The challenge was to build a suitable website for a local Church using only free software.
With the move toward mobile interneting well on the way we updated the site in January 2012 using the free "getskeleton" framework and were inspired by the excelled "super skeleton" theme from wordpress, especially their design of the "superfish" menu.
The tools of choice for this project are Ubuntu (Linux) as an operating system, Bluefish 1.0.7 which is an open source programme. Bluefish is an editor for experienced web designers and programmers, that however does not describe me. It supports many programming and markup languages, but focuses on editing dynamic and interactive websites. Bluefish is an open source development project, released under the GPL license. For more information, visit the Bluefish Website at http://bluefish.openoffice.nl.
For graphics etc. I have opted for the GIMP http://www.gimp.org. Again this is open source and is remarkably like PaintShop.Pro and Photoshop. If you are thinking about trying out either of these programmes you can access them from the links included.
The main theme of the site is to allow the user to listen to sermons and sermonettes as easily as possible and while it was easy to set this up using the menu system, which could also be updated as an independent inc file. It was noted that the menu would not immediately stream in MS Explorer but would try to download the mp3 file before playing. This was an unacceptable situation and a work around was needed. The menu system works correctly in Firefox and we would recommend Firefox as the browser of choice.
The way around the problem was to include a free flash player which could be auto loaded with the play list and also includes a resume facility should the user move to a different link within the site.
It ability to include video sermons, bible studies and short topical messaged via Youtube open up a new avenue for proclaiming the Gospel Message. To prepare we use Flowblade to edit and compile footage.
We hope you enjoy the site and any comments are welcome.
William Andrews is a regular Christian preacher/speaker within churches across Northern Ireland. He lives in one of the very few dry villages in Ireland called Seskinore, has been married to Caroline for 38 blissful years and has two daughters Charlene (37) and Rachel (23). The year 2008 proved to be an exciting year for the family as Charlene got married to Dominic in September 08 and they had their first child Phoebe Rose on 30th November 2009. A second grandchild, Ruby Caroline was born on 23rd April 2013.