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25 June 2009

Playing Catch-up

The past few months have been wild and crazy. But we made it through and now we're getting back to more run-of-the-mill stuff.

So, "What were you up to?" You ask. Well - here are a few of the big ones:

For the past year or so we've been working toward a new eCommerce reality for And on Friday, June 12, we flipped the switch. We went from using a HUGE industry standard (Netsuite) to an open source platform with a more simple and straightforward approach to eCommerce (Drupal/Ubercart).

Netsuite was a beast that attempted to be all things to all people while missing the simple things that make the day-to-day bearable. Not to mention that it was expensive...

Ubercart is highly customizable and makes product/event management a breeze.

Added: New look/feel, home page flash that allows video, community section with blog/Twitter integration and streamlined event registration.

It took a lot of work on the front end, but we'll reap the benefits for years to come.

Great job team!

The same day went live to promote our annual conference at Granger Community Church.

Highly driven by the photo shoot for the conference trailer, the site begins with a short video and then allows the user pick from the menu items. Secondary pages are laid out on transparent backgrounds over the backdrop used in the video.

This project stretched my mind which is typically very traditional and symmetrical in design concepts. But I love the new look, the things I learned and the feel of the site in general.

Sign up now. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you in September.

3. Community Center Database
The next one isn't very flashy, but was a huge win for our church and for data integrity in general. We purchased a new FellowshipOne account just for our Community Center.

Here are just a few of the benefits from moving the Community Center data out of our church database and into a new one:

  • Keeps things clean since people attending the Community Center are technically not members of Granger Community Church
  • Allowed volunteers at the Community Center to continue using an application they were trained on and comfortable with
  • Allows for the tracking of food and personal care items during Food Pantry
  • Allows for check-in during events that occur at the Community Center
  • Keeps reporting and queries clean since they are in different databases now
Most excellent - good work on the data clean up Jeanna Miller!

4. Something Coming...
Yes - the last thing is still in production - but very cool and I can't wait to share it. Look for the unveil in August of September.

It's been a great run of ministry. Now for a week or so of rest...