To Our Clients: We Love You! (And with Open Source We Love You More!)

To our Tendenci clients –

Today, we released the Tendenci CMS open source (view the Tendenci GitHub Repository here). Tendenci CMS, or Content Management System, is the software that powers your website. We value you, and all our clients, tremendously and want to make sure we reach out to answer some questions you may have about this announcement and how it affects you.

What Does “Open Source” Mean?

Open Source means that the Tendenci code will be available from Schipul for anyone to download and install on a server to create a Tendenci website. The code is free, but it does require a specific hosting environment and programming knowledge to deploy a site. Open Source also means that other developers outside of our programming team can contribute to the code – build plugins, make changes to the interface, etc. The Tendenci “committers” (lead programmers) will remain gatekeepers of the core code, and incorporate the work of these outside developers as we see the benefit to clients.

What Does Open Source Tendenci Mean for Current Tendenci Clients?

In the short term, you probably won’t notice a difference. Your hosting won’t change, your cost won’t change, and your site won’t appear or operate differently.

Long term – The goal in going open source is to develop a larger ecosystem of developers who can update, add on to, and create websites with Tendenci (outside of the Schipul team). For you, this means more features available in Tendenci that aren’t currently, and the ability to customize your site to your specific needs. This also means that if you decide to, you can host your website internally or have another developer host or make updates to your website without Schipul’s involvement. We will do our best to keep our pricing competitive and maintain excellent customer service to continue providing the most value to those hosting with us.

What About Tendenci 4.0 Websites?

Tendenci 4 - Dashboard ScreenshotIf your dashboard looks like the screenshot to the right, your website is currently powered by Tendenci 4.0 – the previous version of the Tendenci software, written in the programming language .ASP.

Since 2009 we have been rewriting Tendenci – Tendenci 5.0 – in the programming language Python, a more advanced programming language that gives us greater flexibility.

All Tendenci 4.0 clients have the same set of modules and features. In the past if a client requested a custom feature, we had to either find a way to roll it out to all client sites, or say no. Several features (for instance a searchable database of Attorneys) are not applicable to all clients, but exist on every Tendenci 4.0 site. The latest version of Tendenci works in a different way. Tendenci 5.0 has a Core that include pages, forms, users, events, etc. that apply to virtually all clients. From there we install additional features that are custom to each client using Plugins. For instance, a client may want a Staff module, Video Gallery, or Locations Module depending on the organization’s needs. Things like workflow, interface, and design can be custom to your organization.

Tendenci 5 is the version of Tendenci that we will be taking Open Source.

I Have a Tendenci 4 Site. Should I Upgrade to Tendenci 5?

Web technology changes frequently. We recommend clients consider revamping their website about every 5 years – so you are utilizing the latest technology and your website reflects your brand in the most current light. That being said, upgrading a website is a process and represents a cost, so for some organizations we understand that budget constraints mean a website redesign may not be at the top of your priority list. We aren’t going to stop supporting Tendenci 4, yet long term all of our clients will need to upgrade to keep up with the latest technology. We hope that the additional features of Tendenci 5 & the lower hosting cost as a result of new efficiencies is compelling to upgrade.

The caveat here is that while Tendenci 5 is far advanced beyond Tendenci 4.0 in many ways, there are specific features that are not yet available in Tendenci 5. For a list of Modules that have changed in the new version, visit this help file.

If you are interested in learning more about upgrading to Tendenci 5, please contact our Business Development team at 281.497.6567 ext 700

How Can I Learn More About Tendenci Open Source?

The details of Tendenci Open Source CMS are available at tendenci.org.

Also follow us online to keep up to date with the latest Tendenci Open Source details:

Additional Questions, Comments, Concerns, etc. please don’t hesitate to email us at opensource @ tendenci.org, or post them in the comments below.

Thank you for being a client!

Tendenci Updates January 19th, 2012

Maintenance Announcement | Planned Website Outage to Upgrade Your Tendenci Database

Sunday January 22nd, 2011 Between 1:00AM and 2:00AM CST:

Some Tendenci Sites will experience a 10 to 15min downtime early this Sunday morning while we upgrade Tendenci 5.0 MySQL Database on client websites.  Please contact us at support@tendenci.com if you have any questions.

Check out all of our awesome updates this week on your Tendenci software for association website management!

This update is so big that you might have to clear and refresh your web browser before you can see the changes on your Tendenci website.  We’ve got a great help file from the Schipul website on how to clear your web browser for you:  https://www.tendenci.com/help-files/how-clear-or-bypass-your-browser-cache-5-seconds/.

