Use Your Own Domain with Toastmost Club Website Hosting

The Toastmost club website hosting service associated with the WordPress for Toastmasters is looking for clubs to test a new option, which allows you to use your own web domain (myclub.com) as opposed to a subdomain of toastmost.org (myclub.toastmost.org). Among other things, your club may gain a branding advantage by having a simpler domain consistent with the name of your club.

Because adding your domain to a Toastmost-hosted site requires a little extra configuration, this feature will probably be offered for an upgrade charge TBD — but you can get it at no charge as “beta tester” for a limited time. The only expense to your club will be registering the domain through a service such as GoDaddy.

Until now, if you wanted to use your own web domain (www.myclub.com instead of myclub.toastmost.org), you had to set up your own WordPress website and be prepared to administer it yourself — which is more expensive and technically complex. With hosting through Toastmost.org, I take care of the more technical details related to website maintenance and security.

Details:

  • You are responsible for registering your own domain through GoDaddy or one of its competitors. I will give you a few settings you will record with your domain registrar to “point” the domain to “point it” at the Toastmost service.
  • You will get access to the same assortment of WordPress plugins that are available to other Toastmost.org sites.
  • Currently, the only supported theme for club websites is Lectern, a design that has been reviewed for brand conformance by Toastmasters International.
  • In addition to your website, you will have the option of having email addresses and forwarders associated with your domain.
  • Clubs with established websites that volunteer for the beta program should be prepared for some disruption to the operation of their website when I “flip the switch” to turn on the domain hosting feature. I will do my best to make the transition as smooth as possible and can schedule it for an “off time” when members are less likely to be trying to access your site.
  • If you want complete technical control over your site (and are prepared to take complete technical responsibility), you may still prefer to run the WordPress for Toastmasters software on your own, independent hosting.

Update 10/16/2020

After going through it a couple of times, here is what the process looks like:

  • You let me know what domain you want to direct to the Toastmost server. I set the server to recognize traffic for that domain.
  • You make a couple of changes with your domain registrar to start directing traffic to Toastmost. I will send detailed instructions.
  • Initially, visitors will be forwarded to the subdomain address of your website. Once we have that working, I move onto the final steps …
  • I set up a security certificate so your site will show up with the padlock icon in your browser and flip the switch to make your domain name the primary address for your website. Anyone trying to visit your old subdomain will be redirected to the new address.

If you’re interested, write to david@wp4toastmasters.com.