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.