Our biggest update this week is our addition of the physical location application – enabling your site visitors to search for the nearest physical location of your organization on your website!

Global Settings and Content Management

  • Searches using the Global Search or File Search now include results from PDF documents stored on your website
  • The Directory “Add” link is now visible by anyone with a login account on your website
  • You now have the option to preset tags when adding a story via query string
  • Updated the stories search page to be translation compatible

Custom Forms Module Updates

  • Increased Custom Form titles from 50 characters to now allow 100 characters for titles

Membership Module Updates

  • You can now paginate through subscribers on the group page
  • Graceful degrading when associating a subscriber with an existing account during import.

Physical Locations Module Added to Tendenci 5.0!

  • Tendenci 5.0 now has the physical locations module
  • Site visitors can search your locations by distance located at, all locations, or nearest location
  • Find the “location” application on your Tendenci admin bar to add, edit, and manage your physical locations
  • When a location is added or edited, the latitude and longitude are auto-saved

Tendenci Template and Design Updates

Tendenci Email Newsletter Marketing Dashboard

  • Your Campaign Monitor subscriber lists now automatically sync when subscribers are imported into a group 

Click Here to learn how to improve your email marketing using Tendenci’s Newsletter Marketing Dashboard integrated with Campaign Monitor’s email marketing software and find other resources for email marketing success!

Not using Tendenci for your website CMS? 

Find out all the awesome things Tendenci can do for your Association with our 30-Day FREE Trial.  Then – show us what you can do with your Tendenci website!

Questions about these Updates? 

Hit us up in the comments or over on Get Satisfaction and try out our newest self sign-up version of the Tendenci Software FREE for 30 days! 

Tendenci Updates January 12th, 2012

We made some new updates to our Tendenci software for association website management this week.

Check out all the awesome things Tendenci can do for your Association with our 30-Day FREE Trial.  Then – show us what you can do with your Tendenci website!

Global Settings and Content Management

  • Added Payment Method as a Field Label on custom forms.
  • Added Two new search filters for user profile search, allowing administrators to search users to view all users with a specific level of permissions and view all users capped at a specific level of permissions.
  • Updated some of the base template code to prevent page display errors when admins forget to upload media to custom page templates.

Membership Module Updates

  • Updated the corporate membership module to allow more design option in custom template designs for corporate memberships.
  • Updated membership entry approval email that goes to administrators with more links to the membership applicant data.
  • Added more information on corporate membership renewal notification.
  • Improved credit card payment verification process for corporate memberships.
  • All memberships now require a membership type at the database level to ensure content validity.

  • Moved the Corporate Memberships Tendenci Navigation Tab to the Membership Entry Application Page, replacing the News Tab.
  • Administrators will now see the Total Number of Memberships when they search Membership Entries.
  • Added a balance to membership entries, which links to the member’s invoice.  This will help administrators better manage their association’s finances and account receivables. 

Career Management Module Updates

  • Updated the Jobs Module to prevent duplicate URL slugs from new job postings that are very similar to previous job postings.
  • Improved indexing for the Jobs Module to increase relevancy of Job Board search results.
  • Add two new search filters for jobs search to allow you to search job postings by their Category and Subcategory.

Tendenci Self Sign-Up Trial Updates

  • Added a new email notification that will send trial/self sign-up customers an email notification 1 week prior to their trial expiration period to inform them their trial period is ending.
  • Currently – trial/self sign-up customers will not have their site disabled when their 30-day trial is over.  We will receive a notice and send them an email the day their site has expired and will update them when the Beta testing has ended at least 2 weeks before we would disable their trial website.

Tendenci Email Newsletter Marketing Dashboard

Click Here to learn how to improve your email marketing using Tendenci’s Newsletter Marketing Dashboard integrated with Campaign Monitor’s email marketing software and find other resources for email marketing success!

Questions about these Updates?

Hit us up in the comments or over on Get Satisfaction and try out our newest self sign-up version of the Tendenci Software FREE for 30 days! 

 

Heads Up – Some Tendenci Sites Are Having Content Display Issues

UPDATE: All Tendenci Sites are Back to Normal – Content is Displaying Correctly

As of 12:45 PM Central, Tendenci sites are displaying all current content once again. If you have any questions, please contact our Support team at support@tendenci.com or call 281-497-6567 ext 411.

Don’t Worry – Your Site Will Return to Normal Before Lunchtime

Newer Tendenci websites are hosted with Amazon Web Services and last night, Amazon updated their servers.  As a result, our index servers did not successfully come back online last night.

