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How to and Should we start a PTO Website

11 years 8 months ago #161575 by Rose H
Hi Irish 196,

Some great ideas here. I especially like the idea of checking other school's websites. Many will have link to their PTO's website. That would help you narrow down ideas for the "look and feel'' you want.

One other suggestion: We have some great and active parents on Faceboook who run Facebook pages and websites for their PTOs. If you want to connect with them for even more ideas, check out www.facebook.com/ptotoday.

Good luck!

Rose C.
Community Manager
11 years 8 months ago #161568 by ckscott
Hi Texas Beth

I started a website for our Texas High School band three years ago. It is totally free, we have a store with items folks can purchase with a credit card and we choose if we or they pay the convience fee. It also has an email system that the webmaster can send emails out to everyone that's registered. It has a volunteer software that you can use to create volunteer activites and when folks go to sign up the website will automatically email them a reminder the day before and a thank you the day after. Can track volunteer hours if you choose. Has multiple customizied formats you can choose from. We can upload pictures, documents, clip art. You are only limited to your imigination, and it's all free. It will take alittle time in setting up if you like to really customize your site but there are online tutorials you can access anytime.

Go to my-pta.org and read the story behind this wonderful service for schools and organizations. I also used them to create a scout troop website for my son's scout troop.
You can check out our band website mhsbulldogband.my-pta.org
Good luck!
A tip....I googled other high school websites just to see how they set theirs up and get ideas when I was shopping around trying to find us a website company.
11 years 8 months ago #161561 by texasebeth
If you have a parent who is web savy you don't need anything other than a hosting company, the domain name and WordPress or Blogger. I personally recommend WordPress as it is very easy to use, update, and personalize. You don't need to know HTML or anything fancy. WP is a blogging platform but can be used for storefronts and more. They can be made private, password protected as well.

Lots of PTOs in our area use a company called Homestead.

I recommend you spend the money to get your own domain - schoolnamepto.org or .com - it is usually inexpensive. Hosting is pretty cheap as well. Host Gator, QTH.com and many more offer great hosting packages with a variety of options. Avoid GoDaddy.

We are looking at getting our own PTO website at some point. Our PTO is trying to work with the principal about the official school website but we don't have access to the page either. Getting it updated is a nightmare too.
11 years 8 months ago #161539 by anonymously
Replied by anonymously on topic Re:How to and Should we start a PTO Website
Our school created a website using shutterfly dot com. What I like about shutterfly is that it easy to create, enables parents to share photos, you can send emails to members, and share information plus so much more. You can also make it a privite website where members have to be invited in order to access it. We do have parents sign a photo release at the beginning of the year, which explains that site is private and ask them for their email addresses to invite them.
11 years 8 months ago #161532 by Irish196
We are a Catholic grade school K-8. Our principal will not let us have a Facebook page. We have a page on our school's website but a faculty member has to update it. This means that it can not be updated quickly. The school also wants to limit us on linking to 3rd parties (like BoxTops, fundraising sites, etc.) One option I see is to start our own website. Has anyone done this? Is it hard? Are there good companies that sell domain names and a "frame" for a web page that is easy to use? Any advice would be great!
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