4 Tendenci Clients Nominated for AMA Marketer of the Year Award

Marketer of The Year Awards Logo 2013

Every year, the American Marketing Association (AMA) gives out the coveted Marketer of the Year Award to companies in 26 different categories. Ranging from the Performing Arts or Healthcare to Restaurants or Sports.

This year, YMCA Houston took home the overall AMA Houston Marketer of the Year Award for 2013.

A total of four Tendenci clients received awards for exceptional marketing in their fields. For 2013, the winners are:

  1. YMCA of Greater HoustonSocial Services & Marketer of the Year for 2013
  2. T-REX Engineering + ConstructionEngineering/Construction
  3. The Children’s Museum of HoustonArts: Institutional
  4. Miller Outdoor TheatreVenues and Arenas

 

YMCA Houston Homepage ScreenshotYMCA of Greater Houston

For more than 125 years, the Y has served the community through health and wellness programs for children and families.

The Y’s mission to “put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all” is carried out through summer camps, community benefit programs and health initiatives.

Congrats on the AMA Houston Marketer of the Year Award for 2013!

 

T-Rex Engineering & Construction Homepage PictureT-Rex Engineering + Construction

Since its creation in 2001, T-Rex has been a leading company in engineering and fabrication for the energy industry both in Houston and around the globe.

They offer equipment and services for offshore drilling for oil and gas and are a leader in EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) for the energy industry.

 

 

 

 

Children’s Museum of HoustonChildren's Museum of Houston

The Children’s Museum of Houston has been a fixture of Houston since 1980.

With more than 14 exhibits, Children’s Museum of Houston has dedicated itself to “transforming communities through innovative, child-centered learning” and currently sees more than 850,000 people annually through its doors.

 

Miller Outdoor Theatre Website Homepage PictureMiller Outdoor Theatre

Miller Outdoor Theatre is located on about 8 acres of land on Hermann Park.

Since 1923, it’s provided professional entertainment, free of charge, for the Houston community.

Performances range from modern dance or musicals to live jazz or classic films.

 

 

 

We’re Proud of Our Clients!

Congratulations again to all of our wonderful clients on their nominations and awards! To see more of our awesome clients, click here and read on.

Tips for Taking Action with Analytics Data: Intro to Google Analytics Webinar Recording

As an Analytics nerd, I was thrilled to have lots of registrants for our recent Intro to Google Analytics webinar! We frequently get questions from Tendenci site webmasters on Google Analytics, particularly from clients who aren’t quite sure where to start to interpret all of the data Analytics provides. It can be a lot to sift through.

The focus of this webinar was not only which reports to focus on when reviewing your Google Analytics Data, but also what to do with that data. We spent a lot of time discussing taking action based on the reports you find in Analytics.

We recorded the webinar and have posted it as a Help File on Tendenci.com, and below. Enjoy!

Webinar Agenda

  1. Getting Started with Google Analytics
  2. Top Reports to Focus On
  3. Goal Tracking
  4. Benchmarks
  5. Making Decisions with the Analytics Data
  6. A/B Testing and other Analytics Tools

Watch the On-Demand Webinar Video

 

Webinar Highlights

A few notes from the webinar on interpreting Google Analytics reports to turn that data into action:

Questions to Ask When Interpreting Any Google Analytics Report

When reviewing any Google Analytics report, take into account the following questions:

  1. How does this compare to last month? Last year?
  2. Is this data what you expected (top keywords, top content, geography, etc.)?
  3. Can you add more content around popular topics/keywords?
  4. Can you make content/keywords you don’t see listed more findable or put a more unique perspective on it?
  5. What keywords are missing from your list? Can you add content around those words?
  6. Look for surprises – is this a rising trend? How can you take advantage?

Ideas for Generating Interesting Content

The best way to rank well for a keyword is to have content on your website around that topic. Once you’ve come up with a list of topics that you would like to bring in traffic around, brainstorm content you could add:

  • Top 10 Lists
  • Piggy back off of Hot Topics/In the News
  • Use Infographics
  • Post How Tos/FAQs (what questions are you getting asked all the time?)
  • Tag People (they are likely to share your content!)
  • Include Local Content
  • Revisit/Update Popular Content (make it a series)
  • Think about other types of content you can utilize (your most popular blog post might make a great video)

More Google Analytics Questions?