What This Means to You

Your website may not show current information and in some cases, you may not see recently added content when you log on to your website this morning.

No Data is Missing

Your data is safe and sound in the database, it may not be displaying correctly on your website.

We are restarting the production index servers and your website is re-indexing as I write this.

Our estimated timeline for all Tendenci websites to be back to normal is approximately 2 hours.

If you have any questions or concerns about something – please contact our Support team at support@tendenci.com or call 281-497-6567 ext 411.

Find Answers Faster with Tendenci’s New Support Menu

The next time you are looking for support for your website – Look Up.  We moved the support menu from your website footer up to the admin navigation bar that sits at the top of each page of your website.  The new Support drop down menu lists all the helpful links you need to learn to use your website, contact our Support team when you have a problem, search our Help Files, and make a payment.

 

What is This Tendenci Guide?

We also added a new Support tool to the menu – a Tendenci Guide.  This walk-through tutorial shows you how to use the different features and tools included with your Tendenci online membership management software.  This nifty guide is a mini-version of your website and is designed to quickly and easily show you how to add new pages and articles, update your home page, create photo albums and more with your association’s Tendenci website.

Easily Update Your Home Page Content!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find Tips that Will Drive New Visitors and Revenue to Your Website!

 

 

 

 

Looking for More Tendenci Training and Support Resources?

We will be continuing to add new tips and pages to the guide and would love your help. Send us your questions and suggestions on what You would like included in the Getting Started Guide.  You can also come search our Tendenci Help Files for additional help and join our newsletter to receive updates on Tendenci Training, software changes, and web marketing tips to grow your nonprofit or professional association’s membership community directly in your email box.

Wondering If You Should Migrate to the Newest Version of Tendenci and How Much It Will Cost?

Should You Make Room in Next Year’s Budget for a New Website?

Photo by Ed Schipul
We’ve made a lot of changes with our newest version of Tendenci this year including re-coding certain key modules and features in Python and Django.  As you prepare your marketing and IT budget for next year – you may be considering whether or not it is time to update your Tendenci website CMS software to the latest version and wondering what the changes we’ve made will change for your website.

A few of you may not need to update just yet and your organization’s website doesn’t require all of the cool new bells and whistles we’ve piled into Tendenci this past year.  Most of our clients find they accomplish better results with their online marketing initiatives when they update their website every 2 years or so.  When to update also depends on your online objectives, the purpose of your website, how large your organization is and how fast it is growing.

Change is a Good Thing

If you are curious about the changes we’ve made in Tendenci – we invite you to come learn more about them through one of our Tendenci Training webinars or call us to schedule a demo for your staff.  We have been getting a lot of questions from clients trying to understand the costs and the work involved in migrating from your existing Tendenci website to the latest and greatest.  Our programmers are adding incredible new functionality almost daily to our Tendenci Online Membership Management Software and we know you’ll just love the new changes as much as we do!

Most importantly, we want you to have all the information you need to clear up any confusion about the process involved with a Tendenci website migration.  I want to clear up any confusion and answer your most common questions today so you will have all the details to add a website upgrade in your 2012 budget.  I also encourage you to Contact Us if I don’t get to your question in this post.

How much will it cost to migrate?

Migration costs will vary from client to client depending on the complexity of your website Design and Layout.  An initial Tendenci migration project can cost anywhere from $2500 to $5000.  This is an average range to tell you what you can expect and we would be more than happy to provide you with a specific quote for your organization’s website – just ask us and you’ll have an exact dollar amount to budget for within 2-3 business days.

We have completely revamped our monthly software and hosting fees alongside the changes in our software’s programming language.  The new pricing plans are month to month, and will flexibly adjust based on the amount of actual traffic and your website asset usage.  You can check out our new monthly software and hosting plans and just ask us if you have any questions.

Will I lose my data from my existing website?

Your data is protected and backed-up throughout the migration process.  In rare cases, something from the old version may not translate in the original format to the new version and may require a change in format.  During the migration, your old website remains live and your visitors and members won’t experience any disruption.

What about my members, events, invoices, etc?

The migration of content will move your member and user databases, events, invoices, files, and other data from your current Tendenci website to your new website.  Some of our modules have been redesigned to include more customization and better functionality.  Memberships, for example, now offer a ton more options and customization and your Project Manager will work with you to help you determine if you want to keep your membership types the same or select to update and take advantage of the new features during the migration.  The event calendar and event types has a brand new look that we think you’ll prefer over your old version.

