Cloud Server Upgrades in Progress

Clouds from a trip a long time ago...
Clouds from a trip a long time ago…

For the few night owls out there, you may have noticed your sites going offline for 5 to 10 minutes at some point in the middle of the night. Well, some good news! We are in the process of upgrading the Tendenci cloud servers to further increase response time to serve you better.

If you notice anything unusual please contact us at

Follow along on this blog, the Tendenci forums or on github. We’d love your input as we set the milestones for Tendenci 8 even while we are still working on Tendenci 7.1.x.  Your voice matters, you are the ones who we are listening to. And it is your input that sets the roadmap for Tendenci.

We appreciate you. And we believe you will appreciate the performance upgrades as we finish the night-shift updates throughout the week and wrapping up next weekend.

Thank You!

web site quality utilities and ideas

Checking your web site for quality is an ongoing task given the number of authors on a given web site. In this post I’m going to link a few of the tools we use to check up on ourselves. And on clients as they author on their sites as well, right? So here goes:

Pingdom Site Speed Checker

Broken Link Checker because the web changes daily

Ninja Online Spell Checker – free for up to 5 scans per day

Web Accessibility Measurement Tool

View your site like google sees it using “Fetch as Google”

SEO tests are numerous so you can view this post on hubspot and pick your poison

Analyze your site offline by making a static copy and searching the folder. We explained this process here:

Once you have your site in one folder you can use explorer, or finder, or I use sublime text editor to search for content in the files of the entire folder.

find in files with sublime

I do realize there are too many tools out there to list so please google for more. And feel free to comment in the forums if you know of some site evaluation tools that you like. You can register at and post in the forums at

Refactoring Tendenci 7.1


The time has come for us to refactor Tendenci, the fully Open Source Solution for Nonprofits and Associations.


The current version of Tendenci (7.x) has significant changes which are not compatible with Tendenci 5. This has prevented us from publishing the new code to make it easier for new users to install.


We will begin publishing Tendenci 7 as a package possibly as soon as October 1, less than two weeks from now. It may not get pushed out on October 1, but people who are using the open source version and are on the 5.x release need to be prepared. The actual date Tendenci 7 will be pushed out as a package is when it is ready. But please plan on October 1.


Well, if you are hosted on’s servers and we manage your web site then you don’t have to change a thing and it will all just happen in the background. Clients on version 5 will remain on version 5 because of the theme changes made between version 5 and 6. Clients on version 6 will be upgraded to Tendenci 7.1

If you have your own developer or you are a developer, maybe jump over to github and the docs and keep an eye on things for the next couple of weeks. Maybe even submit issue requests for features.

Why are you telling us if there is nothing for us to worry about?

Because not everyone hosts with us and we need to try to make sure their IT team knows the upgrades are possible, but will require your technical team to do them. This is important to us even if they aren’t hosting because they are part of the community.

In fact growing the open source community of people using Tendenci is the biggest driver pushing us to refactor Tendenci. We’re geeks and collaborate on github.


Wait, what does “Refactor” mean again?

It means making it easier for programmers to work on the code. Technically from wikipedia they define it as “Code refactoring is the process of restructuring existing computer code – changing the factoring – without changing its external behavior.”

It’s time to refactor so we have more happy programmers. Tendenci is just too hard to install in the wild right now. That isn’t right. Plus Happy programmers means more contributors and it builds on the virtuous cycle that is what makes FOSS (Free Open Source Software) so cool. It truly takes a village.

Can’t you just contact every one who self hosts?

Unfortunately we don’t have a list and Tendenci doesn’t “phone home” so we really don’t know how many people are using it by self installing. But we care about them and we’re doing everything we can to get the word out. Everyone should be backing up their sites of course, but still, if you click “upgrade” and your layout goes wonky that isn’t fun. No data will be lost, but what a hassle.

If you self host we are working hard on these documents so you can smoothly upgrade your site (after running backups of course)

Where is everything documented?

Over at readthedocs. Click the image below and you’ll be on your way.


What if I self host and I don’t want to upgrade?

You should be fine as long as you don’t try to do an automatic upgrade. And of course you will need to keep an eye on the django project LTS timelines.

If you are on Tendenci 5, because of the changes with the django project itself you will need to upgrade from T5 to T6 and then to T7.1. This is all documented at

If you need legacy files they are linked at the bottom of this post.

OK, tell me the biggest benefit of refactoring again?

A programmer will be able to type “sudo pip install tendenci” and make a few server configuration changes and they’ll have a site up and running quickly. This matters because ease-of-use changes behavior. If you want to move forward, we have to take care of our programmers first! They care about you, so it is a virtuous cycle.

Wait, I want more technical info!

We’re gonna be pushing the technical details to as soon as we get it all tested. We’ll be able to push the master branch to pypi again and life will be grand!

Wait, this stuff is too technical! (the opposite of above question)

I apologize for the technical stuff, but sometimes when working with software it can be technical. Just know that if you self host, talk to your local programmer and they will take care of you with the documentation we are posting at

So if I self host, and my webmaster clicks “update tendenci” and I’m on version 5 my site will break?

