Always growing with you

TheLordsWay.com is always growing to better meet the needs of the congregation we serve.  We update the services we offer continually and get the majority of our update ideas from you!  If you would like to see a service that we do not offer please contact us.  Since TheLordsWay.com is based on a content management system each congregation gets to use all updates instantly and for no additional charge!  Sign-up now and see for yourself how being part of TheLordsWay.com family of congregations will allow you to have a terrific web site!

Here are some of the recent updates we had added to the service.  Most of these update ideas came from congregations who use TheLordsWay.com.  We want your feedback so we can grow together!

Articles Page Designed
The Articles page has been redesigned to be more appealing. You can now add pictures to the categories and sort them how wish.

We added filters to key pages
Pages like Article, Documents, Audio, Video and PowerPoint allow you to place items is a category. You can now filter these pages by a category to make finding items easier.

Prayer Request
We have added a Prayer Request page that allows visitors to your site to enter a prayer request.  These requests will be e-mailed to you and posted in the private area of your site. 

Google Analytics
Google Analytics if a free service that provides you will detailed site visit tracking.  If you want to use Analytics on your site we have made it very easy.  Just create an account with Google and setup your site with Analytics (see the Google Analytics site for all of the details).  At the end of the setup process Analytics will give you some tracking code.  Copy this code and login to the Admin Area of you site.  Click the Google Analytics link and paste the code there.  Click Save and you all done!

New - Site Searching
Visitors to your site can now search for keywords and phrases.  Finding the desired content on your site is faster and easier.  The new search bar on your homepage.  Happy searching!

Archive Documents
You can now archive documents so only the current items are displayed.  Here is how it works:

1.    Log into the Admin area and open the Documents page.
2.    Click the Edit button (first column) on the line you want to archive.
3.    This will open the line in edit mode.  Check the Archive box and click Save.

Now on the public/members Documents pages the archived items will not display.  Instead an "Archives" link will appear at the bottom of the page to display archived items.

New templates
Several new site templates have been added.  Log into the Admin area and click Theme to change the look of your site in seconds!

Editing Links
Links have been added to the admin pages that will take you directly to the public page version of the page you are editing.  This will make it much quicker when navigating back and forth between editing on the admin page and viewing the update in the public area.  If you have logged into the admin area an edit link appears at the top of all public pages that will allow you to link directly to the admin page.

These changes will make editing and viewing the finished edit faster and easier.

Edit the details for uploaded files
You can edit the details for uploaded files.  This will allow you to change the subject, category, date and member's only status on files that have already been uploaded.  Before this update you had to remove file and upload it again to change it's details.  Login to Members > Admin >Audio/Documents/PowerPoint/Video and click the edit icon for the file you want to change.

Make your audio page an iTunes PodCast
You can now create a PodCast from your audio files!  Login to Members > Admin > Audio and follow the instructions.  Your PodCast will automatically update as you add (or remove) files.  This is a great way to share your audio with everyone who uses iTunes.

Uploaded File Categories - Include Pictures
You can now upload a picture for each category in the audio, video, document and PowerPoint areas.  This will display the picture on these public pages and group files in that category under the picture for organization and to enhance the appearance of the page.

1.  Go to Members > Admin > Audio/Video/Documents/PowerPoint.
2.  Click on the blue plus sign to modify categories (next to the categories field).
3.  Click "Add a Picture" on the category (if you do not have any categories you can add one first).
4.  Follow the instructions to upload a picture.  Note, banner style (wide pictures that are not too high) pictures look the best.

Now when a visitor opens these area all of the files in the categories will grouped under the picture you uploaded.

A "kiosk" is a computer or tablet placed in your building (perhaps in the foyer) that will allow members to walk up and mark themselves present, read the news, look at the calendar and view the directory (the administrator controls which of these options are available).  The device must be on the Internet and touch screen devices works best.  This is an exciting and interactive way to communicate within the membership.

To turn on the kiosk option log into Members > Admin > Kiosk and click the checkbox to display the Kiosk button in the member's area.  Select the options you would like displayed on your kiosk(s) and click Save.  Your done!

Before each service begins open the kiosk by logging into the member's area and tap Kiosk from the menu.

Public and member's news
All of your news now appears in the member's area, both public news and member's only news.  Now you don't have to type the same news in both places (news that you want the public and members to see).  Of course member's only news only appears in the member area and not on the public page.

