider stacking elements vertically on smaller screen sizes: if you have three article summaries side-by-side on desktop, try having only two adjacent articles on tablet, and down to one article per row on mobile, giving each one enough room to breathe.

Defeating Mobilegeddon

Mobilegeddon demonstrates that Google is truly one of the most powerful companies in the world. A simple change in their search algorithms can affect hundreds of thousands of businesses and blogs overnight,

As outlined above, to adhere to the new requirements, it comes down to making your website responsive – prioritize the user experience above all else. Don’t treat responsiveness as an afterthought or a “nice have.” Treat it as a pivotal component of web design, as we do at Webflow.

Whatever way you proceed, act quickly as Google’s changes are live and you could already be losing mobile search traffic.

NOTE: All of our websites are now RESPONSIVE!

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s2smodern

freeA number of web hosting services offer good quality low cost web hosting while others offer these services free, so there is no reason why any congregation could not have a website to publicize its activities, no matter how small or however constrained its budget may be.

Even so, some small churhes may still be tempted by the possibility of using free web hosting services.

When you set up a website with a free web hosting company you you are usually allocated a free sub-domainaddress of your choice, a certain amount of free website space and a range of tools and services that you can use for free, or for a small fee.

Most of these sites come with a range of website designs so that you don't have to create a new site from  scratch. The creation of these free websites is usually made as simple as possible, a matter of simply choosing and clicking the options you prefer. Websites can be further customized by adding widgets, pages and other  application as per their needs. You can also add features such as  picture galleries, video and so on.
Free business websites therefore offer an opportunity for small businesses to experience firsthand the benefits that come with an online presence.

Disadvantages of Free Webhosting

However, there are also some quite big disadvantages to running your business on a free web hosting package. These are:
1. Your website address is a sub-domain of your free webhost so people will doubt that you are a serious business.
2. You will not get much web space and may have to "upgrade" if and when you  want to expand your site. You may find that the "upgrade" prices turns out to be more expensive than standard paid webhosting rates.
3. You do not "own" your website. At any moment the web host could decide to pull the plug on your website or on the "free" part of its business, leaving you high and dry with no website at all, or forced to pay to "upgrade".
4. Search engines often give free websites low priority.
5. Although you may be able to use add on features, the amount of space for them is limited. Again, to get full use you may have to upgrade.
6. Some free websites have to carry the web hosting company's advertising.

Finding A Better Solution To Free Webhosting...

A better solution is to start with a reputable web host that offers low cost web hosting packages complete with unlimited web space and the option to upgrade to a bigger package later on as your web presence expands. Paying for web hosting has the following advantages for church websites:
1. You can use your own business name as the domain name. (A vital first step to showing visitors that you are a serious online business.)
2. You will have all the web space you need to grow your site.
3. You will be able to keep control of your own website and domain name. (With free web hosting, you do not actually own your website and so are not in complete control of it.
4. You get to choose whether or not to run an advertising service, and if you do, you get to keep the advertising revenue. (Free websites sometimes feature ads placed by the web host.
7. You can add to your professionalism by using your domain name as your branded email address.

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s2smodern
UnlockTheInternetI spend much time utiizing the Internet, and I find from time to time really special websites, not only for their content, but in their presentation.  These are good resources on not only helping the unbelievers, but in forming a picture of what a website should look like to draw and keep the attention of the visitor.
As I find any other items that fit this category, and a scriptural, I will add to the list.

