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Contributor II

Local section website editing/management - what tools are you using?

The Chicago Section is interested in upgrading its website to establish a more integrated, robust web presence. we're interested in learning others' experiences. We're looking to choose between four options - which one is most like yours, and how do you like it? How did you choose that (or just fall in to it)?

  1. Simple web hosting with webmaster-driven html/php/etc coding by Dreamweaver or some other sophisticated tool
  2. ACS-coordinated web hosting
  3. Utilization of a fully managed service (considering the offerings of Star Chapter), which cost $150-200/mo but includes everything we could want
  4. Construction of a site based on WordPress (free) framework with other (free) tools,plugins, and embedding of external tools

For the new site, we've developed a few criteria:

  • Authoring and posting documents and editing pages has to be simple enough that people with no skills beyond Word and email can do it (thus devolving traditional webmaster duties to the committee chairs)
  • It must include a subscribable calendar, like an embedded google calendar in which the section can post and change events, and members who subscribe automatically always have the most up-to-date schedule and links
  • We must include event management tools (speaker title, info, abstract, calendar entry, ticketing, payment by credit card and perhaps paypal, analytics of attendees), either new independent ones or just the capability to embed information from Eventbrite, which we currently use.
  • Mass email capability for 4000-5000 people free or cheap (we hear that ACS will be offering this service for free to local sections soon)
  • Capability to embed videos
  • Desired: semi-automated html newsletter creation based on content posted to the website
  • Desired: Membership management tools
  • Minimal time commitment after creation, amenable to administration by three to five people
  • Ability to easily import 21 years of archived content (~2 GB)
  • Affordable or free

All help is appreciated. Thanks.

- Josh

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Re: Local section website editing/management - what tools are you using?


Thank you so much for initiating this discussion, and for sharing your system criteria.  In 2011, when I was chair of the Georgia Section, I attended the Local Section Leaders Webinar, in which I learned that ACS is
promoting the Webs
service (Webs) use by local sections, and that more than 110 of the local sections are already using this service.  I'm not sure whether this is the service you're referring to in your item 2. ACS-coordinated web hosting. 

Since every local section is faced with the issue of selecting the best system for its website, it seems like the Local Section Activities Committees should initiate a project to compare the functionalities of major web hosting services and systems, and to draft a generic set of requirements, so that local sections could leverage this information as a starting point, rather than every section having to start from scratch.  This could be done under contract with an outside company, or possibly in conjunction with ACS's own IT staff. 


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