The team at Tendenci has been working to make improvements to our T7 software. The batch of updates noted in this release are mostly centered on: the Tendenci Nav, Reports, and Newsletters. You can look for these changes on your T7 site.
New top menu (for both admin and logged in users)
Newsletters format update and clone feature
Reports format update (including invoices, memberships, ..)
Events views – Added sub menu for month view, week view, day view
Separated join approval and renewal approval for membership notices
Wysiwyg editor – Enabled the image title input field in the image dialog. Added class dropdown to the tinymce link dialog box
Updated the directories categories to make it easy manage
Added drag-drop functionality to the testimonials
Added memberships overview report
Added a link on Profile page to view past events.
More minor changes
(Security) Disabled GZipMiddleware to prevent BREACH attacks
(Security) Prevent fraudulent simultaneous reuse of PayPal transactions
Resolved the issue regarding manage.py hangs when caching is enabled. Re-enabled the cache for site settings.
Resolved the subprocess venv issue.
Fixed exports for directories, jobs, resumes, pages.
Fixed “Most Viewed Files” report.
The Tendenci Nav has been reorganized to help you find what you’re looking for. We hope you’ll take the time that review your new Tendenci Nav and get familiar with some of these changes. Here’s a screenshot of what it should look like:
*For all of these updates, some sites will display slightly different fonts and design features based on the site theme.
Updates in the Reports module includes consolidation of all reports into their own Tendenci Nav item.
This release also includes an update to the Invoices module, making invoices faster to browse visually in a table-based format. To view invoices in the new navigation on your site, click: Reports > 5. Financial > Invoicing.
The Newsletters module works almost exactly the same as before. We have made a few features a little bit easier to use. For example, if you’d like to re-assign the newsletter to a different group, you can now do so even after you’ve generated the Newsletter in the first step. We’ve also made some layout improvements that take advantage of Bootstrap’s framework.
The “clone” feature has also been added to this module. With clone, you can send a test e-mail, then clone it and send it to your target audience rather than copying and pasting the contents from the first send.
To our clients. The above graph is a filtered subset of what is a *typical* day of network alerts. As the media has stated, the issue is quite real.
We greatly appreciate you and it is important to us that you remain safe. To further advance that objective in the current geopolitical environment, all hosted Tendenci sites will be encrypted going forward per our CEO.
Why? Because security. The Internet has changed and we must adapt.
Adapt? Remember when that Steve Jobs guy invented the iPhone and suddenly sites that were awesome the week before… well… they weren’t as awesome the next day? The. Next. Day. Technology is like that.
Get comprehensive information about your members using our member Profiles. Including: Contact Info, Professional Affiliations, Invoicing, Groups, and Contributions.
Make a personal connection with your members by knowing who they are! Our profile images are powered by Gravatar, so members don’t have to upload their image more than once!
You work hard to keep your organization healthy! Get in touch quickly and easily by having fast access to member contact info.
Professional Affiliations and Personal Relationships
Personal information about your members helps give you information about what they might be looking to get out of being a member. Members can also attract business sponsorship. Get to know who works for an organization so that you can thank them for their support and involvement with the community and serve them better!
Keep everything in one place, from event tickets to memberships. Your members can avoid having to ask if they paid for something by accessing invoices directly from their Membership Profiles!
Committees, Study Groups, and Groups are all integrated in to the Tendenci platform to cover your organizational needs. Grouping people together means delivering more targeted content to those users. You can address groups with things like: Events, Newsletters, Articles, and more.
Users can track their contributions on your site. If they have permissions to write articles, create events, or edit other content, they will be able to find which content they have changed by looking that their Profile’s Contribution Logs!
At Tendenci, we pay attention to how your website performs. Our goal is to drive traffic to your site so that you are getting maximum touch with your members and prospective members.
There are tons of tools out there to help your organization make better choices for Search Engine Optimization (SEO.) In fact, there are so many that it can be really overwhelming to make a decision about which ones to use. Here are some of our favorite tools to use to boost SEO!
