AlexSirota

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  1. 26 votes
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      6 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      AlexSirota commented  · 

      As much as it would be ideal to have a link in a menu to link to an external page, it's not best practice from a usability perspective. Also search engines may penalize your site if you have lots of menu based links that redirect to external sites. This is how spam farms tend to work and how they try to game search engines.

      Best practice is to have a page on the site that links off to the remote page, but have the menu load the page locally on the site instructing the visitor to link to another site.

      It sounds in principle like it is a good way to "shortcut" the 2 step process of a local page linking off to another page, but it is best practice to link off a page, rather than linking directly offsite on a navigation menu. Remember when visitors use your website they expect navigation menus to take you to another page on your site rather than offsite.

      AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
    • 222 votes
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        Work in progress  ·  87 comments  ·  Wishlist » Members  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
        AlexSirota commented  · 

        We have fully implemented the audit log feature into the Excel dashboard we have been working on. You can now export all audit log details which enables reporting around membership renewals.

        There is a limit of 200 API requests per minute and the dashboard currently is calibrated to work at about 180 or so requests per minute. Retrieving 2000 records takes roughly 10 minutes.

        Please see the link below to join the slack channel to get access to the latest spreadsheet.

        AlexSirota commented  · 
        AlexSirota commented  · 

        Hi everyone! I've been reading this thread that's 7 years old and am happy to report that using the Excel dashboard that Wild Apricot published to access the API, we have begun implementing these type of membership reports. If you're interested in contributing to our open source effort please let me know. We hope to share our results with the community and contribute back to the official wild Apricot github. Please email alex@newpathconsulting.com of you would like to know more.

      • 22 votes
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          11 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
        • 8 votes
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            2 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
          • 51 votes
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              13 comments  ·  Wishlist » Blogs  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
            • 57 votes
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                24 comments  ·  Wishlist » New features  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
              • 60 votes
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                  42 comments  ·  Wishlist » Chapters  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  AlexSirota commented  · 

                  I have been wracking my brain on how to work around elegantly Wild Apricot's configuration to accomplish the idea of a "master" site and subsites all within 1 Wild Apricot instance.

                  1) The database can be configured to have either a chapter assignment attribute OR a different set of membership levels for each chapter.

                  Using the database field approach one can register through a central, agreed upon set of membership levels consistent for ALL chapters (or at least the majority) and then the member records via drop down or radio button which chapter they are assigning themselves to. You can do some interesting things like being assigned (and pay via calculated charge membership field) to multiple chapters if you want. The MAJOR issue with this is that page level access control CANNOT be set with saved searches so membership groups have to be used instead. I do believe membership groups CAN be set on registration or renewal but cannot be automatically defaulted to a set level. This is an issue that could be solved with some page level Javascript (a very small hack).

                  Using membership levels is another approach where each chapter derives their own set of membership levels from a master set and then has a large degree of configurability. Membership levels are the chapter identifiers then.

                  Access control works seamlessly in the website with membership levels.

                  2) All access control to websites can be managed via membership level or the membership group and unsurprisingly this is the easiest and best fit. Chapters can have their own page templates derived from a master set of templates and the "subsites" can be quite rich with their own set of controls.

                  Escalation has to happen to a master website coordinator to make new pages or changes to page templates. This may be a *good* thing!

                  3) The events system has to use membership level/groups based on decision in 1 OR instead use the tagging system. Tagging system can be fragile and leak events into wrong chapters.

                  The main issue here is that any administrator with event management rights (or full admin) can see all the events and has to be adept at finding and managing their own events. Lots of chapters means LOTS of events. The upside is that people can copy event ideas from each other using duplicate but the event UI can become a mess. On the other hand with adequate training and policies this *could* work.

                  Events access control via gadgets show the appropriate events to each subsite chapter, with a BIG plus that events across the whole org seamlessly float up to a master event calendar.

                  4) The payment gateway limitation is the *single biggest* roadblock. Since only 1 currency and 1 payment gateway per account is allowed, the owner of the payment gateway has to be responsible for "doling" out funds to each chapter using a very well defined identifier. This must happen in the reporting on the payment gateway. Most (if not all payment gateways) support ONLY 1 bank account so this must be done OUTSIDE of the payment gateway. This is a show stopper.

