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Posted: 23 Jul 2021 - By: Rival Admin

Rival Owners Association Website development options

Introduction

The current ROA website has a number of issues, most of which would not be readily apparent to the casual user.

         1.The system used is still supported, but not very widely used, so there are limited numbers of people familiar with its use who we can turn to for support.


         2.A legacy issue relating to the original design (not by the current support contractor) means that the website “size” includes the size of files which have been deleted, so it is       constantly growing and thus costing more than it should in hosting costs.


         3.Changing the website (as opposed to updating content) is challenging and generally         requires contractor support.


         4.Some elements which should be straightforward, such as the addition of pictures, are frustratingly difficult.

The website remains important to the Association, as the repository for all the Rival drawings, hosting the Technical Forum (which is searchable over its history) and archiving all the past Rival RoundUps, which frequently prove popular with new owners tracing the history of their boats.  It also holds the Register of members, allowing members to contact one another and for VPs to contact the membership to arrange events etc.  As such, we have to comply with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

We currently pay monthly for professional hosting of our website, which includes applying any required security updates, to reduce the vulnerability of hacking of the website.  There are less expensive hosting options available, but these would place the responsibility for constantly checking for and subsequently applying security updates back onto a volunteer within the Association.

WordPress appears to be the main “industry standard” for website design.  It is expected to remain supportable for a significant period of time and thus is the preferred new platform.  The prevalence of its use has a downside, as it is allegedly more of a target for hackers to break into, hence the requirement for regular security updates is increased.

Regular attendees of the AGMs and readers of the minutes will note that the issue of website redevelopment has been around for some time.  When the subscription was agreed to be raised (in XXXX), it was with the expectation that we would need to spend on a new website in the near future, which as a very ball park estimate was expected to be in the order of £5k.

Moving to a new website also provides the opportunity to take into account emerging requirements, such as the potential to hold Bowman drawings available, just for access by Bowman members of the Association, which may be a requirement of the drawings being made available.

Work has been done to investigate the various options, a precis of which is included in the table below.

A draft specification has been produced for a new website.

Intentions

Invite at least 3 companies to tender against the specification for developing a revised website and professionally host it.  These will include our current contractor, Hotbox and at least 2 alternatives.   The pre-contract questionnaire will also ask for examples of previous work and the size of the company, etc, to establish future supportability.

Establishing the cost of website development design and hosting will allow more informed decision making to take place.  A detailed breakdown will also allow the specification to be revised to reduce the costs if necessary.

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