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Status Update - Issue 4

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Posted In: Status Updates

We are proud to report we have made significant progress on the chapter website migration project with only three confirmed chapters remaining on the old platform. This means thirteen chapters will be receiving a phone call or email in the next few weeks inquiring about their desire to begin their migration process. It is our goal to have the migration project completed before the close of 2014 and eagerly welcome any chapter who is interested in clarifying their intent.



For those who have yet to begin, here is where we stand on chapters waiting to migrate:



Website Performance

In response to the additional demands placed on our web servers, we have bulked up our hardware in order to provide the same level of performance chapters have come to expect. For the more technically inclined, this includes doubling our processor capacity from a quad-core processor build to an octo-core build, increasing the RAM from 12gb to 24gb and bumping our storage capacity by 10gb. Our recovery and failover strategy remains the same with redundant data centers in Ashburn Virginia and Denver Colorado. Needless to say, we take the storage, processing and serving of your chapter websites very seriously and are posed to address any technical or disaster related issues the moment we detect them. We have also made the addition of independent application monitoring to exercise a greater level of administrative control and issue isolation when troubleshooting. New Relic software has provided our web team with the tools they need to get the job done.

Payment Processors/Gateways for the Events Calendar & eBusinesss

A common question we receive for the web is what payment processors or gateways do you accept or can work with.

Ideally we like to work with PayPal, specifically PayPal’s Payflow Link or Payflow Pro systems. This is particularly important as we roll out eBusiness, since Personify requires Payflow Pro to do the processing. If you’re not getting Personify for a while, we can still work with your current Payflow Link account or one of the following, to process event registrations:

  • PayPal Website Payments Standard
  • PayPal Website Payments Pro – Direct Payment
  • PayPal Payflow Link
  • PayPal Payflow Pro
  • Authorize.NET

If you’re in line to receive Personify, or already have it and are awaiting eBusiness, you may want to consider getting Payflow Pro. If you decide you want to move in that direction, please contact us so we can assist you and make the necessary changes on the web.


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Status Update - Issue 3

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Posted In: Status Updates

We are still going strong with the new web template project and have started to receive some very encouraging feedback from those chapters who have embraced the new style design and administrative functions.  Much like we have from the beginning, we attempt to provide guidance, relevant recommendations and training for all chapters who wish to embrace the new template, although we understand this can be a daunting proposition for some chapters who may be a bit lean on time or resources.  Of course the direction of a chapter’s web design is ultimately at the discretion of the chapter, but we encourage chapters still on the fence to take a look at the options ABC National can provide to you.  From a scheduling perspective, here is where we stand:



For those who have yet to begin, here is where we stand on chapters waiting to migrate:



We currently have fourteen chapters who have yet to clarify their direction.  If any of those fourteen chapters have questions or concerns, please feel free to setup a time for a brief Q&A session. Chapters who have taken part in our Q&A sessions have generally found them to be helpful, insightful and full of information that may assist in plotting a direction.  Our web services team can work with your schedule as needed and can tailor our training resources around your needs.  Our goal is to provide you with the tools required to take a proactive stance regarding your chapter’s presence on the web.

This month, we also wanted to shine a light on one of our other ongoing web projects called eBusiness.  We’ve received quite a few questions on this new endeavor and wanted to dispel some of the potential misunderstandings we’ve encountered throughout the project thus far.

What is eBusiness? 

eBusiness is the integration of your chapter website with Personify.  This is the core Phase 2 project of the website re-launch and will bring long overdue, key functionality to your chapter.  While this integration not only enhances your site it will also aid in eliminating double data entry.  Here are a few examples of what we will be able to do with eBusiness:

  1. Each member and their employees will receive a unique login for your chapter site.
  2. Each member and their employees can register for events and complete payment online with the transaction being recorded inside of Personify.  You then only have to run a report to see who registered or to print badges.
  3. The ability to restrict member pricing based on membership status.
  4. Online store to sell shirts, books, or other merchandise.
  5. Dynamically display committee information on the web.
  6. The possibility to allow potential members to join or existing members to renew their membership online.
  7. A new dynamic Find a Contractor search function.
There will be additional functionality added following the completion of the rollout.

When will we get eBusiness? 

Great question.  eBusiness is currently being worked on for National and one pilot chapter.  We want to ensure all the kinks are worked out before launching it to the remaining chapters and expect to roll out the first phase of this project later this year. (that’s right in 2014!)  Once everything is working 100%, we’ll then roll out the project to the other chapters in 2015.  Chapters who have implemented Personify will be the first to receive eBusiness. 