What other Analytics questions do you have? Leave them in the comments and we’ll do our best to address them in future webinars and blog posts!

Demo: The New Tendenci Dashboard!

A few weeks ago, we announced that the new Tendenci Dashboard would be rolling out to Tendenci 5.1 sites!

Today we wanted to share a quick video from Eloy Zuniga Jr., one of our Tendenci Programmers, as he demos the features of the new Tendenci Dashboard. Check it out!

 

Tendenci Automatic Updates

Tendenci sites hosted with us get automatically updated as we roll out new features like the Tendenci Dashboard! Look for more coming soon as we continue to add features and expand Tendenci even more!

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact our Support Team at support.schipul.com or (281) 497-6567 ext 411!

What NPO Software Success Really Looks Like

success

This image came up as a topic of conversation in a meeting we had this morning and I wanted to share it. It is a pretty accurate description of the open source rewrite of Tendenci from the ground up over the last four years. And I’m pretty excited about the software moving away from the squiggly part on the right in this image from Henry Bloget’s blog post.

success
What People Think Success Looks Like Vs. What It Really Looks Like

Oh don’t worry, we’ll attack new challenges and make new squiggles which will make people think we are off track, or losing it, or “freak them out” as we get to the end of a road and go “oooops, that didn’t work.” But now we know that didn’t work.

It also reminded me of some of Hugh’s quotes in his book Not Sucking that I have always liked. For example:

THERE IS NO SECRET SAUCE

WORK HARD. LIVE QUIETLY. BE FRUGAL. SIMPLIFY. NEVER COMPLAIN. CONSTANTLY ELEVATE YOUR CRAFT.

Sure, a bit of talent and good for­tune comes in handy. It’s nice that you could draw bet­ter than any other kid in your small town, or that your parents had the money to afford ten­nis les­sons after class.

But that just gets you to the star­ting line. The actual race is what hap­pens after that, day in, day out, for many years to come.

And the ones who win, the ones who really ele­vate their craft, are gene­rally the ones who work the har­dest. Life is unfair.

People underestimate the power of hard work. I like that he simplifies it all into Creativity, Mastery and Meaning. He doesn’t lie to you about a four hour work week, or tell you you have to wear Gucci to be happy, he doesn’t even list being happy as a goal. Meaning, Mastery and Creativity are how you don’t suck. Being happy is what happens when you don’t suck. But not always, because it’s hard work.

The best way to not suck is to MASTER something use­ful. Obvious, yes?

Then he drops the story of Jiro on me. (my commentary is below this long excerpt from Hugh’s post).

The thing is, I know TONS of super suc­cess­ful peo­ple, but none of them fit this extreme, celeb-lottery-winner-Reality-TV model. Some of them are actually pretty boring, to be honest. But they lead happy, friendly lives and do VERY well career-wise.

THAT is what most suc­cess looks like, if you think about it. The stuff on TV or in the movies just isn’t REAL enough for us to learn that much use­ful stuff.

So I was thin­king about this again, recently, HARD.

What model would work for folk like you and me? A model that didn’t mean you had to sell your soul to Wall Street, Holly­wood, Washing­ton or the tabloids? A suc­cess model that doesn’t rely solely on the unli­ke­lihood of outra­geously good for­tune or acts of evil?

Then quite by chance, I saw a great docu­men­tary recently: “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, a film about the world’s grea­test sushi mas­ter, and a light ­bulb EXPLODED in my head.

Our man, 85-year-old Jiro Ono is the world’s grea­test sushi chef– the only sushi mas­ter to ever have been awar­ded three Miche­lin stars. He’s also the oldest per­son to have ever been a reci­pient of that award.

The thing is, he doesn’t have a lot of money or own a fleet of trendy res­tau­rants in all the world’s capi­tals, a-la Wolf­gang Puck. No syn­di­ca­ted TV shows, celebrity-chef book deals or TV talk-show cir­cuits, either.

He just has just a small, plain, dull, ordi­nary-looking, low-key sushi bar with ten seats in the base­ment of a Tokyo office buil­ding, near the sub­way, the kind of non­desc­ript place you’d pro­bably just walk by without stop­ping, if you saw it. Ten seats! Yet he REALLY IS the best in the world at what he does.