1. Headline Analyzer
Coschedule’s headline analyzer rates your headlines based on key metrics that draw people to click and read, including your word balance of: common, uncommon, emotional, and power words. Yes believe it or not, you might get a higher score here for being more emotional!
You probably write a ton of content for different pages of your site. It’s hard to keep track of which words you’re using most on any given block of writing, but your SEO depends on it. Check out if your pages are being read the way you want them to with Keyword Density Analyzer.
Trying to make a decision about whether to call your Job listings a “Job Bank” or a “Job Board?” Back up your decision with powerful data by doing a comparison on Google Trends. (Tip: Job Bank is over 3x more heavily searched!)
As marketingland states in their article, it’s not that the desktop doesn’t matter given most commerce still happens there. It is just that the buyers or donors started the journey with a search on a mobile device.
For the designers out there it is official that serving the clients means showing them the site on their mobile devices FIRST.
Mobile first design simplifies the information architecture process and focuses the team on outcomes. Focusing on your end users, the people googling your site on their iphone the vast majority of the time, is a success for everyone.
Mobile first changes the question from the ego-driven and outdated mindset of:
“How does my website look on the giant 4k monitor in the conference room?”
to a results oriented view of:
“Does this site reach our audience on their mobile devices effectively?”
Mobile first has been baseline for years. This data just confirms it once again.
Note: Tendenci, The Open Source AMS, is fully responsive across all viewports. If you are on an older version of Tendenci (v5 or earlier) we strongly recommend you talk to your developer to upgrade your site.
Written specifically for the NPO/Association market, Tendenci has continued to grow and adapt to meet the specific needs of these groups. From building on an open source framework that allows complete freedom – to mobile responsive software design – to online forums and newsletter features that keep the community involved, Tendenci continues to invest in the NPO sector. And the NPO’s have responded!
We are pleased to continue our relationship with the following organizations that have recently released upgraded websites and extend a warm welcome to those that are new to the Tendenci community.
Tendenci is flexible enough to let you turn off modules you don’t need, and SEO friendly enough to make it a great alternative to proprietary CMS systems.
No Proprietary Technology Lock In
No Long Term Contracts
No “Named User” pricing to prevents “Knowledge Silos”
Open Source and an Open Community
These are all things that forward thinking companies, not just non-profits, are starting to realize. And the wave of technology continues to compound behind large open source projects like ours (the entire Tendenci community’s). So sayeth the data.
A Longer Explanation for those who like knowing all of the details. Because we like being open and transparent.
Let’s keep it simple. Think about tires. When you buy tires, over time, they wear out. You can’t keep adding tread to them. At some point you have to get new tires or you are in an unsafe vehicle risking your own safety as well as that of everyone that rides with you or is near you on the roads. It’s irresponsible to drive an unsafe vehicle.
Or as Billy Joel explains it:
WHY CAN’T WE JUST KEEP GOING AS IS? YOU KNOW, JUST IGNORE IT?
(Yes, I really got this question recently.) Because software that is outdated can have security holes. Security updates are the most important. Tendenci runs on top of lots of other amazing open source products, which are called “dependencies.” Tendenci’s dependencies are listed here in the code.
Yes you have your own site. But you are sharing email servers, backup servers, email relays, security scanners, proxy servers, firewalls, access control lists, IDS/IPS systems and they are all are part of an environment that is watched very closely.
Going back to the car analogy. Porsche doesn’t make every component or the tires that are installed on their cars. When you wear out the tires, you have to upgrade. Similarly if a component that Tendenci uses is not maintained by the project behind it, then you are in danger of hurting others. A simple example would be if someone found a way to hack your site and sent spam emails, then the shared email server for the server-farm your site is in could get black-listed. That hurts ALL of the clients using that shared resource. Just like when your tire blows and you wreck into another car. It is then fundamentally your fault for not maintaining your vehicle.
Why do I want to upgrade if I just don’t care about security?
