Quaker Cloud Program to be Phased Out by December 2023

After much research, work and discernment, the Quaker Cloud website-hosting program of Friends General Conference will be phased out by December 1, 2023.  No additional Quaker Cloud clients will be accepted.  To give adequate transition time, all meetings currently using Quaker Cloud have one year to back up their website content and/or migrate it to another hosting service.  We are grateful to everyone who made this service possible and all the meetings who use it.  In part, there are simply better alternatives to the Quaker Cloud now than when we launched the service in 2011.

For over a decade, Quaker Cloud has served as an important outreach and engagement tool for Friends meetings and other Quaker entities of all sizes.  FGC has endeavored to offer Quaker Cloud as a simple and unified way for Friends to share information about community activities.

As site administrators were made aware in June 2022 FGC was not able to initiate a content migration of Quaker Cloud sites from Drupal to WordPress as planned. The expense and complexity of the migration would have cost FGC over $100,000 and potentially hundreds of hours of staff time.

In addition to this urgent concern was a chronic concern: advancements in web hosting technology over that period of time have outpaced FGC’s staff, volunteer, and financial capacity to continue hosting this program.  In other words, there are now many more economical and simple website platforms for meetings to use now than existed when Quaker Cloud was originally launched.

Considering the potential unplanned expenses of a complicated content migration, the existence of easy-to-use and inexpensive alternatives for meetings, and appreciating that FGC has a goal of expanding capacity for communication and connection through new initiatives, FGC staff and volunteers recommended that Quaker Cloud is phased out as a program over the next 12 months, with final closure occurring December 2023.  Central Committee (FGC’s governing body) agreed with this recommendation at the October 2022 annual meeting. 

This decision may still come as a surprise to meetings and website admins.  Here we offer a deeper dive into this decision.

FGC would like for you to know that we appreciate immensely every meeting who has been part of the Quaker Cloud community, and we welcome you to avail yourself of the resources that FGC plans to roll out for you in the coming months, namely:

  • A WordPress theme that you may use for your new site template, which is scheduled to be available by February 2023.
  • Educational workshops hosted by our website partners to guide you through the process of site migration, available after the roll-out of the new theme.
  • A peer-to-peer network of Quaker website administrators and social media managers that will provide support and best practices between one another, coming Spring 2023.

FGC has already created a resource for meetings desiring a web presence.

As always, FGC offers a free Quaker Finder page for any North American Quaker meeting desiring a presence.  Please visit Quaker Finder to search for and update your meeting’s existing entry. (If you cannot locate your meeting’s page, please click the button to start a new page.)

We appreciate the patience of all those who participated in Quaker Cloud from its inception to its existence today. We are hopeful that together, we can create a community of Friends who are invested in connecting and communicating with one another, with seekers, and with the general public through websites, social media, and tools that FGC offers today and in the future.

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