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Extending the NE1 to WP-EZ Migration

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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WP-EZ_NE1_migration_extended.jpgAfter a lot of discussion and careful consideration, we will be extending the deadline to migrate from the old NE1 Website Builder to our new WP-EZ Website Builder.

Allow me to explain why and provide additional details…

Three months ago I explained 4 Reasons Continuing NE1 is Impossible. Of those 4 reasons, the most critical was security

Originally, we thought for security reasons we had to upgrade software on all of our servers, and doing that upgrade would break NE1. Therefore we needed everyone to migrate to WP-EZ before could do the security upgrade because we didn’t want organizations with broken websites.

At the end of May we migrated all free sites from NE1 to WP-EZ, and then we replaced that server with one that is now running the latest, secure software. During this time we figured out a way to continue running the old software on the servers that host Gold, Silver and Bronze accounts with minimal security risk.

NE1 Cannot be Updated

One of the other 4 reasons explained is that we can’t update NE1. This is still true. NE1 was developed by another company and they are no longer updating it. So, if something in NE1 stops working, there is no way to fix it. We did not want to take that chance, so we thought it’d be better to end all support for NE1 and require everyone to migrate before problems developed with NE1.

What we’ve seen, however, is that requiring migration has resulted in some anxiety, frustration and resistance among our loyal NE1 users. 🙂

  • Some of you expressed anger that you were being forced to change.
  • Some of you rushed to meet the deadline, didn’t edit the site to make it look good with its new WP-EZ theme, and activated a WP-EZ website that wasn’t ready and looks poor
  • Some of you decided to shut down your OCC site and build a new one elsewhere.

Our mission is to help you live out your mission online…

…frustrating you or rushing you into launching a new website that’s not ready, does not help you live out your mission online. We see ourselves as partners in ministry with you, and we want to walk through this transition with you at your own pace.

So, here’s how we’re going to move forward…

1) We will continue support for NE1 beyond June 30. If you’re still using NE1 after that and you have a question, you can email, call, chat or create a help desk ticket. We’ll do our best to help. Problems with the NE1 software itself, we won’t be able to fix, but everything else we can and will.

2) We will continue to operate NE1 beyond August 31. We still strongly encourage everyone to migrate to WP-EZ as soon as possible, but we’ll leave the timing up to you. Eventually circumstances will force us to shut down NE1 (nothing lasts forever, right?) but we’ll continue to run NE1 as long as we can.

3) We’ll do whatever it takes to help you with the migration to WP-EZ. Don’t wait until your totally frustrated. And whatever you do, don’t quit! Let us know early on if something doesn’t seem to be working the way you expected. We’ll walk you through editing your WP-EZ website, we’ll even make changes to your website for you if it will help you live out your mission online.

If you already migrated your website…

…first of all, kudos to you! You made the right choice! WP-EZ is 10x better than NE1! Your site is mobile-friendly! It does dozens of things your NE1 site never could! If there’s anything at all that you’re not happy with, let us know how we can help address your concerns so the end result is a website you’re proud of, excited about and is helping you live out your mission online.

Yesterday, we completed our mid-year strategic planning, and I am super-excited about what we have in the works for WP-EZ. In the coming months, we’ll be adding more themes, new functionality, more video tutorials and some other really exciting things I can’t wait to tell you more about (but I’ll have to because this post is already too long 🙂

We’ve updated the info in the WP-EZ Migration FAQs post to reflect this update.

As always we want to hear from you. Post your questions and comments below.

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

    29 Comments

    • Thank you so much for the extension. I do plan to migrate, but with other deadlines, vacation, etc. I was feeling the pressure. I admit I am nervous about the actual process, so I'm counting on you to help me through it. Thanks again!

      • Barb, thanks for the feedback. If you have any questions during the migration process, call, chat or email us 🙂

    • I am not happy with the new doos and i am making research to find something convenient to my use – We should have the option to stay or change – the old way was no problem now we have to navigate and get stressed at the same time. I thought the consumer have the right to make their own choice NOT you. So thats my complain – I have not had the joys anymore going to my site for things are very different is like changing one husband for another when the first one is aok. Whats up with this change that we did NOT request. You cannot tellus what we need , we KNOW what we need, don't you think ?
      Carmen for abcministries.net

      • Hi Carmen, I understand what you're saying. I'm not sure changing spouses is a good analogy though. We make a lifetime commitment to our spouses, but technology changes continuously and we have to adjust. For example, I have to replace my laptop about every 3 years. It's not something I want to do, and usually I resist as long as I can, but eventually I get to the point where the old laptop is so frustrating and inadequate that I have to make the change. That's where we are with NE1.

        I would note that your situation is different from most other folks at OurChurch.Com because we created a custom NE1 site for you and manage your site for you. Because of that, we migrated your site to NE1 as soon as we could. I understand how that would feel like it was forced on you. I'm sorry about it.

        I hope you can eventually have joy going to your site again. What can we do to help make that happen?

    • I have converted both of my sites. I was thankful for the excellent conversion process that you provided.

      I like the WP-EZ tool and its relative ease of use for the maintenance that I do regularly. I am disappointed
      in the lack of versatility in handling text font size, color, and Style. Being only able to have a single font
      for the whole site sure limits creativity and clarity. I hope that you will consider giving us more flexibility in managing these text attributes within page level in the near future.

