Newsletter: August 2019

New Badge Images
Local Adult Awards Group Page
Calendar

Dear fellow Scouter,

I hope you're having a great summer.

The Scouts Online website platform is continuing to evolve, so I'd like to tell you about some of the recent changes. As ever, most of the new features have been suggested by fellow Scouts Online website users, like you and I. Thank you to Gareth, Nick, Tom, Martin, Mark, Ian and many others for your ideas. If you've got a good website idea, that could also benefit other Scouts Online users, please contact me.

To help with marketing initiatives, I would appreciate it if you could contact me if you're prepared to write a testimonial, review and share the reasons why you chose Scouts Online and how we work together.

Thank you for continuing to partner with Scouts Online. It's a pleasure to work with you.

PS. If you have another leader that would like to receive future newsletters, please ask them to complete THIS FORM and include News / Update Information in the boxes they tick.

Yours in Scouting,

Chris

General Website Updates

Contact Form Confirmation Auto-Reply
Contact Form Confirmation Auto-Reply

It's now possible to setup each Contact form to send a confirmatory email back to the person who completed the form.

You can use merge fields for [##FirstName##] and [##ApplicantsFirstName##] to personalise the email, as above.

If your contact forms use the default settings, some of them will be updated for you during August to include "thank you" messages.

Applies to all websites and package levels
File Manager Enhancements
File Manager Updates

By popular demand, changes have been made to the File Manager, as follows:

  • Tick All: A new button has been added to make it easier to add all files in a folder to a photo album, news story, or event.
  • Scrolling: A file can now be selected from the file list without the list scrolling up.
  • Scouts Online Inventory: Adult awards and new badge images have been uploaded to the inventory for you to use on your events, news and web pages.
  • Higher Resolution Images have been added to the SA_Images folders for you to use on wide image banner displays.
  • File Storage Limit: This stays at 50MB, but this limit is now enforced and upload of very large files is now restricted to help you manage storage.

Applies to Group package 2 & 3 and all District/County websites
Header Bar Icon Links
Header Bar Icon Links

You may now add your own link buttons to the social link panel at the top of your website pages.

To add your own links, fill-in the Header Link 1 and 2 fields in the Admin/Global Settings or Group Details page.

Applies to Group package 3 and District/County package 2 websites
Event Booking Emails
Event Booking Emails

If you use event booking forms, the email you receive now includes the event name and date/times.

This is especially useful for adult appointment interview bookings to show which interview slot has been booked, when you may have lots of interview events setup.

Applies to Group package 3 and District/County package 2 websites
404 - Page Not Found
404 Page Not Found

If a website visitor types in an incorrect page URL or opens a page that you've removed from your website, the visitor is shown an error page.

You may now personalise the text on this page. To do this, login as a Site Admin user, open a non-existent page and edit the HTML/text module.

Applies to Group packages 2 & 3 and all District/County websites
Image Banner Styles
Image Banner Styles

A new Style field has been added to the settings of image banner controls. The options are as follows:

  • Default Aspect: Shrink to fit height and width
  • Full Width: Cut top and bottom to fit full width
  • Full Width Parallax: The image reveals more as the page is scrolled up

Applies to Group packages 2 & 3 and all District/County websites
Add YouTube Videos to News Stories
YouTube Video on News Article

You can now attach YouTube videos to your news articles.

This feature was added to allow a County Commissioner to Vlog directly from the Jamboree, uploading each vlog to YouTube and then adding the video to news stories on their website.

Applies to Group package 3 and District/County package 2 websites
Friendly URLs for Your Own Pages
User Def URLs

You can now access the pages you've added to your website using their page name.

So, if the About/Page1.aspx page is named "District Shop", it may now be accessed as /about/district-shop.

If you've created a Pages/Page?.aspx page, it can be accessed from the website root, similar to www.ScoutDistrict.org.uk/district-shop

Applies to Group packages 2 & 3 and all District/County websites
Social Like/Shares
Social Like/Shares

Social media like and share buttons have been added to photo albums and events, so you can promote them via Facebook or Twitter.

Applies to Group package 3 and District/County package 2 websites
Module Change Notification
Module Change Notification

If you have multiple Site Admin users, but still want to retain control over the whole website centrally, a single user can now receive an email every time a control module is changed.

Contact us if you'd like this setting up.

Applies to Group packages 2 & 3 and all District/County websites
District, Area, Region & County Website Updates

Local Adult Awards Group Page
LAAG Page

A new page has been created on the Members menu, to facilitate your LAAG and help you increase the number of adult awards you present.

This page includes resource links to award information pages and the online award nomination form.

You can enable the "Members/AdultAwards" page in Admin/Page Management.

To add a user to the LAAG team list, edit the user's details in Admin/User Management and tick the new LAAG Team field in the Roles & Website Rights tab.

Applies to District/County package 2 websites
Events Calendar
Calendar

An events calendar has been added to the About/What's On page. Website visitors can choose to view a list of events or the calendar view.

