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Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34865
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 16 9:40 pm    Post subject: Web site providers  Reply with quote    

The Commons are looking to get someone one to build us a new website. We have tenders from four companies with wildly different prices. We've looked at some examples of sites they have all done for clients, but it's hard for a lay person to make any judgments other than on the aesthetics.

What are the questions we really need to know the answer to?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32470
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 16 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

are their sites:
stable,
are they secure from hacking
what are the hosting arrangements (unless you have your own server or rent hosting),
do the buttons etc work well on stuff they do,
is their stuff easy to find/load/navigate/read/use ,
are their sites easy for you to update information to.?

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 2977
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 16 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Also you need to know how big the companies are. If you are talking to a one person band, what happens to your site if that person gets run over by a serial bus?

Henry

earthyvirgo



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 7972
Location: creating prints in the loft, Gerlan
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 16 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Assume they all have the same brief Jamanda?
If their quotes are wildly different, I suspect they've interpreted the requirements to suit what they want to do, not what you want.

The only way to get comparable quote is to be very specific.

Are you asking for a site you can manage and update yourselves?
If yes, watch out for them tying you in to software with usage/license fees.

Oh, and you really need any website these days to work on a tablet/mobile as well as laptop/desktop. I forget what the percentage of users access sites on their phones but it's growing daily.

EV

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 16 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

buzzy wrote:
Also you need to know how big the companies are. If you are talking to a one person band, what happens to your site if that person gets run over by a serial bus?

Henry


That shouldn't be a cause for concern if the site owner ensures they have access to the site and associated hosting arrangements.

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 16 8:07 am    Post subject: Re: Web site providers Reply with quote    

Jamanda wrote:
The Commons are looking to get someone one to build us a new website. We have tenders from four companies with wildly different prices. We've looked at some examples of sites they have all done for clients, but it's hard for a lay person to make any judgments other than on the aesthetics.

What are the questions we really need to know the answer to?


How specific were the requirements? Wildly varying prices indicate that there might be room for improvement as each vendor will have interpreted them in different ways.

I wrote a specific on behalf of a organisation who decided not to use it as they thought it too complex and now have a website which went over budget by 100% and is not really fit for purpose.

if the original specification wasn't tight enough you may need to start again.

However, that doesn't answer your question.

Very briefly;

Device compatibility - will it work as well on smartphone and tablets as it does on the desktop.

Speed - it should be fast and have as low a payload as possible.

Secure - protected against cross site scripting, SQL injection, form bots etc.

Hosting arrangements - do ensure that satisfactory arrangements are in place if the vendor ceases trading.

Design - very subjective but user accessibility is a key priority.

Target audience and action - ensuring the site conveys your messages clearly and user can find information quickly.

Updates - What provision is made for content management. If you plan to do this yourselves how do you plan to ensure consistency and quality.

Support contracts - what provision is there for you to obtain ongoing support.

Those are just a few off the top of my head. If you don't want to go through the tender process twice call the vendors and discuss their quotes get a feel of how willing they are to discuss and the personal interactions you have with them. It's really important to build a close two way relationship.

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34865
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 16 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks. That's helpful. They were all given the same brief, but I haven't seen it yet. I have asked for a copy.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33532
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 16 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: Web site providers Reply with quote    

Jamanda wrote:
The Commons are looking to get someone one to build us a new website. We have tenders from four companies with wildly different prices. We've looked at some examples of sites they have all done for clients, but it's hard for a lay person to make any judgments other than on the aesthetics.

What are the questions we really need to know the answer to?


Sort of echoing Vegplot in part. Can you work with the person? I'm guessing if you don't know what you're doing and are outsourcing it, and it'll want changing or tinkering with, you're going to have a relationship. People buy from people. Ring them. Have a chat. Buy from someone you can engage with, all other things being equal.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19829
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 16 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Maybe someone like Vegplot? Or are you going local?

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