Yes. You’ll be able to fix it and you won’t lose any data, but you’d probably want to just restore a backup. And then go to for the technical info.

What if I don’t wanna upgrade ever and my server is completely isolated on a ship in the middle of the ocean? 

OK, well, we like an occasional steak so you have our sympathy for a diet of 100% fish. But secondarily we have all of the historic zip files, that are still on github but will be removed, available for download for some time at 

God Bless America



Designed and fabricated in Chicago by Khaim Pinkhasik (born 1940)

30” H x 40” W SM 626

The American Flag window honors the principles of American liberty and the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The American Flag is a symbol of freedom, justice and the rule of law. The September 11 attacks evoked a global response in support of these universal principles. The international scope of the tragedy was manifest, with citizens of dozens of countries being among the several thousand victims.

It is significant that The American Flag window was designed by a Russian who immigrated to the United States and became a U.S. citizen. Khaim Pinkhasik was born in Minsk, Russia in 1040 and emigrated to the United States in 1980 to pursue artistic freedom. Before coming to the United States, he received much acclaim in Russia for his state-sponsored mosaic portraits of Soviet leaders. Desiring more freedom for artistic expression, however, Pinkhasik came to the United States and settled in Chicago in 1982, where he currently lives with his wife Valentina.


From the Smith Stained glass museum in Chicago

Download a Static Version of Your Site

You should backup your website yourself on a regular basis. It is after all YOUR web site, right?

We see questions in help desk tickets that are usually phrased differently like “how can I get a static version of my site?” or “do you use FTP” or similar but basically it’s the same question. And it is a great question. At Tendenci we believe that while all vendors don’t have to be open source like Tendenci is (full source code available at ) they should at least make it easy for you to get your content. But they don’t. So let’s show you how to get it anyway.

Let’s pretend you want to download an entire static (meaning not-database driven but looks almost identical) version of your site on a Mac. First the free way to do it:

Download wget for your Mac. The easiest way is using the Rudix packages (Note – I’m typing this on Sept 10, 2015 so with time, check it to be sure it is still safe.)


Then you have to launch terminal. I know terminal is kind of scary if you haven’t used it much so I’ll show you a paid version way of downloading your site in a sec. First the “free” way. Launch terminal on your Mac. It should look something like this:


The next line looks complicated. It kind of is, but just copy and paste it replacing the part that reads MYWEBSITE with your web site. You do have to include the “http” part so it’s easiest to go to your site in a web browser and copy it from the address bar.

wget --limit-rate=400k --no-clobber --convert-links --restrict-file-names=windows --random-wait -r -p -E -e robots=off -U mozilla MYWEBSITE

In terminal I highlighted in blue the part that I typed in. In this case I was making an offline backup static site for our client (Dr. Galati is awesome!)


Everything after the blue part (and again copy from where I pasted it above just change the URL to be yours), but everything after the blue part is just the system starting to download the files. It DOES cause load on the server so perhaps don’t run it at lunch or during high traffic times. When it’s done you should be able to see it in finder and it should look about like this.


BUT, this isn’t currently on a web server. Still you can view it in yor web browser by clicking the “index.html” file for example. When viewed as offline files the browser bar look kinda like this:


And BOOM! You have all of your files for free! Even if you made a mistake and went with a proprietary vendor a while back. You CAN get your files.

Bonus round for the uber geeks. If you want to make and build wget on your mac yourself you can use these lines of code (check for newer versions as this blog post ages of course):

cd ~/Downloads/
curl -O
tar -zxvf wget-1.15.tar.gz
cd wget-1.15/
./configure --with-ssl=openssl
sudo make install
rm -rf wget-1.15
rm wget-1.15.tar.gz

Thanks and let’s hear it for Open Source Software like Tendenci. And here’s to open source software like “wget” that allows you to get a static copy of your site even from proprietary vendors and their long contracts. Freedom is good.

Lastly a few (some paid) alternatives to download your site:

For windows you can google it although I can’t vouch for any of these products so be sure to run your virus scanner and watch for bad guys as always.

Streamline Your Membership Management with Tendenci

Are you keeping up with your members in several software tools that don’t always feel connected? Or are you using spreadsheets to keep everything straight? Managing Members is hard work – let Tendenci take care of the heavy lifting to help you manage, communicate with, and grow your members.

Tendenci gives you the flexiblity and ease of use to create an online membership management platform as unique as your association’s community.

Tendenci’s Membership Module allows your organization to manage member sign ups and renewals, member types and groups, search and find members, and set custom tiered permissions as needed – all online through your Tendenci website.


Read More About How Membership Management Can Streamline Your Process:

How do I delete members from my site?

How do I delete members from a corporate membership?

I have deleted a member but the member is still showing up – why?

Tendenci has been helping nonprofits and associations large and small manage their membership since 2001.

For more information please visit us online at

Top 5 Tech Needs of NPOS & Associations: How Does Tendenci Offer Solutions to Address These Needs?