In Search of the Lord's Way

Search’s ministry remains dedicated to its five-fold purpose: to take the Way of salvation to thousands who live right among us; to light a candle in the darkness of immorality; to resist the materialism and humanism that is choking the faith and spirituality out of so many people; to restore credibility to the religion of Christ that has been diminished in many religious programs; to tell your friends that the church of Christ is not dead, but that it is very much alive and that we care.

http://searchtv.org

 

Strong Church

Strong Church is a ministry whose goal is to flood the internet with the truth in a relevant way. We live in a social media world. A world filled with conversations, memes, gifs, cat pictures, and unfortunately, very little Bible. We want to change that by taking Bible truths and putting them in article, video and any other relevant media format that the rest of the world uses today.

http://www.strongchurch.org

 

Alive with Christ

Alive with Christ aims to be part of that solution. God designed His church to be the “pillar and support of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15), and so that’s exactly what we pledge to give you at Alive with Christ.

http://alivewithchrist.com

 

The Light Network

The Light Network (TLN) is a group of podcasts dedicated to the truth of the Bible. Currently, TLN is comprised of nine unique shows, each of which is designed to target a specific niche in the Lord’s church. For more information about our shows, click on the shows button at the top of this page. The TLN team is comprised of New Testament Christians who live in the United States of America. Each week, the team produces unique, Biblically sound content to literally a global audience.

http://thelightnetwork.tv

 

Radically Christian

I started RadicallyChristian.com in November of 2010 with these purposes in mind:

  1. Teach the undiluted, unpolluted, unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are in bondage to sin.
  2. Give New Testament Christians tools and resources to help them teach their friends, family, and neighbors the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  3. Encourage Christians to be more committed, passionate, and consistent in their Christian walk.

http://www.radicallychristian.com

 

Plain Simple Faith

Christianity shouldn’t be a confusing jumble of beliefs and conflicting denominations. It shouldn’t seek to meet the self-motivated demands of the public at the expense of doing what God demands. Churches need to return to serving only God and regain their focus on keeping His commands. Human traditions, man-written creeds, and religious denominations must be stripped of their counterfeit authority and replaced merely by the plain and simple teachings of the Bible.

http://www.plainsimplefaith.com

 

Focus Press

At Focus Press, we desire all people everywhere to come to a full understanding, of true Christianity. Unfortunately, there is much confusion when it comes to the world of religion. Focus Press was formed to publish materials based on the inspired Word of God. The Resources that are available here are designed to provide understanding and clarity when it comes to issues that are, quite frankly, sometimes very difficult to comprehend.

http://www.focuspress.org


For Teens

Tomorrow’s Church Today

Many of you have probably heard the phrase or even been referred to as "the church of tomorrow". While we at TCT understand the sentiment, we take issue with the statement. Acts 2:47 teaches that all who are saved are added to the church. There is no "church of tomorrow". Our goal is to encourage those who are often called "the church of tomorrow" to be the church of today. - See more at: http://tomorrowschurchtoday.weebly.com/about-tct.html#sthash.7TLfukFA.dpuf

http://tomorrowschurchtoday.weebly.com

 

For Men

Gentleman Strong

There are a number of websites out there that advocate the need for manliness. At GentlemanStrong our goal is to promote Biblical masculinity. As men we have the physical strength part down but often forget the importance of being a gentleman, hence our name. We the editors wanted a website that would provide instruction on the serious responsibilities we have as men. Going into this we knew that we wanted it to be first and foremost Biblical and we plan to have some fun along the way.

http://www.gentlemanstrong.com

 

For Women

Come Fill Your Cup

Grab a cup of tea, coffee, cocoa, water– whatever. Sit for a moment and take time to fill your spiritual cup. This is a space built just for ladies. It’s a space for you to read other ladies’ thoughts on scripture, love, life, God, our Savior and the Holy Spirit. It’s a place for you to be filled, but also to fill others’ cups. You’re invited to share your comments and thoughts, your ups, your downs, highs, lows, sorrows and triumphs. It is our most sincere hope that you will find encouragement to help you toward fuller service to God.

http://comefillyourcup.com

 

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s2smodern

Studies show that Teenagers spend, on average, 7 and a half hour’s a day on the internet. It’s safe to say, then, that teenagers live online. How is your Youth Ministry responding to this?

We love seeing a good youth ministry website.  Not only is it beneficial because of the fact that your students live online, but it can also be the perfect information resource for parents and congregation members to keep up-to-date with what is going on.

