Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Bible Jim – hiding His light under a virtual basket

Bible Jim's website It never ceases to amaze me how as a Body of individuals whom collectively and voluntarily ascribe just about every other aspect of our lives to a set of well-defined tenants and standards, that we are so hard-headed when it comes to the methods we use to present our online ministries along the same lines. Case in point: BibleJim.com.

One of my ‘Top 10 Church Website Design Mistakes of 2007‘ and all time pet peeves is the use of unsearchable graphics to represent search-engine-friendly text. Perhaps there is no better example in Christondom this 288kb site, 283kb of which are delivered in five large .jpg files – all but one of which are used to implement an entirely uncesssary image map scheme.

Not that all implementations of image maps are evil – but rather like any other HTML element, image maps are tools. In the same way a chain saw, only just like a chain saw, not every job requires the use of one. I think here is one case where a chain saw may have been used when all that was needed was a sanding block.

Put back in web terms: BibleJim writes articles, he has a “who I am” and “what I do” page. I’m thinking … why is this man hiding his otherwise searchable light under a bowl of unecessary imagery? Especially when you consider the cost of having to update the image map each and every time a new article is posted?

And especially when an account with blogger.com or wordpress.com would get done for this ministry at no additional financial expen$e, yet save him time and energy to do other things – all the while creating a site that has greater search engine visibility.

I’d also note that both of the above free blogging platforms provide search capabilities for those visiting the site – and the latter has available plug-in that automatically hyperlinks Scripture to online Bibles employing my “Scripturize algorithm.

Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. – Matthew 5:15

All that said, I do find it sadly ironic and somewhat fitting in this case that Jim’s “what I do” page is filled with blank nothingness. Hopefully the advice above will be taken in the spirit of hope, love and education in which it is delivered.