Jiro works seven days a week, over 350 days a year (he hates taking vaca­tion), ser­ves sushi and sashimi to peo­ple in very small num­bers, and THAT’S IT. Just sushi. No salad, no appe­ti­zers, no deserts.

Like I said, JUST SUSHI. And by stic­king to this mini­ma­list, bare-bones for­mula, he’s become the best in the world.

A tiny little sushi bar in some ran­dom sub­way sta­tion. Yet peo­ple wait in line, peo­ple book a stool at his sushi bar as much as a year in advance, at pri­ces star­ting around $600 a head. Peo­ple have been known to fly all the way from Ame­rica or Europe, just to expe­rience a 30-minute meal. In an office basement!

I read that and felt humbled. And befuddled. And yes perhaps a bit justified.

I’m also really happy to know others are like me. I don’t particularly consider myself successful but I expect it will all work out. I have many blessings and I work with great people. I have a wonderful family. I’ve also had my share of loss and plenty of criticism, which I have learned comes with the role of CEO even for a small company (note: there are no books on how to be a CEO. You just do your damndest to learn fast!)

Hugh MacLeod

Back to Jiro. I get him. For me, I have been obsessing about one single software product called Tendenci built specifically for associations and non-profits for 13 years now. I’ve had a lot of help. I’ve never wavered nor lost the passion to keep improving it. I’m truly obsessed with making software in a way that makes our CLIENTS successful.

I started it in 2001, (the tech bubble had burst) on the premise, after reading hundreds of marketing books that clients who made money off of your software wouldn’t leave you. That they might forgive a missed deadline, but they would not forgive a security breach. That they wanted the freedom to leave at any time. So all of our clients were sold month to month, export your data and leave whenever you want. (this was before open source was an option and before PHP was around.)

What started on the Microsoft platform is now rewritten by a a great team of programmers who work here, and outsourcers, and hopefully more and more by people in the community. It is now Django/Python/Postgres and Ubuntu. We are working hard, and I am obsessing on adding donor management that integrates with Salesforce Foundation’s free licenses for non-profits. I’m completely obsessed with giving NPOs an alternative – that they can succeed on both bottom lines, financial and causes, and put more of their money and time towards the cause instead of spending 10k/user for Raiser’s Edge.

Can a 13 year old product built on Django give NPOs a real alternative to Raiser’s Edge and Blackbaud? And can it be an OPEN SOURCE product that you can integrate, extend, and experience with no vendor lock in at all? The odds are against me. And there are only 10 stools. And my obsession with achieving this success grows stronger every day, and it is not because I know anyone at Blackbaud.

I’m obsessed with collaboratively building Tendenci not because of what the software itself can do. I’m obsessed and seeking mastery because of what global-non-profits can do with the first open source Python software built specifically for them.  That is my passion.

 

 

 

 

PyCon US 2013 – Python Conference in Santa Clara, Californa

[![image][audience]][audience-link]
[Photo by Eloy Zuniga Jr.][audience-link]

### You’d like it

For those of you who love to tinker with things or reverse engineer them (destroy them) to figure out how they work, [this is your place][pycon-url].

It’s always great to see the latest and greatest being invented by **2500** of your closest friends. When services and features are extremely undervalued and success is at it’s infancy.

Have doubts about the size of this annual event? [Check out the sponsors][sponsors].

I’ve been a programmer now for more than 10 years and a Python developer for over 3 and I can sincerely say I may never grow old of this stuff. It keeps me young, can I say that? Just did.

### What you’ll see and maybe learn

What to expect when your “[Excepting][exceptions],” little bit of nerd humour there, don’t mind if I do. But seriously, what should you expect if you come on down?

[![image][photo-guido]][guido]
[Photo by Ed Schipul][guido]

1. Well we have lightning talks with rapping programmers. [Listen to this intro][lightning-talks].

2. We have the benevolent dictator which only [speaks genius][keynote]. One of these days I’ll be able to understand his entire talk. AKA the creator of Python.

3. [The creator][keynote2] of the [Raspberry Pi][raspberry-pi]. A less-expensive computer that’s providing for those on the other side of the digital divide.

4. People sporting the latest technology such as [Teslas][tesla] and [Google Glasses][glass]. Maybe the car had more to do with the fact we were in California.

