January 2014 Newsletter

RJ WebBuilder 2.0 Newsletter

Dear Webmasters:

Happy New Year!

While I have had the pleasure to work with some of you so far, for others, let me introduce myself. My name is Joel Emerman, and I am the new Congregational Websites Manager, responsible for assisting you in getting your websites up and running - and keeping them running.

This new year, we would like to welcome many new congregations to RJ Web Builder 2.0. But there are still a few sitting on the old platform. As a reminder, if you are still maintaining an old site, we ask that you contact us right away so we can provide you with a new website. Also, if your new site hasn't gone live yet, don't hesitate to submit a ticket or visit our help site if you need assistance. There's an abundance of information, with new resources being added all the time. Make sure you check out our latest webinar series as well (from November/December 2013).

Note that since my colleague, Jared, left in July, the number of live RJ Web sites has doubled and the number in development is over 150! So please be sure when you submit a support ticket that you include the name of the component (if applicable) and URL of the page with which you are experiencing issues.

One of my first orders of business is to update the help site. If you have any suggestions on how I can make it more user friendly, feel free to let me know.

Thank you, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you.

Joel Emerman
Congregational Websites Manager
212-452-6579 (New York number however I live in Chicago suburbs)

Did you know?

Newsletters: Life Beyond the PDF!

Did you know that you can use issuu.com to publish your PDF newsletters? The great thing about it is that it is free, you won't have to use valuable server space, your users won't have to struggle through downloads, and it can be embedded in your site. (See a live example of this on the Reform Judaism Magazine site.)

Which version of Joomla should I be on?

All live sites should be on Joomla version 2.5.8 or higher. Version 2.5 was the last long-term release of Joomla. The next long-term release, Version 3.5, is expected this summer and we will update you on plans for the upgrade once we have a chance to assess the compatibility of the components used with the new version. If you are on a development site, you are using whichever version was most current at the time of issue. You will be upgraded to 2.5 when you go live.

Can I install extensions?

Joomla is an infinitely extensible platform. There are many good and not-so-good extensions out there that you might want to add to your site. Before you add anything, please:

  1. Submit a ticket and let us know your plans. We will let you know if there are known issues with the extension.

  2. Back up your site!

  3. Have a support plan in place - if the extension gives your trouble or otherwise interferes with the rest of your site, you will want to know where support resources can be found (either from the developers of the extension or a locally sourced Joomla support person).

Where do I access the RSS Feeds from the Union and ReformJudaism.org?

Links to the RSS feeds from ReformJudaism.org, the Religious Action Center and URJ.org can all be found at http://urj.org/connect/rss/. Use the Feed Gator tutorial on the help site to set your site to use the feed as articles (which would allow you to publish Torah commentary and holiday content from ReformJudaism.org on your site).

Are there any other options for payment processing and event RSVPs?

Yes! The creators of Payquiq have created a payment system and events registration module integrated into Joomla that allows congregations to collect dues, handle event RSVPs, process donations, school tuition and other payments. Several other RJ Web Builder 2.0 sites are using the system (see some live at www.villagetemple.org, www.tioh.org, www.tiwestport.org, www.bnais.com).

Learn more at upcoming demo webinars:

January 23 at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT - Register Now »
January 28 at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT – Register Now »

Staying in Touch

We are challenged in reaching current webmasters due to high turnover and changes in email addresses. If you are receiving this email, you are the person who was reported to the URJ to be handling your congregation's website. If there are additional people who need to be on this list or if you need to get off this list, please send corrected information, including congregation name, city, and state, to datamgmt@urj.org.

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