Website RFP

Town of Bennington Website Re-design

The Town is accepting quotes for a re-design of the existing Town of Bennington website. The work includes combining two other existing websites into one unified site.

DOWNLOAD THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (CLICK HERE)

Schedule:

  • RFP issued January 6, 2022.
  • RFP questions accepted up to and including January 24th, 2022.
  • Proposals due January 31, 2022.

Contact for Questions:

Please email Jonah Spivak, Town of Bennington Communications Coordinator (jspivak@benningtonvt.org) with your questions. All questions and answers will be posted on this page.


Questions & Answers


Question: Can you elaborate on your expectations and the requirements for the usability study?

Answer: We will work together on what that looks like, but the intent is that a combination of input from you, best current practices in terms of navigation, and input from local users will result in a navigational system that works for a broad range of people and devices.


Question: Are you establishing the focus groups to test the usability of the new website in the staging environment, or are you hoping for something else there?

Answer: Yes, we’d want the focus group to do testing in the staging/sandbox environment prior to launch of the new site.


Question: For the design process are we looking for a templated design, completely customized design, or something in the middle?

Answer: We are open to any of these.


Question: Are you wanting a redesign as a part of the proposal? If so what is the time reference?

Answer: This is a “re-design” as the sites already exist. We look to the successful vendor to provide a timeline for work and expected completion date.


Question: Do we need to create common landing page for your all 3 existing website? or we need to create 3 different landing page?

Answer: One common landing page.


Question: Do we need to consider same Iframe functionality?

Answer: Yes.


Question: Your RFP requests that the website use WordPress as a backend. Would the Town be open to other open-source web platforms, or is WordPress a definite requirement?

Answer: You may propose a different backend.


Question: Do you have a particular budget or budget range expectation set aside for the project?

Answer: We did not include a budget range for the project. We will base our choice on the selection criteria outlined in section IV, and the additional information in section VI.


Question: Would you be open to a non-United States based vendor completing this work? (From India)

Answer: Yes.


Question: Can companies perform tasks from outside the United States?

Answer: Yes.


Question: Is there a preference for Local Vendor and will the incumbent be responding to this opportunity?

Answer: No.


Question: What’s the current hosting configuration? Where is the website currently hosted? what has the Town paid for equivalent hosting in previous years?

Answer: Current hosting for the three sites is different; currently hosts includes Godaddy, Bluehost, and a third party vendor.


Question: Third-party integration – What is level of integration which we need to consider with regards to Integration with third-party applications and also WordPress Premium Plugins

Answer: No third party integration is currently required.


Question: Do we need to have any data integration with the CMS database as part of the third-party integration within the current scope of this project? If yes, please let us know those requirements in high level

Answer: No.


Question: Hosting  – We are Amazon AWS, WPEngine and WPVIP Public Sector Partner for cloud hosting. Are you open to host the new website on Cloud?

Answer: Yes.


Question: Do you currently have a disaster recovery process in place?

Answer: Yes.


Question: How do you keep the website secure? Do you have a security policy in place that we can look at?

Answer: We use security plugins within WordPress and we have a draft internal security policy that is guiding us while a final policy is being developed. We do not currently have a policy to share.


Question: Do you need a WordPress contractual SLA for Cloudflare hosting (more expensive), or a best effort SLA based on a 99.9%? historical on time (Less Costly)

Answer: Vendors are encouraged to make their case for solutions they recommend.


Question: WordPress Cloudflare service (Global Edge Security) as a separate line item for you to consider. This includes the global Cloudflare CDN, WAF, DDoS protection and smart routing. WordPress Only

Answer: That is fine.


Question: Are you open to a custom WordPress design, or would you prefer that we use a WordPress template?

Answer: We are open to a custom design.


Question:  Although all of your departments must have access to the CMS to update their information and perform other tasks, we recommend restricting more general changes such as alterations to the site-wide CSS stylesheets and site structural changes. This reduces the opportunity for a casual error to negatively affect the site as well as reduces the chance for a malicious actor to gain access to the CMS and deface the website. Are you open to such a layered permission system so that individual accounts are only allowed to access the areas assigned to them by an administrator?

Answer: Yes.


Question: Is there any analytics data that can be provided about the user base that visits your 3 websites (demographics, technologies used etc.) using Google Analytics? Note: It helps in hosting solution

Answer: Access logs are available, google analytics has not been connected.


Question: IE9 is no longer supported, and all versions of IE will no longer be supported by Microsoft by June 15, 2022. When we see IE9 as a requirement, we recommend implementing a pop -up that will prompt a visitor to upgrade their browser when coming to the site from IE. Would the Town be open to this? Websites requiring IE9 means the user experience will suffer tremendously if it cannot employ modern frameworks. What is the current monthly percentage of traffic coming from IE9, IE10, and Opera browsers? How critical is backward compatibility for these 2 browsers/versions? Is support for Microsoft Edge also a requirement, as it’s the replacement for IE?

Answer: Broadly speaking, backward compatibly with older browsers is desired.


Question: is there any flexibility in the listed approval process? Most design firms use InDesign, Figma, Sketch and other tools to get design substantially completed before development starts. Your suggested process will slow the project down and increase costs.

Answer: Design samples are not part of the RFP. Instead, we request: “Summaries of experience with similar projects, including examples of other websites.”


Question: Are there existing brand guidelines and assets to use during the design phase? If so, when were they last updated?

Answer: No.


Question:  Any sites from a design perspective you currently like?

Answer: This will be discussed with the winning vendor.


Question: Does the Town expect any authentication/authorization integration via Active Directory or LDAP (Additional Cost) for the CMS?

Answer: No.


Question: Post-Launch SEO – Are you looking for a one-time SEO optimization as part of the website development or an ongoing engagement to continuously monitor and improve SEO performance of the website over a period?

Answer: No.


Question: Can you please clarify that how many years of support and website maintenance is being expected from the Vendor?

Answer: No additional years of support or maintenance is needed.


Question: I was curious if you have considered an AI Chatbot and LiveChat Features was in the scope of your project to automate some of your customer service inquiries?

Answer: We are not looking for that type of service.


Question: Which languages should the site translate to? Additionally, is an automated translation system adequate for what you’re looking for and/or Google Translate is acceptable?

Answer: No additional languages are required.