[![image][photo-tesla]][tesla]
[Photo by Ed Schipul][tesla]

### Tell me more about these “Lightning Talks”
Anyone attending PyCon can have 5 minutes to talk about anything that is *remotely* associated to Python. Bright minds are sitting in the audience, they could be sitting next to you … you could be one. So why not let them speak.

For 5 minutes you can talk to one of the widest Python audiences you’ll probably ever encounter. Talk about a pet project, do a little venting, bring a community together and promote your conference.

Just be careful, developers tend to be highly sensitive to the ole sales-pitch.

### See you next year

We had a great time — I hope this is obvious — we did a lot of learning, and we hope to see you next year.

[![image][photo-group]][group]
[Photo by Ed Schipul][group]

### References

1. [Full List of PyCon US 2013 Videos][pycon-videos]
2. [Photos taken by Ed Schipul][pycon-photos]
3. [PyCon 2011 Blog Post][pycon-2011-blogpost]

[pycon-videos]: http://pyvideo.org/category/33/pycon-us-2013 “PyCon US 2013 Videos”
[pycon-photos]: https://www.tendenci.com/photos/set/58/ “PyCon US 2013 Photos”
[pycon-2011-blogpost]: https://blog.tendenci.com/pycon-2011/ “Pycon US 2011 Blogpost”
[lightning-talks]: http://pyvideo.org/video/1853/friday-evening-lightning-talks “Lightning Talks”
[exceptions]: http://docs.python.org/3.3/tutorial/errors.html “Errors and Exceptions”
[keynote]: http://pyvideo.org/video/1667/keynote-1 “Keynote Guid Van Rossum”
[keynote2]: http://pyvideo.org/video/1668/keynote-2 “Keynote Eben Upton”
[raspberry-pi]: http://www.raspberrypi.org/ “Raspberry Pi”
[audience]: http://distilleryimage2.s3.amazonaws.com/fc91835c8d8e11e2beb722000a9f3ce2_7.jpg “PyCon US 2013 Audience”
[audience-link]: http://instagram.com/p/W4pwjGHu4G/
[guido]: https://www.tendenci.com/photos/1604/in/58/
[photo-guido]: https://www.tendenci.com/photos/1604/640×360/
[sponsors]: https://us.pycon.org/2013/sponsors/
[pycon-url]: https://us.pycon.org/2013/
[tesla]: https://www.tendenci.com/photos/1614/in/58/
[photo-tesla]: https://www.tendenci.com/photos/1614/640×360/
[glass]: http://www.google.com/glass/start/how-it-feels/
[group]: https://www.tendenci.com/photos/1599/in/58/
[photo-group]: https://www.tendenci.com/photos/1599/640×360/

Register for 2013 Tendenci Training Events! In-Person Tendenci 5 Workshops

Tendenci Logo

New to Tendenci? Looking for a refresher? Have a new board member, volunteer, or staff member you’d like to train up? Register now for one of our free in person classes!

2013 is in full swing and we’re getting things started right by ramping up our Tendenci Training Classes! We’ve added SIX new Tendenci 5 Training Events to the calendar!

These events will be hands on training in our offices in Houston, Texas covering the Tendenci 5 software platform with our team members.

These classes are FREE but space is limited, so please Register to reserve your spot using the links below or the Tendenci events calendar!

See all upcoming Tendenci Events on our events calendar at Tendenci.com/events

 Upcoming In-Person Tendenci Training Events!

Tendenci January 23 Training Event

January 23, 2013

Tendenci Website Management Workshop

2:30 – 4:30 PM

In person in the Schipul offices:

11757 Katy Freeway Suite 930, Houston, TX

See Details & Register Now!

 

Tendenci January 30 Training Event

January 30, 2013

Tendenci Website Management Workshop

2:30 – 4:30 PM

In person in the Schipul Offices:

11757 Katy Freeway Suite 930, Houston, TX

See Details & Register Now!

 

Tendenci February 6 Training Event 2

February 6, 2013

Tendenci Website Management Workshop

2:30 – 4:30 PM

In person in the Schipul Offices:

11757 Katy Freeway Suite 930, Houston, TX

See Details & Register Now!

 

Tendenci February 20 Training Event

February 20, 2013

Tendenci Website Management Workshop

2:30 – 4:30 PM

In person in the Schipul Offices:

11757 Katy Freeway Suite 930, Houston, TX

See Details & Register Now!

