Software selection and integration

Software selection and integration becomes a critical step in the development of Websites. Our approach depends on user requirements which may range from very simple to complex. We always attempt to satisfy requirements using free, open source solutions to keep development costs as low as possible.

We use and recommend an underlying Content Management System (CMS) as apposed to manual development of Web pages allowing for rapid development, reduced cost and allowing users to ultimately manage Website content. Our development approach is based on the Movable Type platform:

4.pngCMS/Blog Platform: Movable Type Pro Version 4.32

  • Industrial strength, the platform of choice for large and small enterprises
  • Create unlimited Blogs and/or Websites
  • Select standard design templates or create custom designs
  • Powerful content management system (CMS)
  • Multiple users with permission managemnt
  • Extensive Web 2.0 capability
  • Built in search
  • MT_logo.gif
  • Built in graphics and photo management
  • Super fast performance
Price: Commercial license, 5 users - $400.00



Here are just a few of the open source software/services we have implemented for our clients:
Lightbox2

Photo Gallery: Lightbox 2

This is free software and has become an overwhelming industry standard on websites featuring multiple photos. The photo gallery incorporated on this site uses this technology. Simply click on any thumbnail image under Example on this page to launch the viewer with full size images. In an image set, hover on either side of the image to reveal next/back controls.

Multiple galleries can be created with software controls to select which images are included.

Price: Free



calendar_logo_sm_en.gifCalendar: Google Calendar

The Google Calendar is a free service and simple to deploy on websites. A sample implementation can be viewed at Providence, our personal Website. The calendar features:

  • Simple setup
  • Administrative controls
  • Public and private entries
  • Multiple Calendar integration
  • Mobile and email alerts
  • Manage tasks
  • Send event invitations and track RSVP's
  • Multiple sync options with desktop calendars such as Outlook

Price: Free

Other calendar software is available. These vary in sophistication and cost (free to a nominal license fee) but would require greater effort (and cost) to integrate with the proposed Website.



google-maps-logo.pngInteractive Maps: Google Maps

Google Maps is a free service and we have implemented complex, custom versions when mapping is part of your requirements. Many businesses which have a physical address frequented by clients use a Google Map to provide a  visual location as well as providing driving directions.

See an example of our personal implementation at Providence: Road Map.

Price: Free
 



youtube-shows.jpgVideo Player: YouTube

If there is a requirement to display video on your Website, the simplest and most elegant implementation would be the free video publishing service from YouTube. By publishing on YouTube, there is the added benefit of getting free advertising on the YouTube channel.

Price: Free

To see an example of an embedded Video, see the get in MOTION video on this site.

There are other methods of embedding videos including Macromedia Flash by Adobe Software. The software to build the videos in Flash can be very expensive and requires special technical skills. If your video production service can create Flash videos, we can coordinate the requirements for insertion into the Website.



Video Player: JW FLV Player

longtail.pngAs an alternative to YouTube, we have integrated a very flexible video player from Longtail Video: the JW FLV player.  You can also see an example on this site under Featured Technology. The JW player supports many video formats and sources.

Price: Free for non-commercial use, a single Website commercial license starts at about $100.


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Merv

Specializing in management consulting, marketing, Website/Blogsite development, Movable Type, application of open source software and Activity Based Costing and Pricing for service organizations. Contact us for more information.

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