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Extend your existing website with a member portal

wordpress intranetLast month a Wordpress webmaster contacted us and wanted to benefit from all the features that a member portal can offer. We made a calculation to rebuild the complete Wordpress website to Joomla. The prospect thinks 3 weeks and decides this step takes too much resources: both time and costs. The Wordpress website does its job in offering a user friendly method to publish articles in an attractive lay out. The prospect decided to continue using excel as their "member administration" without realtime interface to their accounting program, document management and CRM.

This example does not stand alone; almost 80% of the organizations hesitate to throw away a functioning website and start with a brand new complete member portal, but on the other hand they are aware they are missing lots of online functionality on the existing website.

For this group of organizations we created an intermediate solution; combining the strengths of the two content management systems. Keep the current website as-it-is and adding a dedicated member portal in 10 minutes, built together using a bridge.

The bridge does 2 things:

  1. Show the member portal to members as if it is integrated in the existing www website (technical details here)
  2. Syncing the member data to the existing website so that the CRM can be carried out. Newsletters can be send with content from the Wordpress website, to the up to date member list from the member portal (technical details here).

You can decide to build the bridge yourself, or outsource the work to one of our Certified Partners. Contact us for more information and costings.




wordpress member portal

Improving software quality by robots

quality controlIn 2011 we created My Member Software, and back then it worked fairly straightforward. In time, clients asked for new functions like

  • department admins
  • parents who control child members
  • integration in Acymailing
  • etcetera.

Now it is possible to customize MMS in so many ways that the different setups are well above 100.000 different configurations. Clients were happy, because organizations are all different and don't want to use 1 generic solution. But the downside of these new possibilities: the complexity increased and thus, the chance on bugs.

Before we could launch a new version, we had to test the software manually to reach quality insurance. Like you might recognize when you use Microsoft windows: when a programmer solves a problem on 1 place, that problem might pop up elsewhere or new bugs are introduced. Our testing documentation grew to over 100+ pages, with many possible quality checks. Lots of hours were spent to check all different combinations.

Luckily, one of the major banks in Holland brought us state of the art Automated (Robot) Testing. Beginning 2019 we started programming tests, and now in August, we have 42 automated tests. Before we launch a new version, it has to pass all 42 tests. In the near future more, because new tests are added every month. The result: much higher software quality, less bugs, less issues, more happy clients.

quality testing robot

Online member coaching through your intranet

pwr online coachingThe advent of new social media and mobile apps has introduced a number of important opportunities for associations to add professional tools at their membership management Intranet platforms. One of the plugins we recently became aware of is a member coaching module, harnessing all of the benefits of member coaching and introducing some important enhancements made available via the association’s intranet member portal.

Good online member coaching can:

  • Decrease costs through reduced contact time
  • Make coaching available at the instant it is needed rather than waiting for the next scheduled session
  • Improve achievement of overall coaching objectives
  • Making it possible to track improvements and plot ROI.

It is now possible for the individual and the coach to be in almost constant contact using online chat and conversations which can dramatically reduce the need for face to face meetings.

Advanced services like these used to be only be attainable by the larger organisations due to high tailor made costs. But not anymore! Open source content management systems such as Joomla and Wordpress enable associations and organisations of all sizes to create a complete member portal at relatively low costs.

Using open source software to create a member portal has many benefits. including: significant lower cost, continuity, configurable, adding custom functions and security measures. The member portal based on open source can be even combined with closed source solutions like Microsoft with single sign-on.

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Complete member portal, based on open source intranet

More and more organizations offer their clients and members digital services. Well known services are newsletters, articles for members, handbooks, subscribing to events, and so on. The access to those services is limited to the members who have an active subscription in the member administration. Permissions are set by using the intranet function: which group can access what function. This used to be expensive and tailor made. But not anymore: by using open source software the organization can offer their own set of digital services with the intranet function.

Choose first what functions your organization wants to offer: there are lots of functions available that will make the website attractive with dynamic content.

By using the My Member Software plug and play version, your intranet is up and running in 10 minutes: With 5 layers of permissions (guest, applicant, member, administrator and board) you can start the administration in no time, and use the intranet for your members.

Lowering annual membership cancellations from 24% to 8%

All organizations have a natural membership flow: new members sign up, while other members cancel their subscription. How come certain organizations (associations / companies / clubs) are much better in keeping members than others ? In this article we show you how your organization will be much more successfull in keeping members, by using the method of passive renewal.

Keeping members

Organizations take different measures to make it attractive for members to become a member and in the next period renew the membership. Organizing events, public profiles for professionals, discounts on renewal. But there is not much as effective to keep members as the method for renewal. 3 times less cancellations each year sounds excellent, but how to achieve this. It can be done by using the automatic renewal method, opposed to the manual method.

In countries like Germany, Holland, Norway, Denmark, which have a strong association culture, the main method for subscription is passive (implicit) renewal. In contrast to the anglosaxon countries, where there is more explicit renewal for associations.

A solution for organizations that follow the active renewal method, is price reductions on the subscription fee for the renewal.

Collecting subscription fees

It’s a choice for the organization what their method is for collecting of the subscription fees.

Wouldn’t it be logical to use the automatic renewal method ? Compare this to the company and employee relation: why don’t companies ask of their employees to actively lengthen their contract each year. Instead, the contract gets automatically renewed.


Are there no drawbacks to this method ?
It would be nice to say “No there is none”. But there is one drawback: that is the extra work for the organization to collect the subscription fees. Luckily, this can be automated for a large extend or even outsourced to a party whose business it is to collect subscription fees.

Also this implicit method can be mixed with the explicit method to add a webshop where members can order extra memberships / services, on top of their base membership that gets automatically renewed.

Advantages implicit renewal
Less cancellations of memberships
Lower cost for discounts on renewal
Possibility to have a member check before promoting to member

Advantages explicit renewal
The new memberships and renewing process can be fully automated

MMS explicit renewal plugin

For MMS, the base method is to facilitate implicit renewal. Combined with a webshop and a separate MMS plugin, we can offer you MMS + explicit renewal and have the subscription fully automated.

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