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Web Site Planning Guide
Quillfire - Shaping Information into Understanding

Please use the following Web Site Planning Guide to determine how Quillfire can help you with your web site.

  1. Quillfire will provide an initial evaluation of an existing web site, or a consultation for a new web site, at no charge.
  2. Site Planning - Quillfire will design a new or updated site in consultation with the Client, including the following factors:
    1. Purpose, e.g.:
      1. To provide more information about the Client to someone who has had an initial contact.
      2. To provide up-to-date information on the Client's activities.
      3. To provide useful information in the Client's area of expertise.
      4. To present a body of information the Client manages/generates, e.g. in a database.
      5. To create a favorable impression of the Client.
      6. To develop a qualified list of prospects.
      7. To catch the attention of Internet users happening upon the site randomly or from a search engine.
      8. To sell products directly, taking credit card information over the Internet.
      9. To encourage potential customers to contact the Client by phone or mail to consummate a sale.
      10. To make product information and price lists available to distributors/customers (e.g. web sales flyers).
      11. To strengthen brand identification.
      12. To explore new markets.
    2. Target Audience, e.g.:
      1. computer/Internet novices;
      2. computer/Internet experts;
      3. general public;
      4. specific industry professionals;
      5. special needs, e.g. sight impairment;
      6. language(s), e.g. English & French;
      7. technical limitations, e.g. older/text browsers, modems, display resolution.
    3. Organization/Structure, e.g.:
      1. total number of pages anticipated (related to page length limits);
      2. number of main areas;
      3. number of levels (second, third level pages, etc.);
      4. possibility of separate sections with different access, e.g. public section vs. intranet or "members only" password-access section.
    4. Navigation system:
      1. e.g.: navigation/button bar (with optional "pushed-in" buttons), image map, top/left menu, total site map;
      2. clarity, usability, avoiding user confusion;
      3. page length (vertical scrolling) limits.
    5. Technical specifications as per Client requirements, e.g.:
      1. limits on graphics/text file sizes, or total file size per page, to limit downloading time;
      2. technical minimums: e.g. modem limits, 640 x 480 or greater display resolution, text-only browsing, screen readers;
      3. design suited to special user needs, e.g. sight impairment;
      4. conformance to Government of Canada "Common Look and Feel" standards/guidelines, Internet Guide, Federal Identity Program;
      5. CSS (cascading style sheets) requirements;
      6. menu system complexity: scripting options.
    6. Writing Style:
      1. use of Client's required style specifications, e.g. The Canadian Style, Le guide du rédacteur;
      2. professional, technical, academic, informal.
    7. Bilingual/multilingual sites:
      1. e.g. as per the Official Languages Act of Canada;
      2. Quillfire can provide translation services (sub-contracted) in English, French and Spanish.
    8. Domain Name (if applicable): Quillfire can assist the Client in selecting and obtaining a domain name, if required.
  3. Visual Design Considerations:
    1. use of Client's existing printed materials (brochures, etc.), conversion to web formats;
    2. colour scheme (web-safe palette);
    3. site masthead: e.g. including Client logo;
    4. page widths (flexible/fixed), printing considerations;
    5. preferred "look", e.g. simple vs. full pages, more/less motion (animations, rollovers)
    6. advertising/commercial links.
  4. Text Content:
    1. Client may provide final text to Quillfire in legible hardcopy, or in HTML, Word, or WordPerfect format.
    2. Quillfire can provide writing and editing services, ensuring high quality.
    3. Note: Quillfire cannot guarantee the quality of text over which it has no control.
    4. Copyright statement.
  5. Interactivity: menus, rollovers, forms.
  6. Graphics:
    1. Client may provide final graphics to Quillfire in high quality prints, or in one of the following graphics file formats: GIF (static/animated), JPG, PNG, PCD, BMP, TIF, PCX, WPG, WMF, CGM, CDR, CPT.
    2. Quillfire can design custom graphics including logos, backgrounds, custom photography, etc., at minimum file sizes.
    3. Client may specify a maximum total file size per page to limit downloading time.
    4. ALT text should be provided for every graphic.
  7. Original Art: Quillfire can produce artwork in a variety of media.
  8. Animations: Quillfire can produce original GIF animations of any type, e.g. logos, banners, at minimum file sizes.
  9. Adobe PDF (portable document format): Quillfire can use PDF files provided by the Client, or create original PDFs.
  10. Links to External Pages:
