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Membee Website Development Specifications & Features

Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Why Use Membee to Design & Develop Your New Website?
    1. Our Website Design Philosophy
    2. Sample Sites
  3. Features Common to Membee Developed Sites
  4. Services Included in the Package
  5. Website Development Timeline
  6. Optional Services
  7. Online Credit Card Payment Options
  8. Terms & Conditions

Overview

By working with Membee to develop your new website, you gain a great looking website that is chock-full of features to engage your members and reduce the day-to-day workload on your staff. We've designed and built over 100 sites for non-profit organizations and as a result, we have perfected a process that produces great results at an affordable price. We come at the process differently and here are the highlights of our approach:

  • We develop your new site in WordPress
  • We perform a detail site feature review with you to determine "what" the new site will do
    • A detailed review of the possible features brought to the site by WordPress itself
    • Tight integration with Membee - a detailed review of Membee's extensive list of widgets designed to bring membership-specific features to your site
  • We perform a creative and collaborative process with you to determine "how" the new site should look which creates a site design unique to the needs of your organization
  • The site is produced at a fixed price
  • Your approve everything - specifically:
    • The site's Specification document - what it will do
    • The site's final graphical design
  • The primary reason for the development packages is to meet your needs but do so within a fixed project price - if needed, the package can be customized to meet a need unique to your organization - this is rare, about 1 in 10 projects require this

 All of the details about features and services offered in each of the packages are below so to get you started in comparing the packages, here is a quick comparison of the two packages:

A Quick List of Your New Site's Feature Set
Feature Your Custom 
Designed Site
Ground up contemporary custom graphics and design Yes
Present 3 custom design composites for your review and selection Yes
Conduct a revision of the selected design to fine tune to your needs Yes
Template driven design  No
Detailed ground up site functionality needs analysis Yes 
Detailed review of Membee's site-specific features to determine applicability Yes 
Support for Membee's Member Single Sign-On (MSSO) feature Yes 
Support for Membee's Social Login feature Yes
Control access to content for subsets of members via Membee Access Roles Yes
Support for secure PDF files - accessible only by members  
Content Management System (CMS) WordPress
User friendly content editor - editable content regions for easy updates Yes
SEO friendly content editor & page construction - meta data for each page Yes
A responsive design - your site will respond in a standardized way when viewed on a smart phone Yes
Ability for site visitors to share pages via social media  Yes
Custom page naming in content editor for user & SEO friendly URLs and links Yes
Drag & drop 2-level menu builder Yes
"Future-proofed" site management system that supports CSS3 and HTML 5 Yes
Editable rotating "Featured Area" on home page showing text and/or images Yes
Built in blogging Yes
Support for guest bloggers Yes
Built in photo galleries Yes
Built in content indexing and advanced search capabilities - includes search the contents of uploaded PDF files Yes
Built in support for RSS feeds of site content Yes
Built in support for third party ad management - manage your ads from your site's management dashboard Yes
Support for third party survey and poll applications (additional costs may apply) Yes
Develop a Contact Us form Yes
Develop a basic custom form with email notification to you of a submission Yes
Build your own custom data forms and access submissions directly from your site's management dashboard Yes
Insert and layout page content for a specified number of pages 25
Incorporate Google Analytics Yes
Perform Site Testing (IE9, IE10, IE11, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari) Yes
Provide training to your site administrator(s) 4 hours
Coordinate the new site's launch Yes
Manage your site from a unique login URL - control which staff/volunteers access the site's back end Yes
Integrate Membee's Member Profile feature Yes
Integrate Membee's Directory feature Yes
Integrate Membee's New Member Sign-Up feature Yes
Integrate Membee's Events feature Yes
Integrate Membee's eBilling feature Yes
Integrate Membee's Event Feed feature  Yes
Integrate Membee's New Member Feed feature  Yes
Integrate Membee's Member Special Offers Feed feature  Yes
Integrate Membee's Sponsored Member Listings Feed feature  Yes
User support from Membee's Customer Service group  Yes
User Support from WordPress' global user community    Yes
Professionally hosted by a recommended reputable third party provider specializing in WordPress Yes

 

Why Use Membee to Design & Develop Your New Website?

