It's been quite some time since we last gave an update on Church Social. It's amazing how time goes by. It seems like just yesterday we were sharing our plans for 2016, and here we are in mid-November. Once again we've been blessed with a year of growth, welcoming ten new congregations. We added a number of new features, including a new library archive and recurring calendar events. We completed the transition to WordPress for public websites, and were excited to offer free SSL certificates to those customers. We worked hard to improve email delivery rates, with the emailer now sending out well over 100,000 emails per month! We doubled down our support efforts, significantly reducing customer support response times. We even purchased a new domain.
Which leads us to 2017. Aside from bug fixes, we've officially stopped development on the current iteration of Church Social and have begun a ground-up redesign. In preparation for a number of new, big features, it felt like the right time to start fresh. The current design is over six years old, and is starting to show its age. Not only will Church Social be receiving a major face-lift, the underlying source code is being completely rewritten. This is a big undertaking, one we hope will make Church Social more secure, simpler to use, and easier to develop new features for. Here is a sneak peak!
While we're still working out all the details, the redesign will include the following new features:
- Mobile friendly: The new design will be fully responsive, meaning it will look great on tablets and phones.
- Groups: Create custom groups within your church for bible studies, committees, wards and more. Then easily message these groups, create group schedules and share documents.
- Report builder: The member export tool is getting a total overhaul. Generate custom member and family reports using our new reporting engine. Export reports by downloading them as PDF or Excel files.
- Document archive: A greatly improved document archive, with drag-and-drop file uploading, simpler sorting, and improved searching.
- Schedules: You'll finally be able to import schedules in addition to creating them manually. Also, see your scheduled items on the main calendar.
- Library: Get your library books imported quickly with the new Amazon integration, or even just import them from a file. Plus mark books as "checked out" to keep track of which books members are reading.
- Sermon archive: Improved sermon archive searching, including bible passage, date and topical searches. Streamlined sermon uploading, including the ability to upload almost any audio format, not just MP3 files.
- Bulletin board: A new, simple place to share things with your congregation that just don't make sense in your weekly bulletin, calendar of events, or emails to the congregation.
Our goal is to have this redesign done by mid-2017. Please keep in mind that we do not plan to make any further feature improvements to the current version of the software. We very much appreciate your patience as we work hard to get this update out the door!