What is so awesome about this new version anyways?

Our Tendenci Programming team has made so many new feature changes even we are having trouble keeping up with all of them.  Take a look at the still-growing Full List of Tendenci Features and check out what these associations are doing with their new Tendenci websites for some examples.

Schedule a demo and we will walk you through all the new changes and show you how awesome your new Tendenci website would be after migrating as well as answer all of your questions.

Should I update my website design also?

The short answer is Absolutely!

New innovations in web design come out almost every day, site visitor behavior changes over time, and then there is compatibility with different browsers and mobile devices that didn’t even exist a year or two ago.  A redesign will freshen up your association’s online Brand and ensure the best possible user experience for your members and online community.  Migration to the newest version will address and update certain things, like better search engine optimization and improved navigation and user accessibility features.

These updates are your “under the hood” features that your website visitors will experience without really knowing it.  A full redesign is like getting a spiffy new paint job on each of your website’s page templates.  If your website hasn’t been touched in more than 2 years, you will definitely want to consider adding this into your budget for 2012.

For clients who want the newer software and just don’t have the budget for custom design – we understand completely.  We have added new TendenciApp Themes that you can customize color-wise and add your organization’s logo to at a much lower cost than a custom redesign.  Check out our theme gallery and tell us which ones you like best.

Can you make my life sending email newsletters easier while you are at it?

You betcha!  We were feeling the same frustration all of you were with our older email newsletter module in Tendenci.  Our newest version of Tendenci software comes integrated with Campaign Monitor’s Email Marketing Software and gives you the tools you need to create, send, and manage your email newsletters.

In addition to how easy the new email marketing tools are to use, Tendenci’s newsletter integration offers you all the reporting and measurement tools you’re marketing team has been dreaming of – just in time for Christmas.  And the best part is – wait for it – create your email newsletter campaign and schedule it to send any day and time of the week you want and it is sent IMMEDIATELY when it is supposed to.  (Yea – you all know what I’m talking about… ) 😉

Sign-up for the Tendenci Newsletter to receive our own Campaign Monitor-Integrated Newsletter and find out about upcoming Tendenci events, training, and feature changes.

Membership Management Module for Tendenci 5.0 Launches

Tendenci Membership Module Dashboard Icon

At the end of June, we announced the release of Tendenci 5.0 – the newest version of the Tendenci CMS platform that helps businesses, non-profit organizations, and associations manage memberships and events on their websites.   We have made some big improvements in the core membership module between Tendenci 4.0 and Tendenci 5.0 (T5 as we like to call it here at Schipul) and we think you are going to love them!
Tendenci Membership Module Dashboard Icon

T5 Memberships are Customizable

Tendenci Add New Membership Type ScreenshotOur membership management tools enable you to customize the membership titles, membership applications, reminders and renewal notices.  Once you have set-up membership types and imported and approved members then you can also customize your membership directory (listing pages).  The T5 membership module enables your organization to easily create and update the levels of memberships, your communications to your members, and more!

T5 Memberships are Flexible

You now have the ability to set-up a variety of different membership types/levels, different prices for the membership levels and for renewals, length of memberships, management of expirations, grace periods and renewals.  A few examples of how we have increased flexibility in Tendenci Membership Management:

  1. You can create a student membership level that costs $25 and is good for 1 year, and also create a corporate membership that costs $150 that lasts 2 years.
  2. You can set-up a membership to expire in any number of days, months, or years that you would like.
  3. You can have a membership expire with a 30-day grace period, a discount for renewing before the expiration date, and more!

Tendenci Membership Application Screenshot

T5 Memberships are Selective

Want corporate members to receive discounts on job board postings and regular members to be able to apply for free?  With the new Tendenci membership module – you control what content your members can access, can update, and what price they pay for things like events and job board postings.  Members can pay a reduced fee to register for an event and you can control who is allowed to update event photos to a gallery or view and contribute to content on the website.  Having more control over what members can and cannot access allows you to offer more members-only benefits to increase sales of memberships.

T5 Memberships are Unlimited

The different ways you can customize and manage memberships for your organization on your website are virtually limitless and best of all – Tendenci 5 allows for you to have an unlimited number of membership types.

We also make it easy for you to import membership from your Tendenci 4 website when you call us to migrate or if you are not on Tendenci – we can import your members and memberships from a CSV file.

Beginning in August, we will be holding free online webinar training on how to use Tendenci 5.0’s membership management tools and if you would like to find out more about upgrading to Tendenci 5.0 – give us a call and we’ll schedule a live demo just for you.