This is a bad idea. There is performance, functionality and a ton of new features you are missing out on. For more click the image below to go to the newsletter that highlights a lot of it.
And this is what we now consider baseline – responsive across all devices.
If you are thinking “THIS IS THE FIRST I HAVE HEARD OF THIS!?” .. um…
No. No unfortunately it is not. It’s just the first time it got your attention. We get it given we also miss communication sometimes given the amount of noise in our inboxes. Here are some links below so you can catch up a bit. And Tendenci 7.x is WAY ahead of Tendenci 5 because of industry changes – you really want to upgrade.
But yes, we have communicated this over and over and over. Links:
Your users and the search engines expect you to have an SSL encrypted and mobile responsive website that is ADA compliant. NEW technology that consumers use and new behaviors have emerged and people expect more. Blame Al Gore and Apple and Microsoft. Tech changes fast.
WE LACK THE POWER TO MAKE EXCEPTIONS AS WE DO NOT CONTROL THE FRAMEWORK.
To our open source and our hosted clients, it is imperative that you do NOT ignore the pending “end of life” for the 5.x version of Tendenci. You must upgrade. From December 2015:
If you are not a programmer or developer then you will need to work with one to complete the upgrade. It can be our team or a Django developer of your choice.
Please remember that Tendenci is fully open source and available at https://github.com/tendenci/tendenci/ in addition to the documentation linked above. No gotchas or hold-backs. Just very direct and honest communication of the facts and accountability through code reviews.
Did clients get charged upgrading from Tendenci 6 to Tendenci 7?
No, they did not. The upgrade from Tendenci 6 to Tendenci 7, then 7.1 and now 7.2 was all done automatically. These sites were already responsive and it is the front graphics changes that require human intervention as opposed to scripted updates.
Why are you charging to upgrade from Tendenci 5 then?
Because the layouts used back then were not standardized because there was NO CLEAR STANDARD. Thus every site was a bit different. On Tendenci 6 and 7 they are strictly standardized on the front end on Bootstrap 3+, a front end responsive framework made by Twitter. The appearance of Tendenci 7 sites is very diverse, it’s just the behind the scenes name-spaces that require updates.
Do we have to use your company to upgrade?
Of course not. Tendenci is open source. The whole freedom thing. We are the only membership management software company ranked in the top 20 by Capterra that is open source. You are part of a community with Tendenci, not some locked down solution that holds you hostage.
If we don’t use Tendenci to upgrade, who can we use?
Python and Django are very popular. You are free to use any developer you want, self host or host with us.
The whole point of Tendenci is to enable freedom so you aren’t trapped with a proprietary vendor that locks you in by retaining control over your data, including redirecting links from your events to their domain so when you leave, you lose all of your inbound links and search engine rank. We do not support that practice. Unfortunately many non-profit boards don’t catch it until it’s too late and make the mistake of locking in future boards with no way out.
How easy is it to leave Tendenci? How do we know you won’t make it difficult?
Well first because that would be against our values. We make it easy to leave because folks have a tendency to come back when they experience the alternatives. We have found that the easier you make it to leave, to be free, the less likely people are to leave because the alternatives don’t share our values, particularly when it comes to data ownership. It’s your data. You own it and should have access to it at any point. Period.
I don’t plan to leave WordPress specifically because I know that I can leave if I wanted to take the hassle on myself. I don’t – I have my hands full taking care of our team and clients. I just like knowing that freedom is an option because WordPress is like Tendenci – OPEN SOURCE.
You sound kind of over-the-top about open source and data exports? Prove it!
We can also run backups directly to your own AWS cloud instance for S3. Actions speak loudly.
Type “Tendenci exports” into Google to see the number of options to export your data.
T5 clients – for you it’s not all automated but you have the same rights as everyone else. By that I mean, if you are on T5 not all of these exports were available 5 years agothrough the interface but we will gladly provide a full database export that you can then import into postgres yourself. (Note: The technology simply wasn’t available back then, but the moment it became possible (which happened when we were on T6) we enabled clients to do full database downloads themselves. It’s YOUR DATA.)
