Creating an Effective Church Welcome Packet

Creating an Effective Church Welcome Packet
By Vince Williams III

A first-rate welcome packet is an important part of the new visitor experience. Done correctly, a packet can help to draw someone back to your church again, by informing them of opportunities to connect with other members while also reminding them of the personality and mission of your church. Let's evaluate this tool and explore how to create an effective welcome packet with limited effort while saving money.

Every welcome packet has 2 basic components: the outer shell, and the internal materials. Some churches start with the outer shell and then decide what to put in it. Others choose what they want to give to attendees, and then choose an appropriate container for those resources. Either way works; just find what works best for your team.

The Shell

The outside of a welcome packet can take many forms. Some churches opt for putting literature inside a mug; others use bags or fancy printed boxes. But the most common approach is the presentation folder, which offers a low-cost way to present information to your new attendees. The challenge with folders is that they can lack personality. Linen folders with gold embossed lettering, the norm at many traditional churches, may say that you are classy, but not necessarily friendly.

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Website Upgrade for QFC Services, LLC

QFC Services WebsiteQFC Services Website

QFC Services, LLC, one of our long-time customers has upgraded its website, https://www.qfcservices.com/. The new website features a mobile-first design and an optimized platform, including a CDN and automatically optimized images.

The original QFC Services website The original QFC Services websiteWhen we built their original website they told us that they were avid gamers and wanted the website to have a dramatic look. Their trademark green color is eye-catching as can be. The website was one of our first responsive websites and was state-of-the-art at the time. The website held its own for almost a decade, with only minor revisions. Nothing lasts forever, and QFC Services finally decided that it was time to give their website a new look for a new decade.

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Safari wrecked our forms!

A wreck on the rocks

One of our long-standing policies at Pro Epic is to host web forms separately from our websites. The main reason is to reduce the attack surface of our customer's sites. Many websites are hacked using exploits or weaknesses in their online forms. We eliminate that risk by hosting our forms on a different domain or sub-domain. That makes it impossible for an attacker to gain access to our customer's website by hacking the contact form, as an example.

 

The form system that we use supports multi-page forms as well as saving a form and coming back later to finish it. The form system sets a cookie in the user's browser to support those functions. The form is embedded in the website using a bit of javascript. The forms are responsive and adjust to the website size, colors, etc. To the user, the form appears to be part of the website.

 

That system has worked flawlessly for us for years, until last week anyway. Last week we were alerted by one of our customers that a page on their webpage was jumping and flashing and was unusable. When we investigated, we could not reproduce the problem. We were only able to reproduce the issue after upgrading our iPad to iPadOS version 13.3.1.

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Joomla Updated on January 28, 2020

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We updated all of our Joomla! 3.x websites today.

We usually wait a day or two before applying core updates just in case any bugs creep in. We went ahead with this one because it contained security updates. Here's a link to the official Joomla! announcement: https://www.joomla.org/announcements/release-news/5782-joomla-3-9-15-release.html

Here's an exciting excerpt from the action.

 

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Check out the New Spectacles West Website!

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We built a website for our friends at Spectacles West in Weatherford, Texas, years ago. It served them well for a long time. Times change as well as technologies, and it was time for an upgrade. 

 

They wanted something with a more modern look and more mobile-friendly. They wanted something eye-catching and displayed their unique personalities. They have a lot of character, so that was a pretty tall order. I think we pulled it off rather well.

 

Their new website is fully responsive and looks and functions great on all sizes of displays. The website software is GDPR and CCPA compliant and can easily be modified to comply with any privacy regulations that may come along in the future.

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Promote Your Business by Promoting Your Blog

Network image

One of the easiest ways to promote your business is to blog about it. Then support your blog by sharing your posts using email and social media.

We have connected our blog to several services as a demonstration.

Each article automatically posts to Facebook and Twitter. In recent years both Facebook and Twitter have gone to great efforts to eliminate spam or misleading posts. As a result, setting up interfaces with those systems can be tedious, confusing, and time-consuming. Both Facebook and Twitter have vetting processes for you and your business that are required before they will allow the apps to function.

Ther are several buttons that appear at the bottom of the article. Those buttons allow users to share the post to their favorite service, like Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter.

The post contains an RSS feed link that enables the article to appear in a feed to other services, like Feedburner. RSS feeds can also be used to populate a newsreader application on your computer. Examples of newsreader apps are Feedly or Smart RSS

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Facing Cyber Security Threats

Picture of a robot explaing something

The future is quickly approaching, and a new era of internet innovation and disruption is here. The best way to stay safe is by developing policies and habits that protect you, your data, and your customers.
This article is the first of a series that explains our approach to internet security and computer security in general.

Online security, like charity, starts at home. As many of you know, we work from our home office, so that is where Pro Epic's security standards begin.

We wish that we could say that we have never been hacked and never had malware on our computers. We have, just like most folks. We do try to learn from our mistakes and be more proactive in eliminating security threats before they begin.

 

The future is quickly approaching, and a new era of internet innovation and disruption is here. The best way to stay safe is by developing policies and habits that protect you, your data, and your customers.

This article is the first of a series that explains our approach to internet security and computer security in general.

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