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Subject: Association Website?
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Author Messages
SusanG11
(Massachusetts)

Posts:13


10/14/2020 3:24 PM  
Hi All, We have a very small Association - 5 units. Until now, we done all business and communications through email. So we all wind up with various copies of documents, and are constantly emailing stuff around - quotes, minutes, etc. I am wondering what other association do.. Does anyone know of a site or portal where we could set up a site for the Association, store documents, Association info, agendas and that kind of thing? Something simple and easy to use. I could set up a website, of course, but I thought there may be something out there I could leverage...
THank you!
ChrisE8
(New York)

Posts:134


10/14/2020 3:27 PM  
Dropbox, Onedrive.live.com, etc.
SusanG11
(Massachusetts)

Posts:13


10/14/2020 5:13 PM  
Thanks! - Do people need a Dropbox account, or can they access a shared folder without?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17008


10/14/2020 6:38 PM  
We used a website
ND
(PA)

Posts:504


10/15/2020 5:48 AM  
The Google suite of apps/products likely does everything you want and much, much more. And unless you need greater capability with certain apps (Google Drive perhaps and needing increased storage space for files, documents), it's mostly free to use. Also accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

Go to google.com and click the "google apps" icon in upper right.

Ones that you may find handy: Gmail (for email), Contacts, Calendar, Drive (Store, access, share files), Sheets (similar to MS Excel), Docs (similar to MS Word), Slides (similar to MS PowerPoint).
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1316


10/15/2020 5:55 AM  
We also used a website, but you need to have some level of computer savvy to set it up and maintain it. In general, the more functionality it provides, the more knowledge is needed to maintain it and the more it will cost. I created and maintained our site for around $100 a year, but most of my career was in IT so that's my idea of a good time.

Online file sharing sites are easier, but they're pretty bare bones. But if the only thing you want to do is share files, they do the job.

Your board should first talk about records retention: what types of records does an association in your state need to maintain, and for how long? What sort of backup is needed? Many small associations resort to boxes of paper, but there is always a chance these may be destroyed (fire, flooded basement, etc.) - which is why I mentioned backups. Online records avoid this issue, although you have to worry about the company you're using going out of business.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3279


10/15/2020 6:14 AM  
What Cathy said - focus on WHAT you need your system to do THEN how to do it.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1559


10/15/2020 10:17 AM  
Posted By SusanG11 on 10/14/2020 3:24 PM
Hi All, We have a very small Association - 5 units. Until now, we done all business and communications through email. So we all wind up with various copies of documents, and are constantly emailing stuff around - quotes, minutes, etc. I am wondering what other association do.. Does anyone know of a site or portal where we could set up a site for the Association, store documents, Association info, agendas and that kind of thing? Something simple and easy to use. I could set up a website, of course, but I thought there may be something out there I could leverage...
THank you!




Susan,


Dropbox and Microsoft Sharepoint offer free accounts that should allow ample space for simple document storage.
ChrisE8
(New York)

Posts:134


10/15/2020 10:57 AM  
Posted By SusanG11 on 10/14/2020 5:13 PM
Thanks! - Do people need a Dropbox account, or can they access a shared folder without?




They can access a Dropbox or OneDrive (Microsoft) account without having an account--both systems have links that can be shared and accessed by anyone.

But they may have to get an account (which is free and easy to sign up for) if they want to upload documents to the sites.
JohnC77
(Washington)

Posts:207


10/15/2020 2:11 PM  
Seriously, you really think using Dropbox or One Drive for members is a viable option, please think again. Put up a simple one page website with certain information. You're not putting up information that could ever harm an association.
ChrisE8
(New York)

Posts:134


10/15/2020 5:39 PM  
Posted By JohnC77 on 10/15/2020 2:11 PM
Seriously, you really think using Dropbox or One Drive for members is a viable option, please think again. Put up a simple one page website with certain information. You're not putting up information that could ever harm an association.




My HOA, with 100 owners, used Onedrive.
JohnC77
(Washington)

Posts:207


10/15/2020 6:15 PM  
Posted By ChrisE8 on 10/15/2020 5:39 PM
Posted By JohnC77 on 10/15/2020 2:11 PM
Seriously, you really think using Dropbox or One Drive for members is a viable option, please think again. Put up a simple one page website with certain information. You're not putting up information that could ever harm an association.




My HOA, with 100 owners, used Onedrive.



Can you track who and when members accessed files?
MarshallT
(New York)

Posts:108


10/16/2020 5:54 AM  
A website is probably ideal because it allows you to do more and it's easier to navigate, but as others have mentioned, a good website isn't free.

For such a small association, Dropbox should be okay. You could also consider using Google Docs.
ChrisE8
(New York)

Posts:134


10/16/2020 7:51 AM  
Posted By JohnC77 on 10/15/2020 6:15 PM
Posted By ChrisE8 on 10/15/2020 5:39 PM
Posted By JohnC77 on 10/15/2020 2:11 PM
Seriously, you really think using Dropbox or One Drive for members is a viable option, please think again. Put up a simple one page website with certain information. You're not putting up information that could ever harm an association.




My HOA, with 100 owners, used Onedrive.



Can you track who and when members accessed files?




I cannot, and I don't know if anyone (other than a Microsoft employee) can.

However, if I'm going to start worrying about which of my neighbors accessed copies of the bylaws or the HOA's construction package, then I think I've got too much time on my hands. Nothing on the HOA's Onedrive site is confidential or sensitive.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3279


10/16/2020 9:59 AM  
SusanG,

One of my neighborhoods - 189 single family - uses a website that costs $25/month.

We chose this because it was inexpensive, allowed both public and private sides of the site, they would maintain and pay annually for the url (we already owned it), and they had great customer support. We do not pay bills nor collect assessments through the site.

I manage it - find it VERY easy. It is limited in scope, but works perfectly for this community.
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