DIS & FWS Blog

Posted on February 20th, 2013

Introducing Site Manager 1.0

by Lisa Gutknecht

Many of you have been our customers for nearly 10 years… yes?! Did you know that we have been in business for 10 years now? And, of all the journeys, re-creating our CMS, our “baby”, has been among the most rewarding and most challenging we’ve undertaken to date.

We are so thrilled to finally introduce our updated Graphical User Interface (GUI), or what many of you know as your “admin site”. The new content management system GUI’s name is Site Manager. Site Manager 1.0, to be exact, as we have plans and projects in place to simply continue the updates and enhancements.

Let’s take a sneak peek at Site Manager. To start with, here is the new Navigation Builder Home:

navbuilderhome-xsmall

Besides a whole new look, you’ll see some practical changes. For starters, all of your menu items are in a top navigation + drop down menu system. Here’s a better look at that:

dropdown

In addition to improving where you find your tools, databases, settings, etc., we’ve also improved how you go about building and updating content. For starters, simply clicking on a page title will bring you to a Page Summary where you can add/edit content and change the page Properties – all in one location.  Take a look at the Page Summary menu below – see how the tabs include all the page elements? (Main Body, Right Side Bar, Left Side and Properties)

pagesummarymenu

We’re going to start releasing more updates and sneak peaks of Site Manager here on our blog and on our Facebook wall too, and soon you will be receiving emails regarding specific release dates and your conversion plan. Don’t worry – we have extra support methods and new videos planned to help you transition to Site Manager. But, we think you’ll find most of it very easy to use.

If you are a current Faithwebsites customer and would like to help us out by becoming an early adopter, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us an email at conversation@faithwebsites.com and let us know that you’d be willing to learn the system and give us some feedback too.

Posted on February 20th, 2013

Easter Graphic Freebies

by Lisa Gutknecht

We’re happy to hear from many of our customers that you are finding these free images for your website a blessing. If you would like us to continue, post a comment, or drop us an email to let us know your feedback!

In time for Easter, we are providing you with three different images for Easter, and once again we have them available in many of the standard home page slide show sizes. Remember that you can take these images into any photo editing program and add your own text/copy. If you don’t own a photo editing software program, several free web based options include PicMonkey and Pixlr, and a free desktop option would be Picasa.

To Download:

Click on the size and version(s) that you want. The image will open in a new browser window/tab. Next, right click and choose Save Image As (or Save Link As) , and save the image on your computer.

Choose the image size that is closest to the size of your slide show – being sure that the width and height are either equal to, or larger than, your slide show’s dimensions. Use the crop tool as you upload the image to get a perfect fit for your website.

The links for each of the image files are below the preview.

easter1-original

easter2_wide

easter3_wide

 

Posted on January 22nd, 2013

Enhancement Update: Updated Audio Player

by Lisa Gutknecht

After rolling out our new audio player, we discovered that we needed to tweak and improve it some more. Effective now, an updated player has been pushed out and is on your web pages. The new player is now compatible with all modern browsers, including iOS and Android.

This updated player utilizes a different method of loading the audio files on a page – if there are many files on a page, only the top 30 files will upload. If there are more, the additional files will load as the user scrolls down. We still recommend that you minimize the number of audio files on a page – as more files does require a longer page-load time for the user.

Other features and improvements include a download progress indicator, a better MP3 download link, and a smaller design profile, taking up less space (or “real estate) on the screen.

If you have questions or experience any difficulties with the updated audio player, contact Support via your Support Center link.

 

Posted on November 27th, 2012

Christmas Graphic Freebies

by Lisa Gutknecht

You asked, and we’re doing it again! This time, we have 3 different Christmas and Holiday themed images for you to download – completely free! They are available in the most common slide show sizes; if you don’t see the exact size you need, go with the next largest width and then use the built-in crop tool to size it perfectly!

Remember that you can take these images into any photo editing program (Picasa, Pixlr, etc.) and add your own text, save it and upload that to your website.

To Download:

Click on the size and version(s) that you want. The image will open in a new browser window/tab. Next, right click and choose Save Image As (or Save Link As) , and save the image on your computer.

Choose the image size that is closest to the size of your slide show – being sure that the width and height are either equal to, or larger than, your slide show’s dimensions. Use the crop tool as you upload the image to get a perfect fit for your website.

The links for each of the image files are below the preview.

