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Using a WordPress Website While Also Using ShulCloud

ShulCloud is one of the most popular membership management options within the synagogue marketplace. Along with their database functionality, they also offer templates for their clients to use as their synagogue website.

A question that we often get asked is can I build a website with Addicott Web if I am using ShulCloud for my membership management needs?

The answer is yes! ShulCloud provides synagogues with a cloud-based membership management system. This means that the pages that feed information to your synagogue database, things like donation forms, calendar events, and other registration forms are online and visible to the public. You don’t need to be logged into ShulCloud to view these forward-facing pages. When using an Addicott WordPress website in partnership with ShulCloud, we help you link or redirect these pages from your website to ShulCloud.

Congregation Or Tzion, Scottsdale, Arizona, came to Addicott Web in need of a new website. They were already using a ShulCloud template and wanted a more engaging and vibrant look. By linking their ShulCloud forms and calendar to their new Addicott Website, we helped them achieve their goal of a great looking site – without sacrificing the convenience of a cloud-based database. Check out their donation page to see how it’s done.

congregation or tzion - shulcloud and wordpress

This is but one synagogue that we’ve worked with that uses ShulCloud yet still has a website designed and built by Addicott Web. We have worked with a large number of synagogues who we have designed WordPress websites for and who are using ShulCloud for their back-end functionality.

Can the Shulcloud portion of my website look like the WordPress website that Addicott will design for me?

Yes! ShulCloud offers the ability to customize some of the elements on their website, such as:

  • Logo
  • Favicon (what appears in the browser tab)
  • Fonts and colors (through custom CSS)

Using one of their basic templates, we can then customize your ShulCloud portal so that it looks like an extension of the WordPress website. While the exact layout of the ShulCloud portion won’t match your WordPress website, this gives enough of a match between the branding, colors, and fonts so that it looks like the two go together.

Here are some examples of what we mean by this:

But, my ShulCloud donation forms and calendar use my synagogue’s domain name. How can an Addicott website and ShulCloud pages share the same URL?

While ShulCloud encourages you to load all pages (like your donation form and calendar) with your synagogue’s main domain name, this is not necessary. When using an Addicott website, a subdomain is used for these ShulCloud pages.

We worked with Congregation Or Tzion to set up a sub-domain connecting their ShulCloud pages to their new WordPress website. Their WordPress website loads at the main domain name: https://www.congregationortzion.org while the synagogue’s website calendar easily redirects to their ShulCloud calendar at https://congregationortzion.shulcloud.com/calendar.

In sum, you can use ShulCloud’s membership management software without using their websites.

So, will my synagogue’s WordPress website integrate with ShulCloud?

Not quite. Since ShulCloud is a proprietary system, WordPress forms and calendar events cannot feed directly to your membership database. However since ShulCloud’s system will let you load your donation forms and membership portals at a sub-domain, you can then either link or redirect these pages from your synagogue’s WordPress website.

Why wouldn’t I want to use a ShulCloud website? It’s free.

Nothing is free. ShulCloud’s priority as a company is and has always been, their database tools and payment processing. It is not on website design. While a premade template may save you money in the short-term, in the long-run, your membership and outreach goals may suffer. A modern and welcoming website is one of the most effective ways for your synagogue to grow and better market themselves to new members – especially young families. At Addicott Web, our focus is on designing and building great-looking, modern synagogue websites. We want your community to shine online.

What about functionality? Will I lose out on the various web-related tools offered by ShulCloud?

Nope. Our feature-rich websites are built using WordPress -the most popular and widely-supported content management system around. Learn more about the rich features and functionality that can be included in a new Addicott website here.

Budget is a major concern for my congregation. We are already paying ShulCloud a monthly fee. Is Addicott Web an affordable option?

Yes! We understand synagogues and our website packages are designed around the needs of non-profit organizations. Also, there are no ongoing fees with Addicott – only a flat one-time cost. Best of all, our website design packages include project management, one-on-one training, and content migration. So, while we aren’t a free option, we are certainly an affordable one. And, since the design of a synagogue’s website is what gives the best first impression to your members and other site visitors, an additional cost is worth every penny.

If you have any questions, would like examples of synagogue website design clients we have worked with who also use ShulCloud, or would like to talk about a new website for your synagogue, please contact us.

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