The journey to your new Website typically begins with a brief call, Zoom, or meeting with one of our account managers. During this call, we’ll talk about your goals and vision for the new site to help us understand the scope of your project. We’ll use this information to provide a price quote for your project.
The majority of our quotes will include a Silver Package (good); a Gold Package (better); and a Platinum Package (best). Just like when buying a car, there are various bells and whistles that can come along with Websites. We believe in providing multiple options so you can choose the plan that makes the most sense for your needs and budget.
There are also some on-going services that you’ll need with your new Website.
Websites live on a server, or specialized computer, that must be powered on and connected to the Internet 24x7x365. In order to maximize uptime, it is critical that these servers reside in a datacenter with multiple redundant Internet Connections as well as backup generator power. Shumaker Group servers reside in the Liquid Web datacenter in Lansing, MI
With cyber attacks on the rise, it is critical that your Website is as secure as possible. At Shumaker Group, we utilize multiple levels of security including traditional firewalls, Web Application Firewalls, Multi-Factor Authentication, Brute Force Protection, etc.
Having a strong backup and disaster recovery plan is critical. While the ideal goal is to never have a need to recover the site from a backup, there are multiple reasons backups might be needed. The most common reason might be human error accidentally deleting or messing something up. Other reasons could be hardware failure, malware, etc.
Shumaker Group employs multiple layers of backup. Each change that you make during an editing session is logged and if you make an error you can easily revert back as many steps as needed. Think of it as a giant “undo” button. Once you save and publish your changes, each published version of the page is archived. This is useful not only in case you want to revert back to a prior version, but also in case you ever need to respond to a FOIA Request or demonstrate what was published to the site at a certain point in time.
Behind the scenes, Shumaker Group is also doing both Account Level backups and full server backups that are stored off-server in case of hardware failure.
Few things in life are as frustrating as trying to get to a Website that won’t load. We utilize advanced third-party uptime monitoring tools to catch and hopefully fix any problems that might arise before our clients or their site visitors even notice the issue.
One of the most important aspects of any Website is the technical support that stands behind it. No matter how perfect a Website is when it is launched, it will quickly become worthless without quality technical support.
Shumaker Group offers two levels of support:
With our “Support Plan”, Shumaker Group will be responsible for providing ongoing Website Hosting, Security, Backup & Disaster Recovery, Uptime Monitoring and training.
With our “Fully Managed Plan” you get everything in the Support Plan, plus the ability to have our helpdesk make any changes that you might need to the Website.
For example, a client with the Support Plan would be responsible for posting their own Meeting Minutes and Calendar Entries to their Website. With the “Fully managed Plan” they could simply email those over to our helpdesk and we would manage the Website for them.
Once you’re ready to move forward, the next step is typically a “design meeting” where you and anyone else from your municipality that wants to have input will meet with one of our graphic designers to go over layout and design preferences for the new site. If you have a lot of input, that’s great. If you don’t have any strong input or preferences, that’s fine too and we’re happy to make recommendations. We like to allow the client to have as much or as little input into the design process as they would like. We also aim to make each Website as unique as the community that it represents.
After the design meeting, our graphic design team will take your preferences and vision for the new Website and combine that with our recommendations to produce an initial site mockup. This mockup will look and feel much like a Website, and is actually just a prototype. Once our graphic designer has gathered all of the input and information from you he will go on to create the website mock-up. Upon completion of the mock-up he will work alongside you to add/remove/change anything until you are satisfied with how it looks. The good thing about this part is that you are not going to be locked into this specific mock-up and that if something does come up later we can always make changes as we go.
At this point our graphic designer will introduce you to one of our web developers who will be the one who is going to build the entire site. Your municipality will work alongside our web developer by giving all of the content, information, and input you would like to have on your new website. There will be a decent amount of back and forth until we are able to create the perfect website for your municipality.
Now that we have made it to a point of satisfaction we will sit down for one last meeting and make sure everyone is happy for the site to be launched. Then we will launch your new STG website!
This entire process(at least after the proposal is approved) on average takes about 4-6 weeks depending on how well we are able to communicate with your municipality.