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Call for ESU web site developer

The European Students’ Union  (ESU) is considering renewing its web site, and is issuing a call for a company to perform the upgrade.

ESU is an umbrella organisation for national student unions (see more information here). The site should be useful for these organisations, in addition to higher education decision- and policy makers and administrators, students, and others who seek information about ESU’s activities and policies.

The current site can be found on

We are asking for a proposal for both full visual design and programming/content management system (CMS) of the new site, based on the features outlined below. The company is kindly asked to include an optional bid to also host the website, in case the company offers such service. The proposal should include terms and price.

We expect the design and programming phase to be carried out in regular contact and cooperation with ESU staff. The design and programming of the site should take place within a six-month period (this can be discussed), starting in October 2010 and ending in February 2011 with the launch of the site. Please state to which extent you can provide technical assistance also after the new site has been set up.

Below is a list of features that we envision for the new site.


Required design principles

The main design principles of the website must be:

  • Customisable look that uses as few and uncomplicated technical features as possible. The overall look should be clean and simple.  The CMS should allow for easy redesign, choosing what, where, when and how to display. This should allow for custom-looking sub-sites for certain categories or tags (certain projects, events, topic areas).
  • Navigation of the website must be simple, with the viewer having a constant overview which part of the website is being viewed. There should be the main menu on top with static pages listed and a customisable sitemap with useful information in the bottom. The user should make as few clicks as possible to find the desired information. Thus the user should have several routes to information – using a search function, using tags, categories and browsing static pages and quick links.
  • All elements (articles) of the website should be based on a folder-free structure, which would be split into different groups by categorising or tagging them, similar to blog publishing, with possibility for comments that can be enabled/disabled. The CMS should allow creating various different views based on the selection of categories/tags, some of which could be turned into static pages. Custom clouds based on tags and categories should be placed on the front page and to the bottom sitemap.
  • The website should be built in one single column, with customisable sizes and shapes of boxes of content displaying various content controlled by categories and tags (such as latest news items, tag cloud, rss feeds, certain articles with descriptions, etc).
  • The CMS should allow for a multi-user system with users having different publishing/editing rights overseen by the main administrator(s). The publishing system should enable users to write text on the basis of What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) and add external content (embedded videos and media) and pictures.
  • The website should be fully integrated with the possibility of linking various parts with social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, displaying various internal/external RSS feeds).

In addition, the front page should contain the following special design elements:

  • A feed with news articles from ESU
  • A Twitter box with updates in a live feed
  • A Facebook button that links to the ESU Facebook site
  • A box that says “Sign up for the ESU newsletter”
  • A browsable display box/gallery of ESU publications linking to the appropriate category
  • Login button on the top for access to the intranet of ESU, which is hosted outside of the website.
  • A flash map of Europe (by countries), with pop-up information boxes that link to the web sites of the ESU members in each country.
  • A search function

The colour scheme used for the site should be the same as the one used for the current ESU web site.


Requirements for management

The ESU website is currently running on a Joomla platform, but we are open to discussing change of content management system if necessary, based on the requirements mentioned. The site administration system should be easy to use for web administrators who are not trained in HTML coding. If possible, please also include a training possibility into your proposal.

Please suggest a solution for a permanent document repository/library. The contents of this library will mostly consist of pdf documents, publications, images, power point files and similar items. It should be possible for the administrator to download the whole contents of the library without having to download each document one by one. Ideally, this library should be independent of the site and should not have to be moved the next time the site is changed.

Please also propose a procedure for how to move content (articles, documents) from the current site to the new site, and state whether you can perform this task.

The offer should entail the costs for the entire process from planning to publishing, with a few months follow-up period with support for possible needed changes. If applicable, please also include possibilities for regular follow-up support from your side into your offer.


Deadline for submitting proposal

Based on the requirements above, please send us a proposal for web site design (including a visualisation), a content management system, and an offer including terms and price (in EUR, including all taxes) for the work to secretariat[at]

The decision for choosing the designer/programmer will be based on the quality of the proposal and visual design, meeting the requirements of the design principles, user-friendliness for site visitors and site administrators, and cost-efficiency.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is September 25, 2010. For questions, email or call +32225022362.

Published August 16, 2010


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