January 27th, 2006

Huge thanks to everyone who filled out my survey! In the two days that the survey was available I got ten responses, which was nine more than I had hoped for (I figured at least my wife would do one).

The Church Website Survey was a pilot survey for my graduate research project at Biola University. It was really an interesting exercise on how to construct a survey, and the responses were very enlightening. Several people provided some great feedback on the questions, and also some suggestions for additional questions. Awesome!

If you’re one of my regular readers, I have a feeling you’re going to be interested in my research project. More info coming soon on that – my research proposal is due in two weeks, and I’ll be able to tell you more about my topic, which I’ve tentatively titled Church Websites, Elements of Effective Design and Execution. Boring title, eh? Well, it’s an academic report. Maybe I’ll re-package it with a better name once it’s done.

Help me pass my class

January 24th, 2006

You can help me get a good grade in my Research Design class!

My assignment this week is to do a practice survey, so I’ve put together a short survey to measure how you feel about your church’s website. Your response is voluntary, anonymous, and very much appreciated!

Church Website Survey

(In case you’re wondering, my class is Research Design, and I’m a student in Biola University’sMaster of Arts in Organizational Leadership program.)

Covina Vineyard

January 20th, 2006

Update: This page has been moved over to our new Portfolio section.

Covina Vineyard’s old website was dated, hard to update, and frankly, it wasn’t very pretty to look at. In an age when people increasingly base their first impression of a church on its homepage, we knew it was time for a new website.

As a new church expanding into the neighborhoods of Covina, they needed a website that would look great, stay fresh, and most importantly, that would reflect their values as a church and their attitude of being “a pretty good church”.

Much of Covina’s content had already been written. Much of the content we took content from the old site, and with a little creative editing, we integrated it into a very powerful “Investigate the Faith” section.

Using Dreamweaver, we set up templates so that people in the church office could manage the content themselves. This way we protected the integrity of the design while allowing just about anyone who knows how to use a word processor to keep the pages updated.

Services Provided

  • Graphic design
  • CSS-based template, compatible with Dreamweaver
  • Basic training for Dreamweaver
  • Content adaptation

This site was featured in:

This has got to be the funniest billboard on the 10 Freeway. Cracks me up every time we pass it.

Poor little kid in in the yellow shirt. He looks so sad – I always wonder why, and what’s on his mind. My guess is that he’s cringing at the sight of the kid in the blue shirt, who appears to have just got his foot caught in a bear trap. The other kids in the back are saluting – I think that they are tormenting the yellow kid and the blue kid.

The thing that really cracks me up about this picture is that it’s supposed to make you want to move to Fontana, and I end up just feeling sorry for a bunch of kids.

A Floating Feast

January 16th, 2006

My wife and I took the day off on Friday, and went out on a date. It’s kind of strange how much fun it is to go out on a date with someone you are married to and live with all the time. We went out to old town Pasadena for dinner and shopping in the afternoon on a beautiful January day in Southern California.

There's more! Read the rest of this entry

Just in case you need a little help convincing your boss to drop $2500 on that new 30-inch Cinema HD Display for you, here’s a report that proves it’ll make you more productive.

Ruby on Rails Cheat Sheet

January 13th, 2006

This is too good to not tell you about – Dave Child of has created one of his famous Cheat Sheets for Ruby on Rails. Fantastic! Thanks Dave!

Get the Ruby on Rails Cheat Sheet.

You’re using Lighttpd to host your website? Good. Fast, isn’t it? One of my favorite things about Lighttpd is that it’s so easy to configure.

So what happens if someone tries to get to your website, but they type ww instead of www? Do they still get to your site?

I learned a neat Lighttpd trick the other day to catch these mistyped URLs.

$HTTP["host"] =~ "(^[w]+\.|^).example\.(com|org|net)" {
   ... your lighttpd configuration here ...

This code will accept the URL no matter how many w’s you type.

Block Spam Bots with Lighttpd

January 11th, 2006

To block Spam bots from harvesting email addresses displayed on your website, drop this into your Lighttpd configuration file.

There's more! Read the rest of this entry

I just went over to the Windows Vista website, which is beautifully designed. It looks nice anyway, until I try to pull it up in Safari, my preferred browser. Then it breaks all over the place.

I have two problems with this. First, I spend tons of time trying to get my designs to work in their stupid silly browser, and I do manage to make my designs work in every major browser available.

Second, Safari is really easy to design for. In fact, I usually go to Safari first to check my designs. There is no reason for a website to not work in Safari, other than utter laziness on the part of the programmers. Unless you’re Microsoft, and you are trying to squash Apple. Which I suspect is the case. Either that or they just figure nobody from the Apple world is going to be interested in Windows Vista. Which is probably a good assumption. But still, what if I did want to check out Windows Vista, but couldn’t because their website booted me off?

Hmmf. And so the War of the Browsers continues.

Learning Ruby on Rails

January 4th, 2006

If you’re thinking about learning Ruby on Rails, Kyle Neath has posted a great article on Warpspire to help you make up your mind.