Applies to District/County package 2 websites
Country Training Courses on District Websites
Adult Training List

Where a District and its County both have Scout Online websites, any adult training courses setup on the County website will also appear on the training course list on the District site, alongside District only courses.

This simplifies the training course booking process for District website users and should increase the adult course bookings.

Applies to District/County package 2 websites
Scouting Roles

New roles have been added for District Youth Commissioner and County Youth Commissioner.

We've also added Welsh and Scottish Scouting role names. These will show instead of the English role names where the website country is set to Wales or Scotland.

Applies to all District/County websites
Media & Communications Page
Media & Communications page

To support your media team, a new page is now available on the Members menu. This includes an introduction, team list, media events/meetings list, resource links and a contact form.

You can enable the "Members/Media" page in Admin/Page Management.

Like the LAAG team list, you can add a user to the Media team in User Management.

Applies to District/County package 2 websites
Adult Training Updates
Adult Training Updates

New adult training course modules have been added to the event modules list for Achieving Growth, Meeting Challenges and Skills of Management.

The Members / Training Resource links have been updated to link to the new www.scouts.org.uk documents.

Applies to District/County package 2 websites
Districts List Page
Districts List

The Districts page on County websites now shows the District contact based on the user flagged as DC or the next highest-ranking user, rather than the District's main website contact.

Applies to all County websites
Adventurous Activity Permit form
Adventurous Activity Permit

A new "Activity Description" field has been added to the Adventurous Activity Permit form to help DCs decide whether to authorise each permit request.

Applies to District/County package 2 websites
Sectional Badge Pages

The badge information pages have been amended so that you may change the page text and badge links list.

Applies to all District/County websites
Group & Unit Website Updates

Sectional Badges Pages
Sectional Badges

The sectional badge pages have been re-designed. The user can now select between Core, Challenge, Activity and Staged Activity badge types.

A brief introduction to the badge type is displayed, along with a list of the new badge images, with the 2019 Scouting logo, and links to the badge's information page on www.scouts.org.uk when clicked.

Applies to all Group websites
OSM Adult Events

If your group uses the Adults section inside OSM for group wide events, you can now map the OSM Adults section to your website's "Group" section so you can import these events into your website to promote in events lists.

Applies to Group package 3 websites
Sectional Programmes Badge Links
Sectional Programmes Badge Links

Where badges are attached to a programme event, including those from OSM, the viewer may now click on the badge image to open that badge's information page on www.scouts.org.uk

Applies to Group package 3 websites
Events Calendar Key
Calendar Key

A sectional colour code key has been added to the About/What's On events calendar, to make it easier for parents to see which section each event relates to.

Applies to Group package 3 websites
Website Tips: How to promote your website

To get the most from your website, it's important that your members, leaders, parents and prospective members use it. Here are some tips that will help people find your site and continue to visit it from time to time:

  • Domain name: Get your own domain name, from www.123-reg.co.uk or similar, to use for your website. This will allow HTTPS secure browsing, which encourages search engines to promote your website. Click HERE for more information.
    NB. Pick a short and recognisable domain name. E.g. www.1stAcaciaScouts.org.uk.
  • Links to your website: Ask your District, County, Church and local community organisations to show your domain name on their websites when they mention you, and reciprocate by adding a link to their website on your Links page.
  • Prospective members: When a prospective member/parent contacts you, send them a link to your section's Join Us web page. This pushes parents to use your website from the start.
  • New members: At the end of investitures, ask parents to use your Uniform web page for badge placements. This re-enforces the message that parents can get information from your website.
  • Domain name on letterheads: Include your website domain name/URL to your group letterheads, sectional programmes and email footers.
  • Badge links: If your members work on activity badges outside of meeting nights, add a link to your section's badge web page on your programme emails/letters.
  • Stay relevant: Regularly updating content will keep your website fresh and further encourage search engines to promote your website.
Help Grow the Community

The more websites we supply, the more the platform will evolve to the benefit of us all. We would therefore appreciate your help by recommending Scouts Online to your neighbouring Groups, your DC, other Districts and your County.

It would really help if you could add a link to www.ScoutsOnline.co.uk on your next District/County newsletter or mention Scouts Online to your Scouting friends. You could also follow the Scouts Online Facebook Page and Like/Share any posts of interest.

Scouts Online builds websites for Scout Groups, Units, Districts, Regions, Areas, Counties and Campsites. Group websites can also include OSM integration.

Thank you for your help in anticipation.

Ben Gorton Scout Narrowboat
Ben Gorton Scout Narrowboat

Earlier in the year we built a unique website for a Scout Narrowboat. It looks like an excellent activity, so I thought I'd share this gem with you. The narrowboat is moored in Northolt, north-east of London. Why not give it a go?

See www.ScoutNarrowboat.co.uk

We provide a unique, once in a lifetime experience to members of the Scout and Guide organisations. You'll learn new skills, enjoy beautiful scenery, make friends and see the World from a whole different perspective

Follow @ScoutsOnlineWebsites On Facebook

You can keep up to date with Scouts Online news by following the Scouts Online Facebook page HERE.