Website developers and content management systems are commonplace so why use Membee to design and develop your site? Three key reasons:

  1. Your organization is unique. As a non-profit organization, your mandate is to serve your members and key constituents. Designing an effective membership-centric website requires a deep understanding of what drives the relationship between your organization and its membership.
  2. Your website’s importance as a membership recruitment and retention tool will continue to grow. Continually tightening the integration between your membership database and your website will produce richer experience for your members and hence enhance the image of your brand while reducing the workload on your administrative staff.
  3. Membership websites are all we do. There are a multitude of talented website designers and developers. How many have 20+ years of experience working with and understanding the nuances of membership-based organizations?

An “off the shelf” website can certainly address your needs to some degree. Let’s take a moment to examine how a Membee-developed website will take your organization's Internet presence to a new level.

  • With more than 11 years of experience building websites exclusively for membership based organizations, we've become specialists in developing websites for membership-based organizations to achieve three objectives:
    1. Attract new members
      • an easy-to-navigate modern design creates that positive initial impression that is key to enhancing prospect member's interest in your organization
      • seal the deal - use Membee's New Member Signup feature to gather new member information and payment while setting up the member for future membership billing with none or minimal effort on the part of your membership administrator
    2. Better promote and service existing members
      • Membee's membership directory provides the best opportunity for members to describe and promote themselves and/or their businesses, either on the public side of your site or behind member login
      • Let members help you by granting them access to their member profile from your site so they can aid in maintaining their member information while you retain complete final approval over changes they make
    3. Add value to their existing membership 
      • By offering new member-specific features in your new site
      • Providing timely useful content on your new site because for once, it is easy to update and maintain
      • Distributing your new content to the member via RSS feeds and social media tools to make it as easy as possible for members to visit your site frequently
      • Responsive site design opens mobile devices as yet another access point to your member products and services
  • Put our inside knowledge of Membee to work through tight integration between your new website and Membee
    1. Easier access to member events and increased member registration
      • By using Membee's Event Feed feature to instantly and automatically list upcoming events on your site simply by creating the event in Membee
    2. Utilize undocumented features in Membee's membership directory to drive consumer inquiries directly to a member or group of members (all members in a specific category or location as examples)
    3. Position Membee's Member Profile feature on your new site in a manner that encourages members to maintain their own member information

Our Website Design Philosophy

  • Over our hundreds of website projects, we have evolved to share a common philosophy with our clients who see our approach as one that advanced their mission. We mutually both believe that:
    1. White space is your friend. A simple, clean design is much more appealing to the site visitor and hence more effective.
    2. While a site must be visually appealing, its primary role is to provide services and capabilities that promote your brand. 
      • Content and capabilities on the site must contribute to this promotion or they are not needed and they detract from your site and your objective
      • The needs and views of your site visitor trump all else
      • If you want a site visitor or member to do something, they need to find the task on the home page
      • Maximizing your reach using Social Media is emphasized
    3. Your website is your most effective tool to promote your brand. We also see your website as your most valued member benefit but in order for the member to see it that way too, member data and the website must be linked together but done so in a manner that reduces workload on staff.

