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Author: Ron Graham

Ministry Reports

Ron Graham’s Report
— for Oct-Nov-Dec (4th Quarter) 2017

This page reports my work on simplybible.com for the information of those who take a special interest in that work.

The new year 2018 is underway, and may God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you with everything you need for this new year. May it be a fruitful year for you. But for the moment we look back at the last three months of 2017...

New on simplybible.com

In the last quarter of 2017, I added 13 more lessons to the website. Here are the pages added...

List of Bible Verses About Light
Measures of the Soul
Beauty and Ugliness (Opposites)
Heaven and Hell (Opposites)
Design and Chance (Opposites)
Choked by Thorns, Bearing No Fruit
Itching Ears, Itching Palms, Itching Feet
What God Says About Sex
Can We Pray to Jesus or Only to the Father?
What Eternity Lacks (Revelation 21)
The Unencumbered Life
God’s Purpose - Our Choice
Sharing in Christrsquo;s Sufferings

Tracts Library Added

Some years ago I put together a library of tracts, mainly for the literature rack at Bundaberg church. To make these available online, I added a new service page in November 2017, "Index to Library of Tracts" and placed all the tracts in a folder available from this index. I updated the information on the back panel of each tract, but otherwise left them unchanged. So now people can download and print these tracts. They require A4 paper size, but most people can obtain paper in that size.

Website Usage

The figures for page views over the quarter (total of pages opened by visitors) were: October 135,392; November 116,274; December 93,278 (Source Awstats).

That is an average for page views of around 115,000 a month or a daily average around 3,700.

For the twelve months to the end of December, the number of page views exceeded 1.6 million: 1,603,627 (Source Awstats).

Pageviews per Nation

As an indication of the site's outreach, here's a list of the countries in November in which more than 1000 pages were viewed. (There are of course many other countries where less than 1000 pages were viewed.)

 
United States..47,326
Australia.......6,415
Great Britain...5,533
Philippines.....5,413
India...........5,283 
Nigeria.........5,175
Canada..........4,366
South Africa....3,443
Poland..........2,568
Russian Fed'n...1,617
Kenya...........1,594
Ghana...........1,405
Malaysia........1,217

(Source: Awstats)	

Under 1000 but still in the top 25 countries reading simplybible.com were Singapore, Brazil, Germany, Pakistan, Indonesia, Italy, France, Jamaica, Spain, South Korea, Angola.

Note:— Expected Drop in Figures. I mentioned in my last report that the necessary process of migrating to a secure protocol may cause some drop in the page views. This quite obviously happened, but the drop should be temporary. We will see what happens during next quarter.

Downloads of PDF documents

In addition to pages viewed (as shown above) there were many downloads of lessons in the PDF format: 989 in October; 810 in November; 568 in December; a total of 2367 for the quarter. As you can see, it was well worth the effort required to make these PDF duplicates. Only God knows where these lessons will penetrate and what good they will do.

Fifteen Years on Line

In December simplybible.com had its 15th birthday. We have been online since December 2002 when the site had 80 pages and was very basic. Since then, through the 15 years, in the providence of God, simplybible.com has developed into a complex site visited by millions of people from all over the world.

Technical Section

The rest of this report is about technical matters which may not interest you. Feel free to skip down to my Thank You.

Website 2018 Upgrade Commenced

Following the 2017 upgrade completed last quarter, I set up a simple procedure for two improvements to the site that have been on the backburner while the 2016 and 2017 upgrades were being done.

(1) Long explanatory file names.

Many of the pages on simplybible.com have short filenames such as "f75u.htm". As you can see that doesn't mean much. Nowadays it would be useful to extend this name to a longer explanatory file name such as "f75u-revln-what-eternity-lacks.htm".

When I did that big PDF project, allowing users to download lessons on to their computers in PDF format, I assigned long explanatory filenames to the .pdf files. I did this anticipating a future change to long webpage names. So now, as I extend the webpage filenames, the .pdf names will already match and need not be changed.

I noticed that the Google robot, who indexes the site, is meanwhile trying to find webpages with the same long names as the pdf documents. I didn't ask it to do that, but it's an Artificial Intelligence and does what it thinks fit. Of course, when it doesn't find a match, it complains with an error message, for my eyes only, that the file was not found. So I will provide the robot with a list redirecting it to the short filenames. That will inform the robot that the short name is currently the canonical name until I decide to assign the matching long name to the webpage.

About 20% of the webpages have been assigned long file names, and God willing we will ramp up the action on the remaining 80% during 2018.

(2) Removing a Blocking Script

When a page opens on simplybible.com, it is at first quite blank. Before anything can be shown on that page, a script (computer program) has to run and this is meanwhile "blocking" the rendering of the page. In practice the delay is noticeable only on very slow internet. I recently introduced smaller individual scripts as you may recall. That reduced the waiting time. However a blocking script is nevertheless regarded as a mark against the website and should be remedied if possible.

The most effective remedy is to move the scripts down the page so that much of the page can be rendered before the script runs. This is allowed by the html 5 standard, and simplybible.com adopted that standard back in 2014. Moving the scripts requires several small adjustments to the code in the scripts and pages, but they can be done to several pages all at once. Around 16% of the site has already been modified, and the rest, God willing, will be a project for 2018.

More Internal Links

I am gradually adding prominent links at the end of lessons, directing users to other related lessons. Such a link consists of a big button (to go to the other lesson) and under the button a synopsis of the lesson named on the button. The other lesson will remember the page you came from, and provide a link back to it.

This is a manual task that takes a few minutes for each link. I did about 150 new links in the quarter.

New Security for the Website

In my previous report I mentioned that simplybible.com was issued with a certificate and furnished with an encryption protocol called "Secure Socket Layer" (SSL). Since then Google, Bing, and Yahoo search engines have re-indexed the entire site to reflect that security.

Thank You

Thank you for keeping on helping me in the Lord’s work, and for your prayers, and your interest and confidence in my work on the website that reaches and teaches thousands of people. By sharing with me in this work, you make it possible for you and me to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation".

Love and best wishes in Jesus.

  Ron Graham


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