RE: is there anyway to use some of the addons for testing to make sure they will do what I am trying to do – BEFORE buying them?
Sorry, no, there is not.
My suggestion, which I believe will answer many of your questions, since the core Connections plugin is free and quite capable on its own, install it and give it a try. Add a dozen entry entries to get a feel for it.
I’ll try to answer the rest of your questions.
RE: Since I will want the members to be able to update their own profile, I know that Link Extension is one of them (from a previous question on the forum).
RE: I am unsure of which addon would be best suited to help format the membership listing – we have well over 100 club members, so something with a VERY basic information (perhaps only name a profile pic) with a link for “detailed information” to expand information for that person.
Any one of the premium templates will do. I suggest the cMap template since it support point and click customization vs. the other need their options set via shortcode option. The later is not that hard, but some found it confusing. If you’ve used WP shortcode before then it should be no issue. So Perhaps the Circled template would be a good choice. Really, it simply comes down to which one you like visually.
RE: Our club already uses “ZeeMaps” for people to voluntarily put a pin in a google map. Is there a addon that will use this (or something similar)?
RE: If something requires customization (something I am seeing alot in other threads), is there someone that can help us with that?
I do provide customization services.
RE: I assume there is a way to customize what kind of fields a directory entry will have, right? For example, Last Name (for sorting), Display Name (eg. Husband & Wife Lastname), address, his cell #, her cell #, his email, her email, etc etc etc…
Here would be an example where using Connections would have helped. You have lots of field available. If you don’t use them, they do not display. Doesn’t makes sense to show something that is empty, right ;)
If you’ve installed Connections, take a look at the Fieldset Configuration options.
Connections also supports custom fields, these require custom coding. You can see what is involved in this tutorial on how to add a custom text field.
RE: I just saw you have bundles. Doing the single site extension pack might be the best way to make sure I just have them all
Yes the Extension Pack and a template would be the way to go. But like I said, you should invest some time into using Connections first. That way you can make sure it fits before making a purchase.
Hope I have answered your questions thoroughly.