Sample Sites

Our definitive design philosophy is reflected in the Membee-managed sites we develop and our clients are excited to own. Here are some samples:

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Features Common to Membee Sites

Regardless of which website development package you select, the following features will be a part of your new website:

  • "Members only" content pages are a valued member benefit and marking a new web page as “members only” can be done in a single mouse click
      • Using Membee's Programs & Access Role feature, you can create site pages or sections accessible only to a specified subset of members -  a Board of Directors page whose content is visible only to individuals assigned to the "Board of Directors" committee in Membee
  • "Single sign-on" for the member means that they can login once using their Membee-managed user name and password to access all of your secured content including:
      • Access members only content pages
      • Access members only event pricing
      • Access and modify their member profile (including their listings in the online membership directory)
      • Access and pay membership renewal invoices
  • Your Membee site will automatically manage (so your staff don't have to)
      • Lost member passwords
      • Allowing members to change their password
  • Responsive design - unless you tell us otherwise, viewing your site on a smart phone is anticipated in our design and development process
    • Your site's design will be responsive meaning that it will adapt based on whether your site visitor is viewing it on a desktop or their smart phone
    • In our responsive methodology, the basic building blocks of your site rearrange and a couple of cases, reconfigure themselves when viewed on a smartphone
    • When viewed on a smart phone, your site arranges itself into a single column in this order (top to bottom)
      • Your Logo/Masthead
      • Site's Header - Search and tertiary links
      • Main menu/navigation bar - the menu automatically becomes a drop list of all of the site's menu links
      • Main Content area
      • Sidebar (if used in the design)
      • Footer
  • Membee's Social login integration will increase member engagement through easier access by allowing your members to use their Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, or LinkedIn identities to access:
      • You decide which of the five social networks you will allow members to use
      • The member will choose which Social Network identity they wish to use on your new site
      • If the member has an active browser session open to their selected Social Network and then navigates to your new Membee site, your site will already be aware of the member and will not require the member to login to any “members only” content or features
      • You still maintain complete control over the member's access even though the member may use a social network identity to gain access to your "members only" features, the underlying ID is still managed in Membee and you can revoke access at any time
  • The menu systems is designed to allow for easy changes to your new website's navigation structure
      • No coding required! Uses a drag-and-drop methodology to add or remove pages from the menu
        • Useful to emphasize pages for major events, initiatives, or seasonal projects
      • Supports a 2-level menu structure
        • Top level menu as a horizontal menu bar across the top (a maximum of 6-7 menu items is recommended for clean design)
        • Drop down secondary list of menu choices for each top level menu item
      • We recommend the use of “talking menus” because of their dramatic increase in usability because they go far beyond traditional drop down menus by providing the site visitor with greater information regarding each sub-menu option – they are the next evolution in menu design
  • The  CMS also provides great features to your staff whose responsibility it is to maintain the site on an ongoing basis
      • While powerful on the back end, the CMS emphasizes ease-of-use for the user(s) assuming site maintenance duties through a simplified user interface which de-emphasizes rarely accessed features such as templates, style sheets, and database item management
      • Page versioning - any page may be reverted to an earlier version to quickly recover from an unintended edit or revision
      • Auto Save - when editing, each page can be saved automatically
      • Knowledge of HTML and/or CSS is NOT required
      • Editable regions - this innovative feature allows the site administrator to go the page they wish to revise, click on the text, change it, save it, move on!
      • Key to your site’s ongoing appeal a year or two after its launch is the ease with which non-technical staff in your organization can quickly and easily update and modify the site's content
  • A popular feature is the built-in blog that our clients use to quickly and easily post "what's new" updates to their site
      • This feature is a key ingredient in the ability to give your new site a strong image of being timely and current
  • An easy-to-use photo gallery feature is a common way to promote upcoming events, meetings and conferences
