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  • Scout website hosting service??

    Do any of you use a web hosting service for your troop website that caters to BSA troops?

    We are looking into this and would like links to your host. It needs to be easy to use and not too costly.

    Don't need a lot of features. A place to store forms for download and post announcements & stuff like that.

    If you have been to the school of hard knocks on this topic and want to share your pain feel free to tell me what we should we be looking for!!

  • #2
    If you don't need e-mail addresses or forwarding, then check out Decision Design's scout package at http://decisiondesign.com/decisiondesign/scouts.asp At the "Scout Site Introduction" menu item, there are some links to live websites and 2 sample sites for you to play with as well.

    We use it for our Pack's website at www.palmerpack215.com although they also have a Troop version as well. (Not much is on our site now due to summer, but you get the idea).

    The cost is right ... zero. All you pay for is your domain name registration of about $10 per year through whatever name provider you want.

    Decision Design also has a Yahoo! Group for their webmasters that is monitored by staff, who provide quick turnaround on issues.
    (This message has been edited by AlFansome)

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    • #3
      We purchased a domain name, then created a site through Google Blogger and mapped the name to the blog. Set it up so that others can't post to the blog. You can check it out at http://www.calumetcityboyscouts.org. It costs about $10 a year for that domain name, and the Google hosting is free.

      Also someone in another thread mentioned another Google hosting service.

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      • #4
        We had an old Google pages setup that a scout put together (without our own domain name). However, we decided to step things up a bit and get a hosted site from http://www.mytroop.us/ which has a boatload of features (protected content with logins/passwords, email lists, troop roster integrated with Troopmaster, etc) that we hope to take advantage of. Setting up a new domain name was easy, and we did that through GoDaddy (however, GoDaddy does love its email marketing -- so Be Prepared for lots of it).

        Guy(This message has been edited by GKlose)

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        • #5
          I used freebie web hosting services that cater to BSA troops, even on Scouter.com and TOPO. The problem of freebie sites is that they are limited in resources (storage space, etc.). Worst of all, some sites are loaded with advertisements that it becomes quite irritating! So far, we settle down with gmail groups (sites.google.com). It has what we need, including an online calendar. Best of all, no ads.

          Sometimes, it is good to go with a private space and create your own site and have your troop's site published in Scouter.com, your District website, and/or your Council's website or directory. You can control your site a whole lot better. Just add the annual cost to your troop fee. It shouldn't be more than $2- $3 per scout per year!

          Good Luck,

          1Hour

          ps: one other thing, if you go with a small ISP or webhosting group, if they tank, you will have to start all over. These hosting groups, sometimes, do not keep up with their "non-profit" servers; as a result, the sites will go up and down ... few ... not many. These site owners are doing this with the best intentions. Keeping these servers up takes money and time that they may not have.(This message has been edited by OneHour)

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          • #6
            Scoutlander.com is free, and fairly user friendly. (Requires no HTML knowledge, etc.)

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            • #7
              About this 'scoutlander'

              It claims its intention is for scouts to be able to take over...how is the admin / login handled? I ask this because it may be doable - but I have two troops and may want to pass them off in two different directions.

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              • #8
                I'm not positive, I've only used it for a cub scout website, not a Boy Scout one. I'm fairly certain the permissions are setup differently between the two. (With cubs, the assumption is that only parents will login)

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                • #9
                  I have with scoutlander a site for a Pack as well as the Troop and the settings are the same, they both have a public site where anyone searching a Pack can view it's content and a Private site where the parents will be send a user id and password to login and that's where you put the pictures and other sensitive information.The webmaster can send an invitation to anyone they wish(distant family, ect). The security settings have 3 settings, 1 for scouts(or open permission) 2 parents and adult leaders and 3 for site administrator or Cubmaster/Scoutmaster.Also you can set those settings separate for the different functions.It's advertisement free so no other "content" is shown. you can visit mine and check them out, they are free and great!
                  www.troop461.scoutlander.com
                  and www.pack500.scoutlander.com
                  Good luck seeting this up, is so easy you can have it going in 30 minutes or less.

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                  • #10
                    I want to say THANK YOU for posting the scoutlander link.

                    We tried a google group last year, no one read it. Tried a google page but locked it, folks 'couldn't' log in because they never got the email and couldn't get it to work (look at me trying NOT to roll my eyes)

                    This site looks good. That is, it almost looks parent proof.

                    And thank you so much WolfMama for posting to your packs site. My DeeDee looked at it and decided she wants to run one for her troop and I think I will let the BigBee start one for his. I'm sure there is an age thing and I will need to go on record, but they can do the work.

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                    • #11
                      Check out www.smdscouts.com

                      Its mine. I built it. I dont charge for it. I dont have annoying ads.

                      It has:
                      Online calendar
                      Events
                      FAQ's
                      Photo Galleries
                      Links
                      Committee
                      etc etc

                      It is admin controlled. That is, I dont admin it, you do. You can also keep a roster of you boys in there and use it for an email list.

                      This site follows all BSA and GSUSA website guidelines. I originally built it form my husbands pack, then modified it for my kids cub scouts, boy scouts, and girl scouts. Yes, Three kids, three scouts!

                      Check out a live site... www.carypack457.org (my husbands)

                      oh..one catch...if you want you own domain name, my hosting company charges $15.00 a year. Its not me, its them :0

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                      • #12
                        My son is in a troop that uses a service from silverhosting.us. I'm on the troop committee as the advancement chair and also handle the website. Our site is http://803bsa.com if you want to take a look.

                        The hosting company has a sample boyscout site at http://silverhosting.us/scoutingdemo which you can play with (login as a scout or adult to see what information is available to troop members only).

                        The site has everything we've needed. Troop leadership (scout and adult) are able to enter all the information. Features include group email, rosters, calendar, forms, announcements, scout advancement data, and much more.

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