Okay, here are a few extra points about us and our work which did not quite fit in anywhere else.
We first started on the internet on November 3, 2001, and our very first site was named museltof christian ministries - yes, purposely spelled with all small letters. In 2004 we moved away from the whole idea of calling anything any name ending in "ministries" partly as a response to the mushrooming of false teachers getting onto the 'net' with many of them having names ending with 'ministries.' We are now Museltof Countercult and Apologetics which explains precisely what we are about. In March 2005 we started up UK Apologetics, for the very first time purchasing web space because we were now determined to only carry our own 'ads' - or none at all. Meanwhile our old Witness to the Word site which dates from 2003, continues. That has a quite separate system but we now also host this on the same web space as UK Apologetics (we had terrible problems with the reliability of the free sites we used to use for it). Yet we have maintained the separate system for 'Witness,' because - as a few have remarked - that site seems to have its own personality which is a little different to either UK Apologetics or Museltof Countercult and Apologetics. However, the search system which we make available on our UK Apologetics homepage will locate articles on any of these sites.
Robin A. Brace, Chief Editor and Writer, March 2007 (updated: January, 2014).
About 92-97% of our web pages will work and function on any browser, but on an increasing number (such as this one) we are now starting to use quite a lot of CSS and we are writing in XHTML. Some older browsers will not be able to cope with this, but the internet is moving forward and we too want to take advantage of improvements in web design and technology to make our pages more attractive and interesting. If somebody e mails to complain that their elderly browser cannot cope with any of our pages we are only too happy to produce a simpler version of the article to help them. The following browsers should have no problems whatsoever:
The sites are controlled by our two computers, the 'master computer' continues to be a Dell Inspiron running Windows Vista Premium with a huge drive (250G) and also absolutely huge memory, something we have badly needed. We added this computer in 2008. In 2013 I found it necessary to re-enter the original system and thus far this is successful.Our 'standby' is now a Sony laptop which we obtained in early 2013. It runs Windows 8.1 and it is fine. Both of these computers have strong firewalls and anti-virus systems.
Mr Brace writes around 70 articles per year for the sites and a few other writers also contribute occasional articles, these include several published writers. Professor Alister McGrath of Oxford University, Britain's senior evangelical theologian, also contributed a major article to us in 2006.
Most days Mr Brace spends anything from 5-9 hours editing, writing, and making various site changes and improvements.
In addition, we receive many Bible questions which Mr Brace personally handles.
When Mr Brace started this group of Christian websites in 2001 he could not have known that by 2007 the sites would be receiving 100,000 'hits' per year and that, with answering Bible questions and writing new articles, this would amount to being almost a full-time job! But as a qualified Christian minister who has problems with degenerative disc disease, as well as angina, this has proven to be an ideal ministry.
Circumstances did not work out for Robin to take up a specific local church pastorate, but as he now says, "The Lord gave me something infinitely better: I now have a "pastorate" which has spread right across the world!"
Mr Brace also continues to occasionally preach locally, although far less than he used to since experiencing a minor heart attack in 2002.
From Robin Brace: "I recall having a conversation with a friend back in 1999. I recall telling my friend that I wanted to develop a Christian website which would reach around the world and capture the attention of a growing number of web surfers who have genuine questions about the meaning of life but who would never, even in a thousand years, wander into a church to ask advice from a minister."
At that stage I had no idea how to use a computer and understood nothing about hypertext markup language or about basic web design, yet on November 3 2001, I launched our very first website on MSN communities and a year later we also started using Our Church.com facilities. Well, things have certainly grown from there, however, I am deeply grateful to Our Church.com because it was our website there which really started to attract attention to our work. While there we grew from having few 'hits' to having an amazing 50,000 'hits' per year (we are now well beyond that!).
Robin A. Brace, 2009. Updated: 2014.
When I first learned that something like 70% of people who enter a website homepage have left again within 30-40 seconds I was quite disheartened. It is up to all webmasters to make their homepages as inviting and alluring as possible if they want people to stay awhile and to read.
But something I have now learned by using Awstats and our other web visitor measuring software is that most website visitors never enter through the homepage! Most of these people will have done a search on Google, MSN or Yahoo and been directed to the precise web article which is of interest to them. Since these people have searched for their topic of interest they are then very likely to read any article right through. We now receive an unusually large number of visitors who stay for 20-30 minutes and our software reveals that in March 2007 alone, 377 people remained reading for over an hour after they had first arrived on site! I am informed that we receive an unusually large number of visits from people who are still 'on-site' 15-30 minutes later. This is naturally very encouraging for us.
Robin A. Brace, 2007.
For those who find the subjects which we cover absolutely fascinating, and many have told us this, there is an advantage in joining our E Letter List. What advantage? Well, that letter (which we send out just once per month with no ads) shows where we have placed our new articles for that month, so that they can be quickly located. Most months we introduce anything from 7-17 new articles and unless one uses our internal search system (on our UK Apologetics homepage), it will be hard to locate anything new. In fact, even our search system does not 'find' our new articles for a few weeks. Go here if you wish to join our E Letter List.
Having looked around the web at other Christian sites we are fairly unique in stating that we DO NOT want people to send money donations into us. We are appalled at the 'up front' financial approach of too many ministries. Jesus said, "Freely you have received, freely give."
We are not a registered charity and there are no tax perks for donating to us. We frankly question the true charitable status of many Christian-type groups who set themselves up as charities for taxation reasons.
In just one month (March 2007), Google, Yahoo, MSN search and Jeeves sent us 3,390 'hits' - these people had searched a specific doctrine or teaching on those engines, then been sent to one or more of our articles. Of course, those who already had us bookmarked and who come regularly are even more than this but this shows what the major engines are accomplishing, and it is huge.
In comparison to this, 'Christian directories' truthfully accomplish very little and only already-committed believers tend to use them. In the same month, 7 Christian directories sent us just 36 visitors! UPDATE: these figures - by 2014 - seem really tiny! We are now well in excess of some of these figures!
In the early years of the internet nobody worried too much about validating pages and from about 2001 until 2004 we were not too worried either, but we have now accepted that the web must have rules which are in everybody's interests and unvalidated web pages may be fine on one browser but may not display at all on others. Well, our entire site is now 95% validated - 90% under XHTML 1.0 Transitional and 5% under HTML 4.00 Trans or 4.01 Trans.
From November, 2006 every single new web page which we make available is routinely validated (mostly under xhtml transitional), before we put it online.