    1. Client may provide URLs and their display text to Quillfire in legible hardcopy or digital file format.
    2. Unless otherwise specified, Quillfire will verify that each URL links to a web page.
    3. External links open target page in same or new browser window.
  11. Browser Compatibility: Quillfire will ensure that the web site will be compatible with recent versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Other compatibility options can also be discussed.
  12. Feedback Form: e.g., ASP/CGI e-mail response form designed in consultation with Client.
  13. Site Indexing/Searching: options are available from simple site search scripts to more sophisticated indexing and reporting systems using MS Index Server and custom meta tags (requires NT server with Index Server support).
  14. Web Server Logging and Statistics Analysis: Quillfire can provide highly detailed statistical information about how people navigate your site, e.g. where they come from, which links they explore, how long they stay on any one of your pages, and whether or not they download files.
  15. Scripts/Slideshows/Sound/Video: A variety of options can be discussed, e.g. for ASP/CGI scripts, Flash graphics and other advanced features.
  16. Security/E-commerce features: depending on server support.
  17. Database Publishing:
    1. "static": Quillfire can provide systems for highly efficient generation of HTML documents from a database, e.g. Access, Paradox, specialized to meet the Client's needs (e.g., a system could generate numerous, relatively large HTML documents quickly and efficiently from an Access database, at minimum file sizes, using ASPs or other scripts);
    2. "dynamic": requires server support.
  18. Frames:
    1. Note: serious consideration should be given to a number of disadvantages involved in the use of frames.
    2. Quillfire can provide attractive and reliable frames design, although costs will be higher than for non-frames sites.
  19. Delivery of Files - Options:
    1. Client uploads:
      1. Quillfire will test a copy of the site files installed temporarily on Quillfire's web server.
      2. Quillfire will deliver the files to the Client by e-mail or diskette.
      3. Quillfire will be responsible only for the versions of the files as delivered above.
      4. Quillfire can assist with installation on the Client's server, if required.
    2. Quillfire uploads:
      1. Quillfire has upload access to the Client's web server through a Quillfire-specific username and password provided by the Client.
      2. Quillfire will document each upload it performs, including server file sizes and date-times, and notify the Client in writing, as well as e-mailing copies of the uploaded files to the Client for confirmation and verification purposes.
      3. Quillfire will be responsible only for the versions of the uploaded files as documented and delivered above.
  20. Web Site Hosting: Quillfire can assist the Client in selecting a web site hosting service, if required.
  21. Site Publicity/Promotion:
    1. developing page "META" descriptions & keywords (for search engine use);
    2. listing on major web search engines, e.g. AltaVista, Google, InfoSeek, Lycos, Yahoo;
    3. listing on local or industry-related web site directories;
    4. finding industry-wide linking pages and negotiating reciprocal links to and from those web pages;
    5. developing a site-related "signature" to attach to Client's outgoing e-mail messages;
    6. including Client's e-mail and web addresses on print literature, stationery, and display advertising;
    7. posting announcements to special interest groups in Usenet newsgroups and mailing lists;
    8. producing printed publicity materials, e.g. brochures.
  22. Site Maintenance:
    1. Note: when there is a maintenance contract in place, only Quillfire may change the files that are maintained by Quillfire;
    2. periodic verification of links to external pages; updating/removing links as required;
    3. periodic verification of search engine or other listings; updating as required;
    4. updating/editing/adding text content;
    5. adding/changing graphics;
    6. long term: site style renewal/"facelift"
  23. Charges - Options:
    1. Hourly rate:
      1. For contract negotiation purposes, Quillfire can provide an estimate of charges based on specifications provided by the Client. For a detailed estimate, the Client must provide detailed specifications. The contract will require detailed written specifications.
      2. One-time development contracts can be based on a maximum number of hours of service.
      3. Contracts including web site maintenance can be based on an annual or monthly maximum number of hours of service.
    2. Price quoted according to job specifications:
      1. Detailed specifications required, provided either by the Client, or by Quillfire for a fee.
      2. Client changes extra.

Web Site Development
Government of Canada Web Sites

Quillfire - Creative and Technical Skills
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Copyright © 1998 Quillfire Communication Group Inc.
Ottawa, Canada

2002-06-25