Programming websites is difficult. At Sharefaith, we provide everything you need to have a website without doing any programming yourself, but there are a number of obstacles that we have to deal with in providing an intuitive interface. Even with decent “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) editing tools in place, you are at the mercy of the instances in which the authors of those tools decide that, “What You See is a close proximity, but may not be exactly What You Get.” All of the WYSIWYG content editors that we have seen (including the one we use – up until now) miss one simple fact: People who don’t want to learn a bunch of new computer skills are most comfortable if their content editor acts exactly like Microsoft Word.
Our Sharefaith Websites team is always searching for ways to make the user experience more familiar and intuitive for our users, and today, we are happy to release a new version of our Church Websites. This new version includes some significant improvements that required a lot of overhauling of the WordPress system upon which our Sidekick editor is built. And as far as we can tell, the improvements we have made are a first in WYSIWYG content editors for websites.
We’ve released a brand new church website template. It’s beautiful, and we hope you love it as well! If you haven’t seen it, you can do so by clicking Settings > Templates in your SideKick editor. If you don’t have a church website, you can view it by trying out our website demo
Those of you who are familiar with the Sidekick editor will notice the difference right away. For example, pressing the “Enter” key will drop your cursor to the next line instead of starting a new paragraph (if you want a paragraph break, hit “Enter” twice). Other enhancements include better maintenance of text formatting between lines, improved “Paste from Word” functionality, native support for multi-column blog pages, eliminating the need for websites to reload to apply layout changes and easier customization of music playlist styles. In all, we implemented more than fifty items that were on our “Improving the Experience” checklist.
We believe that our Sidekick editor was already good enough to make it the easiest and best website creation tool available, but we are excited about this new version, and are confident that our customers will love it more than ever before. In case you haven’t had a chance to check out some of the features that we made available with our previous release, be sure to click the “Toolbar Toggle” button in the Sidekick editor (the button to the left of the “Save” checkmark).
Our calling and our conviction is to improve the tools that you use to spread the Gospel, and we won’t quit until it can’t possibly get any better and God tells us that we’re done. Stay tuned for more features and improvements to come.