 

Tendenci February 27 Training Event

February 27, 2013

Tendenci Website Management Workshop

2:30 – 4:30 PM

In person in the Schipul Offices:

11757 Katy Freeway Suite 930, Houston, TX

See Details & Register Now!

 

Tendenci March 27 Training Event

March 27, 2013

Tendenci Website Management Workshop

2:30 – 4:30 PM

In person in the Schipul Offices:

11757 Katy Freeway Suite 930, Houston, TX

See Details & Register Now!

 

See all upcoming Tendenci Events on our Tendenci Events Calendar at Tendenci.com/events

 

Questions? Let us know!

If you have any questions about this workshop, if it applies to your website software, or suggestions for future Tendenci Live Workshop events, then contact us and we’ll help you out!

 

An Events Calendar Tool Powerful Enough to Handle 2013 – Twelfth Day of Christmas Gifts from Tendenci to You!

merry christmas frame spegcs calendarComing to Tendenci Websites in 2013: Event Management and Registration Features You’ll Love for Your Festivals, Galas, and Fundraising Events!

2013’s going to be a Big Year, and Tendenci’s working on new updates to your online calendar and event registration module because we want to make sure this is your biggest year yet!

On the 12th Day of Christmas, Tendenci’s Gift to You: Twelve New Updates to the Events Calendar Module!

Here’s 12 new features and updates we’re making this year to the Tendenci Events Calendar module to help you manage online registrations for your association programs and fundraising Gala’s.

** We’ve got even more event module updates planned for Tendenci’s 2013 Roadmap, and this list is just to give you a taste of the delicious treats we’ll be adding to Tendenci in 2013!

You’ll Love Creating New Events With These New Features

1) Import and Export Events

events import option coming soon
Soon You Can Import Multiple Events with a CSV Template!

We’re super excited about this feature because it will make it faster for you to create multiple events simply by importing all of the text and dates in a spreadsheet, instead of having to create and type in all of this information manually for each event.

2) Default Custom Event Registration Forms

Now you have the choice of using  the default event registration form, or our improved custom event registration forms. We listened to your feedback this year and the new custom registration forms now have predefined  fields that integrate with the website’s database and user records for reporting and simplify the time it takes you to create and customize a new registration form.

custom event registration form
We’ve simplified custom event registration forms for you!

If you want to use a custom registration form now, you already will find a default form with the standard contact information handy to add or remove to your form simply by checking a box. You can also customize which fields on the custom form also display on the event roster. Now you can ask what t-shirt size or special meal requests your guests have without the time involved with creating a brand new form.

3) Schedule Automatic Email Reminders to Attendees

email reminders automatically when you create event
Upload Images and Format Event Reminders to Match Your Association’s Brand

When you create new events, you’ll find a new option that enables you to send email reminders to your attendees that you create and schedule. Tendenci will automatically send the reminder for you, so you don’t have to remember to remind your registrants!

4, 5, & 6) Three New Ways to Promote, Search and Display Your Eventspriority groups and event type filtering new options

4) More Search Options

We’re adding more searchable field filters to the events module so your members can find the events most relevant to each of them. You’ll be able to search your events by date, event type, membership and user group permissions, and more!

5) New Priority Event Feature

You’ll soon find a new Priority checkbox on your new event forms. When you check this, Tendenci will keep your events on top of your events search list, and add a Star icon to your month view calendar. Now you can highlight your main events each month to help your members decide which events to attend.

priority events search and month views
Tendenci Makes Your Top Events Our Priority Too!

Here’s some fun ideas on how you can use the new Priority Event feature:

  • National Associations can feature a different Chapter’s programs and events each month to increase engagement from your different local chapter members!
  • Use the Priority events to promote membership engagement and offer prizes for those who attend every featured event this year!
  • Increase Corporate Sponsorship and Corporate Membership dollars by offering to add your supporting partners’ events to your calendar with the Priority feature setting for higher level packages.

6) Group-based Permission Settings for Displaying Events

This feature will enable you to designate certain events as “belonging” to certain user groups or membership types and allow you to do some really fun things with how events are displayed on your website. For example, one of your study groups could have their monthly study meetup on your event calendar and you’d assign the event to their study group.

