Adding RefTagger to a Joomla! Site

Joomla! is one of the the most popular Content Management System software. It’s a great choice for church and ministry websites, and I’ve seen many build some sharp sites with it.

Setting up RefTagger on a Joomla! site is quite easy.

There are the simple steps to getting it up and running in no time:

  1. Log in to your admin panel (http://yoursite.com/administrator/).
  2. Hover over the “Extensions” tab and click “Template Manager.”
  3. Click on the name of the template that you are using. The default with Joomla! 1.5.2 is “rhuk_milkyway.”
  4. Click the “Edit HTML” button at the top right.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the code and paste in the customizable RefTagger code from the RefTagger page right before the </body> tag.

That’s it! RefTagger is now working on your entire Joomla! site!

Adding RefTagger to a vBulletin Site

vBulletin Forum Software from JelsoftvBulletin is perhaps the most popular forum software on the market. If you’ve been to a forum site, chances are you’ve been to a vBulletin site.

Do you administer or moderate a vBulletin site that has biblical content? Why not add RefTagger? Your site will instantly become much more useful for your readers, and the immediate access to the Bible will no doubt have positive effects on your site.

Here are several possible benefits to consider.

RefTagger . . .

  • promotes citing the Bible more carefully.
  • encourages citing the Bible more frequently.
  • makes reading the Bible easier.
  • keeps people at your site longer.

TheologyOnline is a nice example of how RefTagger can really enhance a forum site.

By following these brief steps, you can have RefTagger up and running on your site in just a couple of minutes.

  1. Log in and navigate to your admin control panel (e.g., http://www.yoursite.com/forums/admin/).
  2. Click on “Styles & Templates” in the left column to expand it, and then click on “Style Manager.”
  3. Locate your style in the list (i.e., the one with the checkbox checked), and choose “Edit Templates” from the dropdown box.
  4. Locate the “footer” template in the list on the left, click on it, and then click “Edit” under “Controls.”
  5. Scroll to the very bottom, paste in the customizable RefTagger code, and click “Save.”

That’s it. Your Bible references are now interactive and far more usable for your readers.

If you frequent a forum site that still has plain old bare Bible references, perhaps it’s about time to contact a moderator or the site administrator and let them know about RefTagger.

Get more help setting RefTagger up on your site at the tutorial section of the RefTagger page.

RefTagger Gets New Versions . . . and Much More!

Over the last few weeks our web team has been working hard on even more cool enhancements to RefTagger, so we have several updates to share with you.

1. RefTagger Now Links to Bible.Logos.com

As of Monday, RefTagger is now directing all links to our new online Bible site, Bible.Logos.com. This allows us to bring you a more tightly integrated experience and to continue to improve RefTagger by adding more functionality. We also think Bible.Logos.com is a pretty cool place to read and search the Bible online. :)

2. Several New Bible Versions

Not too long ago we added support for the NIV, TNIV, and NIrV. On Monday—after numerous requests—we were finally able to add the NASB as well. If one of these is your default version, you’ll now see the appropriate text in the tooltip windows. If we still don’t have your favorite version, please let us know.

3. User Control Panel

As a webmaster you get to decide which Bible version RefTagger will display on your site. But what if your readers prefer a different version? To solve this problem, we’ve created the RefTagger control panel. Adding the small control panel somewhere on your site allows your readers to set their preferences, like which version they want to see and whether or not to display the icons linking to Libronix.

You should be able to get the control panel from the RefTagger page very soon—perhaps later today or Monday. I’ll update this post as soon as it is available.

4. Multiple Version Citation Support

Until now RefTagger allowed you to specify a single version to use for all Bible references on your site, but what if you want to cite a version different from your default for comparative purposes? You’re readers could click the link to Bible.Logos.com and then switch versions to compare, but we can do better than that—and we have. Now RefTagger will recognize when you cite a version other than your default and display the appropriate version when you use one of the following three formats:

  • John 3:16 NLT
  • John 3:16, NLT
  • John 3:16 (NLT)

5. Easier Plugin Upgrades for WordPress Users

Our RefTagger WordPress plugin is now proudly hosted at the official WordPress Plugin Directory. This is good news for users of WordPress.org (i.e., the self-hosted version). No more having to manually check for updates. WordPress’s built-in plugin update notification system will inform you when new versions are available, and one-click automatic updating allows you to get the latest version with ease.

This is also potentially great news for users of WordPress.com (i.e., the version they host), who, unfortunately, can’t use RefTagger right now. We’ve been in talks with the folks at WordPress.com about getting built-in RefTagger support for WordPress.com. If our WordPress.org plugin is popular enough, they said they will likely make it available on WordPress.com as well!

So if you’re a user of the self-hosted version of WordPress, please download and install the plugin and give it a good rating. WordPress.com users need your help!

Spreading Across the Web

We’re thrilled to see the response to RefTagger. Dozens of new sites are adding it every day. It’s now on more than 2,600 sites! RefTagger keeps getting better and better because of the helpful feedback you send. If you find a bug or have a cool idea for a new feature, please let us know.

