Thursday, July 1, 2010

We have a launch!

Yesterday was an extremely exciting day for the Levy family. We have launched a website that my dad, my sister and I have been working feverishly at since the beginning of 2010 (my mom and younger brother also deserve credit for supporting us all the way). We've had some breaks (my 2-week excursion to Israel, for example), but for the most part we have been working day after day, for many hours, hammering out the bugs in the programming department and getting the design and layout of it just right.

Now we are done! We promised ourselves that we would launch the site before the end of June, and that's exactly what we did. Just a couple hours shy of midnight. ^_^ It felt very big and historical for me. Before launching we celebrated with 2 large pizzas for dinner and homemade ice-cream for dessert.

Annette and I have learned so much about programming and website building/ maintaining with this giant family project of ours. We learned computer languages that most people would probably shy away from: Perl, Javascript, MySQL, PHP, and CSS. We learned how to navigate programs like Dreamweaver, SuperEdit, and FileZilla almost effortlessly. Now we have the final result. A website that we can be proud of. May I present...

Serve-A-Verse is a web-service that my dad, Benjamin Levy, started up 10 years ago, in June of 2000. It's a unique Bible program that allows you to explore the books, chapters and verses of the Old Testament and displays the Hebrew text for you as well as English translation and transliteration (syllable-phonetics in English). You could also search specific Bible stories and quotes. We weren't setting out to teach anyone to read Hebrew. We simply wanted people to see the original language the Bible was written in.

10 years later, we decided to upgrade the entire look, feel and function of Serve-A-Verse. We gave it a more modern, clean, consistent look (CSS helped with that tremendously), gave it an official logo, and added new features to it. A fantastic example is that we have an audio player button next to each verse that plays the Hebrew in a deep, 'God-like' voice, so you know what it sounds like.

Another example is that we have 2 counters in the middle of the home page. One counts the total number of verses accessed, or "served", by all the people who have ever used our site. The other counts how many times they have clicked the button that displays the verses they selected, which we call "requests" for our service. (The numbers are so big because, if you'll recall, this site has been in use for 10 years. 0,o)

We've added tiny changes that you probably won't even notice, but it took us a long time to work out how to do them. The final result is that they make the site feel a lot more official. Like when you go in to register for the first time, there's a jumble of random letters and numbers you need to enter, just like when you enter a comment in Blogger, or use Facebook or Craigslist. This is called Captcha. There's also some placeholder text that appears in the input fields that tell you how you're supposed to enter your information (such as no dashes or parentheses in your telephone number), which saves space and just looks cool. ^_^

For a long time, just about anyone could use Serve-A-Verse. Now we've put a kind of toll-booth in front of it (don't worry, it's free ^_~), and made it so that you have to register as a member and log in first in order to use our site. Those who haven't registered shall not be able to access our service. But why wouldn't you want to register? You get to read the Bible in Hebrew. This site isn't limited to people who already know how to read Hebrew. Far from it, in fact. We want people of all ages, religions and backgrounds to use our site. If you have access to a computer (or even a hand-held device, like an iPhone or Blackberry), you can read the Bible in Hebrew.

If you'd like to check it out (and I highly recommend that you do), just go to this link, register, follow the instructions, and enjoy. Please spread the word and share the link. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you at Serve-A-Verse.

1 comment:

J.N. Future Author said...

That is really awesome! I checked out the entire website! That is SO cool!