Are you ready for a new website? If the answer is yes, then you’ve made the first decision necessary to start the process. Settle in for there’s a number of other decisions you need to make, but you won’t be making them alone, we’ll be with you and your team, every step of the way.
If you’re reading these pages, the next step in the process is underway, and that’s learning more about how websitesforlibaries.com works.
After you’ve read this site, reviewed our systems, rates, and process and you’re interested in proceeding, an initial teleconference/intake session is coordinated. This one-hour session between the web development team at websitesforlibaries.com. and the authority of your library is designed to answer any questions (emailed to us in advance) that you may have and allow you to complete your decision tree for moving forward.
While the developers at websitesforlibaries.com will build your site, a team from your library would take ownership of needs, goals, content and the other basic site elements. The following is our suggested lineup of an effective library web development team. (two people can take on more than one role, but we don’t recommend that any one person try to be a team):
Web Whip: This is the overall project coordinator or traffic person. This team member will establish the calendar, process all forms, keep meeting minutes and do their best to keep the library team motivated, on schedule and on task.
Content Editor: While required copy will often be written by a variety of people, one team member is tasked with proofing, editing and compiling all the text and images necessary to build the site. The content editor monitors the overall site map and provides updates on what’s complete and what’s pending. Don’t forget to allow time for photo captions.
Site Navigator: Is the site heading in the right direction? Are we considering the visitor’s and the needs of the Library’s stakeholders? The Site Navigator is responsible for compiling the needs of the relevant departments, and patron’s in developing the priorities, mission and overall goals of the new site. The needs will be applied to the site map and the most critical will be those that are most obvious in the design.
Once your team is in place, a two-three hour, in-person strategic session moderated by an experienced web developer is held. This interactive workshop will move through a series of work sheets developed by websitesforlibraries.com These planning tools will help the library’s team organize information, set priorities and enter the site development process, well-prepared for success. Addressed at this time will be the importance of identifying and engaging stakeholders, what value-added options do resources allow for, the role of each team member and the empowerment of the “Web Whip” to keep the site moving forward.
Pre-Development / Content Management
Following the strategic session, an initial site map is provided for distribution and feedback. This map will become a blueprint for organizing the site content along with a realistic production calendar. Electronic transfer of information will be arranged via an FTP site and a follow-up teleconference is set to check on content gathering process.
The team at Websitesforlibraries.com makes the website design process easy for librarians to navigate. After establishing the goals and vision of the website, our staff will design a few website home pages for clients to choose from. We can work with your current logo and art work, or design it all from scratch with your vision in mind.
Once the client is pleased with their appearance of the site, the team will move forward with pulling together the site content. We enjoy keeping you informed in every step of the design process.
Once the content has been gathered and the site map finalized, production begins. Two potential graphic interface designs are presented and refined with feedback. Upon approval of the appearance of the site, lower level pages are built with content provided. A production calendar is set.
A Beta version of the site will be privately hosted, for review by the team, and stakeholders. Feedback will be invited, but the core elements/index and graphic appearance of the site will have been previously approved. Significant changes at this point could become costly and step-by-step buy-in prior to this stage is strongly encouraged.
At this point, we’re almost there. This optional step involves training members of the library team on the best practices for maintaining the site. Working with our recommended software, or your own copy of Dreamweaver, a one-two hour training session will instruct your Web Engineer on the various elements of the site and how to best monitor elements such as the calendar, blog, photo library or other interactive tools.
The new site is posted live and a check-list of recommended communications (ie, tag lines on emails) are shared to celebrate the new, virtual presence for your library.
Most librarians enjoy the flexibility of controlling the website once complete. This allows library staff to make future changes and keep event information current.
At Websitesforlibraries.com, we make the process easy by providing website training for library staff. We offer libraries two easy-to-use options for web publishing: Adobe Contribute software or an internet based management system (CMS).
The easy-to-use website maintenance options allows librarians to make website changes on the fly using a user-friendly HTML editor. Both Adobe Contribute and CMS allows staff to integrate authoring, reviewing, and website management with one web maintenance tool.
Our friendly team at websitesforlibraries.com can discuss what option will best fit the needs of your library and staff.