Adding RefTagger to a Movable Type Blog

Movable Type is probably the most common platform for corporate blogging and happens to be the software that we use to power our blogs. It’s also used by many for personal blogging.

Adding RefTagger to a Movable Type blog is can be accomplished in just a few minutes. Here are the steps you need to take to get RefTagger up and running on MT 4.21, which is presently the latest version.

  1. Navigate to your admin panel (http://yoursite.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt.cgi or something similar).
  2. If you have more than one blog, select the blog you want to add RefTagger to first from the main dropdown menu at the top left.
  3. Hover over the “Design” tab, and click on “Templates.”
  4. Scroll down to Template Modules, and click on “Footer.” (If you don’t see anything under Template Modules, then you’re probably using an outdated template. Considering updating to a new one, or see the additional instructions below.)
  5. Scroll to the bottom, and then paste the customizable RefTagger code right before the </body> tag.
  6. Click “Save.”
  7. If you have more than one blog, repeat steps 2-6.
  8. Publish your changes.

You’re good to go. RefTagger is now working on your entire site—no matter how many years you’ve been blogging.

If you’re using MT 3.x or a pre-MT 4 template that lacks built-in support for template modules, you’ll need to add the RefTagger code to the following templates. Repeat steps 4-6 above for each of the following templates:

  1. Main Index (under the Index Templates)
  2. Category Archive (under the Archive Templates)
  3. Date-Based Archive (under the Archive Templates)
  4. Individual Entry Archive (under the Archive Templates)

If you need help, don’t hesitate to send an email to reftagger@logos.com and let us know.

Bible.Logos.com Now in Beta!

Most of us still use desktop applications when we want to do serious work, but web applications are improving rapidly and fast becoming viable alternatives, at least when it comes to basic functionality. Desktop applications simply can’t compete with the convenience of being able to access your data from any computer connected to the web.

That’s why Logos continues to develop web-based tools and applications.

WBSA

A little over a year ago we re-released a site that’s come to be referred to as WBSA (short for “What the Bible Says About”), an interactive online version of the New Nave’s Topical Bible. WBSA allows you to enter a Bible topic and quickly get access to relevant Bible passages.

RefTagger

Then about six months ago we launched RefTagger, a powerful free tool that makes your Bible references come alive and gives websites the feel of your Bible software.

Bible.Logos.com

Now we’re releasing a beta version of our online Bible site.

Why another Bible site? What makes Bible.Logos.com different? Here are a few reasons we think Bible.Logos.com will soon become your first choice for searching the Bible on the web.

  • Efficient UI: Its unique user interface allows you to do more—more quickly and more conveniently—without having to continually load new pages and without losing your place. (1) Search results and Bible text are side by side. (2) Both use infinite scrolling. (3) Switching to a different version is seamless; your location and search results are instantly mapped over.
  • Incredible Speed: It’s blazingly fast. Searches are instantaneous, and pages load in a flash.
  • Smart Searching: It uses cutting-edge fuzzy searching technology so you can search the Bible more like you search the web. Search results are prioritized so you get the best hits first.
  • Seamless Integration: WBSA, RefTagger, and Bible.Logos.com will all be tightly integrated into a growing family of websites allowing you to have a more connected Bible study experience—both on and off the web.

Help Us Test It

As soon as Bible.Logos.com is ready to handle all the traffic that RefTagger is generating, we’re going to flip the switch and connect the two.

This is where we need your help. We’ve been beta testing the site with a small group for the last two weeks, and we’re ready to open it up to a broader audience to help us work out any remaining bugs. We want to make sure that it’s really ready.

Here’s what you can do. Spend 5 or 10 minutes looking up passages, running searches, and navigating through the various translations that are available. Give it everything you’ve got.

Type in things like:

  • all sorts of Bible references using a variety of formats and abbreviations (e.g., Jude; Job 22; Mal. 3:11; Jn 5:5-10; Mt 6.1-3; Rv 4:8-9)
  • words and phrases from the Bible (e.g., good, love, lion, in Christ)
  • words and phrases that you think might be from the Bible (e.g., honor your parents, I love Jesus)
  • words and phrases that sound like they could be from the Bible, but aren’t (e.g., God helps those who help themselves, cleanliness is next to godliness, do your best and let God do the rest)
  • anything you want to (e.g., I’m very tired, drink milk)

Go give it a try.

Please send your bugs and feedback to bible@logos.com or drop us a note in the comments.

Adding RefTagger to a phpBB Forum Site

Over the weekend I got an email from a forum moderator in Australia who convinced the admins to add RefTagger to their site. He requested that we provide some instructions specific to phpBB, which is popular free forum software.

So for all you phpBB forum users out there, here’s how to add RefTagger. (You need to be an admin to do this, so if you’re not, just pass these instructions on to the guys who control the site.)