Then, you could create a sidebar or box that would only display upcoming events from your event calendar that are assigned to that study group on the study group’s main information page. Members of the study group could visit the study group page and also see upcoming events specific to the group and you only have to add the event once to your calendar to share it in multiple places on your site!

Better Registration Experience for Your Users!

You want your website to be fun for your users and members in addition to your staff, and we’re making big changes across our website to provide better user experiences for your online community members. Here’s some of the ways we’re making registration for events simpler for attendees.

7) Fewer Steps to Register and Pay for an Event

We’re streamlining our registration form so that event registrants can go through as few clicks as possible when purchasing tickets and RSVP’ing for your association events. For most events, your users will be able to add multiple event attendees, select member versus non-member pricing, and view their total all from one registration page.

Adding new registrants is as easy as clicking a button – literally! Just click “Add Another Registrant” and a new section for the registration form will appear below the first registrant. Click to add as many registrants as you need and then submit just once to register and pay for everyone.

registration form for events default
We’re Streamlining Event Registration Process for Your Attendees!

8) Your Users Can Find and Manage Their Events for You!

With the new “My Upcoming Events” option, your members and regular event registrants can now search for events they’ve signed up for, update any of their registration information, cancel events, and add the event to their calendar using the Event ICS option from one place.

new my upcoming events feature
Your members can find and manage their event registration information!

Bonus for You and Your Staff:  this empowers your members to manage their own event registrations, view outstanding balances, and make payments on your website. This means your event manager doesn’t have to handle as many of these admin tasks and she can focus on all of the important tasks!

9) Updated Email Template for Event Registration Confirmations

We’ve made a few small updates to the default system email template that your website sends to registrants and confirms their registration along with their receipt for paid events.

The new email template includes an image and uses more of the formatting from your events’ description fields to give your event confirmation emails a look and feel that more closely matches your website’s Event Page. We’ve also made some updates to the helpful links section of the email to ensure your event registrants can find all the information about your event details as well as manage their outstanding balances and registration information.

images in email confirmation
We’re Updating the Look and Feel of Event Confirmation Email Templates!

10) Your Event Roster Now Tracks Attendance

Your event roster has a new “Attend” checkbox where you can mark who attended an event from the roster on your website. If you don’t have internet and a web browser at your event, then you can also print the roster with the Attend checkbox. After the event, take your printout and update the roster on your website with who attended so you can better track and measure attendance for your events.

event roster screenshot
Tendenci Event Roster to Manage Registrants

This is a huge benefit for large events where you have a team of volunteers handling check-ins. They can all be logged into your website and click to check off the people who they’ve confirmed at the event simultaneously!  The next day, you can log into your site and see at a glance who attended and didn’t. You can even view what time they were checked in.

11) Search and Manage Event Registrants Individually

The Event Roster is more intended for you to use to manage all of your event registrants in a batch, and when you need to find a specific registration to cancel or edit – you’ll be seeing some updates here also. We’re adding more information about the registrants to the view, and we’re integrating the event registrant’s contact information and site activity with their user profile on your website.

event registrant search
Manage Individual Event Registrations in Tendenci!

12) Improved Batch Management for Events

On the 10th Day of Christmas, we shared our updates coming to your site’s Admin Backend. You’ll love the updates we’re making that enable batch filtering, editing, and deleting event types, custom event registration forms, and discount codes from the Admin Backend.

Here’s a preview of a new feature that will let you reassign event types:

reassign and manage event types
Keep Your Events Calendar Up-to-Date with Your Association’s Many Changes!

You can quickly change all of the events of one type to another type. Most associations experience lots of changes as they grow and we see features like this helping you keep your website fresh and reflecting the latest changes without demanding lots of time from you and your staff.

Sign-Up for Tendenci 2013 Updates

Keep an eye out on the Tendenci Events Calendar because in 2013, we’re adding new training and workshops for our Advanced Tendenci users. We’ll also start posting scheduled maintenance and software updates, speaking events, and major announcements to help keep you in the loop with what we’re doing at Tendenci.

We are constantly exploring new ways to keep you in the loop with what we’re changing here at Tendenci. Let us know how you like to find out what’s going on here at Tendenci!

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM TENDENCI!

We’re celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with daily previews of the all new Tendenci Features coming to your association website in 2013! Join us each day to “open new gifts” filled with feature updates for your website! Visit our Twelve Days of Christmas Main Page to find new gifts for each day from now until January 5th!

