Moving Your Club Website from to WordPress for Toastmasters's data export feature’s data export feature

Lots of Toastmasters clubs already had a WordPress site, long before I came along. The information below is adapted from an email reply to an inquiry from a club officer who was very interested in adopting the WordPress for Toastmasters software but wanted to make sure she would not lose years worth of club blog posts to a account.

The trick is that WordPress comes in a few different flavors. Like many web developers, I take advantage of the open source software distributed through, adding my own customizations and running the software on my own server. is an online service based on the same software, run by the company that created the software. Moving from one to the other is very much possible, but there are choices to make.

Here is my reply:

Thanks for getting in touch. I have mostly good news for you.

The only bad news is that does not allow you add 3rd party software to one of the free websites you host with them. So you will have to move to either your own web hosting or to the free service I’m offering to Toastmasters clubs (free means I’m counting on ads and donations to support it over the longer term).

The good news is WordPress makes it fairly easy to export the content from your existing website and import it into a new hosting arrangement. So the new site would have all those blog posts you have invested time and energy in. also offers a redirect service for a small fee that will help people find your new site and preserve whatever search engine ranking you have built up by redirecting from the old blog post urls to the urls on your new hosting.


If your club is willing to budget some money for a website, you might consider setting up hosting at an independent domain. Ballpark cost: $200. The web host just needs to support WordPress and allow you to install your own plugins and themes. (See Hosting Your Own WordPress for Toastmasters Website).

Because setting up your own website hosting does require some investment of money and time spent futzing with technology, I came up with a simpler free solution. That’s the option where you click the “free site” link at, fill out a form at and get a free website with an address like You will find it to be very similar to the environment as a publishing and marketing tool for your club. The difference is you will get access to the Toastmasters-specific plugin and the Toastmasters-branded theme I developed. So it will look like a Toastmasters website and include functions like meeting role signup and member performance tracking.

I’d be happy to help you with the transition if you decide to pursue this. I’d encourage you to go ahead and sign up for the free website just to test it. These sites are not public when you first set them up, in the sense that they are not indexed by search engines until you change that setting to make them public. So you can experiment and invite in a few other officers to test it before deciding.

Let me know how I can help.

New Spreadsheet Import / Export

The new WordPress for Toastmasters import/export feature allows you to download a spreadsheet of data including member contact information and a summary of achievements within your club. The file downloads in the standard CSV file format, which you can open in Excel and other data management programs.

You can then make corrections and import the data back into the website, or you can use this as a way of transferring your data to another web server (for example, if you move from my service to your own web hosting).

The import feature here is similar to the one I recommend you use to import users into a new WordPress for Toastmasters site, using the member spreadsheet from Club Central on

If you are just getting started with your new website, you might start this way:

  • Import your members using the spreadsheet.
  • Download the WordPress for Toastmasters data export. This will give you a spreadsheet that contains the member’s basic contact info and a series of blank columns in the rows representing other data, such as the number of Competent Communication speeches the member has given.
  • Update the spreadsheet, correcting data such as email addresses and phone numbers, and adding a basic set of information about how far the member has advanced in the Toastmasters program.
  • Import the spreadsheet into the website to update the member records.

This is intended as a way to “jump start” your website, after which you will start to benefit from the data gathered in the normal course of business as you organize your meetings.

* This software is offered "for Toastmasters" but not is provided by or endorsed by Toastmasters International. The use of Toastmasters brand assets (with proper disclaimers) in website designs has been reviewed by the Toastmasters International brand compliance team.