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yummy_beatles

Host site for Troop management website

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Our troop uses Scoutlander. It is ok. It is not spectacular. It sometimes seems to have a mind of its own as to when reminders are sent out and to whom, although in all likelihood that is probably human error. I don't know for sure, because the humans in question always deny it's their fault.

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We use Google for our website and it has it's advantages but I am getting frustrated with maintaining it.  It is frustrating when you try and do something and they have changed the way they have you do it.  We did a survey on our website a few months ago and it worked one way.  Everyone was able to get  into it without a problem.  I tried to do a survey last week and they changed the way you have to do the survey and I had issues with some of my parents being able to do it even after I changed it to share with the public.  People have an issue getting to the pictures sometimes and they have to come up with workarounds.  The main advantage is that it is free and we have used it for several years, so I am fairly comfortable with making changes (except when they change the way you make those changes).

 

I am debating whether or not to change to a hosting site like Scoutlander or SOAR and potentially paying.  I am afraid if we change and we have to have people use logins, we may get usage to drop.  Has anyone used both Google and another webhosting site to be able to give me a comparison of other sites vs Google?  Also, how much usage does your website get with the security on the website?  We also like to use our website as a recruiting tool where people can see the things we have done and the security kind of foils that ability, in my opinion.  Any thoughts on that as well?

 

Thanks!

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I am debating whether or not to change to a hosting site like Scoutlander or SOAR and potentially paying.  I am afraid if we change and we have to have people use logins, we may get usage to drop.  Has anyone used both Google and another webhosting site to be able to give me a comparison of other sites vs Google?  Also, how much usage does your website get with the security on the website?  We also like to use our website as a recruiting tool where people can see the things we have done and the security kind of foils that ability, in my opinion.  Any thoughts on that as well?

 

Thanks!

 

We use SOAR/mytroop. My thoughts:

  • Very easy to use and maintain. Templates and widgets work well. Tracking registrations, payments, etc. VERY easy.
  • Ability to secure certain pages and make other pages open.
  • Have many recurring things both events and pages. You can assign others to manage a page or a whole section.
  • Mailing lists you can create are GREAT!!!
  • Security not an issue. Initial set up means everyone needs to have an email in the system then it generates user IDs and passwords. Resetting either is easy. Reminders sent to those not using the system also easy.

I used to maintain the old website and would put 8-10 hours/week in just coding, changes, admin, etc. With SOAR/mytroop I spend about 1-2 hours/week and it is mostly organizing content or putting/taking down stuff. I could farm even that out to someone but I like that small bit of control. Sunday AM cup of coffee and I am done with my week's admin work. ;)

 

Oh, and I can do it on the road, so mobile access to make changes not an issue either.

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I'm a SOAR user and very satisfied with the tool.  But I have noticed over the last ten years, things have changed.  People don't like to sign into web sites.  As such, we also parallel the data in Facebook.  Usually one of the parents is regularly on Facebook.  If not, they can email automatically through SOAR and can access the SOAR site.  

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We moved to SOAR in June- still waiting for the old webmaster to give me access to our domain, but we have the old site auto-redirecting for now. Took me no time to get it setup and running. We have moved most of the content over from the old site, including a decade of photos. We are about to launch online registration for trips instead of emailing PDF permission slips, and this fall we will setup the online payment for trips and dues. The whole committee is very impressed with what we are able to do for $100 a year.

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New Cubmaster here - re-starting a defunct Pack. I took several hours over the summer to look for the best tool, and chose SOAR.

 

Echo all the comments above - automatically-updated email lists is a godsend, setting up sign-ups for an event is easy, and making online payments via PayPal connected to the event is great.

 

I've had several instances of difficulty (one email list not working correctly, another different issue in terms of incomplete documentation) but the email (and even telephone!) support has been great - a complete reply within 4-8 hours.

 

Before that I tried the free Google Sites / other Google resources, and there's no comparison in terms of time, hassle, flexibility, and fit-for-purpose.

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Trooptrack is really cheap and they run the website. On a handful of occasions it has gone down for a few hours but over 3 years that is pretty good. I'd at least look at it.

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We use troop web host for the website you can make some pages and allow calendar or other info to be viewable to the public.

also tracking your advancement and uploading to council works pretty well.

Nobody except a handful of adults log in to the website.  others look at the calendar on the homepage. 

or wait til they get the automated calendar of events that can go out as often as you want it to.

It has so many features we don't use cause nobody really logs in and uses websites.

We actually use gmail for direct communication in the troop,

and use the gmail forms for sign ups for events, cause people wouldn't log in to sign up for events on twhost.

they could log in on their smartphone and have it remember their log in credentials, but I guess that's too much work.

the gmail forms they don't have to sign in, just fill out the name and yes or no for events

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We've been using TroopWebhost for a year as a Troop. Cutting the cord of the Yahoo group that we used for 10 years was the hardest part. We finally turned off the Yahoo group and forced everyone over and it's been working great ever since. Event sign ups and accounting for the events is all handled really well. The Treasurer's life is a lot easier now as is the trip leader who used to manually manage the money. We have a very dedicated adult Webmaster who setup a laptop at every meeting to give demonstrations and teach everyone how to use the site to their advantage. As a leader in the Troop, it's fantastic. 

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