                  If Affinipay supported multiple bank accounts for withdrawal based on a tag, a single payment gateway would be ok as long as an indicator for every transaction showed where the transaction goes (HQ, chapter 1, 2 etc) and if the payment gateway could just dump money into the right account, financial reporting could support the reconciliation effort.

                  Saving costs of multiple payment gateway setups and administration as well as single point oversight of all financials could be good (unless chapters didn't trust each other).

                  AlexSirota commented  · 

                  5) Reporting can be done in 1 site with membership summary quite well IF and ONLY IF the membership levels are selected for each chapter (described in 1). If a consistent set of chapters with calculated charge fields are used for all chapters, that's even better. The Excel Dashboard we adapted from Wild Apricot API samples can be effectively used for custom rollup rerpoting.

                  6) Training and operational excellence is a MUST in a single site multi-chapter Wild Apricot system. You have to do things correctly in terms of adding a chapter, adding pages, inheriting membership levels for a new chapter, modification of existing levels.

                  Setting up 1 set of levels seems like a better way to go but that assumes a business model transformation across all chapters which may not be realistic.

                  It seems doable, but the payment gateway roadblock seems to be the thing that is the most critical to resolve, whereas the others are not so bad.

                  Setting up 60 chapters individually with cloning and then reporting across them all seems great, but financially it just doesn't scale because the per contact cost at the smaller payment levels is dramatically more than at the 15k+ levels. The larger the org the less appealing a multi-site approach looks and the more difficult it is to manage.

                  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel if the Payment Gateway issue is resolved, honestly speaking.

                  AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
                • 66 votes
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                    32 comments  ·  Wishlist » Security / Privacy  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
                  • 2 votes
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                      0 comments  ·  Wishlist » Members  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      AlexSirota shared this idea  · 
                    • 245 votes
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                        51 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        AlexSirota commented  · 

                        Haha -- it's the most important skill anyone can learn to simply customize Wild Apricot pages. It's fully documented on where to enter the CSS, but knowing the structure and properties is a learned art like bonsai tree pruning. Anyways... Enter this into your CSS.

                        .WaGadgetEvents .boxOuterContainer .boxBodyOuterContainer .boxBodyContainer .boxBodyInfoOuterContainer .boxBodyInfoContainer .boxActionContainer input.typeButton

                        {
                        margin-top: -1000px;
                        }

                        What this does is target the Register button and moves it much higher in the list. You may want to experiment with the -1000 value (in pixels, thus the px). Move it higher or lower to suit.

                        Here are the instructions on where to enter CSS:
                        https://gethelp.wildapricot.com/en/articles/438

                        AlexSirota commented  · 

                        Walt , elementary my Dear Watson. Use CSS to position the button somewhere differently. Don't know how? Share a link here and Sherlock Holmes (not really, just me) will write some CSS to help you move it.

                        Just about any element in Wild Apricot is movable without waiting for changes to be made, with some knowledge of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

                        AlexSirota commented  · 

                        I do think the idea of recurring events where you register for the whole set of a subset of events and repeating events where you have a cap on each of the events in the series is different.

                        Management of the maximum number of registrants for example is different in a recurring event than a repeating event. You may wish to max out number of registrants as a maximum amount for the whole series.

                        Or you may wish to max out registrations (say max of 1) for each of the events separately on a repeating event. The use cases drive different scenarios here. I would hope this feature would be flexible for both types of situation of recurring and repeating events, a subtle difference.

                        AlexSirota commented  · 

                        This is the exact feature request that is necessary to setup a registration for a shared space such as a hotel suite in a condominium or a party room. Setting up an event that repeats with a separate set of registrants for each event is critical. This is different than repeating sessions which is just attached to 1 event.

                        It is not a recurring event per se, but rather a repeating event that has an optional registration every day, every hour, every week, every month or some other custom schedule.

                        This is very similar to a calendar invitation where you can accept a specific event , the whole series or just a set of events in the repeating series.

                        AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
                      • 115 votes
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                          20 comments  ·  Wishlist » Polls / Surveys  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          AlexSirota commented  · 

                          Rich why don't you collect this information as part of the member profile? That way it can always be updated on renewals too or left as is.

                          AlexSirota commented  · 

                          What is the current polls/surveys tool missing to address your needs CGD59? https://gethelp.wildapricot.com/en/articles/1582

                          AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
                        • 13 votes
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                            8 comments  ·  Wishlist » Photos / Files  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            AlexSirota commented  · 

                            This is an important wishlist item to treat documents in the file manager as equal citizens to other pages.

