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A WordPress plugin has been released to bring bible verses in blog posts to life, by linking them to eBible.com and also showing the verse as a ‘tooltip’ via the title tag.

There is a demo blog which shows the plugin in action.

Like other plugins, you drop it into the wordpress plugin folder, but before it works you need to complete the options screen. Most importantly is the eBible.com API key that you need. You can get a free one here.

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I have finally got round to embedding a google map of the location of the church on our church website. This is a much better solution than just scanning a map from a roadatlas and uploading it (which breaks copyright law) or linking visitors to external sites, which may mean you lose those visitors.

I used the wordpress plugin called GeoPress. It is simple to set up once you have signed into Google and obtained an API key (Google Maps API registration). (Note: enter your blog url as the GoogleMaps URL).

Then you can add maps to any posts or pages, but most importantly for church website, to the map and directions page.


Related: Easy Google maps embeded on your church website, without the need to use a WordPress plugin.

The WordPress.com state package is now available for all wordpress blogs as a plugin. And the stats that are collected are displayed in the same place as the WordPress.com blog(s) that you have. You can get the plugin from WordPress.org

WordPress.com statistics are certainly not as sophisticated as some packages (such as Google Analytics), but they are easy and quick to understand. Also, it will not interfere with other statistics packages, such as Mint, Google Analytics, and Statcounter.

And for people like me with a church website on WordPress.org and another blog (this blog) on WordPress.com, it is very convenient to have the statistics in the same place.

Following the original post for a plugin for wordpress.org blogs for a verse of the day, and the follow-up comment relating to verse of the day for myspace, Biblegateway now has code for a flash version that can be incorporated into any website including blogs and myspace pages.

I am always a little wary about flash objects due to accessibility issues, but it the text and verse numbers are selectable and as a bonus the background colour can be changed.

Found via: Church Commumications Pro

Google analytics was launched several months ago, but after some experienced teething problems I avoided it, but now however, there are several wordpress plugins which can be used to utilise the google analytics code

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One of the advantages of wordpress (and other blogging tools) is that an RSS feed is automatically created when news or other items are posted and this new info is then pinged to various sites that record updated websites.

By using wordpress this process is automated, and there is no longer a need to wait for visitors to stumble across the updates or to wait for the googlebot to visit, because they can subscribe to the feed and receive notifications.

However, search engines do not appear to use updated feeds to determine when they crawl a site, but have there own methods. Google has recently introduced a sitemap feature so that webmasters can provide information to the googlebot for more complete searches.

And A9 has done something similar for users of the A9 toolbar. Having an A9 siteinfo file allows users of the toolbar to see an archive of all the pages available.

It remains to be seen whether either of these features will take off in a big way, but there are two plugins from Arne Brachhold that incorporate these features (and pings google) without webmaster input. I.e. exactly the same way the RSS feed is created in wordpress.

Although incorporating these features may not have an immediate inpact on a church site, anything that helps google index the site or improve a user’s experience should be welcomed.

One issue for wordpress church websites is that often the blog element (i.e. the reverse chronological news postings) are given prominence. It could be argued that this information on current events need not be shown so obviously, and could be pushed further down the page, or put on a separate page as it is not immediately relevant to new visitors. Returning visitors will have more tolerance to look for such information.

WordPress 2+ allows a wordpress blog to have a static first page and the blog on a page following this. This allows a more standard church website feel, while still benefiting from the wordpress content management system for organising the styling and organisation of the site.

The disadvantage of this, of course, is the danger that the front page becomes nothing more than a splash page, which users are now extremely adverse to if it holds no practical benefit. Or that the page never gets updated.

There are several plugins around that imitate this behaviour, but it is much better to upgrade to the latest wordpress and use the in-built feature. There is more information on the wordpress codex.

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