Posted on November 26th, 2012

Enhancement Update: Audio Player (Sermons Player)

by Lisa Gutknecht

We’ve recently updated our audio tool to feature an updated player! If you used the Audio Sermons (MP3) tool on your website, your live site page(s) now display a new player – one that has an  updated look and feel, with controls that web users today expect. The largest benefit to the new player is a more consistent user-experience across all browsers, including iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, etc.).

Users can also experience faster play-back, as the new player now loads the files as the page loads. However, if you have a large number of audio files on your page, you may experience longer page load times. As a good rule of thumb,  to keep page load times reasonable, we would recommend that you consider limiting the number of audio files on a single page to no more than 52 (one year at one sermon per week.) The ideal would be to keep less files – between 12 and 24 audio files, depending on the length of the audio in each file. The remaining sermons could be moved to archive pages for previous years. To do this, simply add a new page, add a new audio sermon tool to the page, and then use the “move sermons” link at the top of the original audio sermon tool.

Downloading files is still available to your users; you may want to provide updated instructions. To download an audio file, right click on the file title or the MP3 link under the volume control. Choose “Save Link As” or “Save Target As” and save the file to the destination of your choice.

If you have any questions regarding the Audio Player tool enhancement, please contact customer support.

Posted on October 23rd, 2012

Thanksgiving Freebie

by Lisa Gutknecht

Just in time for Thanksgiving or other autumn season events, we are offering a free, high quality and exclusively designed graphic to use on your website! There are two versions – with text and without, and both versions are available in various sizes. If you are using the version with “Thanksgiving Blessings”, there is still room to add your own service info or special message. You’ll need to add that copy in a photo editing program.

We love how so many of our customers are diligently working to update their website and hope that this free image helps out some of you!

Downloads:

To download, click on the size and version(s) that you want. The image will open in a new browser window/tab. Next, right click and choose Save Image As (or Save Link As) , and save the image on your computer.

Choose the image size that is closest to the size of your slide show – being sure that the width and height are either equal to, or larger than, your slide show’s dimensions. Use the crop tool as you upload the image to get a perfect fit for your website.

 

Posted on October 18th, 2012

Scheduled outage for websites today

by Faithwebsites Team

A quick notice that all Faithwebsites and DIS websites will experience a brief outage at approximately 10:00 pm Central Standard Time. The outage is expected to be 10 to 20 minutes in duration. We are upgrading our servers and technology in order to continue providing excellent service, including our 99% average up-time record! We apologize for any inconvenience; if you have concerns, please contact us via your Support Center.

Posted on October 1st, 2012

Announcing a major upgrade to FaithwebsitesCMS

by Faithwebsites Team

Dynamic Internet Solutions and Faithwebsites User Interface – Upgrade Project

Our team is committed to making improvements and updates in our Content Management System (CMS) and that begins with a brand new administrative graphical user interface (or GUI). This project is already underway and will improve how you manage, build and update your website. The first phase of the GUI project is the user interface admins log into for editing their website. This phase is tentatively scheduled for a February 2013 release date.

Phase one will include easier drop down navigation, menu selectors, more pre-populated fields, tabbed organization to help you focus on the basics, yet easily access the advanced settings when needed. The largest improvement will be the overall organization and ease of access across the entire system. Additional improvements will be in the setup of database tools, how tools are added and file management.

We value your business and appreciate your loyalty to our services; this is a large undertaking for DIS/FWS, yet we are very committed to achieving our timeline and bringing you an easier to use, updated interface for your website. Please be assured that these changes will, in no way, affect your live website. All the changes will be applied to the admin interface only.

Our team is excited about this project and would love to hear any feedback or questions you may have. We value your input and it may give us some insight for continued or future developments! Drop us a line at conversation@faithwebsites.com.

 

Posted on September 28th, 2012

Beta Test Customers: Online Apparel Store for Christian Schools and Organizations

by Faithwebsites Team

Are you interested in an online apparel store for your church or school?

At Faithwebsites, we were recently approached by a Christian-based company that specializes in apparel and other promotional items for Christian schools and churches. If you were to utilize these services, a FREE online store would be set up for your ministry containing the products and colors that you choose.

Then, your ministry members would be able to purchase logo apparel and other products off this site in individual quantities and have them delivered right to their door. This service would also allow your ministry to collect a percent of each of these sales as an easy fundraiser.

At this point, we are not prepared to offer this service to all our clients as a Faithwebsites endorsed service. Instead, we are looking for a handful of our clients to beta test this service and provide us with valuable feedback on how well this tool would work for all our clients.

If you are interested in trying this service out for your ministry, please email conversation@faithwebsites.com.