                            One interesting thing about downloading files though. Many web browsers "preview" the link and render it without a helper application - images, PDFs and other data types are dealt with in a different way.

                            Fillable PDFs for example are sometimes not fillable at all (see Firefox). Interactive PDFs that have calculations break very often as well due to lack of implementation support for the full PDF specification.

                            Using the HTML5 "download" attribute it is possible to force the browser to download the file rather than render it for preview. This will allow users to open the documents in the native "helper" application when necessary.

                            Details on this very useful, and little known feature that is supported in all the major browsers and platforms.
                            https://www.w3schools.com/tags/att_a_download.asp

                            AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
                          • 42 votes
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                              34 comments  ·  Wishlist » Online payments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              AlexSirota commented  · 

                              Support for EFT payments like Interac all over the world would be a terrific value add for WA Payments! +1

                              AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
                              AlexSirota commented  · 

                              I have a potential customer who called me looking for this feature in particular with authorize.net or stripe both which support ACH/echecks.

                              I was thinking maybe this could be implemented by just turning off online payments and recording the banking info as part of a profile so when a submission comes in, someone goes manually into the profile and manually posts the data to the check clearing services. Of course automated passing of data to authorize.net would be better, but I am looking for cheap and cheerful solutions until an automated approach works.

                            • 96 votes
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                                62 comments  ·  Wishlist » Gadgets  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                AlexSirota commented  · 

                                This is a pretty nice implementation in jQuery -- I wonder if it can be made available in a File Browser gadget -- could be really useful. This code is GPL

                                https://www.abeautifulsite.net/jquery-file-tree

                                AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
                              • 4 votes
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                                  Work in progress  ·  2 comments  ·  Wishlist » Account administration  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  AlexSirota commented  · 

                                  In my estimate, if you include a test phase, there are about 60+ discrete steps to properly setup a Wild Apricot account. This includes various data, website and configuration options. It is by no means trivial, but a simpler account setup, maybe from a set of "vertical" target segments would be a good idea.

                                  As you all know I have some thoughts on this.

                                • 1 vote
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                                    2 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    AlexSirota commented  · 

                                    Yes of course. It works great. But it's not a good experience for new users. Could it be invoked during a save somehow? I have seen many people damage their CSS and not realize the checker is there. Maybe a better UI?

                                    AlexSirota shared this idea  · 
                                  • 4 votes
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                                      1 comment  ·  Wishlist » API  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      AlexSirota shared this idea  · 
                                    • 9 votes
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                                        5 comments  ·  Wishlist » Events  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        AlexSirota commented  · 

                                        Another twist to the need for duplicating events -- when duplicating an event you may wish to optionally change the start/end date and time so that when an event is duplicated you can on the fly duplicate the event but bump to a future date.

                                        Event duplication should also have an option to duplicate published events and copy their settings for audiences. So if it is restricted and already taking registrations, a duplication should KEEP the settings as is. Currently a duplicate event is automatically disabled and set for admin only. I can see why this may be a desired behaviour but if you are using the duplicate event as an event template, you'd want ALL the settings to be exactly duplicated and just push the date to a future (or in theory past) date and time.

                                        AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
                                      • 7 votes
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                                          3 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                          AlexSirota commented  · 

                                          It is possible to use Custom HTML to assign page template level CSS that is inherited by the pages that use it. Here's how to set a page template level BODY tag change to swap out the background image:

                                          <style>
                                          body { background-image: url(https://newpathconsulting.wildapricot.org/resources/Theme/template_backgroundimages/imageWA.png); background-size: cover; background-repeat: unset; background-attachment: fixed; background-color: navajowhite; background-blend-mode: unset; }</style>

                                          What would be nicer is to be able to assign a full tag like this in a Custom CSS settings of a page template. Inline styles currently are only available for gadgets so it would be ideal to be able to add this code on the settings of the page template, just like they could be done on a page.

