The foundation package is just that – a platform (content management system). It will assist you to do just about anything you would ever want to do on the internet. It is highly scalable and fabulously flexible. Once it is up you can go almost any direction you want to move and it will work with you. The system is one developed out of decades of usability studies about what works effectively online. Why is that important? Simply put you can take advantage of the mistakes millions have made in trial and error. The distilled elements of this system utilises the online methods and systems which have been found to be highly used, effective, and profitable. It is the wisdom of crowds. It is the system they would have built 30 years ago if they already had all the answers.
It includes everything most businesses need to have a fabulous website with the bells, whistles, and the kitchen sink.
The starting point for every project is to implement the content management system; integrate a highly sophisticated design package which defines the menu structures (basic look and feel of the website); add the components that extend the features of the website to meet your needs; imbed the text, images, video, and illustrations to tell your story; test and edit the results; the client is trained how to use the system to manage it themselves; and then we support your use.
The principal things the foundation package includes are:
The process we use to deliver your initial development uses a rapid development model. The delivery is comparatively fast and intuitive to use. The underlying structure is one which is derived from the feedback of millions of users. Surprisingly most of the decisions you think you might need to make on “how” things will work are already defined and optimised. Once you have decided what functionality you want in the platform; and the general look and feel of the website – the majority of work is assembling the structures. Then like a clay statue the outward facing work begins. Through finesse, refinement, and practicality you help define the end product.
Foundation websites typically requires three things – a technology licensing package, twenty hours of development, and web hosting. In fact every other web development starts with this package too. It forms the foundation and basis for expansion for all of our modern, flexible, and search engine friendly websites. With over 10,000 additional modules that can be added to this platform it enables you to do almost anything reasonable on the web.
Interweaving purchases developer licenses for a wide variety of technology and designs which we use for our developments. Some of these licenses are unlimited usage; others are costed per website; some require support licenses; and other payment models. The professional design packages we use for foundation structures, design elements, and navigation require professional developer licenses. There are literally hundreds of technology providers we use. This requires us to manage the licensing and the storage of software from all these systems. Due to the difficulty in defining, billing, and managing these shared costs to individual clients we bill each client for an initial technology licensing cost of $530 ex gst. This covers the cost on all of the technology utilised to establish the initial development of your project. Only on very rare occasions where a highly specialised extension is required does the client have to contribute an additional cost. These are usually once off purchases for a single client.
The bulk of websites commercially produced are for small to medium enterprise (SME) businesses and most of these use common technology. Through the reuse of technology, extraordinary features and benefits can be gained for very little relative cost. Interweaving uses a process driven methodology to maximise value by creating your initial development using open source technologies, self administration, and rapid development prototyping. The focus is on producing 80% of the benefit for 20% of the cost at a rapid pace. The development time for the foundation package delivery is usually less than two weeks. It produces a website that has tremendous functionality, and features way beyond what most people would ever expect for the price. This stage of development is about producing immediate results, providing the client with a website that actually works for them - generating revenue, improving service, and reducing costs in their business.
The amount of time required for a foundation website is arbitrary. The requirements for each website are different. However, the amount of time is fairly consistent for a common website. The difference tends to be where the time is spent. Below is a guide on how that time is utilised:
Planning (2 hours) – as the adage goes if you don’t plan to succeed you plan to fail. Planning is important to define your outcome, choose the right design, and set your strategy. In rapid web development planning is largely restricted to what is called a requirements document. This document is an agreement of the base functionality that you want in your website, the design, and a list of the modules (extensions) that you want to be included. This is the framework of your project.
Engineering (1 hour) – to begin your project a place to work needs to be created (staged web hosting). The content management system that runs your website needs to be installed; a professional design package uploaded and configured; and any specialist hosting requirements taken care of. The administration and backup packages are also installed at this stage which ensures your website can be faster, more secure, and recoverable.
Configuration (1 hour) – in rapid web design modules and components that have been generically created for use in a wide variety of websites - are also reused in your project. At this stage all of the technology that runs the specific features for your website has been installed. On completion the engine and its associated parts are now in place for your project.