Simple sign up list
You can create simple sign up lists on your site.  People can sign the list and include their name, phone number and e-mail.  You can also request two more pieces of information (example; shirt size for an event t-shirt, needs transportation, etc).  Replace all of those sign up lists scattered around the building with an online lists and get organized!

Members Area Password Reminder
The member's area of your web site can be an extremely valuable tool to communicate and inform the membership.  The information contained in the member's area is protected by a password but sometimes it is hard to remember passwords!  A link has been added to the member's password screen that will allow a member to click and retrieve the password but ONLY if their e-mail address is listed in the directory.  Here is how it works:

On the Member's Area password screen click the link "If you are a member of this congregation and do not know the password click here."
Enter the e-mail address in the field and click "Send."
The directory will be searched for the e-mail address that was entered. 
If the e-mail address is found the password will be sent to this address.  The password will ONLY be sent to e-mail addresses in the directory to ensure your site is secure.  Note, if the e-mail address is not found in the directory the password will not be sent.
The user will be able to check their inbox for the password.  Note, the password is sent to the e-mail address and NOT displayed on the screen for security reasons to ensure the person using the e-mail address is the actual owner of the account.

Reminder Service
Visitors to your web site can chose to have e-mails and /or text messages sent to themselves to remind them of upcoming events.  Reminders can be sent from the calendar, registration and meal delivery page so they won't forget these events.

Home/Members Page Picture Slide Show
You can add a Home/Member's Page Picture Slide Show to your site.  In the admin area click on each of the pictures you want on the slide show and check the box Slide Show.  You can set other options as well like how many seconds each picture shows and you can even add a link for the picture to open another page.  If you select Member's Only the picture will appear in the member's area.  You can have one slide show on your home page and another different one in the member's area!

Picture slide shows make your site look very good.  Add one today.

Response Tracking
It is a joy when people response to the gospel.  The Response Tracking page allows you to keep of record of who responded, the date, the reason for their response and some notes about this great event.  Let's face it, it is often difficult to remember what happened and when a few months later.  This page will help you in remembering this important event.  Here's how it works:

 1.  Login to the Members > Admin area.
 2.  Click Responses from the menu.
 3.  Add a new record by clicking New.
 4.  Enter the information and click Save.
 It's that easy!
Note, This information is only available in the Admin area and not to the general public.

Create a paper bulletin from your web site
You can create a page bulletin from the information you enter on your web site.  Items you post in the news areas, prayer list, calendar and serving list are easily, and automatically, placed on the bulletin.  Now you don't have to enter the information on your web site AND type a paper bulletin.  You save time and typing strokes.  Give it a try:

 Creating a bulletin
 1. Login to the Members > Admin area.
 2. Click the Bulletin button.
 3. Click the New button.
 4. Enter the date for the bulletin and click Save.
 5. Select the areas for which to "pull" information for your bulletin.
Edit the information, if you like, to best fit on paper.
You can also add custom items to each bulletin or reoccurring entries that appear every week!
It's now quick and easy to create a bulletin for your congregation!

Manage your meal delivery program
Sister Smith has been under the weather and the congregation wants to bring her meals over the next week to help her out.  Brother Jones had a death in his family and people want to cook for him while he mourns.  These are common situations and often are difficult to manage.  Who will bring food?  What day will they bring it.  What dish are they making so I don't bring the same thing?  Meal delivery is now easier because your members can use your web site to answer all of these questions!
Here's how it works:

Setting up a person/family to get meals
 1. The "Meals" button will display in the member's area.  The site administrator must turn the button by going to Members > Admin > Meals.  This just has to be done one time.
 2. Any member can coordinate a meal.  Go to Members > Meals to see a list of existing people receiving meals.  To create a new meals request click the New button.
 3. Enter the person's (or families) name.  Note: If the family is listed in your directory the web site will help you by allowing you to select their name and click the Lookup icon.  This will enter their address automatically and save you some typing!
 4. Next type in the reason meals are being taken to this person/family.  Example: They are sick, had a death in the family, etc.
 5. Enter a date range that meals need to be brought.  This range allow the meal delivery to show on the member's page.  Once these dates pass this meal delivery will be archived so your screen doesn't become cluttered with old requests.
 6. Enter the number of people that will be served the meal so the person bringing the meal knows how much to cook.
 7. Now put in the address and phone number of the person/family so the deliver knows where to go and can call ahead and ask any questions.
 8. In the Coordinator fields enter your name and phone number in case anyone has questions for you (since you are setting up this request).
 9. Enter any diet restrictions/preferences so the person preparing the meals knows if there are things they can't eat or have other personal food preferences.
10. Click the Save button.
At the bottom of the screen enter each date that meals should be delivered.  Typically a meal is not brought everyday so this allows to to setup the actual days food will be delivered.
Repeat the process to add dates until you have all of them you want and you are done

