In another step forward, simplybible.com has been approved for an SSL certificate. This means that you can browse the site privately. Information passing between our server and your computer is encrypted. This new security happens without much ado. About all you will notice, is a new tag in the page banner, and possibly a padlock symbol and “https” in the browser address bar.
The website upgrade has been completed, covering over 1300 Bible study pages. There are three main improvements to the website…
Firstly, each series of lessons now has its own individual short startup script instead of one long script shared by all 1658 lessons. This speeds up page loading and enables more flexibility for special features in a particular series. There are over 80 different series of study pages as displayed in the Topics tab (at the banner of any page). All the index pages also now have short startup scripts.
Secondly, every lesson now has a pdf counterpart to enable users to easily save or download a page on to their computers. There are around 1300 pdf documents now available on the website. The pdf version of a page is easily accessed from a prominent link at the bottom of the page. The pdf documents have the same content as that of a printed page, but they can be accessed offline once downloaded.
Thirdly, attention was given to page outline and structure, and to a consistency of design and display across all pages.
Having completed this upgrade, I will now continue adding features to existing pages and creating new lesson pages.
Here’s an update on the experience of a “switcher” from Windows to an Apple computer. I was happily surprised at how quickly the Apple iMac became productive. So far I am very satisfied with its performance, and have been doing my work on it efficiently.
Oops! When I first set iCloud going, it began, by default, to invisibly upload to the cloud every photo and video on my computer. This caused gridlock. For an hour I didn’t realise the cause. When I figured out what was happening, I unchecked every iCloud option, to stop it uploading automatically. I would have thought unchecked would be the sensible default. Perhaps, like Microsoft, Apple assumes that everybody has super-fast broadband.
Use of the cloud proved to be far too slow for multiple file transfers between my iMac and Windows 10. Instead, I set up the Windows 10 notebook to “see” and access folders on the iMac directly, using a local home wireless network, without involving the internet.
My experience with TextWrangler rates ten out of ten. It even does search and replace on multiple files, and has an excellent menu options for opening and closing files.
The Apple Store didn’t have any serious photo-editing software, so I purchased PhotoShop Elements with which I am quite familiar. I am delighted with Version 14. The Camera Raw add-on is excellent. There are several other improvements. It runs well on the Apple Mac.
The Time Machine which works with the Time Capsule is really good and easy to use. However, on automatic it jams up our wireless system. So it has to be switched off auto, and started manually at bed time to run during the night. The same applies to Apple Updates. At least Apple makes this very easy to do.
I am really enjoying working on a larger screen. Also the Retina display, with its very high resolution and beautiful lighting, is a blessing for my old eyes.
I’ve been working with Windows 10, and all the former Windows since about Windows 98. Since my old Windows notebook is rather too old, I bravely decided to change to Apple. I have a newer small Windows 10 notebook which works fine. So having a big Apple to go with it seemed sensible. For one thing, I could check how Safari and the OS X handled the simplybible.com site.
The Apple Mac I’m now using as my main machine is an iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, Late 2015). Very nice, however I’m not going to be silly and compare Apple to Microsoft when the computer running Windows is cheap and small and the iMac is well up range.
People say about Apple, “It just works”. Well I doubted that, but I was happy enough to go by the 80/20 rule. If it works 80% of the time and makes me mad 20% of the time, that would be fine. Windows does that. All the computers I’ve ever owned, even my Sinclair ZX81, did that.
So I set the iMac on my desk and started the setup. I was pretty confident because I had just set up an Apple notebook for my wife to replace her Windows Vista. In both setups there were a number of instances where I could have got stuck. It was a very Windows experience.
Setting up the user and admin accounts was awkward, but connecting to wireless was real easy. The keyboard and mouse with the iMac “just worked”. I guess they are bluetooth which, as far as I am concerned, may as well be called voodoo.
I plugged in a USB and dragged a folder to my desktop. The Finder seemed as good as Windows Explorer. One thing I loved at first sight is the old fashioned but sensible drop down menu strip at the top of the screen which reflects the app currently in use.
Next my attention turned to my two workhorses: a decent text editor and an FTP client. There is no OS X version of the clever Notepad++ so I tried TextWrangler. For a free text editor it is impressive. It wouldn’t launch a file in Safari, but accepted a tiny apple script and now it will. Getting Wrangler to soft word-wrap by default was in the 20% category, but there’s plenty of information available on TextWrangler, so that made me see the light. As for FTP, I was delighted that FileZilla was available for Mac. Downloaded and working in ten minutes. That’s in the 80% category.
So with the needed apps now available to me, I was able to get back to productive work on the website. Writing and marking up a new lesson was a smiley experience. I was also glad to see that Microsoft OneDrive worked for me through Safari, so my Windows notebook can receive new and updated files without messing with USBs.
The figures for simplybible.com page views over the last quarter of 2015 continued to be high. For October 137,031; for November 124,822, and for December 106,208 (source Awstats). That is, once again, an average per month of more than 100,000 pageviews. By November 2015, page views for the year had passed one million, and by year’s end reached 1,208,706. We thank the Lord for such interest world wide.
I have just completed a new series of eight lessons on Jude’s short epistle.
From January to March 2015, simplybible.com underwent another major upgrade.
- Achieved 100% mobile usability. (More than half our visitors are on mobile smart phones or small tablets).
- Reduced the number of external scripts that run before the page displays. Makes pages load more quickly for the user, and management of the scripts is much easier for me the webservant.
- Reduced the number of image requests for the page by converting images to “sprites” generated from a single image. Makes pages load quicker.
- Repaired and revised the system of annotations which was failing to operate correctly and was disjointed. It is now a nice simple design, robust and easy to implement.
The simplybible.com website began online 19 December 2002. It started with 80 pages. Now, in 2014, it has twenty times as many — 1,600 pages, of which 1,200 are Bible studies. A lot of work has gone into the site over the 12 years, both in adding new pages and in keeping up with the changes. Big changes have taken place behind the scenes in the coding of webpages and style sheets. We have ensured that simplybible.com has been continually revised and upgraded to accommodate these changes. The more visible changes are in the devices that display webpages, which now range from big wide desktop computer and television screens down to tiny smart phones. Today, around 70% of people visiting simplybible.com do so on tablets and mobile phones, devices which hardly existed in 2002.
Here’s a snapshot of how simplybible.com looked around 10 years ago.
Yes, olsem wanem? Fastaem mi hop se ol lesen ya bambae i givim yu kakae blong gudhat blong yu. Yu stap fren blong mi. Tankyu tumas from bambae yuyu ridim samting we mi raetim finis.Hemia toktok long Baebol. Nao ol lesen ya i longsaed blong tru God, nem blong hem Jisas Kraes.