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Im a board member of an online social group. We are looking at updating our website and backend IT systems to include online registration, subscription management, member database, self managing profiles, event booking and payment and member interaction. Plus marketing options and email distributions.

Is this what CiviCRM can help with ?

Thanks for responses - am going through book.civicrm now.
I guess we are particularly interested to know if logging in to the wordpress or joomla based website via CiviCRM will authenticate access to other components like a forum, messaging and restricted / controlled page views etc. In other words can CiviCRM validate the whole site ?

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    Hi - welcome aboard! I was hoping that you could clarify what you mean by "validate the whole site". You don't "log in" to CiviCRM - you log in to Joomla! or WordPress, which themselves have CiviCRM. CiviCRM can then be configured to allow access to bits of CiviCRM to certain levels of Joomla! or WordPress user (administrator, subscriber, etc). CiviCRM is a hugely flexible system, and will provide amazing, robust, scalable functionality for whatever you choose to embed with it. Post back here with any specific questions! – JohnFF Apr 5 '16 at 16:48
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    Im not clear on which bit validates which! I want members of the club to be able to log in to our site and access events, search other members, make payments, access forums etc from one logon which is associated with their CRM profile and requires no additional admin overhead apart from group settings which would be part of their subscription level. – Will Apr 5 '16 at 17:15
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YES! - Having read your clarifying response to my previous comments, CiviCRM can absolutely do what you require.

To restrict who can access which other users (i.e. when they search etc) you would need to do a (small amount) of custom work. Drupal might be a better platform for you that WordPress or Joomla! Future First is an example of a charity that has a custom "client portal" that allows a range of clients to search and send messages through CiviCRM (in their case CiviCRM is hidden from the user, although it does the majority of the leg work), although there are many others.

As it sounds like you need some custom work done, my suggestion is that you contact one of the excellent CiviCRM Partner Organisations that can be found here: https://civicrm.org/partners-contributors. They will also be able to help you arrange hosting, training, and do the minimum amount of customisation that your organisation needs.

(I'd like to make clear that I am not a CiviCRM Partner Organisation nor do I get a commission :P)

  • thanks for your guidance. We dont want to go to Drupal though, and Im not sure that we would need to restrict who can access other members for searches. So effectively CiviCRM can handle the access authentication for the whole site via wordpress / joomla, without needing separate login details for wordpress / joomla .. ? – Will Apr 5 '16 at 19:11
  • and if we added a forum extension for example, would the authentication carry through to that to enable posting on bulletin boards etc ? – Will Apr 5 '16 at 19:42
  • Civi wouldn't touch that. So if you went with WordPress, used BBPress for the forum, that would be independent of CiviCRM - so it would work fine, Civi would not be involved in that process. On the other hand, if you wanted their forum posts to appear in CiviCRM then you'd need a small customisation - which any of the partner organisations would be happy to provide and then share with the rest of the world should they want it :) – JohnFF Apr 5 '16 at 20:33
  • Im confused - so Civi data would not authenticate users in an attached forum extension to wordpress. Im not clear on the log in authentication process - where is the validation taking place ... We want to have a single login to the site that will enable access to Civi and any other wordpress extension using user data from Civi - is that possible ? We dont want forum posts to appear in Civi :) – Will Apr 5 '16 at 21:37
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    The difference here is between the CMS (WordPress) and the CRM (Civi): CMS (WordPress) handles content (i.e. blog posts, website pages, and forum content) and authentication (logging in and out, and what you can view with different permissions when you are logged in). CRM (Civi) handles contact groups (not to do with logging in), mailings (emails and SMS), membership statuses, event registrations and attendance, reports, contributions (donations etc), and storing other contact data like date of birth, email address, phone number, postal address, etc. – JohnFF Apr 5 '16 at 23:02
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Yes, CiviCRM can do all of these things. It is also a very flexible system with a number of extensions that provide additional functionality that you may need in future.

To get a better idea of what CiviCRM can do I would suggest that you read the user guide and try the one of the demo sites.

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Agree with William, and on top of that you might also check some of the YouTube videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjSU7YfE0E03DWaWNTLemvtQR30PzcB_o

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