At Planet Maine we design websites on the next level. They do something. They are ever changing, drawing in members for your organization, and customers for your business. They are seamlessly integrated with your mission, staff, membership, and customers.
- Are you ready for an eye catching and dynamic WordPress site that looks great on any device?
- Do you want a site that integrates with Facebook and other social media?
- Do you want to be able to instantly change content on your website from any connected device?
- Do you want to allow staff members to add and edit content to assigned areas on your site?
- Do you want your site to automatically update with rotating content: photos; news feeds; advertisements; action alerts; special offers?
- Do you want blogs, podcasts, photo albums, streaming audio and video on your site?
- Do you want to have an online store and/or allow donations online?
- Do you want to maintain optin email lists and develop sharply designed email newsletter campaigns?
- Do you want all of this at a competitive price with excellent support?
Then you need a website designed by Planet Maine!
Why choose Planet Maine?
The websites we have released have been hits. The organizations and businesses we have worked with have been thrilled with the results. Review our portfolio and testimonials. Our goal is to help you succeed.
Analysis and Planning
We listen carefully to what you want out of your new website or makeover. We also do an analysis of your site and make suggestions for features, design, and an outline before we begin. We will talk about your budget, help you choose a platform, and present you with design several options.
We constantly evaluate your website to see what is working, what needs improvement and also to help you keep up with the latest developments in web technology. We will inform you of any additional features and functionality that you might consider adding to your website. We take care of upgrades for the platform as well.
Customer Control and User Roles
Think of the ‘old’ days in an office environment. There were certain technological bottlenecks that crippled productivity. There may have been only one typewriter and typist through which all the work leaving the office had to go. The modern equivalent of this bottleneck is the ‘webmaster’ – that person who designed your outdated website years ago that you can’t get in touch with to make an important change to your site right now.
Planet Maine sites eliminate this bottleneck. Each member of your team can change, add, or delete content on assigned areas of your site from anywhere they can get access to the Internet as easily as they send email or prepare Word documents. User roles also allow a Planet Maine site to have areas that only certain staff, board, or members can view. This has many applications, including allowing you to work on areas of content over time before they are ‘live’ for public viewing. See example.
Value and Pricing
Much like the cost of building your own house, there are many factors that can affect the final cost of your website. You might be able and willing to do much of the work yourself, or you might never pick up a hammer. You might choose the most deluxe cabinets and countertops available. You might decide that you want to tear out the countertops if you don’t like the way they look. Likewise, you might decide that you need many features on your website – a store, photo albums, etc. You might decide that you like another design better after one is completed. These are some of the challenges and realities in building a website, or a house. It is a process with which we are experienced, and that we are good at.
There is an unfortunate and common misconception about how much a website should cost. Most organizations that come to us want a more feature-rich website than they have budgeted for or think they can afford. The reality is that the website has evolved into one of the most or the most important outreach tools an organization or business can have. Often a group that thinks they “can’t afford” a new generation website and then do decide to commit to it find their memberships, donations, and even grant revenues increase by much more than the website’s cost.
One of our major goals is getting you and your staff to learn how to manage the content of your website. If you are willing to commit the staff time during the construction of the site that is certainly a way that you could “save” money. The thing to keep in mind though is that you are still paying that person. The point is that the site has a certain value in it – whether you have committed significant staff time to it, had a volunteer work on it, or you have had us do most or all of the work.
As you shop around for someone to help you with the challenge of designing, implementing, and maintaining your website, make sure to ask for the details of how they are paid for their work. Many designers use a “black box” type model – “We will do your website for X dollars.” In the end you might not be quite sure how much time they actually put in to the project.
Planet Maine has a fair and transparent way of charging clients. Like many builders of homes, we charge by the hour plus materials (software, hosting, etc). After agreeing with you on the scope of the project, features you might want, and a general outline for the site, we come up with an estimate of what we think it will cost. To date, all of our projects have come in on time and under the projected cost.
We are now working with WordPress. We also work with Google Sites and DotNetNuke. See our client portfolio for examples. We will help steer you to the platform that is right for your project.
Marketing Your Site
We are experienced in showing you how to market your site, how to get the most out of Google and other search engines, and how to drive people to your site, and most importantly, how to create members and customers out of them.
Integrated Database Solutions
This means that we can meet your needs for information solutions that go way beyond what you might imagine a ‘website’ might do. We can build solutions for grant and grantee tracking, membership and donations, tenants and maintenance records for buildings. The possibilities are limitless. There are many advantages to being able to access your data from anywhere you can gain access to the Internet and log in to your site.
Offering Low-Price Options
Some clients decide that a custom made WordPress site is “too much” for their needs or their budget. In this case we offer a couple of solutions. The first is Google sites. The advantages are that it can be free to host it and it integrates seamlessly with Google docs, apps, etc. See an example of one of our Google Sites.
The next is our Website Builder product. This is a totally DIY solution that gives you unlimited pages and 1gb of space for less than $6/month. Check it out.
If you are already WordPress savvy we offer a Managed WordPress option or a WordPress site with cPanel access – both for $6.99/month.
Planet Maine is a full service web hosting and design company. In addition to custom-designed sites, we offer a full range of products – from domain registration to dedicated servers and email accounts to setting up your own blog, podcast, or online photo album. See our complete catalog.
Here are some good articles on choosing a web design/hosting firm:
- 10 Things Every Nonprofit Executive Needs to Know about IT, from techsoup.org.
- How to Choose a Web Designer for Your Nonprofit Website, from Network for Good.
Please contact us so we can discuss your needs and how we might help you.
“Planet Maine designed a website for our family foundation that is both visually appealing and very user friendly. When we began working with Planet… read more
Hannah Quimby – Quimby Family Foundation
“Planet Maine provided excellent support and guidance throughout our website development project. The staff at Planet Maine have extensive experience working with and understanding… read more
Amanda Sears – Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine
“Planet Maine helped MOFGA create a website that is dynamic, visually interesting, and always-changing. With their help we’ve been able to add e-commerce, to… read more
Russell Libby – Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
“Managing over 70 apartment units and twice as many tenants can be a real challenge. Planet Maine created an awesome website for us that… read more
Cindy Lowry – Dartmouth Properties, LLC
“The Maine Environmental News website, with its thorough coverage of breaking environmental stories and its excellent archive, has been an extremely useful resource to… read more
David Vail – Bowdoin College