First - Thanks for such a great forum. Just stumbled upon it the other day and I have been reading numerous past posts.
I run a website for a young professionals organization(with limited funds) that is currently hosted by Yahoo. I'm looking to redesign it and move to a new host to facilitate the increased functionality I need in terms of mailing lists and technology capabilities.
First, I need the ability to run multiple mailing lists (for the national and various local chapters) and to be able to send weekly messages to specific lists of members that range from about 100-1,500 members each. Ideally, members would be able to sign up for the mailing lists through links in these letters and on the website. I've looked at the various mailing list solutions (constant contact, yourmailinglist, etc) but ideally I would have just one solution for web/mailing list.
Second, my website needs the following functionality: Blogs, RSS feeds, calendar, message board, and the ability for members to sign up for our mailing lists. Ideally, I would like to set it up so I could have multiple webmasters as backups or local webmasters that could update their specific pages(don't know if possible).
My two questions are:
1) Are there solutions that provide the necessary mailing list soultions along with web hosting in one(I've mainly seen separate complex mailing list solutions or web hosting with very basic mailing list solutions)? Do I need to get separate solutions?
2) Any recommendations for companies that would be able to do both these soultions well? My budget is roughly $20-30 a month ideally.
Thanks a lot for everyone's help. It is truly appreciated.
First off welcome to the forum. Now about question 1 most web host offer mailing list options however if you are looking for something specific you should specify this to us so that we may help guide you to a program that may best suit your needs. About question 2 your budget is very acceptable and you should be able to find several hosting providers that can offer what your looking for in your price range or below. To find some host I would check the web hosting offers forum here at WHT.
About the mailing list, I has been serching a lot for one, and finally decided to use 1-2-All for ActiveCampaing, you can see more information about it at http://www.activecampaign.com/12all/ is a really nice piece of software where you can run many mailing lists, fully customizable, and easy to use.
Another option is to use Mailman that almost any host does offer as mailing list solution, this last one is free.
About your second requests, Wordpress would do the job for blog, rss feeds, calender, however, for a message board, you may need to install another software like the one run in this forum (Vbulletin.com) or another free solution like PhpBB.com
Thanks to Jedito and Brian for the responses. As requested, I thought I would provide a little more information about my situation.
For the mailing list solution, I'm looking for the ability to manage multipe lists with medium level number of subscribers (500-2,500). Most web hosting companies I've seen offer only one mailing list and a limited number of emails a month. I need to send approximately 20 emails a month to the various lists totaling approximately 15,000 emails in total. I would like this solution to be web-based.
Second, my technical capability and the rest of the volunteers is low to middle. Especially as the group changes volunteers each year, I'm hoping to implement an easy-to-use solution that will be able to be easily passed and understood by future generations of our leadership.
I like the Wordpress idea and I need to investigate if it will work with our format. Besides the previously mentioned characteristics, my group's website has a lot of static pages with information such as upcoming events, resources, past events, press releases, FAQ, etc. This type of information may require another format.