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TOPIC: FreeToastHost Version 2.20 Feature Summary

FreeToastHost Version 2.20 Feature Summary 3 years 9 months ago #39281

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We are pleased to announce the release of FreeToastHost Version 2.20! This update to FreeToastHost has been in the works since January of this year. I have put a great deal of my spare time into developing new features/functionality and improving existing ones.

There is a *lot* of ground to cover about v2.20. It is a major update with extra focus on email/communications and membership management. This focus by area follows our overall strategy of focusing on a particular area for each update to make maintaining/updating the system manageable for us as volunteers.

In general, the features/updates tend to fall into the following general categories:

1. More flexibility to configure the overall appearance of your website.

2. Easier access to relevant admin console features by club/district officers.

3. Improved email features... Custom email groups! Email security features you can control. More flexibility in how you use the Contact Us form.

4. Membership Management has had a makeover. You can do things with it now that were next to impossible before.... like printing Nametags! Simpler management of your members. Easier assignment of officer roles.

5. We did not totally forget the agenda system (even though that was not our current focus). We added an optional/configurable notification feature for VPEDs and meeting functionaries so that when a member takes or drops a role online, the selected VPEDs/functionaries get a notification email.

Take a look through this thread as I give you an overview of the FTH 2.20 features...
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FreeToastHost Version 2.20 Feature Summary 3 years 9 months ago #39282

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Website Settings/Basic Settings Tab

1. Added District # field that will show up for Club websites. The intention of this is to eventually allow for FreeToastHost District websites to be linked to FreeToastHost Club websites of clubs in those respective districts. (This will be used more in the future to allow for district reports.)

2. Added Registrar Information field. This allows saving the name and login information for a registrar of a custom domain name. This is information that seems to get easily lost, so this will provide a place to save it where it will not get lost.

Website Settings/Appearance Tab:

1. Added underline capability to the Banner Text and everything that uses the [] formatting notation. Banner text also really does do a bold now. Before the bold really did not work as intended.

2. Website Color Theme Selection - The system will now present a sample (the corresponding banner) of the theme selection, so you are not left guessing what the selected theme color are.

3. Colors - Officers Only menu entries. Officers Only menu entries and Delegated Access menu entries (new) can be colored differently from the rest of the menu text. The website "background" can be colored--this is essentially the empty space on either side that we are (currently) not using. Since logins are now in their own box, that background can be colored, also. There is now a reset button to reset colors to the defaults.

4. Menu Text Size Adjustment and Menu/Main Content Margin Adjustments - Using slider controls, a new control type we are now using, to allow adjusting these within a range that we set. We set the range to make sure the website still functions well.

5. Menu Style - Now can be standard, accordion menu, or tabbed menu. This is the opening salvo in the eventual goal of reworking the whole menu scheme.

6. Public Use Website Only checkbox - Some clubs only use the website for promotion not operations. This turns off the operations features.

Home Page & Meeting Info-Directions Page/Web Page Tools menu - The new Web Page Tools menu was added to these. Currently, that menu only has Save content to File, and Load content from file, but expect more tools on those menus in the future.

Social Links Tab/Other Social Networking Websites - This is an open ended way of setting up links/icons to social websites, even those that we are unaware of. Good for those in other parts of the world with different social media websites than we have in the US.

Access Settings Tab - This is totally new. This is our response to those who would like to have multiple administrators in their club/district. This provides a middle approach between club/district officer and website administrator that allows the admin to delegate access to selected admin console features to specific club/district officers. This should reduce the need to share the Admin password.

Administrator Info Tab/Administrator Login Messages (future) - Part of our new internal messaging system that I am rolling out. These are notifications from us and the system that admins see when they log in with their admin password. This is not yet implemented--will be implemented in the next month or so. There are still some issues to work out since admins may not log out and log in frequently.

Website Statistics Tab/Website Hit Counter - Our very basic hit counter that is intended for clubs/districts that want some basic visitor statistics, but do not want to have to fiddle with Google Webmaster or Google Analytics.
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FreeToastHost Version 2.20 Feature Summary 3 years 8 months ago #39485

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Email & Contact Forms - The FreeToastHost 2 email system was scrutinized closely and a number of updates were made.

Email Settings Tab

1. Recipient of replies to custom email group emails drop down - This works similarly to the analogous settings for the Members list and the Officers list. This new setting was needed for the new custom email groups.