  1. Log in and navigate to your admin panel (http://yoursite.com/adm/).
  2. Click on the “Styles” tab at the top, and then click on “Templates” in the left sidebar.
  3. Find your template, and click “Edit.”
  4. Click the drop-down and select “overall_footer.html” under the “overall” section.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the code and paste the customizable RefTagger code from the RefTagger page right before the </body> tag.
  6. Click “Submit.”

You’re done. With just a few minutes of work, RefTagger is now doing its thing on your entire site! It doesn’t matter if your site is new or 10 years old or whether you have hundreds or millions of Bible references. You’ll see the results instantly on any page you navigate to on your site.

If you frequent a forum that has lots of Bible references, why not contact the admins and ask them to add RefTagger? We’re happy to provide instructions for other platforms as well. Just let us know: reftagger@logos.com.

RefTagger Now Powering More Than 1000 Sites!

We launched RefTagger at the end of February, and in the six months since it has spread to more than 1,000 websites. Read the press release that went out yesterday: “1,000+ Christian Webmasters Install RefTagger.”

You’ll now find RefTagger powering the sites of major ministries like Grace to You and Desiring God Ministries and a host of church websites like Compass Bible Church and Park Street Church. You’ll also find it on wiki sites like Theopedia and on the blogs of prominent bloggers like Doug Wilson and Ray Comfort.

No matter what kind of site you run or how much traffic you get, if your site has Bible references and you want a simple, free, time-saving solution for providing instant access to the text of Scripture, RefTagger is for you.

For most sites it can be set up in less than 5 minutes. All properly formatted Bible references—past and future—are instantly transformed. You don’t have to do a thing after the initial setup. We even provide step-by-step tutorials for a number of common platforms.

Isn’t time to add it to your site?

Adding RefTagger to a MediaWiki Site

MediaWiki logoMediaWiki is the open source wiki software behind Wikipedia and the lesser known Theopedia, which is now powered by RefTagger. (See an example at http://www.theopedia.com/God.)

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded and installed MediaWiki so I could test it out with RefTagger. It worked very nicely.

Here’s one method for setting it up via FTP access to your site’s files:

  1. Use an FTP program like FileZilla to navigate to the folder where you installed MediaWiki.
  2. Open the "skins" folder.
  3. Locate the file for the skin you are using. The file for the default skin is MonoBook.php. Save a local copy, and a backup copy too.
  4. Open the file in Dreamweaver, WordPad, or your favorite code editor.
  5. Find the </body> tag and paste the customizable RefTagger code from the RefTagger page right above it.
  6. Save the file and upload it back to your server.

You’re done. RefTagger is now transforming your MediaWiki site.

For help with other sites, see the tutorials section on the RefTagger page.

Adding RefTagger to a Drupal Site

LogoDrupal is popular open source Content Management System (CMS) software. Many churches and ministries use it.

A few days ago I got a request from an individual who wants to add RefTagger to his Drupal site but isn’t sure how to get it set up, so I thought I’d provide a quick tutorial.

Unfortunately, Drupal doesn’t allow you to edit the code of your themes from the admin panel, at least not that I can see. But if you have access to your site’s files via FTP, you can add RefTagger very easily.

Here are the simple steps you need to follow:

  1. Use an FTP program to navigate to the folder where you installed Drupal.
  2. Open the “themes” subfolder, and then open the folder for the specific theme you are using. (The default theme is Minneli, which is a subtheme of Garland, so you’ll find the file in the “garland” folder.)
  3. Locate the page.tpl.php file, and save a local copy (and a backup copy too).
  4. Open the file in Dreamweaver, WordPad, or your favorite code editor.
  5. Scroll to the bottom and paste the customizable RefTagger code before the </body> tag.
  6. Save the file and upload it back to your server.

That’s it. RefTagger is now transforming the content of your Drupal site!

If you’re using RefTagger on your Drupal site, please let us know. We’d love to see how you are putting it to use.

For help with other sites, see the tutorials section on the RefTagger page.

RefTagger’s Got Style

When we first launched it back in February, RefTagger simply turned Bible references into hyperlinks to BibleGateway. Then in May we added the ability to have the text pop up when you hover over references, making the web a little more like your favorite Bible software.

Now RefTagger’s got style!

We used to control the look of the tooltip windows. We intentionally made them plain and neutral colored so they would load quickly and work well with the broadest number of websites possible.

Here’s the default look for John 3:16:

We realize, though, that the default style may not be the best fit for every site.

Recently a major ministry that was planning to add RefTagger to their site contacted us and asked if they could override the default styling of the tooltip windows to make them match their site. We thought it was a great idea, so we decided to add it as a new feature.

Now you can have full control over the styling of the tooltips and change the font, font size, font color, background color, padding, line spacing, etc.

Here are some examples of how you can style your tooltips:

You can see customized tooltips in action at the resources section of the Grace to You website and at Desiring God’s Resource Library.

To override the default styling, just follow these three simple steps.

We hope this makes RefTagger an even more useful tool for your website. Thanks for providing great feedback. Please send any problems or further feature requests to reftagger@logos.com.