Website and IT Report 2020

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2020 was a very different year, with much more use being made of the internet in worship from March onwards. When services moved online, technical help was provided each week to assist members of the congregation. The calls for help are now much diminished as online services have become routine, the broadcasters and viewers learning how to deal with and avoid problems better. Once back in church, the electronic order of service became more important in preference to paper. The broadcast of services required faster upload speeds to the front of the sanctuary to work reliably, which has now been relieved by interim cabling.

The website has increased quite a bit in unique visitors per month at around 6000 unique IP addresses per month in December 2020 (was 1600 in 2017). The engagement on the website was a bit higher this year with twelve comments from the community in 2020. The five most viewed pages averaged over the calendar year are the home page, contact us, website setup and then individual Sunday service pages. From the Google search engine at least sixty click-throughs a month on "brougham place uniting church". Google continues to be a main source of search visitors. Usage patterns are quite different as the main user of the website is now the congregation for worship services, rather than the world at large.

The hall computers continue to be appreciated by Bari School scholars and occasionally the children before morning worship. As at late January spare computers and equipment take up about 1.4 cubic meters of space in the Southern tank room, about the same as last year.

Other activities completed in 2020 include:

  • "Temporary" cabling from Office to Bari School room to support video streaming. A much better solution than running out a LAN cable for each service along the floor!
  • Upgrading internal network to Gigabit (1000Mbits), removing 100Mbit bottlenecks.
  • Keeping software current, particularly deprecating old jQuery with WordPress 5.5
  • Continuing support for Office Staff and Sukulu na Bari.
  • Support for the new Uniting Care North Adelaide
  • Continuing production of paperless order of services and now web pages for each service.
  • More sophisticated paperless order of service to align more with the familiar printed version.

Plans for 2021 (mostly rolled over from 2020) include:

  • Order of Service to produced be "electronic" first rather than "paper"
  • Ducting for cabling for downstairs offices at least as far as Sukulu na Bari.
  • Extension of faster WIFI to Music Room and Leaver Lounge
  • Backup Internet to support office and broadcast during local failures
  • Merge old wiki into current website and remove old infrastructure
  • Move to a more permanent Asterisk IP PABX and VOIP phones
  • Logging of hall computer usage with a view to reducing numbers
  • Tracking paper order of service demands to better match production with usage.
  • Better reporting of photocopier usage for billing
  • Better network documentation and computer labelling (larger print!)
  • Ongoing reduction in storage used for unused equipment
  • Exploration of other social media platforms

Alex Sims
IT Co-ordinator