2. Make Custom Email Groups with only One Member Publicly Accessible - Normally, all Custom Email Groups are accessible to members only. However, if you check this setting, you can effectively create new officer email addresses (aliases) that are publicly accessible by setting up new Custom Email Groups that you assign only one member to. This only works for groups containing members.

3. From Address Format for Emails Forwarded by FreeToastHost - This has been a long time request that we implemented in this update. The default setting for the From Address Format is Club First, Name Last. You can select an alternative with this setting.

4. Prefix Subjects of Emails with The Following Text - This setting will prefix subjects of emails forwarded by FreeToastHost with a piece of text that you select. Usually, this is simple identifier to allow for easy email sorting and filtering. This setting is intended to support members of multiple clubs with filtering their email, assuming the clubs they are a member of use this feature.

5. Club Archive Email Address; Club Archive Email Login Information/Password - It is a good practice for clubs/districts to have an archival email account for record-keeping purposes. These settings are intended to encourage that practice and make it easy to implement.

Email Security Tab

1. Email Whitelist - Use this to specify a comma separated list of email addresses and/or domains of "safe" email senders that should be allowed to send to the same club email addresses as any normal member would be.

2. Email Blacklist - Use this to specify a comma separated list of email addresses and/or domains of "unsafe" email senders that should always be blocked from sending to *any* club email addresses.

3. SpamAssassin Threshold Score - This lets you set your club/district's threshold score for SpamAssassin. SpamAssassin is a comprehensive spam filter that is used in FreeToastHost to prevent your members from receiving unwanted spam email. It uses a scoring technique that determines whether the calculated spam score is above a set threshold value.

Club/District Email Addresses Tab - I am including a copy of this here as a quick reference for the website admin's use. Before it was a pain, since you had to log in as a member to see this. The following are new email lists for your use:

___mentors - all the club mentors as noted in the member profiles.
___mentees - all the club mentees who have at least one mentor noted in their profile
___prospects - people who may or may not have been to a club meeting and are considered prospects as future members
___friends - miscellaneous contacts that are not prospective future members. E.g., district/club officers, etc.
___formerleaders (districts only) - the list of the former district leaders.

Contact Us Form Tab

1. Club Contacts for the "Contact Us" Form - This has been updated so that you can specify one or more officer roles for club contacts and/or specific names of people (like now). By selecting officer roles, the system will figure out the people in the roles for you, and will automatically update them when new officers are entered into the system.

2. Contact Us Form Greeting/Contact Us Form Closing - You can enter a greeting and/or closing here that the system will use instead of the defaults. Basic formatting with [ b ], [ u ], [ i ], and [ br ] is supported.

3. Save information entered in the Contact Us form as a new... - This setting allows the contact information captured in the Contact Us form to be automatically saved as a new Prospect, Guest, or Friend/Affiliate, so long as the person submitting the form has left the new "opt-in" check box on the form checked. Also, you can enter a group name here so that these new contacts are put into their own group in Membership Management.
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FreeToastHost Version 2.20 Feature Summary 3 years 6 months ago #41211

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Membership Management - The FreeToastHost 2 Membership Management module has been totally revised. It is now a table based system for managing membership information. We have kept the OLD MembershIp Management tab for now so that clubs/districts using it can still be productive while transitioning to the new functionality. We will probably take remove OLD Membership Management in about 3 months or so.

Basically, there is a lot more ground to cover about this then can be covered in a summary. Here are the high points:

1. You can now create any combination of officer roles for a person. You are not limited to canned combinations that the system previously provided. However, we are still limiting you to 2 roles per person. (for now) If that needs to be 3, then tell us--if there is enough voices in favor of it, I will change the limit. (However, there will always be a limit.)

2. There are 2 new main contact lists: Prospects and Friends/Affiliates. Prospects are people that may or may not have been to a meeting, but are considered prospective new members (hence the name). Friends/Affiliates is a miscellaneous contact list that is intended for other club officers, district officers, etc. In other words, it contains people you probably won't be engaging to be new members, but you would like to keep their contact info, anyway. NOTE: I am considering absorbing the Guest list into the Prospects list in the future--the Guest list may go away as it exists now. (The Prospects list is intended to be a broader category than the Guest list.)

3. You can edit a member's profile directly from Membership Management. Caveat: A member can now revoke admin editing rights--in that case, you can view but not edit a particular profile.

4. Custom Groups! - You now can create your own custom groups that are subsets of the built-in lists, and those group names double as email list names that you can send emails to. So, if you want to create a contest group with your contest team members, you can do that now. You can also select members by their custom groups in Membership Management.

