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.
Web design is about specialist knowledge, tools and experience. As a professional services firm we are paid by the hour. Part of this focus is that we utilise rapid development prototyping and the extensive reuse of technology to offer the greatest value in the shortest period of time. Our specialist knowledge allows us to generate a massive amount of value in a short period of time where our specialist knowledge is required. After that a lot of the common work like adding articles, images, and expanding the website is just as easily done by the client. Interweaving has a philosophy which is based on enabling our clients. By all means we help our clients in any effort they require. However, we prefer to "teach a man to fish" rather than to just constantly sell them fish.
Once the original development of your website is complete to train you how to administer and expand your website yourself. When you need us for advice, more complicated tasks, or just getting something done that is urgent - we are there.
The first step for everyone is usually the Foundation Package. 80% of businesses can get started with this package and it will open the world of the Internet to them with so many opportunities they won't believe the extrodinary value offered. It includes everything most businesses need to have a fabulous website with the bells, whistles, and the kitchen sink.
If you don't have time to explore, learn, and tinker with your new website and need help beyond the foundation package - Interweaving is here for you. The benefit of the Interweaving system is that you can get a fully functional e-commere, service, or operations website up and running in only a couple weeks. Then you can concentrate on improving the material on the website, uploading products, marketing to your customers, or whatever you desire. After you have adjusted to your new home, feel free to call us. Websites are about continuous improvements and enagement with your physical business. It is all very flexible. Below are some common additional packages that customers use to extend their websites and accelerate the integration into their businesses.
The online shop, shopping cart, and payment gateway technology is all included in the foundation package. This functionality can be setup as part of the foundation package or as a later addition. Common work involved to become ecommerce enabled includes layout, graphical editing, product setup, encryption, paypal integration, and importation of products. We work with you to give each product loving care and attention. The shopping facilities are very robust, but they still require specialist knowledge to setup and configure them. Interweaving offers a support package which includes everything required to make the shopping facility commercial ready with up to 100 products including graphics, descriptions, and editing. Clients are responsible for the production of the original images and ensuring they are copyright free.
It is now realistic to book appointments online for service providers, rental equipment, and limited resources. The service booking support package includes everything you need to provide top notch service to your customers online. Live website interaction, reservation systems, resource reservations, labour booking, and online service ecommerce. Paypal integration, sms support messaging, and limited iPhone integration are included. Book a hairdresser, reserve a piece of equipment, or rent an apartment online.
This package relates to everything you need to increase service quality, reduce operations costs, and improve sales. It includes setting up a versitile and diverse group of related programs. They include online quotations, sales funnel management, invoicing, client service area, project management facility, customer support ticketing system, and communication tools. If you really want to E-enable your business from an operations perspective this is the ticket - literally.
Do you enjoy your club? Do you want high engage community building? This is the community neworking package that gets you going. Facility setup helps you manage memberships, can support reoccuring charges, commuity rankings, and feedback. It includes the setup, troubleshooting, configuring and importing external community data to make your website fully community interactive. This is very similar to Facebook type functionality. Forums, blogs, instant messaging, chat, photo gallery, everything you need to make people engage and belong.
Creative web design is an art form. Like a painting, it can be rushed - but the outcome is frequently dependent on how much time the designers have to craft the exact visual message, align it with or improve your brand in the process, and get exactly the right look, functionality, and feel for you website. In addition to the design time allocated in the foundation package this increases the time we can give your website to create a completely unique approach to the web. If the appearance of your website is the most important aspect of your development - it is a worthwhile investment to get exactly what you want.
Interweaving can bridge most web enabled software into your website. Whether that is an existing system used in your company or a new third party product - it can all be done. These implementations are completely custom and highly variable so prices are on a request basis.
As a professional services firm Interweaving is paid by the hour of work performed. As guidance below we have provided an estimate of hours each type of activity takes to install, configure, and integrate.
There are a wide variety of additional improvements that can be made. The system that we use as the foundation for your website has over 10,000 modules, components, plugins and other extensions. The things that can be achieved by utilising functional units strait off the shelf is extraordinary. Some of those systems and approximate installation times include:
Why is this important? When someone looks up your business online in the near future - it probably won't be on a traditional computer. Finding businesses and products online is commonly performed on smart phones, tablet computers, and computer displays of a wide array of sizes and shapes. 23% of online users are now viewing the internet on something other than a computer.
