Big Problems on the Church Website

I have big problems with the Church website because of flaws in the search functions. Many times I search for something that I know for a fact is there, but it doesn’t show up in the search results even when I use the exact “string” to search for it. Often when I limit my search to a specific author, it produces a huge number of hits that include many other authors. There does not seem to be a very effective ranking according to “relevance.” And Google “advanced” search, which I use constantly from my Firefox context menu using a Firefox extension, cannot do a site: search for some reason. Boolean operators are poorly implemented on the Church website, and the search inadequacies frustrate me no end. I love the Church website for what I can do with it, but the search frustrations ruin much of the site’s usefulness, in my opinion.

Have any of you had similar frustrations? How can the LDS online community make a big enough issue with this to get the Church to do something about it? The search technology is available to do a much better job than is currently being done. Maybe the Church needs to get some help from one of the major search engines or consult with tech people in the search industry that know the technology better than those currently in charge of searching on the official Church website. What do you think?

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6 Responses to Big Problems on the Church Website

  1. Kim Siever says:

    It’s not just search that sucks. It’s browser support too. Or rather it was. I had problems from February to April every time I tried placing an order for our ward while using Firefox. I could never complete an order.

  2. I’ve only searched within the Gospel library for Ensign articles, and you’re right. it is bad. But it’s better than nothing, and hopefully will get better in next iterations.

    I get the impression that the church has used BYU students or employees to do much of their web stuff, because it is rather amateurish, especially in the ldscatalog.com, with it’s lack of audit trails, and lack of confirmation of shipping, and lack of invoices either printed or emailed.

    Would I get in trouble if I wrote a letter to the presiding bishopric about the atrocious lack of invoices and audit-able trail for ldscatalog.com?

    I make several purchases per month via the ldscatalog.com web site, and I have a terrible time reconciling my credit card statement with what is ordered, because it often comes in several shipments, and they only bill when it’s shipped, and that is good. But there is nothing, not an email, and not a paper invoice to match up what is shipped with what is billed.

  3. J. Stapley says:

    Those two LDS plugins are search plugins.

  4. Stephen says:

    The output below is from the cache. If you want to bypass the cache, please use the advanced form

    1. Computer
    * Working Freeware World Swedish sv-SE (all4you.dk) by Mighty Pete [Judge it!] [U:26/05/05 V:26/05/05]
    2. Religion
    * Working LDS Gospel Library en-WW (library.lds.org) by Scott Robertson [Judge it!] [U:03/06/03 V:17/09/05]
    * Working LDS Scriptures en-WW (sciptures.lds.org) by Marlo Bell [Judge it!] [U:29/03/04 V:16/09/05]
    3. Shopping
    * Working Marshall Field Semi en-WW (target.com) by Michael L. Abram [Judge it!] [U:05/12/03 V:11/03/04]

    4 plugins found.

    Not the search plug in.

    Darn.

  5. Geoff J says:

    I agree John — the search in the LDS Gospel Library is astonishingly bad.

    Thanks for the tip J — I just added that plug-in.

  6. J. Stapley says:

    The search function on the site is really quite horrible. Surprisingly, the LDS Search Engine pluggins for Firefox work quite well (they show up in the top right corner of the browser). I only use them.

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