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Support: Installation and Configuration



Site Setup and Configuration Guide

The following instructions will walk you through the process of setting up, testing, and configuring Sermons Online with your church web site. It is presumed that you have already downloaded and installed the Sermon Publisher and are ready to begin using it for the first time. Note: the actual sermon publisher software is free. You may have/use as many copies of it as you'd like. We only charge for hosting.

STOP:  If you are using Norton Anti-Virus and/or Norton Firewall 2005, do these steps first.
Norton must be configured before you can follow the rest of these instructions.

1. Start the Sermon Publisher

Start the Sermon Publisher by clicking on its Desktop Icon. Review the one-time setup configuration tasks to be done, and click Next. The online help link on this screen displays this help page.

2. Enter your Sermon Site Basic Information

Enter the basic settings for your sermon hosting account. The red dots to the left of the text entry fields indicate required entries.

3. Select Default Multimedia Source

The Publisher can capture, encode, and upload multimedia files. This page lets you set the default source of your sermon multimedia, and what kinds of streaming media files you want to publish.

4. Install Audio/Video Helper Applications

The Publisher uses several helper applications to create audio/video files. These applications are all free, but they must be installed separately. This page lists which applications are needed. If the Status for any application shows an Install button, as below, click it to install it from the web:

5. Example: Installing A Helper Application

Below is an example of a helper application being installed (Windows Media Encoder 8). You must install all required helper applications before continuing with creating your new Sermons Online site.



Once you've installed the helper application(s), click on the Next button on the Sermon Publisher. If the application is properly installed, you will see the "Install" button replaced with "OK".

6. Review Sermon Site Integration Steps

Your webmaster will need to create a web page on your church site to refer to your sermons, then log on your Sermons Online account to integrate it with your Sermon Site.

7. Test the Sermon Publisher

Congratulations! Your new Sermon Site has been created and all one-time configuration tasks have been done. You're ready to begin publishing sermons.

This is the starting page of the Publisher. It contains some links to the Sermon Site Manager web page, and a button to add sermons. To test the Sermon Publisher, we're going to publish a short audio file. Click the Add Sermon button:

Enter a Title, Author, and Date. Click the "Add New" link to add a new name to the list of preachers.

Click through the Sermon Notes screen to the Sermon Multimedia screen. This is where you will specify the source of your sermon audio/video. For this test, click the Browse button:

Browse through your folders, and find the "..\Sermon Publisher\media" folder. This folder will be on Local Disk (C:), if you used the default installation choices.

Select the "test.wav" file and click the Open button.

Once you've selected the test.wav file, click the Next button to start the publication process. The Publisher will cycle back to the first page, and display a progress report

If you had more than one sermon to add, you could click the Add Sermon button again to add it while the first sermon was being processed. You do not need to wait for one sermon to be published before beginning another. If the sermon is sucessfully published, the progress report will briefly show "100% Complete", then the sermon will be removed from the Job Queue list. If there is an error, the sermon will remain in the Job Queue with a link to a diagnostic report.

8. Editing Your Sermon

Once you've published your sermon, use the Sermon Site Manager page to edit it. Click the link, "List current sermons" from the Publisher home page.

This opens a new browser window that displays a list of the current sermons in your archive. To edit a sermon, click the "edit" link.



9. Integrate Your Sermon Web Site

Once we've completed the test sermon, we're ready to integrate your new Sermons Online site with your church web site.

Integration is performed via copying and pasting HTML from Sermons Online to your church site. (If you are using a templated web service such as Netministry, Christianity.com, E-Zekiel, MyChurchWeb, etc., see these tips for help on editing in HTML mode.)

To get a copy of your Sermon Page HTML, click on the "Integrate your web site" link from the front page of the Publisher:



The HTML is in the text editing box. This is what you will copy and paste into the sermon page on your church web site:



10. Congratulations!

Your Sermon Online Site is now integrated with your church web site. To display your sermons, browse to your church's sermon page. Once you've integrated Sermons Online, you never need update it again. Whenever you add a sermon with the Publisher, or edit a sermon with the Site Manager, the change will be instantly reflected on your web site.




How To Use Sermons Online with a Templated Web Site

Sermons Online is compatible with all web servers that allow you to add HTML to a page, including templated services such as Christianity.com, E-Zekiel.com, Netministry.com, ChurchNow.com, ForMinistry.com, etc. The technique for integrating Sermons Online depends on how your web admin page application lets you enter HTML.

Many templated systems allow you to add HTML by selecting an Advanced editing mode or clicking on an HTML Mode icon in the editor. In this mode, you can directly enter HTML instead of just text. For these kinds of systems, the technique is:

  • Open a new browser window, and login to your Sermons Online Site Manager. Click "Integrate Your Web Site", and copy your custom Sermons Online HTML.
  • Set up your web site admin application to use "Advanced" editing mode (or whatever editing mode allows you to add HTML to a page.)
  • Create a new page to hold your sermons.
  • Paste the Sermon Page HTML you copied into the "body area" of the page.

