All online ‘member-type’ websites require their users to have a unique identifier when they register or create an account on the website.
On our Training website, this is your email address.
Why use the email address rather than something else? Mainly because:
- You need an email address to use the online training system, so everyone who uses the website needs access to AN email address.
- There is no other convenient unique identifier available. Not everyone who uses the site has a WWCC number, surnames are not unique, dates of birth are not unique, and so on.
We realise that some couples share a single email address, and other individuals may not even own a computer but need to register on the site for face-to-face training.
However, this is a small inconvenience that is easily overcome.
Here is a simple approach which may help – especially for churches assisting those without a computer/internet, and is easily adapted for other situations:
- Set up a free Gmail account for your church for this purpose e.g: firstname.lastname@example.org, or use an existing Gmail account.
- It’s not widely known that an easy way to get multiple versions of that address delivered to the one inbox is to include periods (‘.’) or plus signs (‘+’) in the first part of the address.
- So in our example, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org will both end up in the same inbox as email@example.com. This is a great way to leverage this for our purpose.
- This will work with any existing Gmail account.
Using this simple method, you can very easily have people with no email address create a Safe Ministry Training account for online or face-to-face training, and one person (e.g. someone at the church) monitor the emails the system will send them.
This method also enables couples who share a Gmail address to create different email addresses without setting up a whole new email account e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com are unique email addresses for our system but information for both addresses will end up in the same inbox.
More information on this technique can be found here: https://www.labnol.org/internet/multiple-email-addresses-in-gmail/17426/