Planning Your Web Site

How we can support you

The stage between wanting or needing a web site and actually commissioning it is often difficult, because your main objective is probably to do with providing services which will benefit people, rather than knowing about the whole raft of technologies and possibilities which come together to form a web site which can make a difference to your project.

It is important, however, that before you approach vendors, you are equipped with an appropriately detailed specification or request to tender, and that this should be realistically based on your budget, (even though you may choose not to state what your budget actually is, if that is your preference).

At this stage Gate Seven can provide you with consultancy which will lead to the preparation of an appropriate document.

In addition, we provide in-depth tutorials on this site, in case you want to do the work yourself, and a few more general notes below.

Open Source is a good model for other communities to follow

Open source software is mainly developed and supported on a community-based model. Essentially, they create a community around the product, in much the same way as a community organisation forms a community in furtherance of its objectives:

  • Groups of geographically separated people act together interactively to create and/or support a complex development/support process.
  • Members with more knowledge support those with less knowledge, in an open way which enables others with similar problems to make use of the solutions of others.

Open source projects could not exist if there was not an extensive infrastructure supporting them, enabling communication, problem solving and communal action - the same issues which are attended to by community organisations. In order to make such communities sustainable, they have developed software which supports these objectives. 

What is noticeable about such sites is:

  • They don't pay much to designers
  • they meet real needs
  • They use open source software
  • Problems get fixed quickly
  • They are busy

This not to say that you shouldn't bother about an attractive design for your community site - merely that if you have something to offer that people actually want, they don't care too much about appearances, or whether the site looks similar to others. Gate Seven give you the opportunity to concentrate on the most important issues straight away, dealing with less important issues as and when  funds and/or time allow.