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The Customer specification
We have been using the various versions of Cliqon to build websites for Customers for 15 years. In that time we have gained a great deal of experience in how to market our particular brand and way of doing things. We have created sales manuals and tutorials for our own sales staff. Whilst the technologies used to create websites may have changed, the fundamentals of marketing and running a business do not - not for our clients and not for us.
Since the invention and introduction of the internet, we propose that there are no legal businesses in the world that cannot benefit from some sort of website. We teach our sales staff, that no matter what door they approach or what business they telephone, to search for business, there will always be a reason for the business to have a website. As at this year, 98% of all business in our sales area have access to the internet and use it daily for some purpose - research marketing, administration etc. but only 25% have web sites and a fewer proportion have websites that are fit for purpose. For example in our multi-lingual environment which markets and sells itself in at least four languages, only a tiny proportion of websites can sell the products and services of the business in the native language of the clients.
To help our sales staff negotiate with their prospective clients and to help them draw up a suitable specification against which we can propose a suitable solution and cost, we have identified some key questions that must be asked. These include:
- What is your market, who buys your products and services, what languages do they speak.
- We divide our websites into four types of page(s). Home page, presentation of textual and graphical information in list format, presentation of an individual item from the list in textual and graphical format and finally data entry forms with their attached processes and responses. By conversing with the client about the products and services offered by the client we draw up an idea about what quantity of pages will be required and what information has to be presented on these pages.
- We endeavour to identify how the website will fit into the overall business and marketing plan and as a subsidiary of that question, is there already a corporate image and design book in existence or will it be our duty to produce one.
- Will the website directly generate new business or will it be an aid or silent salesperson to an already active marketing and sales effort. The former suggests that internet marketing (direct email, newsletters etc.), social networks marketing using facilities such as Twitter and Facebook and search engine marketing are considered.
- We will also be asking a great deal of questions about other facilities such as on-line shopping, integration with other web based facilities etc.
In the real world of our own sales and marketing there are many other questions to be asked but we have highlighted above the questions that have a direct bearing on the web design process.
What do you want to build
So we asked the questions, noted above, of ourselves. Here are our answers to our own questions.
As a general rule, the final clients for our products and services are not the people who will use our Cliqon.Com. If an employee of the client business is part of the IT or marketing Team who has a direct interest in the website and are interested in the proposed technology, they may visit. The information they require us to provide on our website is the same as the major class of visitors, who are Developers.
The majority of Developers speak English. We include a second language, Spanish, in all that we do, to test our own work and to demonstrate the fundamental multi-lingual nature of our software.
Cliqon requires a design that accommodates all four types of pages as detailed above - home, listing, individual and forms processing. Our objective is to put across marketing and technical information that will help you, the Developer or influencer, to choose our product.
We have little or no need to present our website for local consumption. Visits to our website will be engendered by marketing of our framework on the internet to fellow developers.
Cliqon is now an open source software product which is free of charge. Any income that we make from the Cliqon framework comes from ancillary services and consultancy.
Finally, having encouraged you to consider using Cliqon for your next project, we need to support you in that endeavour, thus our published Cliqon website has application requirements that take it a stage further.
Choose a template
We work closely with a design agency to create web designs for our own customers. We do this because frequently, the answer to the couple of questions about corporate image and design book are answered in the negative. Therefore the design agency will work with the Client to produce an overall image and we will work from a design template provided by the agency.
However we can and do source paid and free templates for some customers. We believe that we are not alone in working that way. So therefore we set out to find a template that would satisfy our own needs. We are used to working with Bootstrap and wanted a template that would be based on the latest Version 4. We dismissed a large number of "agency, portfolio and single page templates" as being totally unsuitable for our needs. This reduced the number of possibilities to just a handful.
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