Taking a meal to a family
Go to Members > Meals to see a list of everyone who needs a meal.
Consider subscribing to the page so you know when someone is added to the list.
To sign up to deliver food on a certain day(s) click the Sign Up link for that date.  If someone's name is already beside a date they have already signed up for that date.  Note: If someone has signed up you can see what dish they are bring to help ensure a variety of food is brought.
After clicking the Sign Up link enter your name, what dish you are bringing and your phone number.
Click Save and get ready to cook!

Calendar Updates
Several updates were made to the calendar this week:
1.  There was an error were some "member's only" events were also posted on the main page.  This has been corrected.
2.  Editing existing events has been enhanced to ensure no information is lost and the flow has been improved.
3.  Birthdays and anniversaries from the directory are automatically added to the member's area calendar.
4.  Printing calendars has been enhanced so paper copies are easy to make.

Directory Updates
The directory is a critical area of your site.  It "ties" to so many different areas of the web site like attendance tracking, setting up groups, congregational e-mails, contribution tracking, involvement, service participation and more.  We have enhanced the directory area to store more critical information and have enhanced the flow when making updates.  You can also print the directory in a single sheet binder format for those who do not use the Internet.

Internal Site Links
We have made it easier to link pages within your web site to other areas.  As an example; you create an article to explain the importance of worshiping with the saints.  Within this article you may want to link the services page of your site (so people can just click the link and see what times you meet).  Here's how you can do this:

 1.  Logging to the Admin Area.
 2.  Open the page where you want insert the link.
 3.  Highlight the text you want the link to be applied to (optional).
 4.  Click the Internal Link button in the editor (right next to the YouTube icon).
 5.  Select the Area and then the page you want to link.
 6.  Select a Button Style (optional).
 7.  If you want the link to be opened in a new page check that box.
 8.  Click the Insert button.

Big news for little screens!
Your web site on TheLordsWay.com now has a mobile portal.  When a handheld device (iPhone, Android phone, Blackberry, etc.) visits your site the user will experience a mobile friendly layout!  Of course they can visit the full version of your site as well if they chose.
This new feature is designed for the traveler who would be using a smart phone to access the kind information they need quickly and easily.  No more navigating those small screens to find your address, service time and recent news.
Your members can also access critical information on their mobile device and site administrators can make updates as well!
Grab a mobile device and try it for yourself!

Special Character Removal
When copying and pasting from other program sometimes there are special characters that are copied too.  These characters do not display correctly on the Internet.  An update was installed that will remove these special characters and replace them with web friendly characters when pages are saved.

E-mail address verification
E-mail addresses entered into forms on your site will now be verified to ensure they are formatted correctly.  This is prevent errors caused by invalid e-mail entries.

Pictures Area Updated
Several enhancements have been added to the pictures page:
1.  Pictures are displayed on the main page sorted in albums.  Each album shows 10 pictures.  An entire album can be displayed by clicking a link.
2.  Pictures can be moved to an archive to hide them from the main pictures page.
3.  The admin area for pictures has been updated to place them in area/album order so they are easier to manage.
4.  You can edit the properties of a picture by clicking it on the admin page.

Members Only Video and Audio
You can now mark video and audio files as "Member's Only."

Subscripton Service
The subscription service has been enhanced to consolidate all site updates made in a day and sending one e-mail to those who are subscribed.  This replaces the method where each update was sent in a separate e-mail (resulting in several e-mails if many updates were made).

Video, Audio, PowerPoint and Documents pages updated
The Video, Audio, PowerPoint and Documents pages have been updated to a more modern format.

Our site editor has been updated!
The editor used to add text and other content to site has been updated! The new editor makes adding text easier and allows limitless formatting and layout options. This new editor is designed help you make your site look modern and current. It also interfaces directly with YouTube and Flickr so you can to add videos and photos to your pages very easily directly from their sites (no more copying and pasting links and embedded code). Adding YouTube videos and Flickr Photos is now just a button Click! Of course it still integrates directly with your sites photos and videos so you can add them wherever you like as well. Give the new editor a try today!
Note: The old editor may still be cache in your browser.  If the text editing area does not appear in the admin area here are the steps to fix it:
1. Login to the Admin area.
2. Right-click the button for the area you want to edit. Select the option to open in a new tab.
3. Navigate to a page where the text editing area is missing.
4. In your browser click Refresh.  This will clear the cache and make the new editor appear.
Once you have done this on one page all of the others will now work (you don't have to do it on every page with the editor).  If you have any questions please contact us.

