Getting started with a brand new site

Share discussions around the Classic Local Unit Website (LUWS).
fraserredmond
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Getting started with a brand new site

Postby fraserredmond » Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:33 pm

Here in New Zealand our wait is finally over, and we've recently been given access to LUWS (some stakes in Australia have also trialled it, if you want it in either country ask your Stake Pres to contact MSR.)

I've set up our stake website, and my ward's website, and in a couple of days will be giving training to the bishops in our stake about how to get started. I'll be showing some screenshots of the site, then working through the document I've pasted in below.

I've had a good read through this part of the forums, and enjoyed the 'tips and tricks' thread (while it stayed on topic :)) But I wanted to see if anyone had advice specifically for those starting with a brand new clean slate.

Particularly:
1) Is there anything I should add/change in my document below?
2) What do you wish your Leaders had understood at the start? (lessons learnt the hard way.)
3) What do you wish had been done when the site was started? (That was hard to get going later on.)
4) Any information about how your Calendar and Resources are maintained?

The websites themselves seem fairly straightforward, so its probably more about how things are administered and what people are told to expect.

(On preview: Sorry about the weird double-bullets, it lost some of the info in pasting from Word. I've attached the doc in case you'd rather read that - it also includes the email we were sent from Church HQ to be given to all admins, that might not be available to some of you older websites.)

==============================================

www.lds.org/units

(That’s the only thing to memorise tonight.)

To create an LDS Account you need:

  • ·Membership number (from temple recommend)
  • ·Confirmation date (lookup on ward or stake computer, or IOS)
  • ·To choose a username and password
That same LDS Account is used for most Church websites (e.g. CDOL, missionary applications), but not for New.FamilySearch, and likely won’t in the future either.

Stake Admin:
NameAndEmailGoesHere (Can also email directly from the website)
Church Tech Forum about LUWS:
http://tech.lds.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=20 (Good place for admin to ask questions)
Church Wiki pages about LUWS:
https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/Local_Unit_Website
https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/LUWS:_Feedback_and_Suggestions
Next version of LUWS has started development as an open-source project (using Java)

Bishop(ric)'s first actions:


  • ·Register LDS Account (new in last 2 months - different from existing missionary logins)
  • ·Explore site
  • ·Think about how it can help your ward, then decide what policies/goals you want to set
    • [font="]o[/font]E.g: bring unity to my ward, keep members involved, and sustain the ward leaders in their callings.
    • [font="]o[/font]Stop/reduce printed phonelists, calendars, Bulletin Announcements (Stake may stop printing individual newsletters.)
    • [font="]o[/font]Introduce at fireside or 5th Sunday PH/RS lesson or some other presentation
    • [font="]o[/font]Events not official until on website calendar

  • ·Assign or call website administrators (only one receives notice of news/calendar submissions)
    • [font="]o[/font]Criteria to consider:
      • §Checks emails daily or more (submissions to be approved/denied within 24hrs)
      • §Trusted to approve/deny appropriately and know when to ask Bishop(ric)
      • §At ward council
      • §Should include historian
    • [font="]o[/font]Example:
      • §Asst clerk as main administrator (approves submissions from members)
      • §Historian (to submit news info)
      • §Exec sec (to submit/update calendar)
      • §RS Counsellor (to maintain missionary meal roster)
    • [font="]o[/font]Email Stake admin so first ward admin can be added (can be done before they sign up, they can then add the other Ward Admin’s.)
  • ·Decide on Resource-Booking Calendars to add. Ideas:
    • [font="]o[/font]Chapel areas (Stake will continue to maintain for multi-ward chapels)
    • [font="]o[/font]Missionary meals
    • [font="]o[/font]Youth Calendar or YW Calendar and YM Calendar
    • [font="]o[/font](Submissions are approved by separate admin to news/calendar)
  • ·Decide whether to update all members preferred names
    • [font="]o[/font]Members can change own preferred name (not family), but Admin’s can change all
    • [font="]o[/font]Would take 2-3 hours, could be one-off assignment to someone else, preferred names can be exported from MLS via custom reports.
  • ·Think of initial news items you want added

Admin’s first actions (allow a couple of hours)


  • ·Explore site
  • ·Update Homepage info (image, phone, meeting times, main heading & message, additional links)
  • ·Update Sunday school lessons
  • ·Update missionary info
  • ·Add News items, including ideas for members submissions (copy from Te Awamutu’s News)
  • ·Update calendar
  • ·Add resources
  • ·Add other administrators
  • ·Update leadership directory
  • ·Update all members preferred names (optional)


Some things to bear in mind:


  • ·Is an official church website (so be careful with doctrinal statements, no commercial or political use, etc.)
  • ·Homepage is public on internet, so no personal information or time/date of activities on homepage.
  • ·Event emails are sent when the event is created (so may be better to enter or re-enter some events closer to the day.)
  • ·New version being developed (open source, year(s) away)
  • ·Members should be removed from membership directory quickly on request, or if they’ve requested it in the past.
  • ·Recurring events limited (can't change single event in series)
  • ·Photo/Attachment limits:
    • [font="]o[/font]Photos: 100Kb
    • [font="]o[/font]Attachments: 1Mb (filetypes must be doc, pdf or xls)
    • [font="]o[/font]Can’t be uploaded by member, must be emailed to Admin to attach.
  • ·Reading on tech.lds.org forums about USA wards:
    • [font="]o[/font]Biggest challenges are:

      1. Apathy from leaders
      2. Apathy from members
    • [font="]o[/font]Registered members typically = about 1/3 of sacrament attendance.
  • ·Network effect applies (e.g. 1 fax in a network is useless, the more you have the greater use for each. Phone, email, facebook, etc)
Attachments
First Actions.doc
(37.5 KiB) Downloaded 357 times

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:26 pm

I think for me the biggest issue is the choice of administrator(s). The administrator has access to full legal name and birth date. As such, they must be trusted with that information. They also need to be reasonably computer literate and of course good in follow-though. They do NOT need to know HTML or any other "website" stuff. LUWS is largely "fill in the blank". While some knowledge of HTML tags is nice, It's not "website design" by any means.

Because the administrator approves events that members place on the calender, it's probably best if that person is a clerk or part of the Bishopric simply so they are "in the know" on the various things going on. In fact, for the purposes of approving, it might be best if the admin was also the person who schedules the building. And yes, the admin should communicate to the rest of the leadership about approving anything they have a question on. The average member (or leader) is unlikely to understand the difference between an "approved activity" and an activity that is simply approved on the website for content and hasn't necessarily passed though the chain of authority.

As far as calendars, in our stake the ward calendar is for the members and the stake calendar is for the leadership. It just kind of evolved that way. If something on the stake calendar has impact on the average member then it's pushed down to the ward(s) anyway. Since most members only need to look at the ward calendar, that leaves the stake calendar free to get "cluttered up" with Stake PPI, etc.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:22 pm

RussellHltn wrote:As far as calendars, in our stake the ward calendar is for the members and the stake calendar is for the leadership. It just kind of evolved that way. If something on the stake calendar has impact on the average member then it's pushed down to the ward(s) anyway. Since most members only need to look at the ward calendar, that leaves the stake calendar free to get "cluttered up" with Stake PPI, etc.


The stake calendar has the ability to specify which calendar items are visible to wards (to all wards, or to individual wards). If you use that capability properly, the stake calendar can be used for items that are for members -- just don't make the leadership items visible to the wards.

It would be quite inefficient to hope that every ward will properly implement all the stake items that are for members, along with changes that occur along the way. Use the stake calendar as it was designed to be used, and don't make wards do all that extra work for the stake items that are for the members of the stake.

fraserredmond
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Location: New Zealand

Postby fraserredmond » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:42 pm

Thanks, this was just the type of thing I was wanting (I think we may have already got off on the wrong track with Stake PPI type stuff pushed down to the ward calendars too, I was wondering about that.)

Keep it coming! :D

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:05 pm

redzarf wrote:Thanks, this was just the type of thing I was wanting (I think we may have already got off on the wrong track with Stake PPI type stuff pushed down to the ward calendars too, I was wondering about that.)


As Alan said, any item on the stake calendar can be selectively pushed to individual units or all units. As an example, the stake calendar shows all of the ward and branch conferences for the year, but the stake only pushes the individual conference to the individual unit. In other words, the 1st Ward sees their ward conference, but no one else's. The 2nd Ward sees their conference, but not the 1st Ward conference, and so forth.

If you have pushed everything to all units, you can still edit the calendar items by unchecking boxes until the item is pushed only to the units you wish to have see it.

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AileneRHerrick
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Postby AileneRHerrick » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:07 pm

redzarf wrote:... I wanted to see if anyone had advice specifically for those starting with a brand new clean slate...



I would also suggest that leadership in the ward is trained how to submit their own news and information items via the website. Currently, in my ward, people email me the information and I grab it from there and make an item, BUT it would probably be easier for me if all I had to do was review and approve. :)

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:28 pm

AileneRHerrick wrote:I would also suggest that leadership in the ward is trained how to submit their own news and information items via the website. Currently, in my ward, people email me the information and I grab it from there and make an item, BUT it would probably be easier for me if all I had to do was review and approve. :)


True. Another training opportunity. [grin]

dmaynes
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Postby dmaynes » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:54 pm

It's very easy to get overwhelmed with what you should do first when setting up the website.

Content is very important, but unless you get the members enrolled content won't mean much.

So focus on basic content first.

Next, devote as much of your effort as possible to the enrollment campaign. Your enrollment campaign will be greatly assisted if the leaders mention the website and its usefulness. It's not very useful if you don't have basic content.

The more help that you can get with calendaring from ward members, the easier the job is. So, focus on ward members who have responsibility for calendaring. Many of these individuals are secretaries in the organizations.

I would suggest that you create an e-mail account that the website administrator uses. When that administrator is released, the e-mail account is transferred to the next administrator.

Your enrollment work is greatly helped if you gather as many e-mail addresses as possible from ward members. It has been helpful for me to send instructions to them using e-mail.

In terms of getting the content for the website, I listen and jot down every announcement and change in callings in sacrament meeting. I am not a clerk or invited to PEC, so I have to be an information sponge and gather it wherever I can. I have also decided to subscribe to every single newsletter or information source that I can find. For example, I am subscribed to the local cannery, the local employment resource center, the local single adult group, etc. Many of these organizations send flyers to the bishop, but they don't always get passed on and an e-mail format is more convenient than a hard-copy format.

Thanks,
Dennis


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