Create your own Club web site
Web sites are a wonderful device for you to interact with your members, and promote your club to others.
I’m very pleased to announce that the VBA has developed special web site offers for affiliated clubs with two leading bridge software providers. These are:
- BridgeWebs are offering a one band reduction on their standard annual subscription fee table for Victorian clubs (a club with 15 tables per week would pay about $60 a year, depending on the exchange rate at the time of purchase).
- Altosoft are offering to reduce the initial set up fee for a complete managed web site from $330 to $110 (ongoing monthly hosting and management fee remain at the standard rate).
These offers are for a web site only. In both cases, scoring software needs to be acquired separately. Of course, most clubs already have scoring software.
As I’m sure you recall, the VBA will provide small marketing subsidies to affiliated clubs getting a new web site. These would be enough to cover either the first year of a BridgeWebs subscription or the reduced set up fee from Altosoft.
For small to medium clubs, BridgeWebs is easy to manage and very cheap. For medium and larger clubs, Altosoft has features some Australian clubs find useful, such as congress management.
If you don’t already have a web site, I encourage you to take the opportunity to get one.
If you would like to take up the BridgeWebs offer, use their trial period offer then identify yourself as a Victorian club if you decide to proceed at the conclusion of the trial period.
If you would like to take up the Altosoft offer, please contact them directly and identify yourself as a Victorian club. If you would like more information or assistance from the VBA, please direct your initial query to Cathie Lachman.
Warrnambool Bridge Club – on Altosoft
The website committee found dealing with Altosoft a very rewarding experience.We received excellent support and the installation was relatively painless and generally well received by the members.
The ability to readily see the results and the analysis of the hands and bidding is wonderful.
We are able to readily communicate with the members who have computers which means information is quickly available and easy to update.
We feel we have a way to go before we are realise the maximum benefit but are delighted with progress to date.
We thoroughly recommend the software to other bridge clubs!
MCC Bridge Club – on Bridgewebs
- Reasonably straightforward (even with no prior web development experience)
- Other Bridgewebs sites a huge source of ideas
- Online manual not particularly useful
- Strong interest by members; better than expected uptake
- Less experienced users needed help getting to website and setting up bookmark
- All issues resolved within two weeks
- Excellent functionality and visual appeal
- Valuable tool for club management (despite some members being unable to access)
From a long term perspective, there is just one issue. Despite delivering a quality product with wide acceptance, the Bridgewebs organisation appears to be to just one man (Gwynne Hughes), who is a professional website developer and bridge player with a strong personal commitment to the development of our game. Although we take comfort from the large number of much bigger clubs which are using his services, we are also ensuring that our core activities would not be adversely impacted should Bridgewebs suddenly disappear from our screens.
UK-based BridgeWebs (www.bridgewebs.com) is the world’s most popular provider of bridge web sites, with well over 1,000 bridge clubs using their service. 12 of the 59 affiliated Victorian clubs already use BridgeWebs.
BridgeWebs is offering Victorian clubs a one band reduction on their standard annual subscription fee table. This means a club with 15 tables per week would pay ? 45 ($70)instead of ? 40 ($60) (at current exchange rates).
A simple BridgeWebs site can be set up in about a day, and no knowledge of designing web sites is required. The VBA can offer affiliated clubs some assistance in initially setting up their BridgeWebs site.
BridgeWebs accepts results uploads from many scoring packages. Victorian clubs on BridgeWebs are currently using CompScore2, ScoreBridge and JSS (see below).
Peter Busch’s CompScore2 program (www.altosoft.com.au) is one of Australia’s most popular scoring programs, with around 60 clubs including the VBA using it. Altosoft also manages all or part of the web site for most of those clubs.
Altosoft will reduce its initial set up fee f