Video, Audio, Documents and PowerPoint sorting
Videos, audio files, PDF documents and PowerPoint files now sort by date added, with the newest files at the top, by default.  Visitors to your site can still select a different sorting method if they chose.

Sort your pictures
You can now sort your pictures any way you like.  Login to the Admin area and sort them in the order you want them to display.

Keeping track of your congregation's different bank and budget accounts can be a real challenge!  You can now accomplish this easily on your web site.  Using the Banking/Budget pages you keep a record of what you receive and spend in your accounts.  Their are many options on the new banking/budgeting pages that will allow you to keep your information secure while allowing access to the screens to the people who need to view or modify the data.  Login to the Admin area and click on Budget to see how easy it will be to finally organize your financial information.

Articles with subjects error
Certain symbols and punctuation where creating an error when used in an Articles subject/category field.  This error has been corrected.

Bible verse linking
You can easily link Bible references on your site. Here is an example.

You type:
God loves you very much (John 3:16). So we should obey Jesus' command in John 13:34-35 and love others.

Modify the text to include a ~ character before and after each passage. Example:
God loves you every much (~John 3:16~). So we should obey Jesus' command in ~John 13:34-35~ and love other.

The programming on the site will automatically place links on your references like this:
God loves you every much (John 3:16). So we should obey Jesus' command in John 13:34-35 and love others.

This will allow you to easily backup your lessons, articles and other writings with God's Word. Visitors to your site will be able to quickly read the verses for themselves. Give it a try!

New text editor
An updated text editor has been installed that will let you create custom text and easily insert pictures, video, documents and much more!  The new editor is easier to use and works much like a word processing program (like Word or WordPerfect).

Uploads are faster!
We have updated the software that allows you to upload files (pictures, audio, video, documents, PowerPoint) to your site.  The new software is faster and allows multiple files to be updated at one time.  The upload steps are just like before so there is nothing new to learn.

Customize your toolbar
You can display three important areas information on your home page using the toolbar.  Select from:
You control what displays under Members ->Admin -> Theme.

More new templates
We have added even more new templates.  Change your site template under Members -> Admin -> Themes to keep your site fresh and modern looking. Even more templates are coming soon!

New templates
Added two new templates.  Change your site template under Members -> Admin -> Themes to keep your site fresh and modern looking. Even more templates are coming soon!

Albums for pictures
Pictures can be put in an album to display together in your pictures page.  Using albums allows all pictures of the same event can be grouped together for easy viewing.

Yearly Events
Added the ability to add yearly repeating events to the calendar.

Yearly Calendar Events

The calendar now allows you to enter yearly calendar events that will repeat each year!  This will make entering birthdays and anniversaries a breeze.  Give it try.

Mass SMS Text Messages
Have you ever needed to communicate urgent information to your congregation?  A prayer request, in-climate weather plans, etc.  Using your site on TheLordsWay.com you can now send mass SMS text messages right to your member's mobile phones.

To setup a mobile phone to receive text messages:
1.  Login to the Admin area and select Directory.
2.  Open a family.
3.  Create or edit a family member.
     a.  Enter the family member's mobile phone number.
     b.  Select the mobile phone carrier from the drop-down.
     c.  Check the box to include them in the Text Group.
     d.  Click Save.

To send a mass SMS text message:
1.  Login to the Members area.
2.  Select Directory.
3.  Click the link to send a SMS text message.
4.  Follow the simple instructions.

Note, SMS text messaging charges will apply from the carrier unless the member's mobile phone plan includes a texting plan.

Archive older articles
After an article has been on your site for a while you may want to remove from the "main" articles page but not delete it entirely from your site.  You can do this by archiving the article.  Here's how:

1.  Log in to the articles admin area.
2.  Check the articles you want to archive under the Archive column.

The archived articles will no longer appear on the main articles page.  A link at the bottom of the main articles page will allow visitors to view your archived articles.

FaceBook Integration
The site administrator can share news items, articles and videos with FaceBook by clicking the FaceBook Share link from the admin area of these pages.  Linking to FaceBook broadens your sites audience and drives traffic to your site.

Upload Limits Increased
As a thank you to our customers we have increased the upload capability for all accounts by a factor of five!  You can now upload five times as many pictures, PDFs, PowerPoint, video and audio!  Thank you for using TheLordsWay.com.

