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June 3, 2012

What’s Up With the Web Site?

by tbuegler

You might notice some transitions in the Network’s web site in the next couple of weeks.  I just wanted to give you a quick update on

A sneak peek at the new membership site

what’s happening.

We are switching to a new membership management software piece that I think is going to improve your online experience.  In the past couple of years, we’ve started using several different pieces of software, all of it in the ‘cloud’, to do our work.  We’ve used Constant Contact for our email newsletter, Infusion for our web site provider and TrackVia as our database.  The database was raw, which means that we had to build it from the ground up.  As it works out then, we actually have several different lists to maintain, and the lists don’t talk to each other, which means much of the data work has to be done manually.  As we have grown, this has taken more and more time.

So we have been investigating an alternative.  We are going with Wild Apricot, which is an integrated membership management suite that includes event registration.  We have already migrated our data to the new software, and are initiating membership and renewals within that now.

Wild Apricot actually gives us a second web site, which for now we will use as a ‘membership’ site.  So we will be moving, over the next few weeks, all of the exclusive membership resources to this site.  Our general site will then become the “gateway” for general info, and members can click a link there to get to the member’s site, or will be able to go there through a dedicated URL that we will release as soon as we’re ready.

That’s probably a lot more info than you want to know.  Here’s the basics:

  • Joining and renewing will be easier with fewer steps.
  • Registering for the Extravaganza will be easier as well as much of your personal information will already be in the site and you won’t need to re-enter it.
  • You will be able to “auto renew” if you choose.
  • We hope, this fall, to introduce “multiple-year memberships” that will have a small discount.
  • Eventually, when everything is up and running, the Network will be able to cut some of these other services.

Sometimes in the next week, every Network member will receive an email giving them instructions on how to create/reset a new password for the new site. (or, you can do it right now, if you’d like!)  Unfortunately, with the new system, we will not be able to just transfer passwords from the old system to the new because of system security concerns.

So watch for more information.  We apologize if there is info that you’re looking for that you temporarily cannot access during transition.  If this is a problem for you, please e-mail me at todd@elcaymnet.org and I’ll get you the info for which you are looking.  We will continue to update our Twitter feed and our Facebook page with progress as we move forward.   Thanks for your patience!

Networked in Christ,
Todd

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