The reader should be aware that the USCJ (United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism) offers free web hosting for its affiliates. In addition, they make available about half a dozen free WordPress themes.
Whether acquiring software initially to solve an unmet need, or considering replacement for an existing, but inadequate solution, here are several ideas to consider and evaluate:
- How would conversion to the software happen? For example, can data be initially loaded via spreadsheet, or must it be entered manually?
- Can data within the system be easily downloaded into a usable format for analysis within spreadsheet programs?
- What are the ongoing maintenance costs, considering (a) licensing, (b) hardware, (c) vendor support?
- To what extent does the software integrate with others that you may be using, such as accounting programs, scheduling applications, email, and text messaging?
- If the application handles credit cards, is it compliant with PCI (Payment Card Industry) standards?
- What is involved with adding users?
- How are upgrades handled?
- To what extent is the vendor willing and able to enhance the software to better serve your work processes?
- Nothing to install on desktop/laptop machines
- No server software to maintain and, eventually, replace
- Saves the cost of having a local hardware company maintain and patch your on-premises machine
- Software upgrades available automatically–no local upgrades required
- Device independence
- Frees you from having to perform periodic backups and having data available in case of a contingency event
- Hardware sizing can grow and shrink according to need