New GKM Site Pre-Release -- What's New!
Dec 14, 2019
Today, we are soft launching the new version of the GKM Website that has been in the works for the past couple years! In a subsequent blog post we will go over the history of the new site, the development route that had to be taken, and the reason we needed to do a rebuild in this way. In this post, I'm going to be going over what's new, what's still being worked on before the "Official Launch," and plans for the future.
First a quick definition of what we mean by the different types of launches.
This is our "Soft Launch" or "Pre-Release." What this means is that some of the sections (namely Conference Center) are still being worked on, but the majority of the site is finished, and most likely going to stay mostly the same after the Official Launch. We wanted to release it this way so that everyone would have a chance to check out the new site, and take some time to adjust to it and get familiar with the new design and layout. Dr. Jones will still be posting WebLogs on the current site until the Official Launch of the new site, and we will manually post any new blog posts onto the new site, although there may be slight delay / differences in the blog in this transition time, so if you are looking for the latest blog post be sure to check the current blog (https://www.gods-kingdom-ministries.net/daily-weblogs/) first to see if anything new has been posted. During this Soft Launch period, we also would love for you to give any feedback you have on the new site, as well as letting us know if you find any broken links / buttons, typos, etc. You can find a blue feedback button in the upper right of every page on the site (pictured below).
We are currently planning the Official Launch for the beginning of 2020. Once we officially launch the new site, Dr. Jones will begin posting blogs on the new site instead of the old site, and the old blog will not be kept up to date for any new content. We will keep the old site online for a while until we are 100% sure there is no content missing from the new site that exists on the old site, and if anybody is having difficulty adjusting to the new site they can visit the old site until it's officially removed.
After much consideration and prayer, we were led to change the domain on the new site to https://godskingdom.org. This domain is much easier all around to share, whether it's typing or speaking. We have done everything we can to preserve links from the old site, so if you have any bookmarks for a particular section of the old site, no matter where it is in the site, we have made sure there is a manual redirect for every single page on the new GKM Website. And with that, below you can find the url to the new site. Click on it, check it out, let us know what you think, but continue reading this post to see what's new! This will not be an exhaustive post on every area of the new site. We encourage you to click around and explore, and see what you find!
First off, once you click on the link you'll notice that everything has changed quite a bit. Once on the Home page, if you scroll down a bit you can see a brief introduction to the website, as well as 6 icons to be able to learn more and see latest content for each section (pictured below, icons outlined in green).
The header nav has also changed (pictured below), but rest assured that everything that's on the current site is also on the new site.
Header Nav Structure
Daily WebLogs has been renamed to Blog, Teachings has been renamed to Studies, and News has been renamed to Events. Search is accessible by clicking the Magnifying Glass (the second icon from the right). On the far right is a shopping cart that shows the number of items in your cart. If you click on it, you can open the cart to manage the items that have been added (if any) and checkout.
Blog -- When you mouse over Blog, you'll notice that we have removed each individual year from being there, as this would not be manageable long term as years continue to be added. You can find all blog years under the Blog Archive, under the Blog header item. Teaching Series (previously under the Teachings header item) has been renamed to Blog Series, and put under the Blog header item.
Studies -- You can find the Books under the Studies header item, and while the design of book pages and book chapters has changed quite a bit, every book, tract, and audio is still available to read / listen to for free online! Translated Books have not yet been added to the new site, but will also be found on the Books page once they have been added. Tracts, Audios, Videos, FFI Newsletters, and Articles can all be found under Studies as well.
Store -- We have implemented a new store software that has been incorporated directly into the site, so it won't look different from the rest of the GKM Website. This means you don't have to go to a different website to purchase a book. You can simply add it to your cart on this website.
Events -- News has been renamed to Events. If you click on Events, you can see a Calendar that contains any events that have been added. At this time no events have been transferred from the old site, so the calendar will be empty, but eventually it will hold everything from conferences to watch dates. On that same note, Conference Center has been moved from Teachings to Events, however at this time Conferences still need to be transferred to the new site.
Search -- We have implemented a built-in site search on the new site that we will be refining over time. It does not account for typos, and still needs a lot of love, but we wanted to implement it now to give it a test run. If you are unable to find what you were searching for, you can find a link to DuckDuckGo (the current search engine we're using) at the top and bottom of the search results that will automatically insert your search query into the new search and bring you to DuckDuckGo to find results.
There have been minor adjustments to the Header Nav, such as removing unnecessary items to reduce clutter, but the majority of the structure remains the same.
Still To Do
There are still a few things that we are working on completing before the Official Launch. Note that our primary goal is to stabilize everything that currently exists, and make sure no content is missing. Once we get everything to the point where we're confident Dr. Jones can begin posting blogs on the new site, we will officially launch, even if more content still needs to be migrated, and our immediate next goal will be finalizing all content transfer. Truth be told, we could launch at any point between now and the new year, but we want to give everyone a chance to adjust to the new site so it's not shocking for anyone.
Once we finish completely with all content transfer, we can begin working on new features for GKM - a really exciting prospect for us! Below is a short list of just a few items that we already know we want to implement:
- Guided tours on each page that show you how to use and navigate that particular page.
- Notification of new FFI Newsletters via Email.
- New personalization for receiving notifications (such as a "manifest" at the end of the day for all new content on GKM).
- Detailed, intricate search functionality to help you find exactly what you're looking for.
- New helpdesk built in to the GKM Website.
- New Knowledge Base built in to the GKM Website containing various articles for instructions and technical issues.
- User Accounts, and tons of features for users to be able to customize and study the content on GKM just the way they want to.
There are many more features that we have ideas for, but they will be discussed as they get closer to development.
As mentioned before, we encourage you all to click around on the new site, explore, send us feedback on what you think, and Contact Us if you find anything wrong with the site or if you have any questions.
Sometime in the next week, we will write a blog post explaining the history of this new site as far as development, why we had to rebuild at all, and why it's taken the time it has.
Thank you all for your patience with us as we've developed this new site. We're truly excited that we're finally able to unveil it to you, and we hope that you enjoy! We understand that it can be quite an adjustment to deal with everything changing so much, but rest assured everything that is on the current version of GKM will be on the new site. As we get closer to the official launch, we will write an in-depth blog post guiding you through each section of the site.
This new site has been completely custom designed from the ground up, and this new design will be more future proof, and is more in line with current web standards. If you feel lost on the new site, spot anything that's broken, or have any questions, please don't hesitate to Contact Us.
Enjoy, and God Bless!
- GKM Development Team