Happy New Year! The holidays are over, resolutions have been made, and now that January is almost over, hopefully we’re all writing 2017 rather than 2016 by now! For many of our SwimTopia community, it’s time to begin planning for the new swim season, and with that comes a refresh of your SwimTopia website. We’ll be sharing some tips to help make that transition easier!
Get Ready for a New Swim Season!
First, you’ll want to scan through your website content to see if there are any references to policies, dates, deadlines, etc. that are relevant to the last season but may have changed for the new season.
Next, you’ll need to take care of some back-end administration to prepare your site for the new swim season:
Change the “Season” on Your SwimTopia Site
You will be reminded to create a new season when you use SwimTopia and the current date falls outside the times that defines your current season. You’ll want to change to the new season soon to prevent members from submitting a registration on last year’s registration form.
Go to Manage Team > Schedule > Seasons and create the new season.
Where did everything go?
Once you change your Season, you might notice that some things “disappear.” The following items are associated with the current season:
- Registraton Forms
- Role Assignments
- Meets & Events*
When you change seasons, that information is retained but will not show up on your site since they are associated with that prior Season.
* Any time you’d like to view these items from a past Season, you can select that Season from a drop-down box.
Create New Registration Forms
All registrations are tied to a registration form, so at the beginning of a new swim season, you’ll want to create new forms to help you keep track of your members from season to season. Also, if there are any fee changes from one season to another, you wouldn’t want past members to show up with a balance due. So it’s best to set up new registration forms for every season, and it’s very easy to copy last year’s forms:
Go to Manage Team > Registration > and click “Copy” next to the registration form(s) you’d like to copy.
- It’s a good idea to include the year in your Registration form title, to keep them organized
- Edit the new form to include changes for the upcoming year
- Set your new form to “Open” when your team’s registration window begins
Close Out Any Old Registration Forms
It’s a good idea to look back at prior seasons and close any registration forms that were left open. First, change your site’s current season to a past season (Step 1 above), and then view your list of registration forms for that season (Step 2 above). If any forms are still open, slide the “Open” slider bar to the left until it says “Closed.”
Note: make sure you switch back to your actual current season before you leave the site!
Copy Meets and Events
Since meets are associated with a season, you’ll want to copy your meet templates from last season to this season.
Go to Manage Team > Schedule and change the season to the past season. You should then see your list of meets and events from that season.
- Click on your meet templates (or even individual meets)
- Click on “Copy” in the upper right corner
- Change the meet date and the meet age-up date
Update Your Roster
When you go to your People page, the members listed are those with an affiliation to the current season (you can easily change to a different season with a drop-down box).
When your members complete the new Season’s Registration form, they’ll be affiliated with the new Season. Even returning members should complete a new Registration – this will allow them to verify their contact information, update any medical info, agree to any releases and waivers, and pay any membership fees.
The good news is that returning parents will have much less info to enter during registration since SwimTopia will automatically fill their data in for them.
Some members may not register each year, including some of your coaches and administrators. Administrator accounts will appear in People even if they do not have a current affiliation, but their Affiliation will not be automatically renewed with the new season.
You can manually add a Season Affiliation to these members by clicking their name on the People page. (If they aren’t visible, you can search for them in a previous season using the Search function at the top of the People list.) Once you’ve clicked on their name, look to the right for “Add affiliation for” and select the current season from the drop down box on the right, then click “Save.”
Update Role Assignments
Role assignments are also associated with seasons. If “This role is reassigned every season” is unchecked, role assignments will carry over season to season. If a member is not returning to one of these roles in the new season, you’ll need to manually remove them from that role assignment.
If “This role is reassigned every season” is checked, the role assignments will be reset at the change of a season, and all members who were assigned to those roles last season will no longer be assigned to those roles. Volunteers may sign up for these roles during registration, but if you know that any of your members are repeating their role from last season, you have the ability to manage their role assignment manually.
Go to Manage Team > Roles and then click on Role Assignments in the upper right corner.
- To remove a name, click on the “X” next to the member’s name
- To add a name, click on “Add/Remove” next to the role
- Begin typing in the name of the member, and select the name when it appears
- Click “Save.”
Update Your Sponsors
Sponsors are tracked per season, so once you update your Season, old sponsors will no longer show up in the section of your website that is created by the Sponsor snippet. As you acquire new sponsors for the new swim season, you’ll add those sponsors to the Season:
Go to Manage Team > Website > Sponsors > Sponsorships
- Click “Add Sponsorship”
- Select a Sponsorship Category and choose the name of your sponsor
- Click “Save”
Create New Merchandise Items
Products are not tied to seasons, so if you need to make changes to a product, it’s best to create a new product rather than edit an old product. If you were to simply edit the old product, it would effectively change the description of the item for all past orders, too, and would affect tracking and reporting.
Also, if you have any merchandise items with order limits, SwimTopia will see last season’s orders as accumulating towards the overall quantity ordered. In these cases, it’s best to create new products for the new swim season rather than use or edit the old product to make it fit for the new season.
If the changes to a product are minor, it may be easier to make a copy of last season’s product and then make your edits (rather than create a whole new product). Go to Manage Team > Merchandise, then click on the product, and click on “Copy.”
With a little bit of housekeeping, your SwimTopia website should be all ready for your new swim season to start! And don’t forget to mine your volunteer base for help! With all the parents on your team, it’s likely that many folks would love to help, and some may even have website management skills. (And this might even have a side benefit of helping you recruit future administrators, committee chairs, or board members!)
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Happiness Team at [email protected] or 877-856-2940 (option 2). Or feel free to join us at our free Lunch and Learn on Google Hangouts every Friday from 11am – 2pm CST
Happy New Year, Happy New Swim Season
from your Customer Happiness Team at SwimTopia!