The web designs that Interweaving uses modify themselves in real time to the consumers needs - so that the experience is ideal regardless of what appliance they are viewing on.
There is an old adage - "If you're not living you're dying". This is also true of websites. Websites require monthly maintenance as a rule, enterprise websites are monitored daily, and almost all websites need to be reactive to security threats and upgrade warnings.
Web Hosting is commonly talked about as if it was all the same. The reality is that there are vastly different types of web hosting.
The most common form of hosting is low cost shared web hosting. This form of hosting typically has several hundred and more commonly several thousand websites all using the same bandwidth, computer processors, hard drives, and RAM. The cheapest ones are located in the USA and some third world countries. These web hosts allocate a single shared IP address (its like a post office box that everyone uses), a limited amount of hard drive, and a fragment of RAM and processor power. The servers that host these websites severely restrict the RAM, harddrive, processor threads your website can use.. If your website is expected to be more than a brochure website and you don't want it to be very slow then cheap shared hosting or overseas web hosting is not for you.
Interweaving shares its dedicated servers across a very limited number of clients based on their monitored resource needs. The servers are optimised to be used with our content management systems with support for database hungry applications. The specification for the servers we share with our clients is extremely high by industry standards. These servers are located in Australia. This means that organisations with customers primarily in Australia will have the fastest service possible with virtually no lag. Your clients wont have long waits to be allocated a processor, struggle with RAM, or bandwidth. These are new top of the line servers which are over-configured to ensure that websites are served in the optimum conditions.
Having a unique IP address located in Australia is essential to your organisation. You cannot properly secure your website for e-commerce and privacy unless you have your own unique IP address, and search engines will give you preferential listings on searches coming from Australian residents if your IP is also in Australia. Interweaving has 60 unique dedicated IP addresses which are available for clients that believe Search Engine Optimised Hosting is important.
The Internet is a still quite a wild place. It has frequent security threats and the working environment changes constantly. Various web browsers and software companies often change their systems and many of them don't follow established web standards. Microsoft with the Internet Explorer 6 web browser chose to ignore most of the established web standards in order to try and monopolise the browser market a few years ago. They failed but this has led to many web applications not showing up properly in Internet Explorer to this day.
Web Hosting is generally well maintained within professional web hosting companies. However, they are not responsible for keeping your website up to date. Typically, once a web developer turns over a website to a client - that responsibility is up to the client for ongoing maintenance. There is one disadvantage with having access to so much technology within a CMS system and that is that each and every programming component needs to be maintained. Each program actually has its own security vulnerabilities and upgrade issues which need to be individually monitored to keep up with the changes in the Internet. This creates quite a burden for most website owners which is why Interweaving believes that website maintenance should be an integrated part of managed hosting.
Interweaving monitors all of the program upgrades and security alerts, and then upgrades, maintains, and repairs as required. One added benefit is that a single upgrade can potentially disable your whole system if done incorrectly. Interweaving controls a wide variety of websites that all use the same content management system. As many of the same modules are used between websites we have developed, it is cost effective for us to maintain everyone's system as a service - so they don't have to. Most maintenance by nature is reactive maintenance and cleaning up system artifacts.
Optimisation comes in many forms. It is creating proactive change to improve, rather than maintain a website. It involves search engine optimisation of website content; security optimisation to prevent commerce and privacy breeches; server and database optimisation to improve speed, performance, and reliability; and content editing to groom new content as it is added to the system. Optimisation also offers the development team a chance to review and recommend installation of new technology or upgrades of technology that are already used on your system. Most of the time these upgrades, as part of a management program, cost very little to keep up to date.
Once your website is created - then what? What if you have questions? Something breaks? Ghosts start showing up in the machine? Even great website administrators need help on a regular basis. That's ok Interweaving is here to help. Although generous timed support is part of each web development package eventually you may run out of support time. That isn't really something to worry about we honestly want to help. Here is a good tip: if you save a number of queries you have then discuss them all at the same time - your support hours will last much longer than a long series of single queries.
We will call you to see how your going on a regular basis too. Feel free to ask us any questions you would like for free when we do!
For questions about managed web hosting and professional web maintenance please book a free consultation.
Actually it is about the customer! It doesn't matter if you are a business or a non-profit organisation - it is always about who you serve. How do they feel and what do they want? Technology and web design are about serving the end user. Building the website is about combining all of the factors of development to produce a website quickly with all the technology at a price which offers a great return on investment.