Every youth ministry should have a website. This does NOT mean to have a link for your church’s website to your youth group’s Facebook page. These two things should be separate. Be it teenagers who do not have a Facebook account (yes, it is true!) or parents who think it is evil, we need to have another website separate from social media to inform and share with everyone.

The question now comes, what are some essentials that you should put on your website? While the list below is not exhaustive, it is a perfect foundation to spring from.

  • Staff page with a photo and description of every single staff. (go the extra mile and add volunteers too!) This makes that first meeting with new students or parents less awkward when they don’t ask you who the youth pastor is.
  • Your faith statement allows you to inform everyone what your ministry operates on. Even if no one ever asks, it is good policy to have.
  • Every regular program that is currently running (i.e. youth group, small groups, volunteer training) allows people to put your youth group on their schedule.
  • A PDF of your year events is perfect for parents who want to plan out the year for students and a good reference to have students look at what discussing upcoming events.
  • A PDF of an informational brochure that they can print off is perfect for families that may want to invite someone to youth group or to direct new visitors to see for more info.
  • All necessary forms for events to download make it less of a hassle when announcing events to get a form to each student and instead put the responsibility on the students and parents to get the information printed. But make sure you note where to download it so they do not have to waste time searching for it on your site.
  • A Parent’s Newsletter. If you are already emailing parents regularly, put these newsletters online in an archive for future families to see.
  • What curriculum you use and have already talked about at youth group allows parents to read through and download to continue the discussion at home.
  • Photos imported from Facebook because everyone loves pictures and you will only need to upload them once to Facebook.
  • Link to social media to encourage online discussion with you and other members of your youth group. We do not encourage addictions to social media, but they are already online and so we want to let them know we are there too.
  • A map and direction to the church (and the youth room) is the simplest use of a site for new families into your community.
  • A blog to provide resources and devos for teens, parents, and volunteers
  • Contact Information, though I would not suggest personal contact information. Just the church phones and email is enough.
  • How adults can get involved
  • How students can serve in the ministry for worship and/or student leadership.

One final tip that I ALWAYS suggest, do not ignore the website. Review it every month, if not every week to ensure that all the content is up-to-date. There is nothing more disappointing than seeing a schedule from 2006 of events with a staff roster where most of the people have moved on. That surely is not helpful and implies that you are lazy.

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s2smodern

Results from surveys conducted by Pew Research indicate that, as of September 2012, 95% of all U.S. teens ages 12-17 are now online. It makes sense, then, that youth pastors looking for ways to connect with students would do well to use the Internet to foster communication and build community. One way to accomplish that is by building a youth ministry website or Web page.

I looked at a lot of youth ministry pages as part of my research for this article. Most of the church websites I reviewed have included a page that generally describes their youth ministry. Page content was often limited to a mission statement, summary description, and meeting times.

These pages are more “push.” Their purpose is to provide (or push) information out about the church’s youth ministry. This isn’t the kind of Web page I’m talking about creating here.

The kind of Web page or website I’m referring to should be an engaging, interactive, informative hub for teens and parents. It should “pull” people in by being an exciting, active, virtual tour and experience—a taste—of the life of your youth ministry.

That might sound like a tall order. But, achieving it can be easier than you think.

To get you started, here is a roundup of articles focused on the “why and what” of youth ministry websites. These should help you think through whether or not creating a website to serve your youth ministry is right for your church.

You’ll also learn why using Facebook alone is a bad option, and discover ideas for creating content your site visitors want.

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s2smodern

ToolsWe have curated and authored articles that will help you understand how you can build a better website.  Not just what others are doing, but pieces about why you are using this medium to reach the lost.


ChartWhat are infographics? Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends. These are chosen for their ability to enhance understanding about certain points about Interner Presence.

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We are offering a very special deal on upgrading to our Titanium Package.  With the Titanium, you can rely on us to make sure everything is kept up to date, and found by search.  We will post your events, Add new features. Post your bulletin and sermons online, everything you would normally do, but either haven't found the time or just need a little help.

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