University Web Developers

University Web Developers

We have an RFP prepared for front-end developer to create a new WordPress theme for us from an existing design. Without diving too far into the deets, here is a quick overview of what we are looking for:

  • Responsive to smartphone, tablet and desktop devices.
  • Embodying current best practices in accessibility and usability.
  • Adhering to WordPress coding and theme development best practices.
  • Based on a modern technical framework. (Bootstrap, Foundation, etc.)
  • Including four layout variations: Home Page, Section Page, Standard Page with sidebar, and Standard Page without sidebar.
  • Supporting specified browsers and devices.

Is there anyone you have worked with in the past two years that you would recommend I contact for top quality responsive WordPress theme development in the 7-10 k budget range?

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I'm not sure about building with Bootstrap, but for a lot of our subsites we have used modified themes from Organic Themes (http://www.organicthemes.com/). They offer "customization" as an affiliate of Werkpress.

The themes are quality and the devs are good folks.

Hi Daniel,

We are a higher ed web solutions firm providing open source solutions. Here are some of the sites where we have done custom theme development:

-Cornell University Division of Budget & Planning - http://dbp.cornell.edu

-Mapformation - http://www.mapformation.com

-Boyce Thompson Institute - http://bti.cornell.edu

We have also done responsive development for the following institutions:

-Texas Wesleyan University

-Tulane University

-University of North Texas

-The College of St Rose (in progress)

and others.

We do not use Bootstrap and other frameworks as is, but modify them to optimize for each site.

You can find more about us at http://www.sanmita.com

I would be happy to call you to provide further details and references, if needed.

Thanks,

--Sanjeev

Forgot to mention our most impressive work on Wordpress theme development: All About Birds' Bird Cams - http://cams.allaboutbirds.org , a site that gets around 5m visits during its peak period.

--Sanjeev

Thanks Michael and Sanjeev!

Michael, I've heard about Organic Themes as a theme vendor with a good reputation, but I did not know they did customization as well. That's definitely an approach I'll keep in mind for future projects.

Sanjeev, Thanks for the links. I notice that your first sample and your own home page use a set of breakpoints similar to what we are after, in order to handle intermediate sizes well. If your team is interested, I'd definitely encourage you to consider the RFP specs carefully and submit if you have experience with one of the preferred frameworks, or with something similar.

We expect there will be several respondents, so as with any RFP you'll want to take account of the odds, but if you are interested and want to respond, We'll be glad to consider Sanmita.

Hi Dan,

Thanks for considering us to respond to this RFP. We will be glad to send our response and get back to you if we have any questions.

--Sanjeev

Note to Proponents,

 Based on proponent feedback and relatively low uptake of the RFP as currently drafted, we have decided to temporarily withdraw the RFP.

 We will carry out additional design work, and will re-post the project with an expanded range of completed designs, including smartphone and tablet variations for each page.

 This will allow you to quote on the theming work with greater confidence, as you will not be required to derive the smaller screens from the desktop layout.

 My apologies for the pivot, but I think you will all find the revised RFP, which should post in 6 weeks, easier for you to respond to and quote on with confidence.

 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Cheers, Dan

We have just re-issued the WordPress Theme Development RFP, and would be happy if any of you would like to pass the links on to any WordPress developers you have worked with recently on higher ed projects and would recommend. (Or feel free to respond yourself, if you are with a development shop.)

The RFP submission process for proponents is now pretty streamlined, as we did not want to bog developers down in proposal writing:

Please feel free to circulate the RFP to experienced WordPress developers you feel would be a good fit.

Just as a follow-up, we completed the RFP project and have selected a proponent from the pool of seven applicants.

One interesting challenge of this RFP process was finding a development-focused shop... most respondents were design/development, and some had difficulty with the lack of a design component on this project.

Another, perhaps related surprise for me was that respondents often had difficulty separating theme from content. Most samples were pretty highly entangled with content-specific code in the functions.php file or extensive use of a project-specific plugin. It appears that abstracting content from form is not really as easy as it might first appear, especially with regards to menus and information architecture.

We are looking forward to working with the successful proponent, and I'll share the results here on uwebd as issues arise and are resolved.

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