Getting help - The Support Beacon

We've made every effort to create an easy-to-use, intuitive platform that anticipates the needs, expectations and workflows of our customers, but from time to time you'll inevitably have a question or need some help. So what help is available?

Online support articles

Most questions can be answered by our online support articles. In the bottom-right corner of every page in ChurchSuite is the Support beacon, giving you instant access to all of ChurchSuite's online support articles.

Support article suggestions are related to the page in ChurchSuite that you're viewing. You can also search by topic, phrase or keywords - press Enter after typing your search term to see a list of matching articles within the beacon.

Clicking on an article in the list will open the article to 'preview'. You can scroll and read the article within the beacon...

...or you can click on the article title to view the full-page article in a new browser tab.

If you're unable to find an answer to your question, click on the Ask option within the help beacon to raise a support ticket for the ChurchSuite team - typical response times are within an hour during UK office hours. Support is also monitored outside of office hours and at weekends.

The Support help beacon is available within ChurchSuite in both browser and app environments. You may also like to bookmark the support article library in your preferred web browser:

Case studies

In addition to the support articles covering each of ChurchSuite's modules, the help beacon includes a growing number of case studies, each written from the perspective of practical application - search in the Support help beacon for Case Studies.

ChurchSuite website support

The ChurchSuite website includes a wide range of resources, including a dedicated Support section covering everything from support articles... information on free training videos, webinars, user forms and an on-site training enquiry form.

It also includes branding resources and resources for developers wishing to use the ChurchSuite API or JSON feeds.

There are further sections on the website covering Pricing, Customer Reviews, and an overview Tour of all the modules...

...and you can stay up to date with the latest news and updates from ChurchSuite with our Blog.

The footer of every page in ChurchSuite includes links to specific pages on our website concerning Security, Terms of Service, our Privacy Policy, Acceptable Use Policy, Cookies, and our social media links.

Is there a printed instruction manual?

The short answer is that there isn't a printed instruction manual for ChurchSuite. We'll explain why, and then we'll give you a suggestion if you really do need something in a printed format (if you can't wait for the suggestion, click here!)

Things change visually

The ongoing nature of developing ChurchSuite and the other related parts of the ChurchSuite ecosystem (My ChurchSuite, Apps, Connect, Donate, Embed etc) mean we can't produce a definitive instruction manual. In addition to the new features we release, we're constantly improving and updating existing functionality too. This often results in visual changes to the user interface, which can quickly render screenshots or instructions out of date.

Things change functionally

In response to customer suggestions and our own ongoing development vision, some originally-intended functionality changes over time. Similarly, changes in "best practice" security protocols and changes in legislation require changes to ensure ongoing compliance - for example, changes in data protection law following the introduction of the EU GDPR, or changes by HMRC in respect of UK Gift Aid rules. Consequently, any printed commentary would become outdated.

Browsers and operating systems change

Like ChurchSuite, browsers and operating systems change; sometimes in response to bugs or security fixes; but certainly as they enhance their platforms to compete with other systems. An example of such a change was the move to only allow responsive-enabled websites to show in Google's search engine results. This resulted in significant visual changes across the ChurchSuite platform.

Platforms and devices change

With every new Android, Apple, and Windows operating system release and new device, this inevitably results in changes in ChurchSuite. Hardware requirements change over time as devices get older and new devices emerge.

Organisations change

Yes, resist as we may, sometimes your organisation changes too! New ministries, new staff/team, new ideas, new strategies and priorities. ChurchSuite exists to help serve churches and charitable organisations in meeting the demands of these changes. A good example is the implementation of multi-site functionality. This feature created significant changes across every part of ChurchSuite and any printed instruction manual that pre-existed your multi-sites would now be out of date and incorrect.

The workaround...

Instead of a printed instruction manual, we have focussed on a more effective method of managing and communicating how ChurchSuite works, producing online Support Articles. New support articles can easily be produced in response to a new feature and existing articles can be updated when there are enhancements, fixes, or changes in functionality.

Support Articles are accessible from every page within your ChurchSuite account when you're working in a browser environment (not apps) - they are fully searchable and context-suggested, which means depending on what you're doing, relevant articles will be suggested right where you're working.

Therefore, if you do need a printed manual our suggestion is to use the "print" option (using the printer icon at the top of every support article), to print a PDF file of just those articles you want in your manual. You can save these PDF-printed files locally on your hard drive and then compile them into an instruction manual (e.g. using a PDF tool such as Adobe Acrobat Pro). You can even annotate an article PDF, adding your bespoke notes or instructions. Your compiled PDF manual can then be circulated electronically - we discourage hard copies as the paper usage will be huge!

The ChurchSuite Team

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