On 26 January we launched eight areas of improvement, all based on feedback from you - the editors of A Church Near You. Here’s a brief overview of what's been improved.
For a full demonstration, more support, and the chance to ask questions, come along to one of our webinars.
1. Editor view
You said: It’s sometimes hard to tell what the visitor can see compared to what the editor can see.
We did: Separate editor view area, access it by clicking the single ‘edit page’ button on your church's menu.
You said: Some visitors don’t realise there are separate one off and regular event tabs, I end up trying to use workarounds to get all my events on the first tab.
We did: An 'all events' tab, with ability to filter to just see one off and regular events, if you want to.
Please note: We have also retained the calendar tab (visible on public view).
You said: It doesn’t make sense to me the order that events appear in.
We did: Order is set to be calendar order, with regular events occurring once, on their next occurrence.
Adding an event
You said: I find the event duration field confusing, I'd prefer to think in terms of finish time. Also when I miss a required field at the moment it's hard to see which field I have missed. And sometimes the help button overlaps the save button.
We did: We now ask for event finish time, not event duration. There are specific error messages if you miss a mandatory field, so you can easily see which you have missed. There is more padding around the help button so that it does not overlap any other buttons.
News article order
You said: It doesn’t make sense to me the order that news articles appear in.
We did: Order is set to published date order, most recent first.
News article publish dates
You said: People think the publish date is the date of the event I am sharing news about.
We did: Publish date no longer visible to visitors.
4. Church homepages
Featured news and event
You said: Visitors don’t realise they can click an arrow to see more news and events.
We did: Made the button on the featured items bigger and wrote ‘See all’ on it.
You said: I’m not sure if the visitors can see the analytics info that I can.
We did: Moved analytics information to the new editor view.
You said: I am putting lots of my services on YouTube.
We did: Added an option to list your YouTube channel along with the other social media links.
5. Removed features
Crockford panel under ‘More information’
You said: The information in the Crockford panel is sometimes not correct, especially when a church is in vacancy. This is misleading to visitors and takes time and effort to resolve.
We did: Removed the Crockford panel.
Please note: You can still provide clergy details on the Get in touch page, or on a new page under About Us. The National Register of Clergy is updated daily to show which clergy are authorised to carry out ministry in a church.
Online Service Register
You said: The Online Service Register doesn’t seem to behave in the way I need and I have trouble retrieving older data from it.
We did: We’ve temporarily removed the Online Service Register for a review and development. If you’re interested in being part of the development of the feature, in a focus group or giving written comments, contact us.
6. Tags in the Facilities section
You said: Is this feature working as it is supposed to? It says you can expand the tags but nothing happens?
We did: When a tag has a description, it is visible by default, you don’t have to click to expand anything.
Please note: When tags did not expand in the past, or when they aren’t showing any extra information now, it’s because no extra description was/is present. To add descriptions, go to the Facilities section in editor view.
7. Editor help centre
You said: As a new editor, I didn’t find out about the editor help centre for a while!
We did: Made the editor help centre more prominent, adding it on the top menu that appears to all editors.
You said: Sometimes the articles on the editor help centre are a little confusing or not fully up to date.
We did: We have rewritten nearly all the articles to reflect the latest improvements and improve clarity. These will be published at the same time the eight improvements to the main site go live.
You said: Sometimes visitors to the site see the Login button and think they have to log in just to use the site.
We did: Login button now says Editor login.
Becoming an editor
You said: Becoming an editor on the site is not as straightforward as it could be.
We did: The approval process hasn’t changed but the journey it is better signposted and explained on screen at every stage, and you get emails to explain where you are in the process.
Please note: We hope to be able to make it even simpler in the future.
If you don’t see the thing you wanted on the list, do take a look at our updated roadmap which explains what’s coming next.
Join a webinar
For a walk-through of the changes on ACNY, join this 45-minute webinar, which includes a live demonstration and the opportunity to ask questions.
This webinar has daytime and evening sessions, and includes live captioning. A recording of the webinar will be sent to registrants after the date.