When Khliya Hamilin, led a conversation at NetSquared North, asking nonprofit groups, “How do you want to use technology to achieve your nonprofit’s goals?” conference goers said they were most interested in using technology to:

  • increase visibility
  • engage people
  • recruit & involve volunteers
  • internal collaboration
  • meta-networking

Tendenci’s open source content management software offers solutions in all these areas – some that are available to you on your site that you may not yet be taking advantage of!

Increase Visibility & Engage People

Photo & Video Galleries

Using photos and videos are a powerful way to tell your organization’s story by visually showing off the people and events of your organization.

Tendenci Open Source integrated system includes a complete digital media management package to organize, collect, and share photos, videos, and documents on your website securely and neatly.

Event Calendar

Create a new event in minutes directly from your Tendenci website with our integrated events calendar module.

Add all the event details including location and directions, speaker bios, ticket pricing, images, sponsors on a single page online.

Color code your events by type on your Tendenci calendar to create a visual  experience for site users

Keep Content Fresh with News, Articles, and Stories

rich-mediaTendenci Content Management Software (CMS) gives you the resources to manage and organize your website content without having to know HTML or other complicated programming tools.

Easily add and edit pages, articles, news, stories, photo albums, and more through the Tendenci web interface – helping you to engage both your internal users as well as online visitors.

Recruit & Involve Volunteers

Tendenci’s Membership Module allows you to manage member sign ups and renewals, member types and groups, search and find members, and set custom tiered permissions as needed – all online through your Tendenci website. Easily manage and engage your volunteers with built in newsletters!

Internal Collaboration

Tendenci’s customizable permissions allow you to give access to different parts of the site to those who need it, when they need it.

Split up your administrator! Tendenci allows you to set up different members of your organization to receive notifications on activity that is pertinent to their work such as contact form notifications, event registration notifications, membership sign ups, and more.

Help your internal team and community using our built in help files system. Upload documents and pictures to share with your team and broader community.

Business Directories & Meta-Networking

Tendenci online Business Directories allow you to showcase your sponsors or preferred partners on your website. Business Directories can be organized by category and subcategory, and include graphic logos and search engine friendly descriptions and tags.

Business Directories can generate revenue for your organization or provide additional value to sponsors and partners.

Over 1.4 million users love Tendenci, and we hope that you’ll love it too! For more information visit


Group Dynamics – Only as Simple as People

Frequently I stumble when trying to explain Tendenci is as simple as possible, yet still quite complex. I shouldn’t apologize because people are complex. People > Web 2.0. I mean seriously, step back and look at Amazon or Facebook. (hint: they are complex as all get out.)

How can you make software to serve humans and pretend they are simple creatures when they aren’t! Thus I frequently find myself quoting someone a lot smarter:

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” – Albert Einstein

Which according to wikipedia is an abbreviated version of this quote:

“…the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.” – Albert Einstein

Which leads me to this great presentation on group dynamics.

If you are involved in NPOs and non-profits and use Tendenci, then it is what you already know; groups of people are complex. You can’t tell a hundred year old organization to simplify, you must instead make software that meets their needs. Because people come first. It’s about legacy.

Group Dynamics Slideshare by Swati Gautam found via Googling and enjoyed via reading.

Stay Visible with Newsletters (T6/T7 feature)

You talked – we listened! Generate newsletters and manage your email lists from within your Tendenci website using the customizable Newsletter module. Simple sign up forms, opt-in capabilities, automatically generated content and pre-designed templates make sending newsletters a breeze!

Tendenci Newsletters Content SelectionTo prepare a Newsletter, choose a customized graphical template and specify what website content to include – recent News and/or Articles, Upcoming Events, Recent Photos, etc.

A click of a button pulls all of this content to the Newsletter with links back to your site for more information. Newsletters can be viewed and edited prior to sending so that you can add a personal touch. The first 10,000 newsletters sent each month are FREE!

Read more: How Do I Create A Newsletter?

Ready to send newsletters on the fly?  Contact us at


More Recently Added Help Files

Learn more about how to make the most of your Tendenci website!

Elon Musk on Work Ethic

“Constantly seek criticism. … A well thought out critique of whatever you are doing is as valuable as gold.”- Elon Musk


“If you do the simple math, if somebody else is working 50 hours and you are working 100, you’ll get twice as much done in the course of a year as the other company.”

“Just work like hell. You’ve gotta put in 80, 100 hour work weeks.” – Elon Musk

“Starting a business. Number 1 is having a high pain threshold.” – Elon Musk

“You are always going to buy the trusted brand unless there is a BIG difference.” – Elon Musk

“Constantly seek criticism. … A well thought out critique of whatever you are doing is as valuable as gold.” – Elon Musk

“Usually your friends know what is wrong. They don’t want to tell you because they don’t want to hurt you. … Usually your friends are right. …. You should take the approach that as an entrepreneur you are wrong. You want to be less wrong.” – Elon Musk

#listen #endure #powerthrough #succeed

The Blog for Tendenci Open Source Software for Non-Profits & Associations. Posts on software updates, Open Source technology, and NonProfit marketing tools & strategy!