WordPress for Toastmasters allows a Toastmasters club to take advantage of everything the WordPress blogging community has created for an easy-to-use yet powerful platform for marketing and social networking, along with Toastmasters-specific functions like managing meeting agendas, member role signups, and new member applications. You can collect dues using PayPal or Stripe (or offer both options).
If you are a club officer, this is a tool that can help save you time and bring in new members. You will find yourself doing less manual work in spreadsheets and back-of-the-envelope calculations of how members are progressing through the Toastmasters educational program.
Join one of the live training sessions scheduled for June 14 at 12 pm EDT / 16:00 UTC or June 21 at 9 pm EDT / 6 pm PDT or view recorded lessons from our video course.
2 Ways to Get Access
If you are comfortable setting up your own WordPress website, the software is available for free in the wordpress.org repository (details). Recommended host: SiteGround
- More control, get your own domain
- More freedom to add custom code, for those with programming talents
- More complex setup, more tech responsibility for you
- Hosting and domain registration expenses
The Toastmost.org service provides a convenient way to create a club website that has all the required software preinstalled.
- Simpler setup, less tech responsibility
- Free subdomains like myclub.toastmost.org
- Or add a domain you purchase through a service like GoDaddy or Google Domains.
- Hosting is free for 3 months, then $50 per year, per club. Discounts for bulk purchases by districts
- Support for district websites also available
Why You Should Upgrade Your Toastmasters Website
For a club that wants to attract new members, you get the advantage of access to a professional quality web publishing and marketing platform. With a little imagination, you can also dramatize what makes your club special and tell those learning about Toastmasters for the first time why they should visit and join.
Here’s the “sales pitch” for what you get with Toastmost or another website that incorporates the software. For a more detailed “how to,” review the video course just updated for 2023.
Why Switch Away from Free Toast Host?
The first objection many Toastmasters have to embracing the WordPress alternative is that Toastmasters offers a free club website hosting platform, known as Free Toast Host (toastmastersclubs.org) — so why invest in something different? In this video, Toastmaster and professional digital marketer Loni Huff explains why Free Toast Host is not really “good enough” if you’re ambitious about online marketing and recruiting.
Having a non-standard web presence is one of the best ways you can immediately differentiate yourself from any one of the other thousands of clubs around the world — or maybe in your local area — that are still using Free Toast Host. I am so grateful for the assistance that it’s provided in making my club stand out, and I hope you’ll consider giving it a try yourself.Loni Huff
Tragicomedy Toastmasters is the club I established to complete my DTM. This website was the key piece in in that whole process from getting people as guests, to getting members, to ultimately getting club officers, and finding my own personal successor as club president. It has saved me so much time.Joseph Esler, founder, Tragicomedy Toastmasters
“This allows us to step our game to the next level of professionalism”Carol Prahinski, Past International Director, on the value of the WordPress-powered Toastmost club website hosting service.
In this excerpt from a webinar for District 62, Carol Prahinski addresses the issue of why you should consider Toastmost over free options like Free Toast Host.
Try It Out
You can do some basic testing of the member experience at demo.toastmost.org by clicking on one of the Weekly Meeting or Contest links and logging in as:
password: Ralph C. Smedley
You can sign up for a site on the Toastmost.org service (which will have a web address like myclub.toastmost.org). Test it and decide whether it makes sense for your club. If so, you can either keep your toastmost.org site or create your own website using the same software on any web hosting service that supports WordPress.
For background on how this project started, see The Origin Story (no radioactive spiders involved).