Author: Ron Graham
Here I Raise My Ebenezer
—Progress of simplybible.com
The 19th of December 2012 was a special day. It was simplybible.com’s 10th birthday online. This may not mean as much to you as your own birthday, but perhaps you can appreciate my gratitude to the Lord for helping my ministry, as webservant and author of this site, to reach this ten year milestone. Since then another 6 years have been added to bring us into our 17th year online.
1 Hither By Thy Help
"Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, 'We have come this far with the Lord's help'" (1Samuel 7:12). The name Ebenezer means “Stone of Help”.
I cannot compare myself to Samuel, nor do I raise up a stone cairn anywhere to acknowledge the Lord's help. I raise my Ebenezer in my own heart. This page is my heartfelt acknowledgement to you that the Lord is no respecter of persons, and just as he helped the great Samuel, so he helps the ordinary man who seeks to serve him well. He will do this for you as he is doing it for me.
If my ministry through simplybible.com these 17 years is worthy of any note, it is all to the credit of Jesus whose providence has enabled me to serve.
Jesus tells me that I am "an unprofitable servant" (Luke 17:10). It hurts me to read these words of his, not because I think he is wrong, but because I know he is right. However the hurt is easily borne because I know he loves me as he loves you. I know that he can make what I have done profitable, if I commit it to him. This I have done wholeheartedly. So have those who have helped me.
2 Early Milestones for simplybible.com
On 19 December 2002, simplybible.com went on the internet. For the previous year I worked offline to create the site, trying to maintain my faith that I could do this thing —fully aware that I did not know what I was doing. However, with the Lord's help I learned from various quarters the skills required.
There are a few milestones recorded below that show how simplybible.com developed in its first ten years. I've added new milestones beyond the first ten years as they pass.
- 2001 Researched/studied website design and markup, and produced 80 pages.
- 2002 Site went online at around 80 pages.
- 2002 Site increased to 200 pages.
- 2003 Site accepted by dmoz and Google
- 2003 Site increased to 300 pages.
- 2004 Domain name simplybible.com was secured.
- 2004 Site increased to 400 pages.
- 2005 Site was allotted its own exclusive webspace.
- 2005 Additional domain name simplybible.com.au was secured.
- 2005 Site increased to 600 pages.
3 Ebenezer Revisited
"You ought to say, 'If the Lord wills we will live and do this or that'" (James 4:13-17).
Shortly before the 3rd birthday of simplybible.com I nearly died. Fortunately the Lord provided the medical aid I needed to save my life. I was very conscious that as I set goals for more milestones into 2006 and beyond, they would be achieved only “if the Lord wills...” As further milestones are recorded, I shall say to Jesus, “Hither by thy help I've come”.
- 2006 Monthly requests for pages exceeded 50,000 —a rate of one access per minute.
- 2006 Site upgraded to a minimum standard for transitional html.
- 2006 A glossary system was added as a special study series.
- 2006 The service pages were upgraded and given a new look.
- 2006 Site increased to 800 pages December 5.
- 2006 The simplybibleFinder search engine written, introduced, and under development.
- 2007 The simplybibleFinder search engine out of beta at version 7.1.
- 2007 Site increased to 900 pages November 1.
- 2007 Quiz Master was added in November.
- 2007 By November 28, site included 800 study pages.
- 2008 Subsite aptja.mobi for mobile phones started June 1.
- 2008 Main site (simplybible.com) exceeded 1000 pages in December.
- 2009 Study pages exceeded 1000, in May.
- 2009 Sidebar margin added to page presentation, in May.
- 2009 Major upgrade, several improvements added May to December
- 2010 Site converted and validated to XHTML 1.0 Strict.
- 2010 Automatic Print Version implemented to simplify printing of lessons.
- 2010 Incorporated an automatic page design response to window width.
- 2011 Implemented a special page design option for sight-impaired accessibility.
- 2011 The Webservant became a septuagenarian.
- 2011 Site newly hosted as simplybible.com
- 2011 Major upgrade in page design completed.
- 2011 Site exceeds 1500 pages in December.
- 2012 Site getting up to 1000 visitors daily, and around 2200 pageviews daily in March.
- 2012 Facebook page begins operating.
- 2012 WordPress Blog commences.
- 2012 Ten years on line (Dec 19).
4 Beyond the Tenth Birthday
- 2013 A twitter account is opened and @simplybible starts tweeting.
- 2013 A Google+ page is opened and posts begin.
- 2013 The first simplybible videos go live on YouTube.
- 2013 Eleven years on line (Dec 19).
- 2014 Another major upgrade (January to November).
- 2014 Site switched from xhtml to html5 (August).
- 2014 Twelve years on line (Dec 19).
- 2014 Reached 1200 Bible study pages (December).
- 2015 Major consolidation of scripts and style sheets.
- 2015 Site achieved 100% mobile friendly status (July).
- 2015 50% of visitors are on mobile phones (July).
- 2015 simplybible.com became a teenager (Dec 19), 13 years on line.
- 2015 More than 1.2 million page views for the year.
- 2016 simplybible.com (Dec 19), 14 years on line.
- 2016 More than 1.5 million page views for the year.
- 2017 Another major upgrade completed September.
- 2017 Added download facility of around 1300 PDF files.
- 2017 Switched to short individual startup scripts for each series.
- 2017 SSL Certificate installed October. Site now secure "https://".
- 2017 simplybible.com - 15 years on line (December).
- 2018 Gave long explanatory filenames to all study pages.
- 2018 On every page scripts moved from head to page end.
- 2018 Getting nearly 5000 pageviews, 3000 visitors daily (May).
- 2018 Reached 1400 Bible study pages (July).
- 2018 More than 1.8 million page views for the year.
- 2018 simplybible.com - 16 years on line (December).
- 2019 Up to 10,000 pageviews, 7000 visitors daily (September).
- 2019 Exceeded 3 million pageviews past 12 months (October).
- 2019 All pages now have related lesson links (October).
- 2019 Completed major upgrade for year (October).
- 2019 24 archived half‑hour videos converted to YouTube.
- 2019 400 subscribers for YouTube/simplybible.
- 2019 simplybible.com - 17 years on line (December).
- 2020 18 years online (December).
- 2020 Still exceeding 3 million pageviews per 12 months.
- 2020 YouTube/simplybible now has 700 subscribers.
- 2020 This year added 36 half‑hour videos to YouTube.