Whether it's your first time or you're a seasoned pro, there's a lot to think about when you're creating a tender document for a new website. For much of your audience, the site will become their first experience of your organisation, and you're looking for a developer who can understand your artistry and values, at the same time as creating a reliable, powerful integration to generate online sales and donations.

On this page, we've created some guidance to help you work through the different aspects of the tender process. 

What to think about before you appoint a web developer

Here's a list of the key questions you should ask web developers when you're making an initial enquiry:

  • Can the project be delivered with the available budget
  • What other similar organisations have you worked with 
  • How will you approach this project
  • How will you ensure the site is easy for us to manage
  • What ongoing support will you provide us, and how much will that cost
  • How will you get to know us and our organisation?

You'll need your developer to demonstrate some specific skills that are key to a great integration. Look for somebody with experience of:

  • Using the Spektrix API
  • Styling the Spektrix iframes using CSS
  • Embedding our web components 
  • Ensuring a secure and reliable site (with a proven track record with load handling)
  • Ability to provide a user-friendly CMS
  • Implementing visual design
  • Track record of providing a user-focused website

 

How Spektrix can help

If you're a Spektrix user, our experienced Support and Training Consultants will be very happy to work with you on developing the more technical aspects of your tender, or on interviewing shortlisted agencies.

  • Tell us early on if you're thinking of changing web developers or planning a major online project so that we can help you from the start.
  • Invite us to take a look at your tender - we can advise on technical requirements to get the most from your integration.
  • Include us in pitches with your shortlisted agencies. We promise to be impartial and focus on your success. The developers listed on this site are those who have demonstrated and chosen to share their experience based on an objective framework, but that doesn't mean they're the only options - we love to support new developers in beginning to work with Spektrix.

If you're planning a website project, contact us to let us know how we can help.

 

The Spektrix Best in Class framework

The Spektrix best in class framework assesses how effectively websites integrate with the Spektrix system. The scale and breadth of the Spektrix community means we've looked at the needs of organisations across the cultural sector, from small receiving venues to major producing houses and touring companies, across the UK, Ireland, North America and Canada. Whatever you need from a website, we'll have experience of working with organisations like yours.

In creating the framework, we've drawn together our experience of ticketing websites from the sublime to the simplistic. We've then mapped a series of priorities - navigation, merchandise, memberships, accessibility and more - against four tiers of quality, allowing you to assess each example against the features that are most important to you.

The framework does not measure the design, navigation or structure of each site - that's for you to assess based on the needs of your organisation and audience. What it does measure is the creativity and attention to detail with which developers have made the best use of Spektrix tools to make sites that are efficient, inspiring and accessible for both staff teams and external users.

We do not charge developers to appear on this site. Our assessments are made purely against the criteria in the publicly available framework, and new developers are welcome to showcase their work at any time.

 

How to integrate your website with your ticketing CRM

Different CRMs integrate with websites in different ways. For example, some host events listings on their own site, which can provide a simple solution but limits your ability to brand that page or track users from campaign to point of sale; others require extensive, individual development work in order to function or stay up to date. 

The Spektrix web integration finds a middle ground, giving you the freedom to create a bespoke, configurable customer experience, without the responsibility of maintaining the software or servers through which your tickets are sold. This is made possible through four main components:

  • A set of ready-made iframes that can be embedded into your website to handle transactions and checkout flow, including event seat selection, account login and payment.
  • A two-way API that can be used to power rich web applications, giving you the potential to expand functionality beyond the standard iframes to introduce features such as enhanced dynamic pricing and availability information.
  • A suite of web components that can be easily embedded and configured to provide an enhanced customer experience for actions such as purchasing merchandise or making donations.
  • A web-specific administrator interface where developers can embed stylesheets and insert custom code into the Spektrix iframes.

 

Your web development contract

Once you've chosen a web developer, and you're ready to commit to a relationship with them, it's time to consider what you should include in your contract. Here are a few of our key recommendations:

  • Treat a website as an ongoing opportunity, rather than a capital project. Whilst there might be an upfront cost for the first bid redevelopment, by keeping a reasonable sum in your annual budget for website maintenance and improvements you'll be able to make sure it continues to provide a cutting edge online experience, rather than slowly gathering dust.
  • If you're worried about committing this cost at the beginning of the journey, build clear budget expectations into your planning. By investing in a high-quality website you should see an increase in online sales, saving you staff costs in the box office - and with the right customer pathway in place, you may well see an overall increase in ticket sales, secondary spend and donations.
  • Put mobile first. Making your site responsive to phones and tablets shouldn't be an add on - a growing majority of audience members will visit your site on a mobile. When it comes to design and testing, don't forget mobile just because you're sitting at your desk - make sure you consider every element from a mobile user's point of view.
  • When you replace a website, make sure you're reimagining what's possible - not just recreating what you already have. Even if you're not using them now, build in key integrations for social channels, video and analytics, and talk to your web developer about how to make the best use of these tools - they should be able to offer you guidance and great examples of their impact.
  • Cheapest isn't always best. Think really clearly about what you want to achieve, and take a look at our listings to get a sense of the budget that might be required. If that's going to be a stretch, reprioritise, or talk to your shortlisted developers about phasing a project over multiple budget years. And don't forget to budget for time - however good your developer is, they'll need a considerable commitment from you and your team to ensure what they're building is truly representative of your audiences and organisation.