Author: Ron Graham
Ron Graham’s Report
— for Jan-Feb-Mar 2017
This page reports my voluntary ministry activities for the information of those who take a special interest in my work.
Dear Brethren... This report covers the first quarter of 2017.
Preaching at Bundaberg
During January, and February 2017, I presented 12 Sunday lessons in Bundaberg. The sermons were individual lessons on various topics but mostly focussed on Jesus. The class lessons mostly addressed the manner in which premillennialists view the second coming and the prophecies of the Bible. In March we were away in Melbourne and visited the Heidelberg West congregation.
The sermon at Bundaberg on 19 February was the 1000th lesson I have presented at Bundaberg since commencing the pulpit ministry there 11 years ago.
Website PDF Project
Last quarter I mentioned a new project to make it easy for users, of simplybible.com to download the contents of a page on to their computers in the form of a pdf file. During the first quarter of 2017, I made another batch of over 400 new pdf files. There are now around 600 left to do.
As an indication of how users are receiving this new facility, 2,325 pdf documents were downloaded by users in March alone.
New on simplybible.com Website
In the quarter, I added 10 more pages to the website. These pages were...
- 3 more lessons for the series on Revelation,
- 4 pages added to Encouraging Bible Verses,
- 2 more readings (Bible chapters in simple English),
- 1 service page explaining the navigation buttons at the bottom of each page.
The figures for page views (total of pages opened by visitors) continued to be very gratifying over the quarter: January 124,214; February 127,833; March 151,395 (Source Awstats).
That sustains last quarter's average per month of more than 134,000 pageviews, or a daily average above 4,300. The figure for March of over 151,000 pageviews was a record.
For the twelve months to the end of March, the number of page views exceeded one and a half million: 1,586,456 (Source Awstats).
The most popular series during the quarter was "Parables That Jesus Told".
The number of PDF documents downloaded by users in the quarter was 5,286.
Pageviews per Nation
As an indication of the site's outreach, here's a list of the countries in March in which more than 1000 pages were viewed. (There are of course many other countries where less than 1000 pages were viewed.)
United States 59,312; Great Britain 13,599; Australia 9,078; Russian Federation 6,763; Canada 6,448; India 4,851; Philippines 4,747; Nigeria 4,140; France 3,245; South Africa 2,976; Germany 1,791; Ghana 1,656; China 1,565; Brazil 1,216; Kenya 1,210; Ukraine 1,172; Italy 1,126; Singapore 1,092; (Source: Awstats).
Website 2017 Upgrade Progress
The current upgrade to simplybible.com is now more than half finished. In the quarter I upgraded more than 400 pages. This leaves just under 600 pages to be upgraded.
The main points addressed by the upgrade are:
- Splitting long paragraphs for better appearance on mobile phones,
- Checking that the tags for headings match the best practice schema.
- Re-styling any old items that are not consistent with the site's current look and feel,
- Making a pdf document for download.
- Linking page to a short series-specific startup script.
- Editing page content if necessary.
- Improving the page's interaction with SiFi search if necessary.
- Converting existing internal links (to other pages on simplybible.com) so they conform to the new presentation with synopsis and button.
- Adding a scripture panel to a page if text available.
Quicker Startup for Pages
When people open a page on simplybible.com they activate two scripts (coded computer programs) that causes the page to display properly. One of them is a startup script and the other a style sheet. These control all the detail on the page, how things are placed and how they appear.
Up till now, one and the same startup script has been used for all pages. Probably 80% of the code in that script is not necessary for a given page. But the whole script has to "run" before the page opens. This means the page takes longer than necessary to open.
Since a page's opening speed is important to Google's rating of the page, I have included in the upgrade a short individual script for each series of lessons, instead of the same one for all. For example the lessons in the series on Revelation the Book now use a script just for them, and lessons in the series entitled Jesus use a different startup unique to them.
This improvement has three main advantages...
- First the shorter startup script is roughly one fifth the size of the big general one, and that's a big reduction.
- Secondly I can include special functions for one series of lessons without all the other series having to carry that unnecessary burden.
- Thirdly existing functions can be modified to suit one series without any affect on other series. So as well as speed, I get a bonus of flexibility.
Now don't worry that I am sitting up all night writing computer code. No need for that! All I did was duplicate the big script and cut that copy down to the basics as a template. So for a given series I just use that template and paste in anything needed specially for that series. For example if a series has quizzes or puzzles, I simply paste in the set of functions for that. It's only a few minutes work to make and modify the unique startup script, and I don't have to do it for each page but only for each series.
All upgraded pages (about half the website) are already running on new short startup scripts.
Thank you for keeping on helping me in the Lord’s work, and for your prayers, and your interest and confidence in my work, especially the website that reaches and teaches thousands of people. By sharing with me in this work, you make it possible for me to do what would be impossible to do alone.
Love and best wishes in Jesus.