SPECIALTY AND CUSTOM WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT

RFQ Sites, Directory Sites, Intranets and Membership Portals

Meaning: Sites that have special functionality

Specialty and Custom Website Design can mean a lot of different things. In general, it simply means building a site that has special functionality not found on your typical website.

Spanning the years, we have had a hand in many interesting projects.

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Directory website development

Directory website development is near and dear to our hearts, of course, as it typically requires a ton of discovery to match the publisher’s business rules. Sometimes, directory sites allow people to subscribe and publish their own listings. Usually, directory websites permit distinct levels of subscriptions providing standard and premium listings to subscribers.

Intranets / Extranets also rank high on the scale of Specialty Websites we build. These typically involve creating an online portal whereby particular users are permitted to log in to access specific material they are permitted to view. We build these to specification, based on the Client’s business rules and desired functionality.

Product Catalogs are really typically ecommerce sites where the transaction is not an outright purchase but rather a Request for Quote type scenario. In some cases, it is just a site that utilizes the ecommerce website model while redacting every functionality but the catalog itself (categories, product detail pages, etc.).

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More about common Specialty Sites:

Directory Sites are sites that comprise searchable listings of one sort or another.

  • Examples:
    • Illinois Methodist Church Directory might contain searchable church listings for a given geographic ares, a calendar of events, interactive map functionality, and the ability for subscribing churches to manage the church’s respective listing and events.
    • International HVAC OEM Directory might list all outlet stores that carry and service their products. Retail managers might have the ability to update their store listings, manage their consumer lists, offer location-specific sales & marketing promotions, opt in to regional and national promotions, and access corporate’s marketing calendar.
    • Milwaukee Nightlife Directory might list all known bars in the Metro-Milwaukee area, include hours of operation, descriptions of bars, directions to bars, bar specialties, and allow consumers to rate and write reviews for said bars.
  • Typical Functionality Includes:
    • Administrator can add/edit/delete listings
    • Robust site-wide search functionality
    • Interactive mapping (ie. Google Maps)
    • Ability for visitors to post reviews and rate listings (as desired)
    • Ability for listing owners to “claim listing” and modify listing (as desired)
    • Ability for site to be fee subscription-based (as desired)
    • Ability for listing subscription fees to be tied to expanded functionality (as desired)
    • Ability for the site to be a closed listing site (meaning only pre-selected businesses are included) – for instance, specific franchise locations

Intranets & Extranets are really one and the same. But whatever you prefer to call them, we like to build them.

  • Representative Applications:
    • A Financial Service provider is prohibited by the SEC from displaying certain information to the general public.
    • A Professional Medical Management (insurance billing) provider must abide by HIPAA privacy guidelines.
    • A Product Manufacturer wants to keep its sales materials and pricing calculators available to Sales Reps only.
    • A School wants a secure way for teachers, administrators, and parents to interact while adhering to FERPA.
    • A Commercial Cleaning company wants its employees to be able to submit their hours remotely and privately.
    • A Trucking Company wishes to house all of its commonly used HR forms and guidelines in one place.
  • Typical Functionality Includes:
    • Intranets, no matter the Client, often share a good deal of core functionality:
      • Ability to hide site content from general public.
      • Ability to access information online from anywhere on the planet.
      • Ability to define what authorized users can see when they login to the Intranet.
      • Ability for some users to have access to materials that other users cannot.
      • Internal Event Calendars.
      • Internal News & Memos.
      • Internal Employee FAQs.
      • Internal HR Documents & Forms & Guidelines.
      • Internal Sales & Marketing Documentation & Assets.
      • Internal Job Postings.

There are times when you want eCommerce-functionality without the eCommerce (buy online) component. That is, you need everything an eCommerce-style site offers… just without offering the visitor the ability to purchase.

A perfect example of leveraging the powerful functionality of eCommerce platforms without actually allowing people to buy products online is so-called RFQ (Request for Quote) Sites.

Request for Quote Sites focus on collecting RFQs from visitors instead of actually selling widgets online to them.

Typical Functionality Includes:

  • HTML easily parsed by search spiders
  • Lightweight HTML, separate from CSS
  • Set title and META details per product, per page, and per category
  • SEO friendly product links, category links, brand links, search links, and page links
  • Single page checkout
  • Custom checkout form fields
  • Unlimited Categories & Sub-Categories
  • Configure Products with custom options & Custom fields
  • Create and assign brands / manufacturers to Products
  • Product Compare
  • Unlimited Variations per Product
  • Create a variations & Assign the Variation to multiple Products
  • Limit file formats that can be uploaded
  • Facebook “Like” buttons on product pages
  • Comment/reviews integration & sharing on Facebook/Twitter
  • Share products
  • Related searches & Advanced search options
  • Filter by price, availability & Free Shipping
  • Thumbnail photos & photo galleries created automatically
  • Photo thumbnails, Photo zooming & Open large images in a popup/lightbox window on product pages
  • Per-image alt text and description for SEO
  • Full CMS functionality
  • Easy-to-use WYSIWYG editor
  • Restrict to customer groups
  • Recent news items
  • Banners and promotions

Membership-based Sites permit a publisher to create a tailored-experience for Members Only.

Membership sites usually restrict Premium Content to paid subscribers, but they can also be self-contained mini-web communities.

Premium Content scenarios typically revolve around training, on-demand presentations and the like.

Full community sites include all manner of cool functionality, such as interest groups membership, intra-site member chat, bulletin boards, etc.

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