Toastmost is introducing hosting for district websites and also talking to some districts about sponsoring websites for clubs in their district. Allowing Toastmost to handle some of the technical aspects of hosting a Toastmasters-branded WordPress site allows your district webmaster and PR team to focus on telling the story of what makes your district special. You’re invited to sign up for a trial account.
Districts who choose to host their website with the Toastmost service get:
- Access to WordPress themes (designs) that have been preapproved by Toastmasters International — with the opportunity to innovate within that design.
- Configuration of the website to use the district’s own domain.
- District-specific features, including support for hybrid online/offline business meetings, which will be enhanced over the coming year in collaboration with district leaders and their webmasters.
- Events calendar with registration feature built into the website.
- Support for online payments, including event fees.
- Option to create accounts for area, division, and district officers, allowing them to publish content to the website or draft content for approval. You also get the option to publish content such as contact information to members-only pages that only someone who has been issued a password can access.
- Email aliases like dd@, pqd@, cgd@, trio@, divisionB@, area5@, etc.
- Option of enabling a dec@ email list. Only DEC members or whitelisted addresses can write to the list; messages are distributed to all members.
- Access to features originally developed for club use, such as contest tools with digital ballots and vote counting.
- Technical support for district webmasters.
- Consultation with Toastmost creator David F. Carr, DTM, on digital strategy.
You can try setting up a test site on your own by visiting the Create a District Website page.
Terms and Pricing
- 60-day trial for testing of unpublished websites.
- $500 per year for hosting and technical support. Price is the same if you want to host the website independently (requiring me to work with a different technical infrastructure). District support will help Toastmost continue to offer low-cost club websites.
- Starter template includes:
- A district calendar, which with the option of registration links for specific events.
- An “About us,” which a placeholder for historical information about the District and current leaderships/photos/contact information.
- Specific email addresses which can be transferred from one leader to another in a different year (e.g., from one Area Director to the next). These can be hosted on the web server or configured to work with Google Workspace (subscription cost not included).
- Email distribution lists.
- Trio-only (Area Visit Reports), DEC-only (upcoming meeting agendas and minutes), and/or District Council access to documents, (e.g., proxies, committee reports, prior to the various meetings).
- Awards/recognition pages for members, clubs, and the district itself.
- Websites will be mocked up with placeholders for content that your district webmaster and district leaders can quickly fill in.
District Sponsorship of Club Websites
Districts may also choose to sponsor the cost of club websites, “buying in bulk” to make the service available free for clubs within the district.
The regular club rate is $50 per year for each club, following a 6-month free trial. Districts might consider encouraging clubs to sign up for the free trial. If enough clubs see the value and want to continue using the software, the district can negotiate a flat rate to allow access for all district clubs.
Pricing for the 2021-2022 Toastmasters year: If a district invests $500, the first 15 clubs to go live from that district will get a year of Toastmost service for free. Since the clock doesn’t start running until the end of their six months free, they would actually get access for at least 18 months (even if future district leaders don’t continue the relationship). The “go live” requirement is that the club must make its website public (available to be indexed in search engines). New club websites are set to discourage indexing by search engines to allow club leaders time for testing and content development.
Video Demo of Toastmost for Districts
This is a work-in-progress update on the creating templated websites districts can use as a starting point and an initial district specific tool for organizing a directory of district officers.