Heal Your Church WebSite

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

8 more love notes from my mailbag – mostly great questions

Now I know how Santa feels – as my mailbox is getting stuffed with comments, questions and yes, a few complaints. So “once more into the breach” … answering excellent questions, re-posting useful commentary, and responding to spammers with the attention they so richly deserve.

From the “most useful comment” category …

… we have this tip from JT in response to my post entitled ‘5 Simple Security Tips for the WiFi-ing Road Warrior:’

On (3) “Surf Encrypted”, the easy way to GMail securely online is to save the secure link to GMail in your bookmark, and enter it when you browse from a public-access terminal.

The secure link is https://mail.google.com. Of course the only difference is the ’s’ after ‘http’. If you’re already logged in, adding in this ’s’ at the top and pressing enter will do the trick also.

Excellent advice for you missionaries seeking secure email while in the field.

From the “speaking of email” category …

Cinthia P. asks:

Can I use the email addresses provided by members as part of contact information for church communications without asking them specifically for each use?

I think the best answer for this question can be found in my post entitled ‘The CAN SPAM Law and your church’s email distributions‘ where you’ll see that while some may debate specific usage – all can agree that you really should provide each recipient with an easy opt-out solution for all communications.

That said, if you’re worried about specific use, then do what some online and offline registrations do and offer multiple check boxes – one per usage type (e.g. newsletter, product announcements, event notifications, etc …). It probably also doesn’t hurt to publish a ‘Privacy Statement‘ that explains the extent to which a members contact information will be used.

From the “most encouraging comment” category …

I happened across your site and have enjoyed reading a few of the articles … so many of the scenarios make me chuckle … I think the articles on this site have given me a little lift …

Thank you Carol from carricdesign.com, knowing we’re serving great people like you makes it all worthwhile!

From the “please don’t spam the Dean” category …

I dunno why, but the following folks feel they need to use the comment form to send me entire sermons preaching doom-n-gloom, soliciting ‘donations’ and/or attempting to sell me Jesus junk:

bcgblessed@yahoo.com, churches_save_property@hotmail.com, mneese@aol.com, jlarsensd@gmail.com, socalboarderdude@gmail.com, jackelmore@insightbb.com

From the “pictures from Petra club” category …

Just wanted to let you know that I have a bunch of pictures of Petra and Jordan from a trip I took a little over a year ago …

Thank you Josh Byers (.com) for sharing! Excellent pictures I’ll be linking to blogJordan.com very soon!

From the “interesting question” category …

Bill J. ponders:

Should a Christian owned business operate by the same web principles as a church? or do the rules change in a “for profit” business verses a “non-profit” entity? As a Christian business owner I am seeking direction in this area. Thank you.

Wow, this probably deserves its own post, but for now, my initial thought is that while the operations of both entities are bound by Biblical principals – the business models are different enough to justify differing approaches based on the conversion goals of each.

From the “holy Scripturizer plug-in for MoveableType” category …

Aliotsy writes that:

I’ve been looking for your Scripturizer plugin for Movable Type. I see that you’ve switched to WordPress — is the MT version no longer available?

Hmmm … it’s available but it appears WordPress 2.3 ate it! I will get it back online this weekend – thanks for the heads-up and apologies for the inconvenience!

From the “holy Scripturizer plugin for WordPress” category …

Jon Davies informs me that:

It’s *really* nice to know that there’s someone else out there wanting to make church websites half decent. I dug up your site cause I’ve got a 2-line patch for the holyscripturizer which fixes incorrect detection of things like “Children Act 1989” as a ref to Acts 198. Where would you like me to send it?

While Scott informs me:

I fixed the WP Holy Scripturizer plugin so the that icon now works in 2.3 – email me and I’ll pop the updated file as an attachment.

Hi Jon and Scott, apologies for the late response, but there are two efforts (forks) listed on the WordPress website that would probably enjoy your enhancements at:

From the “But wait there’s more!” category …

Yes, there’s more email I’ll be following-up in the next day or three, including

  • discussions on pictures, privacy and security
  • perhaps a quick overview of online registration solutions
  • a need to update my post on blogging as a church CMS solution on the cheap
  • requests for a critique of their church’s website; and
  • someone REALLY mad at me for critiquing their church’s site

I also think it’s about that time of year I get rolling with my 12 days of Jesus Junk postings as well.

Again, keep them comments and questions coming – if it keeps up at this pace I think I’ll need to begin podcasting once a week to keep everyone up-to-date – especially myself.


  1. On (3) “Surf Encrypted”, the easy way to GMail securely online is to save the secure link to GMail in your bookmark, and enter it when you browse from a public-access terminal.

    The ‘Customize Google’ Firefox extension will also do this for you (i.e., redirect you to the secure version of GMail each time you use it) 🙂

  2. Hmmm … it’s available but it appears WordPress 2.3 ate it!

    See! I knew WordPress was evil! 😀

    BTW – Any reason that the MT plugin won’t work with MT 4.1? Someday I’m going to upgrade …

  3. Looks like Moveable Type just went open source….

    Looking forward to hearing someone mad at you for critiquing their site 🙂

  4. Pingback: Boy in the Bands » Blog Archive » Tough medicine for buckshot emailers