We love to hear your questions and comments about Tendenci, the open source CMS for Association’s – leave a reply below in our comments section or send us your thoughts via email to support@tendenci.com.

New Options for Open Source Hosting – Fifth Day of Christmas Gifts from Tendenci to You!

Coming in 2013: More Open Source Hosting Options!merry christmas 12 days tendenci frame

ON THE FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS… TENDENCI’S GIFT TO YOU: Real Choices for hosting your open source Tendenci website yourself!

This past year has been exciting and fast paced for the Tendenci team with the release of our open source software. We’re breaking new grounds in nonprofit, open source technology, and we’re focusing more of our efforts in 2013 on ease of use for you and your staff.

One major to-do we’re finally able to check off our list is simplifying the installation process so you can set-up and manage a Tendenci website on the hosting provider of your choosing.  We’ve been testing Tendenci open source installations on different hosting providers and documenting the steps for you.

We’ve currently written documentation for Rackspace and Linode cloud hosting installation instructions:

Tendenci Open Source Hosting Requirements 

Tendenci Installation Instructions on Rackspace OpenStack Cloud Platform

Tendenci Installation Instructions on Linode.com

We’ll be documenting additional hosting providers in the coming weeks, and we’re interested in finding out what hosting provider you want to use with Tendenci. We’ll test and document the installation process for your preferred hosting vendors.  Suggest a vendor as a Comment below or email us to ‘toss’ your cloud host’s name in the ‘hat’.

3 Questions to Ask Before You Select Your Hosting Partner

We believe that website management shouldn’t be a struggle for Associations. Managing both Members and Content on your website is a complex process that Tendenci was specifically designed to help manage, enabling you to focus on your cause. Just like you need a website platform specifically developed for your nonprofit, you also need a hosting partner that understands the unique technology requirements that associations and nonprofits have.

Here’s three questions you definitely should ask potential hosting providers to make sure you get a good fit!

1) What extra services and products does your hosting provider offer?

Often, people think that their association’s staff email addresses come from the same company that they paid for the custom domain URL, or they think that things like back-ups, security updates and monitoring are included in that $6.99 monthly hosting plan. In most cases, the cheapest hosting plans out there aren’t intended to support the kind of traffic and User activity that a nonprofit or association website is going to require.

Make sure that your hosting provider offers a package that includes the type of options your association will require. For example, with Tendenci websites – you’ll need to make sure you find a hosting partner with VPS (virtual private server) root access.

2) What level of support does the hosting company offer?

It’s great if you have an experienced IT staff to manage your website’s critical maintenance tasks like back-ups, security updates, and plugin management. If your association doesn’t have someone on staff to manage your IT and website hosting services, then you’ll want to find a hosting provider with a strong support department who can be your external IT team.

Make an honest evaluation of your association’s ability to provide the time and expertise required to ensure your website receives the ongoing maintenance, back-ups, and security updates required to run smoothly. Find a hosting provider with services that compliment your association’s IT capabilities.

3) How will the hosting provider manage an unpredictable spike in traffic to your site?

Imagine your nonprofit gets a lucky break and your Executive Director is going to be on the Today Show! Suddenly, tens of thousands of people are trying to access your website – and you’ve never had more than a hundred visitors at one time before. Will your site go down because you have limits on your platform?

Probably – most sites who experience a massive spike in traffic experience a short period of downtime. That downtime can range from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the level of support your receiving from your hosting provider. How fast can your hosting provider get your site back up and live when traffic spikes? Can they get you up before your live Today Show interview is over? Or will you be down until later in the evening, when viewers earlier have forgotten and moved on to other priorities with their families and dinner?

These are all important questions to consider and I hope they help you select the right website host for your association!

History of Open Source

Here’s a great infographic that shares some fun history facts about open source software via SourceNinja.com!

Open Source Management by SourceNinja

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM TENDENCI!

We’re celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with daily previews of the all new Tendenci Features coming to your association website in 2013! Join us each day to “open new gifts” filled with feature updates for your website!

Visit our Twelve Days of Christmas Main Page to find new gifts for each day from now until January 5th!

We love to hear your questions and comments about Tendenci, the open source CMS for Association’s – leave a reply below in our comments section or send us your thoughts via email to support@tendenci.com.