  • The CMS is CSS 3 and HTML 5 compliant which "future proofs" it against emerging web technologies
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a core consideration in the CMS
      • Meta data can be added easily as a feature in every page
      • Page naming is editable by the users which aids in SEO and also allows for the creation of easy-to-remember URLs for specific page
      • Advanced content indexing (includes the content contained in PDF files you upload) makes content ranking easier by the search engine bots 
  • Setup Membee's member-facing features - you choose which of these features you want to use on your new website
    • Directories
      • Fully searchable listing driven directory(s) 
      • Implementation services included in the package
        • Create page in your new site
        • Configure settings and features in Membee's Widget Settings area
        • Embed widget in the new page
        • Apply CSS styling for consistency with new website
    • Member Profile
      • You have field by field control over which fields a member can update and you approve all changes
      • Implementation services included in the package
        • Create page in your new site
        • Configure settings and features in Membee's Widget Settings area
        • Embed widget in the new page
        • Apply CSS styling for consistency with new website
    • New Member Sign-Up
      • Accept payment, gather specific fields of information from the new member, have Membee setup the new member record and membership billing template automatically
      • Implementation services included in the package
        • Create page in your new site
        • Configure settings and features in Membee's Widget Settings area
        • Embed widget in the new page
        • Apply CSS styling for consistency with new website
    • Events
      • Online event display and registration for members and non-members
      • Implementation services included in the package
        • Create page in your new site
        • Configure settings and features in Membee's Widget Settings area
        • Embed widget in the new page
        • Apply CSS styling for consistency with new website
    • Event Feed
      • Automatically display a list of upcoming events on any page in your new website
      • Implementation services included in the package
        • Create page in your new site
        • Configure settings and features in Membee's Widget Settings area
        • Embed widget in the new page
        • Apply CSS styling for consistency with new website
    • eBilling (online membership renewal and event invoices)
      • Provide an access point for members to login and pay any outstanding invoices
      • Implementation services included in the package
        • Create page in your new site
        • Configure settings and features in Membee's Widget Settings area
        • Embed widget in the new page
        • Apply CSS styling for consistency with new website
    • New Member Feed
      • Automatically display a list of new members including a link to their listing in the member directory on any page in your new website
      • Implementation services included in the package
        • Create page in your new site
        • Configure settings and features in Membee's Widget Settings area
        • Embed widget in the new page
        • Apply CSS styling for consistency with new website
    • Member Special Offers Feed
      • Automatically display a list of members offering special offers and discounts including a link to their listing in the member directory (where the details of their special offer are displayed) on any page in your new website
      • Implementation services included in the package
        • Create page in your new site
        • Configure settings and features in Membee's Widget Settings area
        • Embed widget in the new page
        • Apply CSS styling for consistency with new website
    • Sponsored Member Listings Feed
      • Automatically display a list on any page in your new website of members whose listing in the member directory has been designated as "sponsored"
      • Implementation services included in the package
        • Create page in your new site
        • Configure settings and features in Membee's Widget Settings area
        • Embed widget in the new page
        • Apply CSS styling for consistency with new website
    • Login
      • Determine which social identities if any, you wish to allow members to use
      • Implementation services included in the package
        • Advise you on setup steps required within your accounts in the social network(s) themselves to permit this the login
          • Required when using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
        • Create page in your new site
        • Configure settings and features in Membee's Widget Settings area
        • Embed widget in the new page
        • Apply CSS styling for consistency with new website
  • Setup Google Analytics as your new website's analysis tool
    • Create an account for you, if needed
    • Integrate analytics scripts into all pages and templates