Building websites is a concert of a wide array of elements that need to come together in a very precise way to deliver a prescribed outcome. Shorthand - it needs to work! Users need to enjoy your website - even if the source of that enjoyment is just highly usable functionality. Can you imagine going to a website and actually enjoying paying a parking ticket because it was so hassle free?
Building a website starts with creating a vision, plan, creative elements, specifications - and then finally building it. The building part of development is actually one of the least important activities as the majority of work that is preformed has already been defined and carefully thought out.
Every web development is unique. Sometimes even what appears to be simple changes can be very labourious, and things that may seem complex are very simple. During a development build changes can be very costly. Interweaving tries diligently to make clients aware of the cost of changes during construction before any work is preformed. The work performed during a build is very much like the framing of a house. A lot happens all at once, and it begins to look very much like a house - but there is a lot to be done before you can move in.
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Building great websites can be difficult, but we make it look easy. Interweaving includes all of the technology you will need as part of the first package. Your foundation development has your website up and running with a custom design, e-commerce shop, online service bookings, client management, communications, and self-administration in a matter of weeks. It really is that easy!
Websites are a lot more than what they used to be. It is no longer "good enough" just to have a website. Your customers want real-time information, interactive communication, immediate support, and up to date content. Your website needs to improve efficiency, create a stronger brand, provide immediate communication, and reduce your marketing costs. Most of all it should create stronger profits.
It's not just about marketing - what about information, service, and efficiency? Research shows your customers prefer to receive online quotations, invoices, project documents, and communication over more traditional mail which is much slower. It's all about meeting your customer's immediate needs.
Interweaving engages with you to create efficiency and growth using a rapid development process. There are no rude shocks, just pleasant results at excellent value. Each stage of the process is planned and delivered according to defined goals while remaining on time and budget. Small or large the process is the same - producing measurable results at surprising value. You can accomplish almost anything online with Interweaving.com. Book an appointment or Call 1 300 304 314
Web developments are not all the same. Some take extensive planning which significantly reduces project risk and creates higher quality outcomes; while others smaller projects are less expensive and faster to produce if the development uses "rapid development prototyping". Interweaving tailors the process to the project - ensuring that square pegs aren't shoved into round holes.
For complicated projects every one of the following processes is followed - usually sequentially. Although most projects won't require this level of project management - it is instructive to understand the nature of structured development to ensure you have thought through everything in the beginning. Have you really considered your choices? Can we help?
Consultation – a freestyle meeting where we listen more than we speak. It is about hearing what the client’s real needs are and not just what they want. Discovering these unrealized requirements is crucial to the final solution.
Expectation – defines the outcomes of the client brief with specific detail on discovery, post-meeting research, and reviews. It unpacks the initial brainstorming of ideas and possibilities. Comparing what is “realistic, efficient and valuable” to “unnecessary, expensive, and time consuming”.
Quotation – the quotation is a preliminary estimate of the work which has been outlined cognizant of the fluctuation of functionality, quality, time, and budgetary constraints. The method for quotation is value-based in consideration of outcomes and can be tailored to any size project and budget.
Engagement – the engagement agreement defines the purpose, scope, and output of our interactive engagement for consulting, development, and engineering services rendered.
Research – a deconstructive examination of existing websites, internet data, best practice processes, client material, available technology, and market information to provoke ideas, create models, and comparisons. Usability studies are done at this stage if there is an existing website.
Vision – combined knowledge, experience, and data from the client and independent research culminates into the vision for the path forward. Based on market, needs, economic, and value-chain analysis a visual representation of the project parameters is produced and reviewed with the client.
Requirements – a clear mutual understanding of what the project intends to build in order to yield specific outcomes. Its high-level objectives are described in user scenarios, expected external behaviours, testing, quality assurance, standards, scope, time constraints, inputs, outputs, interoperability, creative guidance, functionality, and characteristic ideals. The development blueprint is based exclusively on the requirements.
Scope – once projects are clearly described it becomes clear which features are essential and which ones users are unlikely to use. Time and budgetary constraints are reviewed and a final feature set is defined. The quotation is updated and tightened to ensure a successful project.
Creative – early stage prototyping of creative concepts, corporate branding, look & feel, usability guidance, and style schemas. The vision begins to emerge into concrete visual objects, colours, and web illustrations.
