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Finalweb Tips Blog
December 2011

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Topbar Image Demonstration


As mentioned in the last post, a commonly-edited area of Finalweb church websites is the topbar image section. This brief video demonstrates how to upload and manipulate images for newer templates.


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Working with Topbar Images

Probably the best way to make your Finalweb church website unique is to add custom images to the scrolling topbar section. This chore might at first seem daunting, but we've made some tools to make the process as simple as possible. You can use photos that you've taken with your own camera, or download stock  images from Microsoft Office Clipart, or pay for professional graphics at an online store such as iStockPhoto. Also, if you have access to editing software you can add text and textures and gradients and opacity effects to add an extra flare. Here are a few tips:

  1. Note the image dimensions for the template you've selected. If you click the "Edit Topbar Images" button, the topbar image height and width in pixels will be displayed. When looking for images to use, and when editing them with software, be sure to keep in mind that you will need to crop to a ratio that will fit that specified area. Also, there is variation to these dimensions between templates, so be sure to take this into consideration when switching.
  2. Get permission, give credit. If you use a photo of, say, a church-wide activity, make sure you are certain that each person in a photo doesn't mind being up on the website. Your church website is publicly accessible from just about anywhere in the world, and some individuals might not want to have that potential visibility. Also, if you use a photo that was taken by a person or organization that requires acknowledgment, be sure to include that either on the photo or somewhere on the page.
  3. Use text, textures and opacity. If you have access to Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or other editors, you can add extra elements to pictures that really make them stand out. Simple changes and make a world of difference in taking a church website to the next level. Add simple text headers or quotations, in front of an opaque background, to one part of an image. Add a texture to the image to give it a certain look and feel. Add a gradient to fade out to white or black. Little things like these suggestions can go a long way to getting the site you want.

After your images are saved in JPG format, all you have to do is  upload them to the topbar section. Newer templates allow for 10 images, arranged in any order, and can ever contain links to external or internal pages. You can also use our image manipulation tool to resize and crop your images for any fine-tuning adjustments that need to be made.

Hopefully these thoughts are helpful, and we hope you have fun creating images to make your church's site look and function the way that it needs.


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Adding Custom HTML Content

Oftentimes a need arises to insert HTML content into a web page. You might want to add a Facebook or Twitter widget directly to a home page, or embed a Google map into an information page, or display the weather forecast from Accuweather in a prominent location. Even if you don't quite understand much about HMTL code, you'll find it easy to add it to your site.

Whether you want to compose script yourself, or just paste a snippet provided by a third-party, the first thing to do is to open the text editor for the area in which the HTML code should go. You will notice in the top row of the toolbar area, to the very left, a button titled "Source." Just click this and your editor area will transform into an HTML-editing textarea.

If you're working with an already-blank section, all you need to do is paste your copied HTML, or begin composing. If, however, you already have content in the section which should be preserved, you will need to locate the correct position for your custom code. (*NOTE: if you are inserting HTML into current content, you might want to copy/paste the existing text before inserting the new code) After pasting/typing code, click the "Save" button and you'll be able to see how your browser renders the code.

It is possible to have some serious rendering problems when performing this action. Usually these issues are due to not copying the entirety of the provided code, or not pasting correctly. If you see an error, and you can't pinpoint exactly where you went wrong, the Finalweb support team will be more than happy to assist you in any way they can.

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Finalweb Tips and Tricks

Building a church website can be a challenging exercise. At Finalweb, our goal is to provide a beautiful product that is affordable, functional and usable. We continue to add new templates and develop most sophisticated solutions for generating content, but we also want to be sure we are providing the best assistance we can for making Finalweb as easy to use as ever.

This is why we are launching the Finalweb Tips and Tricks Blog. We will frequently post solutions to common questions, suggestions for how to make a church website look professional, and ideas for how to make the most of our feature-rich system. Hopefully, this will be helpful for current customers to learn all that can easily be done with the product, and also for prospective customers who wish to see how our solution can meet the needs of their church websites.

Check back here for further postings, and subscribe to our RSS feed for automatic notifications. Also, follow our Twitter feed (@Finalweb) and like us on Facebook.

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