Education Based Web Portal
Our company, Best Digital Marketing, is currently in the process of tendering for professional services in website and programming design for our new start-up website which relates to the education sector in Ireland. At this point, we are confident that Drupal is the best engine for our Content Management System (CMS). We are looking for an excellent individual or company who has an 1) impressive track record of creating websites in Drupal 2) is competitive in terms of price and who 3) fits with our requirements as outlined in both the technical and visual requirements sections below.
1. Forum: We intend to have a large forum section so it needs to be efficient and robust to errors and easy to use. For the forum section, we would appreciate recommendations on whether to use 1) the built in Drupal forum engine 2) PhPBB 3) Smf. It would also be useful if you could briefly outline some pro’s and con’s and explain if the Drupal theme will port over and that there is general compatibility between engines. As an example, we are impressed by the functional layout of www.boards.ie (the slide down options from the menu at the top) but visually we would need a more simple and clean look. We appreciate your comments on this.
2. Blog: Like the forum, we require user blogs. We are considering both WordPress (google appear to have a preference for this) or alternatively we might use the blog features in Drupal.
3. Main Page: Some elements which are important for our main page will include:
An article driven setup – snapshots of recently added/important articles
Moving text feature – we will require 1) a live news feed and 2) regular inbuilt updates of recent articles
4. Other Required Features
a) Users must be able to have a ‘site-wide’ account whereby they can create blogs/use the forum/access other member only content, all on the same account.
b) We envisage the need to handle private forums for certain groups and therefore we will also require administrator/moderator security options etc.
c) We also require the ability to run polls and subsequently post results as graphs/charts. We therefore require a module that uses the Drupal poll engine and gives us a choice of how to display the results anywhere on the site.
d) Our website will include all of the above features but is not limited to them. Additionally, we intend to grow rapidly in the coming months and we may require further items such as social media updates such as facebook and twitter, video, podcasts, online store. If you had the ability to provide these future items this would be helpful to us.
e) We require recommendations on spam protection modules/repair and maintenance if necessary and how they can be applied to each section of the site.
We have a more detailed proposal available which we will send to those companies which best fit our requirements for the best price. However, we are happy to supply all companies with this detailed proposal if they wish to tailor a more individualized proposal of their capabilities to us.
We expect the content of our website to be significant and to grow over time and therefore it will be essential that our information display on the main page and other pages, in terms of our headings and subheadings, are clean, neat, logical and are extremely easy to navigate for users.
We are confident that Drupal can provide us with the graphical look that we require but we are aware that although some website designs are excellent many look cluttered and visually weak.
We have chosen a few websites as examples of what kind of look we would like and if you could briefly describe your ability to achieve similar templates to those outlined below:
In terms of the website color and font displays, we would ideally be able to have a template setup in Drupal whereby we could customize our own colors and fonts.
One critical aspect for our website will be the addition of analysis such as charts, tables, graphs and graphics from a microsoft word document. As a practical matter then, we would like to have full confidence that when we complete such analysis in a word document that we can easily and compatibly transport it into relevant sections on our website. As an example, we expect that we could display information as seen in this link on the economist website below:
As a final point, we are investigating bringing in an interactive template to our website in addition to the Drupal template albeit this is just a consideration at this time. For example, we are considering an interactive look for our main page only which would then be compatible with the rest of the Drupal template. We would be very interested to hear any recommendations you might have on this in terms of workability and price. Some interactive templates which we find impressive are:
If you are interested in working with us, perhaps you might be kind enough to let us know which of these requirements you can (and cannot) perform and, where possible, provide us with your estimated cost for each.
In terms of a timeline, we are aiming for our website to be operational by late January.
We look forward to hearing from you,
Thank you very much for your time,
Head of Operations
Best Digital Marketing