Navigation (1 hour) – navigation is the backbone structure of your website. Users only see one web page at a time, but they generally see most of the navigation on every page. Ensuring navigation is clear to each person using the website is fundamental to success. At this stage the structure of your website is implemented. A lot of the secret sauce of search engine optimisation is done when you setup the navigation and how you structure it. Setting this up can take some time.
Assembly (2 hours) – assembly is about moving things around. When the professional design package is installed the structures are a starting point with things “turned on” and in their default places. Assembly moves things to the various positions on the web pages where they belong. Some technology and graphics are turned off so you don’t see them anymore, and other technology is placed on the page where it wasn’t previously available. On more complex websites things like business directories, video libraries, shopping systems, social networks, and advertising components are enabled at this stage.
Design (4 hours) – design in modern web development tends to focus on change rather than raw creation. With professional design packages – it takes the designers around a month per design to create all of the structures and creatives to make the design package appear and work the way it does. Most clients neither have the time or funds to create these from scratch. Web designers take advantage of this packaged fundamental work by using it as the basis of new websites. However, virtually everything in any design package we use can be readily changed. At this stage the colours, fonts, logo, and anything else the client wants to change can be done. This might include new icons, diagrams, illustrations, buttons, advertisements, banners, or other custom graphics.
Programming (2 hours) - although rapid development now tries to reuse as much programming code as possible there is still generally a requirements for some custom programming. This time usually suffices for the average website.
Media (1 hour) – plain text websites are boring. At this stage the developers help you select images, videos, animations, slide shows, and more to inject life into your website. Most of these need to be formatted and edited to fit into the system. Times vary depending on how much media content is required.
Training (2 hours) - the framework is there, the body is on, everything is in its place and shiny – what are you missing? Mostly what is left is the integration of articles, text, and internal advertising. In order to do that the client administrator needs to learn how to use the system. This training teaches them how to add users, articles, images, navigation items, advertisements, listings, etc.
Editing (1 hour) – as most of our clients create, publish, and manage most of the content themselves - editing tends to be more of an opportunity to help clean up early errors and help guide our clients to avoid common web mistakes. When you are close to your project it is easy to get off the beaten track, energetically publish too much information, or become unfocused. When we edit material we tend to work with the client to correct their own issues so they don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Testing (1 hour) – testing is a technical review of ensuring that the website works in various browsers and operating systems. It is also a general review to ensure that everything looks the way it should, is focused on the achievable outcomes, and meets the project mission goals.
Support (2 hours) – although clients usually get the hang of formatting content, regularly updating the website, writing articles, interacting with website users, injecting images, and sending out marketing emails – sometimes they have a question or just need a little help. This time is allocated to ensure we can afford to patiently walk clients through the learning process.
As you can see by the graphic above the foundation development involves a wide variety of specialist tasks to get it off the ground and flying - then you are ready to soar! A strong feature of our technology is that these websites are fully self-administered. Using technology similar to a word processor, spreadsheets, and basic image tools - any high school graduate can manage the website. You can create articles, inject images, update time tables, post news articles, blog, send newsletters, and most common website tasks without the need of a third party. We provide you with a beautiful web design including an extrodianry array of features and functionality - after that it is just a question of what else you would like us to do and what you want to do yourself.
The foundation package has just about every bit of technology you will ever need to do most things online. It is only limited by what you can achieve within the hours of labour included and what you are willing to do yourself. If you use the initial package wisely you shouldn't require much help afterwards. The technology will give you the power to experiment and change as required.
Most people probably think that creative web design is all about the creation of new fresh ideas - while sitting on red valour lounges with a sketch pad. Well, sometimes it is but most of the time its about researching, adopting, and modifying.
