How to have a great website.
I like to tell new Vice Presidents Public Relations that someone might not visit your club just because of your website, but they are going to go to your website before they visit. This truth is well illustrated in how my wife and I first came to our club. A friend invited us to visit her Toastmasters club at a pool party. She had sold us on how valuable it would be to us and we were ready to give them a chance. But before I was going to take my time, go to a placed I’d never been, and visit new – and possibly weird people – I wanted to see who they were. So I hit the Toastmasters International website and did a Find A Club search. Soon I was at the Clearly Speaking club website. There was a picture of a group of people that looked friendly, and some basic information. I used the address, time and map on the site to plan my visit.
– Ron Davis, D25 Public Relations Manager, 2016-2018
Toastmasters Club Specific Web Applications
FreeToastHost is a platform that has been around for a very long time and is quite popular for running a Toastmasters club. While it has a huge feature list, you can easily choose to use particular parts or not.
It is used by most clubs in District 25, and most US Toastmasters clubs.
easy-Speak is another Toastmasters club specific web application and is very popular in Europe. It too has many features. It seems to be more focused on managing a meeting that creating a good front page for visitors.
Very few clubs in District 25 use this software.
Other Website Creation and Hosting Tools
About a third of all the sites on the Internet are run on WordPress. The District’s own website runs on WordPress. It comes with a number of features that would help any club that wants to make a good looking website that is easy to manage.
There are two versions of WordPress. WordPress.com, which is a hosted version and runs on their servers. It has much of the functionality of full self-hosted WordPress, but is limited to only the options they give you. Self-Hosted WordPress is available at WordPress.org and a one-click install at most internet hosting providers. There are no limits to what you can do with WordPress, but it doesn’t have any Toastmasters specific functionality.