5. New Member Welcome - Now you can send to more than one new member at once. There is also a reset to default button to reset the welcome message. NOTE: This feature is under consideration to be absorbed into Send Basic Email as an modifiable template in the future which would allow for a fully formatted welcome message complete with images, etc.... Thus, this feature may not exist in its current form in the future.

6. New Membership Tools menu - This is what I am implementing for adding functionality to Membership Management, and it is what we will be adding to in the future. Some items currently on this menu:
___a. Switch one or more people to a different contact list.
___b. Create a custom group. This can also be accomplished via the Custom Groups tab.
___c. Send Basic Email. This can send form emails from Membership Management. I plan to build this out more in the future and eventually just absorb the New Member Welcome email into it as an email template. Email Templates are where I am going with this.
___d. Send Login Message - This is the basis for a new internal messaging system, that will work sort of like text messages that you can see when you log in. Right now, it is send only from the admin (or system), but it could be converted to allow replies in the future.
___e. Make Name Tags - Yes, you read that right. Now you will be able to make member nametags with FreeToastHost. I have provided some starter templates in various name tag sizes, and I will be providing more in the future.
___f. Upload Member Photo - a "carve out" of the same feature in OLD Membership Management. I may not keep this, though, since it is in the member profile that you can edit so long as your profile edit rights have not been revoked by a particular member. You should not be changing a member's photo if they have revoked admin edit rights, anyway.
___g. Assign Member Mentor(s) - This is part of the expanded support for a strong club mentoring program that we have put into version 2.20. You can assign mentors to members here, and the system will optionally send each party the other's contact information to "kick things off".
___h. Non-Member Follow-up - FTH now has a basic follow-up tracking tool for tracking follow up communications with non-members regarding joining the club or for other types of follow-up you may think of. There is also a companion report for this.
___I. Membership Reports - There are several reports that I have created and included here, including a basic contact list report, mentoring reports, and a follow-up report. More may be added in the future.
___j. Export Contact Info - you can now export the main contact info from any of the lists for one or more people. We are not giving you everything (no member passwords, for example), so if you think we should provide something not already in the export, let us know.
___k. Undelete people - you can now undelete people that you have deleted for up to 30 days after you deleted them. After that, we purge them out of the system.

There is probably more that I forgot. Member Profiles were also updated; see the other post in this thread about that.
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FreeToastHost Version 2.20 Feature Summary 3 years 6 months ago #41213

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File Manager

1. Adobe flash is no longer required to upload files. We got rid of the need for that with a new file upload code library. This has been thoroughly tested. However, if you run into any issues uploading files, please let us know.

2. Added a Refresh button so that if you and someone else from your club are working in the File Manager simultaneously, you can do a refresh to see their changes. This scenario is more likely with the Access Settings functionality that I also added in this update.
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FreeToastHost Version 2.20 Feature Summary 3 years 6 months ago #41214

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Meeting Agenda Settings

I have added Role Change Notifications here.
These allow selected people to be notified via email when a member either takes or drops a role.

I know it may seem like we ignored Agenda features in this update. Trust me, they will get their due treatment in a future update.
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FreeToastHost Version 2.20 Feature Summary 3 years 6 months ago #41216

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Member Profile - There are a number of new things in the Member Profile.

1. First, it is now tabbed to make it easier to find stuff.

2. You can now disable the admin's ability to edit your member profile. (partially implemented now, I will be fully implementing this shortly)

3. You can enter your date joined here. This will show on your name tag, if your club uses FTH for them and includes the {{MEMBERSINCE}} variable on the nametag. This also shows on contact info reports.

4. You can set up mentors here. We may add a notification email for the mentors in the future for this so no one is caught off guard about being someone's mentor. (If mentor assignments are done in Membership Management, a notification email can be sent to both parties.)

5. You can disable and enable certain types of FTH notifications via your profile.

6. You can tell the system to omit you from emails during a specific date range. (e.g, if you go on vacation)

7. You can remove yourself from custom groups here. NOTE: Only someone with Membership Management access can add people to groups.

8. If you have a social networking site that you are part of that the system does not already recognize, you can put that in your profile via the Other Social Networking Websites box.
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FreeToastHost Version 2.20 Feature Summary 3 years 6 months ago #41218

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bump
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Steve James, DTM
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www.linkedin.com/in/sejames
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Mindful Communicators - Club 1966, Presidents Distinguished Since 2008
www.mindfulcommunicators.org

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