Creative design, just like programming, frequently takes existing ideas and uses them as inspiration for something new. Although the original design may have been the start - the end product usually looks very little like the originating idea. In programming the same is true and probably more so. Programming follows the rule of "build it really well once and use it a thousand times". Interweaving reuses elements of technology, programming and design every time we build a website. In fact one of the untold truths of web development is that most projects are largely about putting existing design, programming code, and ideas together to shortcut the process. Why? To build completely original applications and designs from scratch is REALLY expensive. There is no point in constantly reinventing the wheel.
What this means in real terms is Reuse. Reuse saves you an enormous amount of money, time, and avoids risk. Through reuse we can now deliver web projects that would have cost tens of thousands a few years ago for only a few thousand dollars now. Most of the building blocks of web development are already available if you know where to find them.
So what does that mean? In simple terms that means that 90% of everything you would like to do in any web project can be done quickly, simply, and cheaply. It also means that the other 10% of what you may want is typically impractical or unnecessary. If enough people in the world have wanted what your looking to build before you - the world of programming has probably built it already. You will be surprised how much is available right off the shelf to meet your needs.
What is very important is your organisation's brand and style. Web design takes your brand and formalises it into a style specification. The style sheet describes the logo, image elements, fonts, colours, textures, and format for your website. Sometimes this is just an extension of an already well defined offline style. Although frequently it requires significant interpretation or stylising to make the transition to online.
In summary, a website is a combination of a large share of reused technology & design; some custom applications and creative design; and a liberal amount of stylising to interpret your business brand online. After that all you need is a self-administered content management system with original content (information) and you have an extremely usable and valuable website.
That last thing to understand may be counter-intuitive to you. Most of the custom creative design happens just before delivery. With modern technology websites are built using a content management system. First you create a website map that defines the size and shape of a website. Then we create navigation, visual elements, web technology, and everything that shapes each web page. After that the style sheet is applied, and the website becomes fully functional with all the technical elements required. This is when the truly creative element of web design is applied. It is taking a functional and usable website and making it attractive - infusing your organisations look and feel in the process.
Every website is different. Some end up being all about the technology and others are only about the design. Interweaving understands that both elements are important and we can customise your website to represent how important each element is to you.
Would you like to talk about design? Contact us here for your free consultation
Web design and development is full of shiny baubles and neat gizmos. There are all sorts of things that are just fascinating. We know because we love looking for and integrating new technology. BUT....what you really should be asking yourself every time you think of doing something new is "How will this improve my organisation; Is it worth the customer's time?; and What is the value that it offers the user?"
Online users have a short attention span and little patience for things that do not directly serve them. You shouldn't waste the user's time talking about yourself. Make things simple and efficient, and above all else ask yourself, "If I were a customer would I enjoy doing this? Would I tolerate it? Would it make me angry? or Would it entice me to take action?"
Websites are about your customers, not about your business! They want information, service, and efficiency. Every step in the information, service, or buying process that you put in front of them will reduce your positive outcomes and maximise your negative ones. Every field that you put into a form for people to fill out will make people suspicious and angry. Keep it simple! Customers want websites that are self explanatory, useful, and easy to use.
Interweaving is about improving your business. The best way to do that online is to make your website useful and usable for your customers. That all starts with a plan:
The number one risk of web development is NOT FINISHING. Most web development projects shouldn't take more than a week or two to develop. The remaining projects should be broken down into development iterations that only take a few weeks at a time. Statistically the longer a project takes, the more likely it will be to fail.
Interweaving's development process is about short bursts of activity, that have rapid deliverables which maximise the value of the development. The Interweaving foundation package is designed to offer maximum value in the shortest period of time once scheduled production begins. This package is a burst of 20 hours of strategy, design, and programming.
In this process we engage with you and set appropriate expectations; research, plan, and analyse; create, brand, and design; assemble, program, and engineer; then test, deliver, and train you how to use your new business engine (website). All in the period of couple weeks. In order to achieve these things you need to be dedicated to the process. The primary outcome is a website that works for you and is self-administered so you can control and enter your own information.
The short story is that this is a short story! An efficient process that will deliver an effective website quickly, with amazing technology for the price.
Book a free consultation or schedule a development time
New gTLD Registry Strategy