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Services Included in the Package

We are offering you a new custom-developed Membee website as a fixed price package. We are often asked how we can offer a site at a fixed price when most website developers provide price estimates and ranges. There are three reasons:

  1. We've built membership sites for a long time and we know what should and should not be included. That knowledge helps us to nail down the price
  2. We are very specific about what is included in the package and we err on the side of including more features and capabilities than you are likely to use and need. As a result, we can turn the project's cost into a known constant by assuming that we are performing all of the tasks outlined in the package.
  3. We don't do "bulk" website development. Each site must be unique to the organization and we have evolved a process of achieving that quality and uniqueness inside the package pricing model by efficiently assisting you through important feature assessment and creative design processes

By the way, while rare, we can add capabilities on to the package if needed but our goal is to create the greatest likelihood that the package contains everything you need which has the added benefit of removing the feature/cost uncertainty so you know exactly what you're getting and at what price.

Here are a few of the details regarding the Content Management System (CMS) used in this package:

  • Membee's CMS of choice is WordPress 
    • Currently, more than 70 million websites in 120+ languages are managed in WordPress
    • WordPress manages more than 6 times the number of sites as compared to its nearest competitor
    • We have access to more than 26,000 plugins that have been developed to extend the capabilities of your WordPress site
    • 100% of WordPress can be customized both in terms of appearance and in terms of capabilities & features
    • Since Membee`s clients are 100% non-technical, WordPress`greatest asset is its ease-of-use allowing our clients to take control of their site and its content

All of the following is included in the one time package price:

  • Advise you as you create the new website's site map
  • Conduct a needs analysis process
    1. Yields a site specification document outlining the capabilities of the new website
    2. You approve this document which includes the new website's functional components and the site map
  • Conduct a detailed creative process
    1. Yields a design guideline document used by Membee's designer to create the proposed designs for the new home page and interior pages
  • Present initial custom design composites for your review
    1. Three possible designs for your home page
    2. Three possible designs for the interior pages - all interior pages will utilize this selected design
    3. The new proposed designs are optimized to take advantage of 
      • Designs match your organization's current branding
      • Membee's member-facing features (events, directories, member profile, eBilling, new member sign-up, etc.)
      • Membee's contemporary design and site usability philosophy
    4. Based on your review and feedback on the proposed designs, conduct a final round of revisions with the designer to fine tune the selected design to insure it meets your needs
  • Determine your use for the 2 included information gathering forms
    1. One form is typically used for a "Contact Us" capability
    2. The second form can be used for your purposes
      • A maximum of 15 information fields
      • Ability to designate an email address to receive notifications of form submission(s)
    3. Build your own information gathering forms (some form building experience is recommended) 
      • The built-in professional form builder can create more complex submission forms if you need them
      • All submissions are gathered in your website's dashboard
      • You specify who to notify of a new submission
  • Site Production
    1. Setup the two approved designs in the CMS
      • One for the home page
      • One for all other interior pages
    2. Setup all database items and views necessary to present the website content
    3. Create the new website's 2-level menu as per the site map
    4. Incorporate social media sharing into all content designs
    5. Create 25 pages of content within your new website
      • You  provide the pages to us in MS-Word format, one MS-Word document per website section
    6. Perform site testing across these major browsers
  • Provide 2 X 2-hour orientation session for your site administrator(s)
    1. Typically conducted late in the content page creation portion of the site production process
    2. Creates familiarity with common tasks
      • Page creation
      • Editing tips and tricks
      • Menu management
      • Etc.
  • Coordinate the launch of the new website
    1. We recommend you have full control of your domain(s) and their associated DNS settings through your own Registrar account
    2. Advise on DNS changes 
  • Unlimited ongoing user support for your site's administrators via Membee's Help Desk
    • Our seasoned support team will now support any technical issues arising in your new site as well as your day-to-day usage of Membee

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Website Development Timeline

  • With over 11 years of experience in implementing websites for non-profits, Membee has designed a straightforward implementation process for our products. The entire process generally takes between 8 and 12 weeks, including an allotment for scheduling time. The key steps in the website design process are as follows:
    1. Week 1:
      • Project orientation meeting
      • Website sitemap is developed by you
    2. Week 2 - 4
      • Website functionality determined in consultation with you - which Membee features and CMS features you wish to incorporate in the design
      • Website design process begins - using a series of examples to determine the design elements that will comprise the"look" of the new site
    3. Week 5 – 6:
      • Website design samples(2 or 3) are presented to you for feedback and fine tuning
      • You approve the final design
    4. Week 7 - 12:
      • Website structure and page set-up begins
      • Testing of website occurs
      • Website administration orientation for your site administrator
      • Website is launched
  • As with all software implementation and website design projects, both parties in the project will be required to reach certain deadlines in order for the process to follow within the timeline noted above.
  • Please note that in a multiple site development scenario a custom timeline is required. There are efficiencies in the timeline which can be taken advantage of so the actual project time is arrived at mutually based on the number of sites involved in the overall project.
  • Simply due to scheduling issues, there may be a several week delay before beginning your project. 