Archive older news articles
After news article has been on your site for a while you may want to remove from the "main" news page but not delete it entirely from your site.  You can do this by archiving the news article.  Here's how:

1.  Log in to the news admin area (either the public or member's only area).
2.  Check the news articles you want to archive under the Archive column.

The archived news articles will no longer appear on the main news page.  A link at the bottom of the main news page will allow visitors to view your archived news articles.

Embedding YouTube Videos
Uploading video is a challenge.  While you can upload video directly to your TheLordsWay.com site there is quite a bit of effort involved.  YouTube.com has become the premier video hosting site and allows for unlimited video to be uploaded and the process is fairly easy.  You can upload video to YouTube.com and embed them into your site on TheLordsWay.com.  This is an advantage because:

1.  YouTube has invested millions of dollars in creating an easy to use video service.
2.  Videos embedded from YouTube do NOT count against your upload totals on TheLordsWay.com.

Here's is how to embed video from YouTube:

1.  Upload your video to YouTube.  You may need to create a YouTube account.
2.  Click on the Embed button on the video's page.
3.  Copy the embed code that appears to your computer's clip board (highlight the text and press Ctrl+C).
4.  Open the video admin area of your site.
5.  Click on Embed a Video from YouTube.
6.  Complete the category, date and subject for your video.
7.  Paste the embed code you coded in step 3 into the Embed Code field.
8.  Click Save.

Your YouTube video will appear in your video list just like all other videos.

Resource Reservation
Does your congregation have resources that are shared.  A fellowship room, computer projector, bus, etc may be shared by various members.  You can use your site on TheLordsWay.com to track the reservations for these resources so everyone has what they need when they need it.  Administrators create the resources under the admin area called Resources.  Members reserve them in the Member's Area.

Calendar and Directory Integration
Users can click on a calendar event to add it to their local calendaring application.  This allows them to save events they are interested in to their local computer, hand-held devices, etc.

Members can also click on directory entries and add them to their local addressing application to have a local copy.

Member Level Attendance
You can now track attendance to the individual member level.  Just add the members into the online directory then click Attendance on the Admin menu under Congregational Management.

Contribution Tracking
You have the option of tracking contributions at the family level.  Add the families into the directory and click Contributions under the Congregational Management area of the Admin menu.

Involvement Management
You can track what areas of involvement each member is active in under the Involvement admin area.  You must first enter the names of your members in the directory.

Visitation Program Tracking
Keeping track of your visitation program can be an overwhelming task.  Trying to get information into the hands of the people sending cards, making visits, etc is difficult indeed.  You can now use your site on TheLordsWay.com to manage this program for you.  Click on Visitation under the Admin menu and see how easy managing this program can be.

IP Blocking
The Internet is a very public place. From time to time you may have a person, encouraged by the anonymous nature of the Internet, who wants to cause trouble.  When a user sends e-mail, posts in the guest book or discussion board their IP address is logged.  If someone is misusing your site you can block them from accessing it under Restricted in the admin area.

Yellow Pages
You can create a Yellow Pages section of your site to help get the word out about businesses or services offered by members of your congregation or any other businesses you see fit.  You can display the Yellow Pages on the public page, member's only area or both.

Group Members
You can now place individual members in groups to help sort them.  As an example if your congregation has food groups, visitation teams, etc you can place members in these groups within their directory entry.  You can print reports based on the groups or send e-mails targeting these members.

More Templates
We have added more templates under Themes in the admin area.  We will be adding more soon.  Please send us your suggestions!

Easier Picture Linking
Once you upload a picture to your pictures page you can use this picture anywhere you like on your site.  Just go to the Admin area for the page where you want to include the picture.  Place your computer's cursor in the exact spot and click the insert Image button at the top of the edit window (it looks like a mountain with the sun behind it).  Click on the folder to browse to and select the picture you want to insert.  It is really that easy!

Upload Multiple Pictures
You can now upload multiple pictures are one time.  Click on Upload Multiple New Pictures on the pictures admin screen.

Multiple Addresses
Many congregations have more than one address.  These may include a street address, billing address and mailing address.  You can now include all of these addresses on your site under the Home admin area.  Only the street displays to the public by default.  You may also display the mailing address if you choose.

Picture Resize
You can now choose the size you want your picture to be after it is uploaded.  Just select from the drop-down box to select the proper size.

Audio on the homepage
If you want an audio file to play on your homepage upload the file to the admin audio section and select the check-box Home Page.