Author: Ron Graham
Ron Graham’s Report
— for Jan-Feb-Mar (1st Quarter) 2018
This page reports my work on simplybible.com for the information of those who take a special interest in that work.
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you with everything you need to please him and to help you be patient if you are suffering. May his word direct your steps. I have continued to work on simplybible.com to present that word to you and to the world.
New on simplybible.com
In the first quarter of 2018, I added 8 new Bible study pages to the website. Here are the pages added...
Jesus Gives What You Want Most
Helpless, Hapless, Hopeless
Are Paul and Peter's Gospel - Different?
Quiz on Galatians chapters 1 and 2
Quiz on Galatians chapters 3 and 4
Quiz on Galatians chapters 5 and 6
List of Bible Verses About Water
The figures for page views over the quarter (total of pages opened by visitors) were:
That is an average for page views of around 133,400 a month or a daily average around 4,400.
For the twelve months to the end of March, the number of page views exceeded 1.6 million: 1,600,829 (Source Awstats).
Pageviews per Nation
As an indication of the site's outreach, here's a list of the countries in February 2018 in which more than 500 pages were viewed. (There are of course many other countries where less than 500 pages were viewed.)
PAGEVIEWS FOR NATIONS IN MONTH OF FEBRUARY 2018 United States......66,007 Nigeria.............5,817 Great Britain.......5,144 Australia...........4,426 India...............3,972 Philippines.........3,851 Canada..............3,491 South Africa........3,174 Kenya...............1,709 Ghana...............1,526 Russian Federation..1,354 Malaysia..............757 New Zealand...........683 Brazil................681 Jamaica...............648 Poland................622 Angola................592 Germany...............589 Singapore.............552 Indonesia.............544 (Source: Awstats)
Rising out of December Slump
I mentioned in my previous reports that the necessary process of migrating to a secure protocol may cause some drop in the page views, and that drop should be temporary. This turned out to be so, but that does not make me a prophet ➤.
The following graph from Google shows ‘clicks’ for simplybible.com over a period of 90 days from mid December to mid March. This graph shows only clicks on Google, however the graph would show the same trends (although less severe) if all pageviews were included.
The statistics in the Google graph show how Google’s indexing system treated the website after we switched to the secure protocol (SSL). It appears that Google temporarily treated simplybible.com as a new "property". So it took a few weeks to integrate and find its ranking.
Requests for PDF documents
In addition to pages viewed (as shown above) there were many downloads of lessons in the PDF format: January 998, February 881, March 1,111 —a total of 2,990 downloads for the quarter. As you can see, it was well worth the effort required to make these portable versions.
This is not like delivering unsolicited Bible teaching where you distribute a pamphlet to 3000 houses and hope a few people read it. Rather, we had 2990 requests for Bible study material and every request was instantly delivered.
Website 2018 Upgrade 71% complete.
Following the 2017 upgrade completed last quarter, I set up a simple procedure for two improvements to the site.
Improved File Names
One innovation was to provide explanatory file names. For instance "f13b-ldays-last-sin-offering.htm" is better than just "f13b.htm" as it was previously. Google looks for keywords in file names, and the longer file name in that example provides "last sin offering".
If you type "last sin offering" into Google search, the above lesson is likely to be at or near the top of the results. The longer file name helps to get that ranking.
Preventing Blocking Scripts
The other innovation on simplybible.com is moving scripts down the page so that much of the page can be rendered before the scripts run. This requires small adjustments to the code in the scripts and pages, but that can be done to a batch of files at once. My text editor (TextWrangler) has exceptional and reliable multi‑file editing capabilities.
Progress on those improvements
I have processed 1003 pages which are now online with these improvements. God willing I'll complete the remaining 389 pages in next quarter.
While adjusting the code on pages, I inserted into them a template for links to other pages. This will make it much easier for me to add these internal links. Many such links are already in place but there is need for many more. They encourage people to look at other pages on the site. Another advantage is that when Google sees some links to a page, it regards that page as more important.
Google is Not All
A wise webservant will try to conform the site to what Google regards as best practice. That's why I mention Google so much. But Google is not all. Only 60% or 70% of pageviews are directly from Google. So I must consider the non‑Google sources. Generally speaking however, the search engines among these other sources of traffic regard as best practice much the same as what Google does.
Teaching the World the Truth
The simplybible website is a tool for teaching enquiring minds wherever they are on the planet. For example a young man in Vanuatu who is a Christian asks us questions from time to time. English is not his first language, but he is competent using it. Recently he asked, "What is the difference between faith and belief? He saw these two words used in the Bible and wondered what distinction the Bible made between them.
We were able to tell him that these two words mean pretty much the same thing, and they are used to translate the one Greek word. So there is really no difference. We could immediately answer his question by messaging his phone in Vanuatu. Better still we could send him links to appropriate lessons on simplybible.com which he could touch on this phone to read the lesson. Of course anyone else can use simplybible.com in the same way to help others learn the truth. The internet reaches into many corners of the earth and simplybible lessons can go to those places.
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.