Is this “charge to upgrade” going to happen every two years?
This one is a trick question. We have more work than we can do so charging you for updates is not our goal. But you already know that if you use the nav editor and the theme editor so you can make your own updates. Tendenci is about empowerment.
Tendenci is open source so you can work with a different developer and host with them if they are more cost effective for you.
Disruption causes adaptation which comes with a price tag
Disruption happens. That darn iphone. With candor, LTS releases tend to last two years. We didn’t invent the iphone or android so the switch to mobile responsive design was effectively dictated by changes in technology. We do our best to keep your costs down, but when Steve Jobs changes the world, we all get caught up and have to adapt. That isn’t a conspiracy, it’s an opportunity.
Are you sure? Is there ANY way I can upgrade for free?
I so wish I could wave a magic wand and make your entire site bootstrap3 responsive, but I can’t. Our contractors and employees deserve to be compensated just like you do. But you know that. Maybe there is someone your know, or maybe you, can redo your site’s theme in bootstrap3 to control costs. It is an option.
What I do know is YOU will not succeed with a non-encrypted and non-responsive web site. When we chose to make ALL SITES RESPONSIVE for all releases after Tendenci 5, yes, it required us to contract with graphic artists for your upgrade and obviously these talented people deserve to be paid for their work.
What is Tendenci doing to help us control costs?
We already have far greater functionality at a lower price than all of the proprietary vendors. True, we don’t have a sales team to fill out a 5 page excel RFP, but we have a demo site where you can see for yourself at https://demo.tendenci.com admin/admin login (resets every two hours.)
The comparison grids several competitors have on their sites are WILDLY INACCURATE. Our target client wants the additional functionality of Tendenci, to be a part of a community, they understands open-source, they are cause focused more than monetary focused, and knows how to do due diligence.
Tendenci open source means GREATER FUNCTIONALITY. The freedom is a bonus.
But the competition says they have greater functionality?
They don’t. Do a fact check and judge for yourself. Facts are facts. See above. Just for fun, ask to look at their code. #heh Why? Because a community of interested people will add to Tendenci and everyone benefits instead of all of the money going to a proprietary vendor who says they own your data.
Your data is your data.
Do I really need to upgrade my Tendenci site now as it’s been fine the last 11 months since you first told us we had to upgrade? Can’t this wait until next year?
NO! November 30 2016 or you need to self-host or move to a dedicated server. We cannot be responsible if the underlying software is no longer being maintained and therefore may not be secure. That legal burden falls on your board.
Why can’t I get a personal hand written note like in the old days?
Man, I miss those days. Unfortunately, we simply can’t identify every stake-holder inside of every NGO/NPO/Association/Business we work with or who self hosts. By definition there is constant turn over on non-profit boards. And we have no way of tracking open source clients using Tendenci in the wild.
We love our open source clients, but we aren’t “big brother” and don’t currently have a 100% method of tracking or communicating with these awesome developers outside of the blog, facebook, twitter and newsletters.
OK, after we upgrade, what then?
We are working hard to keep upgrades and updates automatic and at little or no cost. The evidence speaks for itself in the no-cost site updates from 6.0 to 7.2x. Judge us by our actions.
Yet, if someone invents another disruptive technology, well, logically there could be a cost for an upgrade once it requires changes that can’t be automated.
If you host with us, contact, budget and schedule your upgrade. If you self host then please read all of the documentation which explains the full process and is posted and available online at https://tendenci.readthedocs.io/en/latest/
So how much does does this cost if we go with Tendenci team to do our upgrade? It scales with the type of upgrade you want to do and they are listed on our site here:
It’s always hard to have a crucial conversation with clients. I strive for candor and fairness as the leader of the company behind the community. We want you happy. Technology changes. We’ve done our best to keep the price as low as possible. Thus in closing, I’ll leave you with another image of a happy puppy because they make us smile, and like Tendenci, they enjoy a community of supporters but also being able to run free every once in a while.