Friday, May 02, 2008

Rebecca the Web-Master...NOT!

Come Check out Tackle it Tuesday!
Well, here's a Tackle it Tuesday which doesn't involve housework. I'm beginning to think that I prefer the housework!!! Generally speaking I like projects, but this was a project which just kept growing everytime I turned around!!!

First, a bit of history...

Last November Doug and I began to talk seriously about building a website for our ministry. I searched all over the web looking for domains we could afford (read that: free), but couldn't find anything I thought we would be happy with. Then I ran across a really great Christian web host called Christian Web Host (original, eh?). Their service looked like it would be just what we were searching for. But it was out of our price range. Anyway, I sent a note to the webmaster and he replied that they would be willing to gift us 6 months of webhosting and waive the start-up fee because we were a non-profit ministry. Woo-hoo! Then began the fun of webpage construction. That is also about the time that I discovered how much I DIDN'T know about HTML, HTM, WWW and WYSIWYG. Reading through various web tutorials left my head swimming!

Then I stumbled upon Blogger and immediately fell in love. Point and click! No initials! I love it! So I began to build this blog. It was going pretty well and Doug suggested that I build one for the ministry, too. Still...in the back of my mind...I was missing something...there's just something about having your very own domain name! ;^)

Just after Christmas, I started teaching myself HTML. Well, I couldn't teach myself, so I went surfing and found a couple of great sites. Dave's site was/is a great way to learn basic HTML (hyper text mark-up language...I DID learn something!). The kids are even going through the tutorial and Caleb is having a blast playing with his blog! You just have to ignore all the advertising...at least there weren't any naked ladies! Robert over at self-promotion was another fount of information. [and I might also add that his site is the first web site I have EVER visited where I didn't find a single typo, misspelled word or incorrect verb usage. I'm sure his 8th grade English teacher would be proud!]

Well, the long and the short of it is this: I finally uploaded a working webpage on Tuesday, April 29...2 days before my May 1 deadline! Believe me, it was quite a tackle. I fought and fought with this *site* (bless its heart!) for the better part of Tuesday and to be totally honest it's been a 3 month battle. My biggest problem has just been ignorance (mine!), but at least I can learn! There's hope for me yet!

This blog and our ministry blog have been SUCH blessings because they actually WORK. I've even been able to get creative, thanks to Dave and Robert! I will for sure be keeping the blogs -- I know when I have a good thing! But now I can say that I have built a webpage...and I REALLY appreciate a good webpage when I see one now. Never again will I take those cool graphics and smooth layouts for granted!!!

SOOOO...
I have a favor to ask --
If you're bored and feel like spending a few minutes looking at more photos of red-headed missionary kids, would you go check out our site and search through it for broken links, typos, errors or things that could be better. For example, looking at it last night I noticed that a photo on the Las Glorias page was doubled. How did I do that? I don't know. I also noticed that our Oregon mailing address on the contact page is the same as our Mexican mailing address. I do know how I did that. I'll fix those on Saturday. Just post a comment here if you find any other oopseys. I've looked at it so much that I no longer see anything. It's all a blur.

My other problem has been our connection speed. We have dial-up. We have dial-up like what we had in Po-dunk, Oregon, 15 years ago. So, getting websites with lots of photos or graphics to load in anything like a reasonable time is a challenge. I finally got our site small enough that it at least loads here...slowly. For most of the world, that isn't an issue, but if it is sluggish to load for anyone else but me, I'd like to know that, too.

Thanks ahead of time to those valientes who will dare to check us out on the world wide web! FLOW international

All comments and constructive criticisms welcome!!!

6 comments:

marina said...

You did a great job I love it!! the only thing is the first page the Welocme was really slow moving it up and back but maybe its my computor ,the other pages move really fast.Other than that its really GOOD!!!!!! marina

Fruitful Vine said...

Hi Rebecca
Your ministry website looks fantastic! You asked to check out the links and stuff. When I clicked on the HOME link at the top it said 404 not found. The other links worked great. Question: At the bottom of the web page are the underlined words supposed to be clickable links? If yes then they're not. Another question: Since you're this great web master and all(smile) could you pop over to the ministry blog that I am creating and give me your honest opinion and suggestions. That is if you have the time. I would really appreciate your input. The address is www.valerieglobalministries.blogspot.com. Thanks in advance. I didn't see any typos on your site but if I do I'll let you know. Great job girl! Way to go!
Jenn

Scrapping Servant said...

Oh WOW! I wish I could help, but I really don't know what I am doing... I think I would prefer housework also :o)

<>< Carolyn @ScrappingServant.com

Mommy Brain said...

You did a great job, especially being self taught!

The home page loads slow because it is so big. You might consider splitting into two pages, a welcome page and a get involved page.

Be sure to add Meta tags so that you are easier to find via search engines.

Keep up the great work!

Michelle in Mx said...

Very nice!
I found no problems with it, and enjoyed looking around!

Joshua & Lacynda Webb said...

Rebecca, it's Lacy Webb. I really like all your pages. You under-rate yourself - your family has done an awesome job making good blogs and a webpage.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with the computer technical stuff, may I encourage you to check out www.constantcontact.com

Constant Contact is a really cheap way to send out regular emails, sign up people efficiently on your email lists, and not even really have to do much work at all with it. Josh and I use it. At first, we used templates, but now that I know HTML, I write the template for all our mailings. And if people subscribe or unsubscribe, they do it automatically, so I don't have to worry about that part of mailings.

Just a suggestion that might take some of the "techno-stress" off each month. God bless, sister.

Lacy Webb
Ejo. Gpe Victoria, Sonora