How to set up a members-only portion of a website?
June 8, 2010 7:54 AM Subscribe
How do you go about setting up a members-only portion of a nonprofit organization's website? Advice, books, and software needed.
posted by mortaddams to computers & internet (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I am a part of a nonprofit organization with about 200 members, and I am trying to rethink our members-only portion of the website. Frankly, our members only area is a disaster that no one uses. We paid a programmer to design it a few years ago, but I think that there must be a better way to do this. We may need to start over, and I am seeking advice on how to do this correctly.
Currently our organization partners with a publisher to manage our member list, and we get a list of members from them once per month in an excel spreadsheet. We then transfer this information to a database ourselves, slowly and painfully. Thus it may take over 30 days for a new member to be able to access the site, when they expect instant access. Because it is the only unique identifier we have for people, we are using 10 digit randomly generated numbers as usernames, followed by randomly generated passwords. Unsurprisingly, no one can remember their login information and hence no one is using the members-only area.
How would you go about setting up a members only area of a website that people will actually use? We basically want to have discussion boards, a member directory, and documents available in this area.
Is there software available to run this sort of thing in an easy to use way? Our staff can work with native HTML and CSS and use Dreamweaver, but actually programming is beyond our skill set. Are there good books or websites about this task to help us? What advice do you have in general?
Thanks in advance!