Other templated systems do not allow you to add HTML directly to a template page. You must first enter the HTML into a named template object/macro/snippet, and then place the object on the page. For these kinds of systems, the technique is:

  • Open a new browser window, and login to your Sermons Online Site Manager. Click "Integrate Your Web Site", and copy your custom Sermons Online HTML.
  • Create a new object/macro/snippet in your web site admin application (or whatever item allows you to add HTML.)
  • Paste the Sermon Page HTML you copied, and save the object.
  • Create a new template page to hold your sermons.
  • Place the HTML object onto the new sermon template page.

A few templated systems do not permit HTML at all. For these systems, Sermons Online will host the Sermon Page for you on our servers.

If you would like some assistance integrating Sermons Online with your web site, please contact technical support.




How To Control the Display Style of your Sermons

To control the size of the sermon display, paste your Sermons Online HTML into a table cell, and set the table to the desired height and/or width. The following example limits the width of the sermon display to 500 pixels, and guarantees that it will be at least 1,025 pixels high:

<table width="500px" height="1024px">
   <tr>
       <td>-- Paste Your Sermons Online HTML Here --</td>
   </tr>
</table>



The visual appearance of the sermons is controlled via a Sermon Style Sheet, which is part of your Sermon Site Settings page. You can learn about style sheets at the W3Schools' CSS Home Page.

By far the most important Sermon Style is "Default Sermon Text". This is the starting-point from which all other styles are defined. The default Sermon Category style, for example, is to enbolden whatever font is specified as the Default Sermon Text.




Norton Anti-Virus and Firewall 2005 Configuration

Note: The following steps only need to be done by the people publishing sermons for your church. Visitors to your church web site who playback sermons do not need to make any changes to the Norton default settings.

These instructions presume that you are using the default Norton Anti-Virus and Firewall settings:

- Personal Firewall: On
- Firewall Level: Medium
- Anti-Virus Auto-Protect: On
- Script Blocking: Enabled
- How to respond to a malicious script: Ask me what to do

1. Install the Sermon Publisher

If you have not already done so, install the Sermon Publisher on your personal computer. Do not launch the Publisher after the install is completed, however; Norton needs to be configured first.

2. Configure Norton Anti-Virus

Browse to the Sermon Publisher install program directory (by default, "C:\Program Files\Sermon Publisher\bin"), and double-click on the script, sermonpublisher_loader.wsf to run it.

Running the script will cause Norton Anti-Virus to block it as a "High Risk" suspected malicious script. Select the "Authorize this script" option and click OK so Norton knows that this script can be safely used in the future:

Now repeat the previous two steps for the sermonpublisher_main.wsf script file. First, double-click the script file to run it:

Then, authorize Norton Anti-Virus to let the script be used:

3. Configure Norton Personal Firewall

After you authorize sermonpublisher_main.wsf, the Sermon Publisher will start. If you are using Norton Personal Firewall, then after a few moments, Norton will alert you that wscript.exe is attempting to connect to the Internet; select "Always allow connections from this program on all ports". If you aren't using the Firewall, then you can skip this step.

4. Restart the Sermon Publisher

Close the Sermon Publisher window that was opened during Step 1:

Restart the Sermon Publisher and publish a sermon. If you are using Norton Personal Firewall, the first time the Publisher uploads a multimedia file to the Internet, Norton will ask for confirmation to automatically configure the Publisher's file transfer program, CURL. Select the default, "Automatically configure Internet access (Recommended)":

Congratulations! You've successfully configured Norton for the Sermon Publisher.




How to Display Sermons on Your Web Pages

By default, Sermons Online will display with the "By Date" view, and will show 26 sermons per page. You can change this behavior by including the following parmeters in the Sermons Online URL.

sermonsite_action - Sets the starting view

  • &sermonsite_action=view_index - view by Date (default)
  • &sermonsite_action=view_authors - view by Preacher Name
  • &sermonsite_action=view_topics - view by Scripture Reference
  • &sermonsite_action=view_titles - view by Sermons Title

sermonsite_pagesize - Sets the number of sermons per page.

Valid values are any number from 1-1000. Defaults are 26 for the Date view and 52 for all others.

Example:

&sermonsite_action=view_topic&sermonsite_pagesize=104

Sets the view to View by Topic, and displays 104 sermons per page.

sermonsite_selection - Selects a subset of a view.

Valid values are any sort key that would normally appear in the view. For View by Topic, for example, this would be the name of a topic. Spaces in the topic must be replaced with plus ('+') signs, or URL encoded.

Example:

&sermonsite_action=view_topic&sermonsite_selection=Grace+and+Peace

Sets view to view by Topic and displays all sermons with the topic, "Grace and Peace". Note the use of the + sign to replace spaces in the topic.

sermonsite_sermonid - Selects a specific sermon.

Valid values are any sermon identifier of an active sermon. Sermon identifiers are automatically assigned by the Sermon Publisher. You can read a sermon's identifier by inspecting any sermon link in any view. This parameter is only valid when used with the sermonsite_action=view_sermon parameter.

Example:

&sermonsite_action=view_sermon&sermonid=123

Views the sermon cover page of sermon number '123'.