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Is this doable WordPress, or should we search for another solution?

We are a non-profit organization organizing meetups and summer camps for kids who wants to learn how to code. We based our website on WordPress and a simple form tool in which the parents could register their children for meetups and summer camps. Unfortunately this approach is so time consuming when we try to send out emails, for example, as we have to export the member data from the form into a csv-file, and then import it to MS Excel and then get rid of all the duplicates generated by parents registering two or more kids for example. And with the current form, we do not have enough control of the data entered into our system, which means that we have to do a lot of manual data cleaning afterwards.

And when the parents wants to sign up their kids for a meetup, they have to re-register all over again...

Ideally I guess we would like to have a system in which an adult/parent, register one or several children and their spouse, and then can log in back to register for an event and do not have to re-enter the same information again! And with this ideal system, we would like to be able to send out emails to a subset of parents and/or kids to communicate with them. So I guess this would be a combination of a membership database (where one parent can register several "child members") and an event manager where we can publish events which the parents can book, and be able to send out emails or export contact data that can be used in other systems to send out text-messages for example, etc, etc.

But is all this really doable in WordPress?

I would be very grateful if you could give me some piece of advice on this issue!

Regards,

Dag
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Dag Wolters
Asked:
Dag Wolters
2 Solutions
 
Terry WoodsIT GuruCommented:
Wordpress is designed to be extended not only using others' plugins, but also using PHP, so it's not a question of whether it is doable. It's more of a question of what's the easiest way to do it, what it costs (some plugins cost), and what fits best with the way you run your organisation.

Note that when you're storing personal data (especially children's), there's an increased requirement for security. A basic installation of Wordpress isn't particularly secure, so you need to understand what you need to do to secure it and keep it secure.

To achieve what you're asking, you might be able to do most of it with plugins:
  • Configuring Wordpress to allow parents to register and login. A members plugin may help if the standard Wordpress user related features aren't adequate
  • A Custom Post Type (CPT) for child information that parents are allowed to create and maintain
  • An event booking plugin
  • A newsletter plugin

Questions you might ask yourself are:
  • What knowledge do your staff/volunteers have that might make Wordpress or another system more or less suitable?
  • What level of funding is available? if you only have one person that looks after the website, and they stop looking after it, can you afford to pay someone to do it?
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Ray PaseurCommented:
In the USA we have the American Camp Association  (over 3,000 member camps).  I am fairly sure that every camp has dealt with this issue before, and the Association might have some community knowledge around this topic.  You might find something by searching their web site or by calling them directly.
http://www.acacamps.org/membership/camps
http://www.acacamps.org/resource-library?k=registration%20software&sort_by=score
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