Using a Release Form for Photos and Videos

Use photos and videos of real people on your website! Don't let any of the stuff below scare you away from real images. They are much more compelling than pictures of your building, your president or pastor (not that they aren't real people), or models in stock photos.

It's pretty obvious that professional photographers and big commercial websites need to get permission before using someone's image in a photo or video on their site. But what about churches and small non-profits?

Disclaimer: I have no legal expertise. I'm just reporting what I've read and what makes sense to me.

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Shrink Your Excel File

Most of the time,  Excel sheets know how many rows and columns you are using and they ignore the other gazillion. When you scroll to the bottom of the scroll bar, it should be at the bottom of your data.

However, many times I've had an Excel sheet that thought it had more rows and columns than it did. This means that it is hard to scroll to the bottom of your data, since Excel thinks the bottom of the sheet is several screens below where it is. Also, this means that when you insert a row or column, Excel takes a long time thinking about how to move a jillion rows or columns to make room. Also, the file size can get way bigger than it should be.

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Intro to WordPress for Webmasters

WordPress.orgThis post is for webmasters who are looking for a good website system (CMS) for a small organization.

WordPress is a great, free system that started out as blogging software but has been extended to fit many different types of websites. I recommend WordPress and Joomla. Both are open-source. Both are programmed in PHP (not that you need to know what that means). Both have vibrant communities of users. To choose, look at your departments or the sections of your website. In a church, this might be music, mission activities, youth group, etc. For each of these, will you need a page or two or will you need a mini-site? For a page or two, choose WordPress. For a series of mini-sites, choose Joomla. Joomla is more difficult to get started but makes it easier to manage a larger site.

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CMS: Websites the Modern Way

This article is for non-technical people who create and edit content for websites.

In the olden days, you sent new content and edits to the website administrator in an email and that person took care of it. Sooner or later. For many non-profit organizations the website administrator was a volunteer who kept the site in his or her basement and staff had no access.

The beauty of a Content Management System (CMS) is that now you and all the staff and volunteers of your organization can all edit your own content. The labor is better divided between content experts, designers, and developers, and there are fewer possibilities for mistakes.

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Back Up Your Stuff – It’s Easy


Sugar Sync is best for backupUse SugarSync to back up your files. You get 5 GB of space free and you can sync between computers/devices and share with others. If you use the link above, you get 5.5 GB and I get an extra 0.5 GB, too.

This is as far as most people need to read. The rest is for special situations and background.

Small businesses and non-profits can also benefit from SugarSync. Create a work account and share your folders with coworkers. They can either just view the shared folders online or sync to their own computers. You can enable them to edit, add, and delete files or just to view. Each folder only counts toward one user's 5-GB limit.

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What Is a Favicon?

If you have your own website and domain name, you should have a favicon.

Look up at the tab of your browser where you are viewing this site. You should see a little orange fish. Small Fish Services favicon Cute, huh? The custom favicon (favorite + icon) adds a professional touch to any site. Users see the favicon in their browser windows and if they favorite/bookmark the site. You can create a separate icon to use if a user clips your site on an iPhone. They are relatively easy to make. In fact, the hardest part is probably uploading to your website.

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