Function – describes the allocation of screen space to functional modules, defines navigation trees, creates content protocols, adds website widgets, and interactions with the technical layer. Site maps, administration, regulatory and compliance areas are defined. Screen layouts are printed to a story board.
Logic – defines formulas, security hierarchies, database architecture, algorithms, application interface specifications, program languages, hosting requirements, accessibility, testing regime, and all other aspects of “code”. Where complicated custom programming is required they are described, formulas written, and languages selected before the construction process begins.
Data – most information displayed on the website - including text, images, video, audio, user data, numeric data, and product information is stored in the database. The means by which data is stored, indexed, retrieved and cached make a fundamental difference to the performance and security of the project. The data specification optimizes pathways for speed, and ensures adequate backup of information occurs.
Assembly – a great deal of the technical work has been created in the past. The “reuse” of this work is common practice similar to the reuse of concrete forms, or building jigs. Object oriented programming, now the most common form of internet development, reuses objects (functional modules) to do most of the brute work. This stage of the process combines these objects with the creative and functional schemes and a website is born. Reused programming saves you significant time and money.
Program – most websites require work that is not standard. Just like generic brands at the grocery store – assembly programming has the same ingredients but isn’t quite the same as the big brands. What it may lack are programmed elements that tie the website together, add functionality that hasn’t been commonly programmed, or there is a need to create something completely new. This work is highly flexible and almost anything can be done – at a cost. If you can’t find the work in a code library, this is where the magic happens.
Database – if the presentation layer (creative) is a projects skin, its logic layer (programming) is its brain, functional layer its skeleton, and the data is the substance of the body. That data is stored and retrieved from the database. Unlike the past when most of the information for a website was stored in files, contemporary websites store almost all their content in the database.
Content – the text, images, brand, and multimedia on your website. The benefits of reusing programming, systems, and documentation is in stark contrast to the need for the originality of content. Content that is reused in many places online tends to devalue the site and search engines dislike reused content. At this stage in the process the projects content is created, collected, and uploaded into the website.
Hosting – a domain name is the real estate where you build your website. Fundamental to success, the effectiveness of your marketing and brand recognition will be strongly influenced by the choice of domain name. An excellent domain name can make or break your website strategy. Your website and email also needs to be hosted on a web server – its home. Your domain name is how users locate that web server. Depending on the specifications and user needs of your website, database, and scale – hosting packages vary.
Documents – documentation now comes in all sorts of presentations. User documentation, video, forums, and screen captured tutorials are just a few. Like programming documentation is now largely generic. Custom documentation can be expensive, but new technologies now exist to produce them at a fraction of previous costs.
Testing – the last step before a website goes live to production is testing. Testing includes checks for adherence to accessibility and web construction standards. Although object oriented programming and reuse tends to standardize the output of websites – anything can happen. It is important to test the website using various operating systems, screen resolutions, web browsers, and computer configurations. It’s virtually impossible for websites to be perfect in all configurations, but the vast majority of users should have a consistently good experience.
Usability – this testing ensures that the objectives of the project have been reached. Once the website has been fully constructed and filled with content and many new features – the user experience needs to be assessed. These tests are particularly instructive if previous benchmark tests have been performed in the research stage of the process.
Search – the cheapest form of marketing a website is search engine optimization (SEO). If Google and Yahoo, the dominant search engines, can effectively download, index, and read your website information it dramatically improves its chance of being listed in organic search results and being listed. This is free traffic and highly sought after. SEO can help stack the cards in your favour.
Advertise - search engines all offer paid advertising on a key phrase or banner basis. Ads are show next to the search results on their websites, appear as ads inside the content of web pages, and are often shown on parked domain names. These marketing campaigns can be excellent at attracting the right customers and driving traffic to your website. There are also a number of “cost per acquisition” programs which only charge you when you sell something to an online user.
Social – social marketing is a key element to any website strategy. There are mechanisms online that enable users to “recommend” your website to other users. These users then potentially visit your website and generate traffic that you don’t have to pay for. Recommended users are more likely to purchase than users with no history of interaction with your website. Socialization also extends to creating link popularity. Link popularity is the primary means for Google and Yahoo to rank your website in search engine listings. Social management extends heavily into generating relationships with other websites to list your website in reference.
Training – training includes internal and external engagement. Although most websites are now designed to be self administered by novice users, those administrators still need to have some basic training. Whether it’s personal, video, or documentation based training – administrators won’t be able to fully utilize your website unless they are properly trained.