I created this video to show how quickly you can move your website to WordPress for Toastmasters, using an existing Free Toast Host site as a starting point and cloning its content. To establish a website for a new club, or one that didn’t previously have a website, you would follow the same steps but leave the “website” blank on the form empty.
Update June 2016: This post is somewhat outdated because the signup process has changed and no longer includes the “import your old site” feature (which was a nice demo but didn’t always work). I still claim you can set up your new club website pretty quickly, if you are motivated. Look at some of the newer blog posts and tutorial videos on this website for more information.
What you will have at the end of 10 minutes is not the end of the process, particularly since my message is that you need to invest some energy into jazzing up your website (as in, show some personality!) and turning it into a productive tool for your membership. Before you make the website live, you will also want to import the member spreadsheet from Toastmasters International and update your club listing on toastmasters.org to point to the your new WordPress for Toastmasters website.
I pick on Free Toast Host not because of any animosity toward its creators but because it is the default choice, used by most clubs.
Why would you want to switch? Posts elsewhere on this site make the case in more detail. Briefly, I believe Toastmasters clubs are better served by an industry web content management platform used by marketers and major magazine websites as well as bloggers (the original constituency). WordPress lends itself to search engine optimization and social media integration. If you are ready to get more ambitious about using the web and social media for marketing and recruiting, WordPress gives you the tools you need.
In addition, WordPress for Toastmasters adds Toastmasters-specific features for getting members signed up for roles at your meetings, sending email reminders, and tracking member performance.
You can sign up for a free account on wp4toastmasters.com, which is the process dramatized in this video.
Because the software is available as a free open source plugin to WordPress, you also have the option of creating your own independent website with these features. Or hire me to set up and host one for you.
Switching to WordPress for Toastmasters is easy. You just need to decide that it makes sense to do it, and then make it so.
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Feature just added: you can now import the speech details and data on roles taken at past meetings – if it was recorded in Free Toast Host, you can bring that information into WordPress for Toastmasters so that it is reflected in the reports on member progress.
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