If you have any questions or for more information on eBusiness, please reach out to Nathan Russell (russell@abc.org) or 202-595-1899.

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Status Update - Issue 2

Friday, August 1, 2014

Posted In: Status Updates

Through a series of meetings with Chapter Services, we understand there are questions regarding the website template and the overall process for migrating to the new ABC National site design.  We hope this monthly mailer will clarify some questions or concerns you may have.  Of course, we actively maintain relevant information on the tech site located at tech.abc.org.  We figured the best way to kick this off would be to cover some of the more frequent scheduling centric questions we receive.  We will follow the timeline expectation with an update on current schedule status which attempts to provide a rough estimate on when your chapter might enter the migration process.  Keep in mind, the activity list is dependent on both the chapter staff and ABC National both engaging towards the goal of having the chapter assume full control over the site following completion of the training.

Q: When will I get the new template/site? 

A: This is the most common question we receive in IT and it's very difficult to answer.  While the rollout process is geared to be completed in roughly 90 days, it is all dependent on the amount of time and resources you, or the current Chapters, are willing to give to the project.  This means that one chapter may complete the project in 30-50 days while another chapter may take 60-90+ days.  Not to mention, IT can only maintain approximately 16 chapters at a time in the rollout process. 

To help chapters, we have been compiling a waiting list for those who would like to receive the new website. As chapters complete their site, we will contact the next chapter on the list. Our goal is to get all the chapters who want to use this system, in the process of converting their site by the end of 2014. 

The order in which you appear on the wait list is based on first come, first served. Those that have been confirmed will be moved above those who are not. If you're not on the list or marked as not confirmed, contact IT to get added and secure your spot today.








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Status Update - Issue 1

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Posted In: Status Updates

Hello Everyone,

I would like to update you on some exciting things happening in the Web side of IT. As part of a coordinated effort to ensure everyone is up-to-date on the Website Rollout and DotNetNuke, we will begin posting monthly status updates, tips, project timelines and other important help topics and documents. 

I know there are many questions regarding the system, rollout timeline and functionality. To answer these questions, I want to give you a brief update on what we're doing and where we are.

Rollout Timeline
When will I get the new template/site? This is the most common question we receive in IT and it's very difficult to answer. While the rollout process is geared to be completed in roughly 90 days, it is all dependent on the amount of time and resources you, or the current Chapters, are willing to give to the project. This means that one chapter may complete the project in 30-50 days while another chapter may take 60-90+ days. Not to mention, IT can only maintain approximately 16 chapters at a time in the rollout process. 

To help chapters, we have been compiling a waiting list for those who would like to receive the new website. As chapters complete their site, we will contact the next chapter on the list. Our goal is to get all the chapters who want to use this system, in the process of converting their site by the end of 2014.

The order in which you appear on the wait list is based on first come, first served. Those that have been confirmed will be moved above those who are not. If you're not on the list or marked as not confirmed, contact IT to get added and secure your spot today.

DotNetNuke
Is it easy to use? Yes. While learning any new software or system will always have some sort of learning curve, we don't want you to feel overwhelmed. That's why our training process and help articles on this site are geared to help you overcome that obstacle.  

Do I have to migrate my content? Yes and No. While the IT staff would love to completely build your site for you, it's just not practical with only two full-time staff members on the Web Services team.  However, you don't have to do this alone and you do have several options.

  • You can build your site in conjunction with the training National provides.
  • You can hire additional staff or even an intern to help complete the migration, while National still provides training.
  • Or you can hire an outside vendor to build your site inside of our system. A couple of chapters have actually gone this very route.
Can I enhance my site and add new functionality? Absolutely. DotNetNuke is modular based, which means each piece of content you see on one of our websites, like ABC National, is managed by one of many different modules. If you want to enhance your website, there are several ways to do so.
  1. You can see if National already has a module to fit your needs.
  2. We can help you search through over 10,000 different modules on DotNetNuke's store.
  3. The module can always be developed if one doesn't already exist. Depending on the project load of National, we can  help you develop it or you can use a third party developer to do so. 
Events Module
Can I customize the registration emails? Yes. A set of email templates for the DotNetNuke Events Calendar and registration system is now available on this site. You have the ability to use the templates as is, or customize them to your liking.  We are currently working on creating a video tutorial to provide additional training on how to further customize your own email templates. Learn More…

Is there a reference guide? Yes. We have developed a reference guide that covers basic information including how to create an event, set up event registration, managing email notifications and more. Learn More...

We'll have more information soon so check back as we're always adding new content. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me: Nathan Russell, russell@abc.org or 202-595-1899.

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