      • I too have converted our church website and while overall satisfied I am concerned with the lack of versatility overall which I expect to get better. For the most part we are ok with the new feel and process but not exactly jumping for joy. Expecting great things in the future.

        • Hi Dick, thanks for the comment. Can you explain a little more what you mean by "lack of versatility"? What's missing and what could we do to improve on it?

      • Hey Dan, thanks for the feedback. Glad the migration process was good for you. 🙂

        WP-EZ gives you the ability to set the text color and size for parts of the page. Those items are in the second row of the page editor toolbar. Here's a video tutorial that shows how to do it – http://ow.ly/x19P301BuMV

        Putting a font selection feature on the page editor toolbar is one of the suggestions under consideration.

        One thing to note, most web design pros advocate giving web pages a uniform look, so I encourage you (and everyone reading this) not to use too many fonts, colors, sizes of text 🙂

    • I was feeling the pressure when you first made the announcement and when I first started working on my new site, but I felt better after knowing until I had until the end of August. Now knowing I have even longer makes me feel even better, although I do still hope to have the new site up and running by then. The sooner I can get my new site going, the less I will have to create new pages and posts on both sites.

      I think the WP-EZ is not as "EZ" as NE1, but I do understand the need for change. I want my site to be mobile-friendly. I think we need more instructions on how to edit our theme; that is where the biggest part of my frustration has been. I selected a theme and then when I viewed my page, it didn't look the way the example looked. It took me a little while to somewhat figure out how to edit it, plus a lot of trial and error before I got it looking reasonably nice. I still don't understand why I had to edit so many pieces within the theme. You also need to tell people how to add the logo picture and move the website title and menu buttons around. Mine looked good until I added the picture; then the text was in the wrong place until I finally figured out how to edit the header and move it down or over or whatever it was I did a couple of months ago.

      I also received a lot of help from Robert on a couple of my help desk tickets. He was wonderful! However, the last ticket went to another person who wasn't as helpful. At first, she said that was just how WP-EZ worked. But after I persisted, she added a custom CSS code to my site. I THINK I may have been able to make a change to the theme options which would have done the same thing, but I'm not sure and she didn't answer that part of my question so now that it's fixed I'm not changing it. My advice to others is be persistent if you aren't satisfied with the answers from the support staff.

      It took me so long to get my home page to look decent with the "basic" theme, that I don't plan on changing themes unless you find a way for us to carry our theme options over to a new theme. I had to select my font, margins, background colors, etc., in too many different places in the options, so I don't want to ever have to start over.

      Something else I could use more instructions on is how to arrange content on my page. I had to look up WordPress instructions on the internet to find out how to add columns using the shortcodes in WP-EZ. On NE1, I could just add a table just as I would in Microsoft Word, but WP-EZ is entirely different. It's also tricky to remember how to add your content so that it's in the correct column, but I guess I'll get used to that. Please remember that many of us web administrators are not trained in any kind of coding, and we used NE1 because it worked like a word processor program and then converted the page to html code. With WP-EZ, anything other than straight text content involves different tools that we have never used before.

      I also still hope you will provide written instructions and not just videos; I don't always need to watch an entire video to learn how to do one simple thing. With written instructions, I can skim down to the part I need to read in detail.

      Thank you.

      • Hi Jean, thanks for the additional feedback. I think you as much as any of our users have a very clear and specific vision for what you want your website to look like. That's awesome! As you noted though it can be complicated to tweak things to get them to look exactly the way you want them. I applaud your persistence! And I appreciate that you encourage other people to be persistent and reach out to our support team for assistance. 🙂

    • Thanks for the extension. I'm in the process of moving to a new state and can't get to migration until late July. I thought I'd have to find another place to put my sites. NOW i can stay with OurChurch.com. I love your service and that you host Christian sites and am very pleased to stay with you

    • I will be migrating my site to WP-EZ shortly. I have been meaning to update my NE1 site (ie. email, adding audio & videos). Will it be better for me to make these updates in NE1 before migrating or should I wait and do them after the migration. Thanks a million!

      • Hi Belinda, the migration from NE1 to WP-EZ is a 3 step process – 1) migrate (copy) NE1 data into WP-EZ, 2) Tweak your WP-EZ site (while NE1 is still live), 3) activate WP-EZ. My recommendation would be to add audio and video into your WP-EZ site during the second "tweaking" step.

    • Thanks for the extension! Life is so busy and I've migrated the site, but haven't had too much time tweeking it to my satisfaction! It's a big learning curve… I'm trying to watch some of the tutorials along the way when I have time… but this extension is greatly appreciated!! Thanks again!

    • Although I usually don't like change, I believe the change from NE1 to WP-EZ is the best change for our website (www.harvestofpraisecog.com). Although I am having to learn new and different thing in WP-EZ, I find it much easier to navigate and update than NE1 was. I am happy for this change and I am learning more about it as I use it.

      Thanks to the Our Church Team for your help and guidance.

      Laren Whaley, Pastor
      Harvest of Praise Church of God, Rochester, NH

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