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Frequently Asked Questions
Requests for Proposals
Cuberis prefers to discuss future projects with your team prior to receiving formal RFPs. If your institutional policy does not permit this, please include in your submission details about why you included Cuberis in your respondent list, your basic budget parameters (if not indicated in the RFP), and the approximate number of other firms included in your partnership search.
Responding responsibly and thoroughly to RFPs takes a significant amount of time for proper research and writing. Generally Cuberis requires four to six weeks to respond to RFPs that we have vetted as potential fits for our services. Once a proposal is accepted, Cuberis can generally start work within six to eight weeks.
Every project is different. But to get a handle on project costs please read our Museum Digital Insights article, “The Cost of Customized Collections Websites.”
* Cuberis Labs (our in-house R&D effort) has a streamlined offering for projects with lower budgets.
Yes! Often content strategy planning needs to precede web design and development well before an RFP for such a project is in the works. In fact, content strategy should be a foundational part of any overall web design and digital strategy, and should inform and establish many of the parameters that go into a project’s RFP.
Cuberis charges $20,000 for a two-day onsite content strategy consultation with museum leadership teams—including sample content creation workshops. When content strategy is part of a full redesign and development project we reduce our fee to $10,000 since content strategy covers much of the same ground as a stand alone discovery process would entail. (Museums who engage us at $20,000 without a project can apply a $10,000 credit to a full web project if one is signed within twelve months of the original content strategy.)
The expertise that comes from regularly engaging in museum content strategies gives an outside firm like Cuberis the ability to assess and diagnose problems and see opportunities more effectively than internal staff. Museum staff members are so close to the day-to-day dynamics of the institution, that they have difficulty getting a broad enough perspective for the most highly aligned and effective strategies.
Development & Technology
Cuberis has made a strategic decision to focus solely on WordPress. Over the years WordPress has matured into a solid, full-featured CMS. And because it’s the most used CMS on the internet, it offers the great flexibility with the lowest costs for our museum clients. For more background on our choice to focus on WordPress read this Museum Digital Insights article.
Website developers often get very excited about the latest and greatest new technologies. While cutting-edge technologies can be fun, we believe that there are plenty of readily available robust digital tools that can meet the needs of even the most sophisticated museum websites.
While we do customize our sites to a fine degree, we avoid custom engineering and costly bleeding edge technologies that create long-term liabilities and high costs for maintenance. Therefore we design and customize using best of breed technologies that utilize existing APIs with a minimum of custom code.
If your museum’s Collection Management System or DAMS offers an API then we can integrate it into a WordPress website. Many of today’s Collection Management Systems, such as TMS/eMuseum and DAMS such as PICTION offer robust APIs for easy website integration.
We use a blend of these two approaches. While Agile is critically important to true custom software engineering, a website design project is not (and should not be) as custom as developing new software. Therefore Cuberis has devised a project management model that allows for iteration and experimentation while providing a more predicable and stable development schedule (and budget) than an agile process allows.
Hosting & Support
No. Cuberis works with whatever hosting provider best fits our clients’ needs. We generally recommend WP Engine or SiteGround, but we have experience working with many other hosting providers.
Yes. Cuberis performs monthly WordPress, plugin, and security updates for all our clients. We also provide a support ticket system for quick turn-around routine site maintenance. We also provide account management for larger follow-up projects as your website evolves over time.