How To #004 - Simplify Your Home Page - Radiant

The Radiant Blog

Posted by Ray Majoran

This week, we're going to give Derek a little bit of a breather. The man has been a writing machine over the last number of months documenting Monday Morning Misdemeanors and more recently, a column on “How To's”. So today, as an honorary guest to the How To columns, I am going to speak on ways to simplify your home page.

One of the great things about AdvancedMinistry is that you can feature any component you want on your home page. You can change the number of columns on the fly, reposition a module, and so on.

But just because you can do something, doesn't mean that you always should... for example when your home page becomes convoluted with too many items, it may be time to simplify.

So without further ado, let me show you two ways that you can bring simplification to your home page.

OPTION #1 - “3.0 Simplified home page”

Believe it or not, we've actually built a feature right into AdvancedMinistry that allows you to remove all of the columns from your home page and simplify it with a banner and navigation. To simplify your home page using this method:

1. Login to AdvancedMinistry and click on “Choose My Template” (right hand side).

2. If you already have an AM 3.0 template, click on EDIT beside the template that you want to simplify. Then proceed to Step 3. If you don't have an AM 3.0 template yet, select an AM 3.0 template and click on “Make This My Template”. Then, click on EDIT beside your new template.

3. Click on the “Layout” tab.

4. Under HOME PAGE VIEW, choose “Hide All Columns (Simple Home Page)” from the “Show/Hide Columns” menu.



5. Click on “Save” and then the “Home” button (in the top right).

6. Click on “View My Website” (right hand side) to preview it!

 

OPTION #2 - “Simplified Image Features”

Many organizations that we've featured on AdvancedMinistry spend the time executing simple image features. Here are some examples:


Calvary Christian Church


Tunbridge Wells Christian Fellowship


Church of the Harvest

Believe it or not this process is not complicated, providing that you have a moderate level of graphic design experience. To use this process, follow the steps, below. Note that there are many ways to accomplish what I'm about to show you... this is merely one of them.

1. Login to AdvancedMinistry and click on “Choose My Template” (right hand side).

2. If you already have an AM 3.0 template, click on EDIT beside the template that you want to simplify. Then proceed to Step 3. If you don't have an AM 3.0 template yet, select an AM 3.0 template (on the left) and click on “Make This My Template”. Then, click on EDIT beside your new template.

3. Click on the “Navigation” tab.

4. Change “Enable Footer Menu” to “No” and click on “Save”.

5. Click on the “Layout” tab.

6. Scroll down and write down (on a piece of paper, or wherever) the Individual Component Padding for “Left” and “Right”. (This is the padding contained inside of each column.)



7. Scroll back up and click on the link that says, “Click Here To Edit the Width of Each Column”.



8. Write down the width of each column. In the case of the screen capture demo (below), it's 289, 289 and 290. You will not want your images to be wider than the width of each column.



9. In Adobe Photoshop (or another graphic editing program), create your 3 feature images. (You could also do 4 images if you had 4 columns, or 5 images if you had 5 columns, etc.). In my case, I'm going to create 3 images, all 240 pixels wide by 100 pixels high. The reason that I am only making it 240 is because I want to keep each image under 245 pixels wide. (289 – 22 – 22) (Further explanation: 289: column width MINUS 22: padding left MINUS 22: padding right EQUALS 245.)

10. Back in the Admin, click on File Manager (right hand side) and upload the 3 files you've created.

11. Click on the Home button (in the top right) to go back to your main Content Management Screen.

12. You are now going to create 3 feature areas. To do so, repeat Steps 13 through 18 three times (since we have 3 columns)

13. Click on “Add Main Category”.

14. Do NOT give it a name.

15. Under the Page Options menu, select “Disable Page in Navigation Only”.

16. Click on the “Insert/Edit Image” icon and browse for the your feature image.

17. If you want to link the feature to somewhere else on your site, you can click on the LINK tab (under Image Properties).



18. Click “OK” and then “Add Content”. (Go back to Step 11 for any remaining feature images.)

19. You should now have something that looks like this.

Click on “Manage My Home Page Features” (located near the top of the page).

20. Drag anything in Column 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 into the “Not Featured” column.

21. Take the 3 “Untitled” items that you've just created and drag them into Column 1, 2 and 3 (so that you have one in each area).



22. Click on “Save Changes” and then the “Home” button (in the top right).

23. Click on “View My Website” (right hand side) to preview it!

Enjoy!