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Optional Services

  • Additional Content Page Insertion
    1. Additional pages (in addition to the block of pages already included in the website package) can be added at a rate of $299 per 10 page block
  • Custom responsive design - if you wish to go beyond the standard responsive aspects of your site's design which are included in the package, a customized approach can be taken to your site's display and capabilities when viewed on a mobile device where the following services can be provided 
    • Custom graphical design
    • Revised site navigation
    • Add or remove site sections and/or capabilities
    • Once we have detailed your requirements for an enhanced responsive design we will provide a no obligation quote for the revisions required
  • While rarely, rarely requested, additional personalized training for WordPress CMS capabilities is available for purchase in 2-hour blocks
    1. U.S. clients may order additional training here
    2. Canadian & International clients may order additional training here
  • Email Service Template Development
    1. For our clients who decide to use MailChimp or Constant Contact as their bulk email delivery tool
    2. We offer a service to develop an email template that is consistent with your branding and your new website's design
    3. This is a popular option with clients launching a new Membee site so that email communication heading out from MailChimp or Constant Contact has the same "look & feel" as your new site
    4. $399 per template

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Online Credit Card Payment Options

  • Technically, it is Membee itself that connects with a payment gateway to accept credit card payments via a Membee feature embedded in your website for your event registration, membership renewal invoices, and new member sign-up payments. In order to utilize this function, your organization will require a subscription to a payment gateway and an online merchant account. Your merchant account can come from almost any provider, likely your bank. If you don’t have a merchant account or a payment gateway, we can assist you in setting one up.
  • Membee currently supports the following payment gateways:
    1. Authorize.net (U.S. and Canada) 
    2. PayPal Website Payments Standard (U.S., Canada, and International)
    3. Beanstream (U.S. and Canada)
    4. Moneris (Canada only)
    5. PSI Gate (Canada only)
    6. BluePay (U.S. and Canada)
    7. Payment Express (U.S, New Zealand, Australia)
  • Your organization will encounter fees for processing transactions using your chosen merchant account, and additional fees will be charged for the use of your chosen payment gateway. All of these fees will be charged directly by those vendors and will be in addition to Membee’s affordable set-up and subscription plan fees. 

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Terms & Conditions

  • Payment terms
    • Deposit to begin project - 80% of total value
    • Balance Owing - 20% due the day the site goes "live"
  • Site hosting - $29.95 per month added to your Membee subscription the first full billing quarter after the site launches
    1. Unlimited number of web pages
    2. Unlimited content storage for pages, blog posts, videos, etc.
    3. Unlimited bandwidth per month
    4. Hosting infrastructure includes
      • Fully redundant hardware and bandwidth
      • Weekly backups of your site
        • Backups are intended for the recovering from the unlikely occurrence of website data corruption or failure resulting from an issue with CMS or its supporting hardware infrastructure
      • Full monitoring 24X7X365
  • Support for Google Analytics, Google AdManager, or Google Apps should be obtained directly from  Google. Technical consultation may be obtained from Membee for our regular hourly rates, currently set at $99/hour (2 hour minimum charge).
    1. Please note, additional monthly fees may apply for some Google services
  • Support for the ad management services such as adRotate or similar services is provided directly from the vendor. Technical consultation may be obtained from Membee for our regular hourly rates, currently set at $99/hour (2 hour minimum charge).  
    1. Additional monthly fees may apply for the adRotate or similar service
  •  Membee reserves the right to place a (very) small message on all web pages that are part of your public facing website indicating that your site is powered by Membee and providing a link to Membee’s website

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