                                          AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
                                        • 118 votes
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                                            41 comments  ·  Wishlist » Website / Content  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                            AlexSirota commented  · 

                                            A few more comments on customizing themes. Did you know that when you use Colors & Styles and make one change a special file gets created called customStyles in the Theme folder of your Files system. This file is actually the CSS of all customizable elements on your site. Making changes in some ways is EASIER on this file rather than the UI because now you know exactly which CSS class or ID is being modified. Now if you make a change in the UI it may overwrite this document. But once you know the class or ID you can search that on your page and know exactly what is being changed rather than guessing. Analyzing this customStyles.css document gives you a ton of ideas for customization the look and feel and is a great place to understand the CSS structure of a Wild Apricot theme. Here for example is what changes when you change the background image of the Site:

                                            body
                                            {background-image: url('https://sf.wildapricot.org/ThemeSharedRes/HeaderBackgroundImages/Bg-pattern-15.png');}

                                            Learning about CSS is the key to making WIld Apricot themes sing with delight!

                                            AlexSirota commented  · 

                                            Sarah,

                                            You can use CSS to modify a lot of the Wild Apricot website without changing the underlying template. Do you know how to do that?

                                            We've changed the profile pages dramatically without theme overrides over at accountantscentral.com

                                            Check out one of the profiles there:

                                            http://accountantscentral.com/Sys/PublicProfile/41069757/3917912

                                            We used CSS to reposition some elements and even introduce some graphics under certain pieces of text. It's a bit cumbersome but it is possible WITHOUT THEME OVERRIDES!

                                            AlexSirota commented  · 

                                            Sarah,

                                            You can use CSS to modify a lot of the Wild Apricot website without changing the underlying template. Do you know how to do that?

                                            AlexSirota commented  · 

                                            In case you want to check out the membership site in WordPress here's the link https://umichtoronto.org

                                            AlexSirota commented  · 

                                            I have now had some experience building out equivalent functionality to Wild Apricot in WordPress. We built a membership site for an alumni club using several plugins and I must say the design capabilities in WordPress are superior to Wild Apricot. In most part this is because you are inheriting an existing template that looks good from the start. Is the functionality 100% equivalent? I don't think so, especially in the area of membership management, renewals. The plugin we used Ultimate Membership has some great capabilities that overlap with Wild Apricot but not quite as mature. There are others of course too that probably mirror. It took us 4 major plugins -- Mail Poet for email marketing, Ultimate Member for memberships/directories, WooCommerce for donations+ecommerce, The Event Calendar for event management. We also have Ninja Forms to create sign up forms to collect data through custom forms.

                                            On the plus site the integration with a single sign on for membership + ecommerce is much superior to Wild Apricot.

                                            On the minus side the event calendar solution does not have built in ecommerce and you'd need to use a form coordinated with ecommerce to build out custom registration forms.

                                            In the end, the capabilities are much more flexible in WordPress, but you need to know what you're doing.

                                            Wild Apricot is a perfect fit for new clubs/associations that don't have extensive design needs and ecommerce.

                                            WordPress is a perfect fit for those that need a nearly unlimited design capability and ecommerce flexibility.

                                            Of course with WordPress you own the code and need to maintain it, but there is no monthly increase in cost when you get to 1000 users. You just may need a better host to manage thousands of users at probably max of $50 per month in hosting fees.

                                            Wild Apricot is really aimed at a special kind of association and club -- one without an internal Marketing/IT department or staff.

                                            AlexSirota commented  · 

                                            A few observations we've had. Many customers come to us with an existing WordPress website wanting to integrate Wild Apricot into their site. They recognize the limitations of the WA design capabilities out of the box. It's quite interesting too because WordPress plugins and themes have a ton of capability and it is very likely that Wild Apricot like functionality can be assembled with lots of benefits.

                                            Yet, they don't want to do that or invest in the exploration and testing required. There are just a lot of gaps and unknowns.

                                            The Wild Apricot current theme functionality is actually quite mature. With theme overrides there appears to be almost a limitless set of capabilities, but there is one thing that really scares me:

                                            Theme overrides override an existing theme. Once that theme is updated the override is probably totally separate from the underlying theme.

                                            It would be ideal to build a stock theme built specifically for theme design. Then open a theme library where themes can be put into a marketplace. Some are free. Some are premium. Some start free go to premium. This theme development system in WordPress is one of the primary reasons WordPress has gotten so big -- that and the plugins of course.

                                            I think Wild Apricot is quite close to that but the marketplace and ecosystem has to be developed with some marketing push from WA. I hope you consider this for a future effort. Your partners can help kick start this process.

                                            ps. Custom WA theme designs right now cost $5000+ -- this is totally out of the range for investment for most WA customers unless they don't have an existing site and the current designs are not "worthy."

                                            AlexSirota supported this idea  · 
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