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Call for Website Developer

SaskBooks, Saskatchewan
Deadline: December 21, 2017 - January 19, 2018


Name: Jillian Bell

E-mail: jbell@saskbooks.com

Website: http://www.skbooks.com/


January 19, 2018

Website Development Project
1. Project Overview
SaskBooks invites web developers to bid on the redevelopment of its current website
(skbooks.com). Of particular concern is the retail area (skbooks.com/bookstore), which must
update automatically every 24 hours from the in-house ONIX database of bibliographic
metadata. The members section (skbooks.com/members) should also update at the very
least semi-monthly from the same database, which also manages in-house inventory,
publishers' details, and book orders. The current design is 3 years old, and the automatic
updates (cron jobs) are not happening; SaskBooks' IT Manager manually uploads and
recodes the information on a regular basis.

2. SaskBooks' Background
SaskBooks is the provincial creative industry association for book publishers whose
businesses are located in Saskatchewan. We are a non-profit association of active book
publishing businesses. SaskBooks celebrates and encourages book publishing, and
provides marketing, display, and sales services, group advertising, professional
development, and advocacy to and for Saskatchewan book publishing businesses. We
receive financial support from the Province of Saskatchewan through Creative
Saskatchewan and from the federal government through Canada Heritage's Book Fund and
the Canada Council for the Arts. As part of our display and sales service, SaskBooks sells
members' books directly to the public via the website, catalogues, and trade shows/gift fairs.

3. Project Goals & Target Audience
● The redeveloped website must have a working automatic update feature that pulls
data from our proprietary in-house ONIX database of bibliographic metadata, and
ensures the titles featured in the online bookshop are current titles, that the amount
of stock is reflective of the actual books available in our inventory, and that our
members list is current and accurate.
● The redeveloped website must have a clean, intuitive design that is responsive to
mobile devices and is easy to use.
● The redeveloped website may feature portals for the bookshop (retail), for publishers
(our members, their news, and information directed to them), for the public (news and
information about the publishing industry), and for libraries and schools (news and/or
features about newly released or recently reviewed Saskatchewan books)

4. Sitemap
A sitemap is available on request.

5. Scope of Work & Deliverables
Project management: IT Manager Jillian Bell
Content Strategy: developed by SaskBooks, can be discussed with successful developer
Copywriting: Not required (use existing copy)
Information Design: to be completed by the successful developer in
consultation/collaboration with SaskBooks
Visual Design: to be completed by the successful developer and vetted by Project
SEO: successful developer may discuss SEO with SaskBooks; much of the SEO is already
done through the existing CMS (WordPress) and/or SaskBooks IT Manager
Front-end coding: Developer
Back-end coding: Developer (note: any code that could alter the functionality of the in-house
proprietary database must be discussed with the IT Manager)
Custom software development: Developer
Responsive design optimization: Developer
Testing: SaskBooks staff, community testers
Software Training: IT Manager will provide any required training.

6. Timeline
All development and testing must be complete no later than 31 March 2018. The site must
be ready for a soft launch on 01 April 2018.

7. Technical Requirements
a. E-commerce
SaskBooks requires e-commerce on its bookshop page. Currently in use:
WooCommerce and GoodStore Child theme.
b. Content management software
SaskBooks currently uses WordPress and is not interested in custom CMS,
but is willing to discuss the use of other CMS programs/applications.
c. Back-end programming language
The in-house proprietary software from which the bibliographic metadata is
drawn is a MySQL database with a Javascript/PHP front end.
d. Legacy browser support
The majority of users (56%) access SaskBooks' website with either Chrome
or Safari; legacy browser support is not a major concern for this project.
e. Web integrations
SaskBooks uses Mailchimp for its email distribution, SurveyMonkey, and
Google Suite. Currently, there is not a lot of integration required between the
website and third-party services. Developers are welcome to suggest
integration between online bookshop orders and SaskBooks' proprietary
f. User accounts
SaskBooks' current CMS provides for four user accounts and a
password-protected page accessed by the Board of Directors; these are
managed in-house.
g. Accessibility
SaskBooks invites developers to include accessibility design in their bid.
h. Mobile responsive design
SaskBooks requires the website to be completely optimized for and
responsive to mobile devices.

8. Principal Point of Contact
SaskBooks' principal point of contact is the IT Manager, Jillian Bell. The successful
developer will also meet with SaskBooks' Executive Director, Brenda Niskala, and with our
Programs Director, Daniel Parr.

9. Budget
The available budget for this project is $10,000-$11,000 including all applicable taxes. There
is the possibility of expanding that budget, but developers are encouraged to keep their bids
within the stated budget range.

10. Ongoing support
SaskBooks has a modest budget for ongoing development support (not design/user support)
in the event that modifications to the in-house database cause disruptions with the existing
design, or in the event that the WordPress CMS requires updates to templates and plug-ins.
Support may include bug fixes after the project end date.

11. Analytics
SaskBooks manages and examines its own analytics through Google Analytics and other

12. Web Hosting
SaskBooks uses a third party host (A Small Orange) and routes traffic through CloudFlare.
At this time, SaskBooks is not interested in changing its host unless there are known issues
with security, speed, and/or reliability, but is willing to consider suggested hosts in the future.

13. Example sites

14. Criteria for Selection
The successful developer will have familiarity with the creative industries in general and
specifically with the book publishing industry. They will have a proven track record of working
with small and independent business and/or non-profits, and with development that
integrates external data feeds with a front-end CMS, preferably WordPress. Please include
references and preferred method of contact, a sample project timeline outlining major tasks
and milestones, detailed project budget, any plan for responsive design, commercial retail
site development track record, and a URL portfolio of current and recent clients.

15. Format & Proposal timeline
Proposals may be submitted in .rtf or .pdf. Developers are asked to indicate whether they will
be completing the scope of work in-house or whether they use external contractors, and
whether those contractors are based in Saskatchewan. Proposals will be accepted until
Friday, 19 January, 2018 at 4:00pm. Interviews will be scheduled for 22-26 January, and the
winning bid will be selected, and the winning developer contracted by 31 January. In person
interviews are preferred but telephone conference interviews can be arranged.