Help needed to maintain and host Doors Open Days website - paid contract!

We’re looking for help to maintain and host our Doors Open Days website. This is a paid contract! Suitable for those with umbraco website experience.

Check out the brief below or download it here. Please circulate to anyone you think may be interested! THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 17th April 2020 at 9am.

Doors Open Days website - brief for Maintenance & Hosting contract

1. Overview of Scottish Civic Trust:

The Scottish Civic Trust was set up in 1967, to help people connect to their built environment heritage and take a leading role in guiding its development. In its infancy, it successfully campaigned for the restoration of Edinburgh’s New Town and can also claim credit for bringing Doors Open days to the United Kingdom. Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates culture, heritage and the built environment by offering free access to over a thousand venues across the country every September.

Our mission: To celebrate Scotland’s built environment, take action for its improvement and empower its communities.

2. Description of project: Doors Open Days

Doors Open Days celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019. Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment.  It offers free access to over a thousand venues across the country throughout September, every year. 

The aim of Doors Open Days is to ensure that Scotland’s built heritage, new and old, is made accessible to people living and visiting the country on weekends in September.  

Doors Open Days is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust and is part of European Heritage Days alongside Scottish Archaeology Month, which is coordinated by Archaeology Scotland.  Both are supported by Historic Environment Scotland.

Area coordinators create and manage local programmes and work for a variety of local authorities, civic trusts and heritage organisations.

The purpose of Doors Open Days is to enable everyone to enjoy our shared built and cultural heritage by accessing places, spaces and activities not usually open to them.

For reference, please view the 2019 Doors Open Days report on our website

3. Objectives of the Doors Open Days website

  • The website is THE tool for Doors Open Days.  During September it is the only place where all regional programmes are held in one accessible place.
  • All 32 different regional coordinators across Scotland upload their programmes to the website
  • audiences access information easily, clearly, regularly, any time.
  • The website also carries downloadable resources for venues and groups putting on activities in Doors Open Days venues

4. Content of the Doors Open Days website

  • The website already exists at 
  • The SCT team have log-ins and an umbraco handbook with information on how to change and upload content
  • Each of the 32 regional coordinators has a login and an abridged version of the handbook to instruct them on how to upload their own programme’s information on their section of the website only
  • Crucial components of the website:
    • Dynamic front page
    • Maps – currently turned off due to changes in google maps support / costing structures for charities.  A separate project within SCT is supporting the programming of this element of the website. It will be delivered within the functionality and layout of the current website.
    • Projects and visiting info
    • Peak and Off Peak modes. Peak mode is from July to November, where all live programme detail is on display (venue, building info, activities, map, images etc.). During this time September is the busiest period when we require enhanced available service support. Off Peak mode requires display of generic venue information not specific to a year or season, and ongoing info such as stories, news, contact details.
    • News 
    • Regions
    • Partners

5. Brief of work

  • Outline of Role
    • No new design is required as the website exists at
    • Maintain existing service and improve support for SCT users including responsiveness
    • Scalable hosting of the website – ensuring that it is always live, with more scope for support during the Peak period
    • Ongoing telephone / email Support to team members at Scottish Civic Trust 
    • Ensure site functionality and security
    • Levels of Service –
      • On average we email and call 5 times per month during working hours outside of our peak month.
      • In our off-peak period, we expect a response time within two hours. 
      • During our peak month in September we expect high levels of service that include out of hours and weekend emergency support. Contact with you will likely increase during this period up to around 20 emails / phone calls which will require immediate responses. 
      • Each year the website is populated with new regional programme information from July, with September events and activities being accessed from last weekend in August until the start of October.
      • The website cannot be down for any significant time during September’s peak period as this is the primary tool for Doors Open Days weekend visitors to find out about events and venues

6. Visitor profile of the Doors Open Days website

  • DOD’s website is heavily used by the public, with 196,746 visits in the past year, focused on the months around September.
  • Main traffic on the website starts in August with audience scoping and pre-planning their visits.
  • In 2019 65-70% of website traffic happened during the period from August to end of September.
  • Pages with learning materials that can be accessed year-round (such as DOD’s database of accessible, digital tours) receive some web traffic. 
  • The DOD website received 10% more traffic in 2019 than 2018, suggesting that our national profile is growing. However, it should be noted that this number may be even larger because the website crashed on three out of the five Doors Open Days weekends in 2019, thereby limiting the total traffic to the site. 

7. Project Timescales: 

  • Monday 16th March 2020: design brief circulated
  • 9am Friday 17th April 2020: deadline for responses / shortlist candidates
  • w/c 27th April 2020: interviews (by video such as Skype or Zoom)
  • end April 2020: contract awarded / content handover 

8. Required response:

  • Three examples of relevant previous work with umbraco websites
  • Outline costs of scalable hosting for a year, to be detailed with a split between Peak Mode and Off Peak Mode (see Crucial Components section above)
    • Costs should include standard ongoing maintenance costs such as scheduled security updates to software and legislative updates
    • Hourly rates should be included, and an outline of what this includes
    • Standard costs for services not noted above
  • Customer feedback evidence
  • Two references from previous clients

9. How the Project will be awarded:

This is offered as a 3 year contract, with an annual review, and optional break clause for both parties after 1 year.  

Tenders will be reviewed by an internal panel based on referees and quality of previous work.  Interviews will be held with shortlisted candidates.

10. Contact Information:

For queries email Nicola Godsal, national Doors Open Days coordinator, at 


Responses should be submitted to by 9am Friday 17th April 2020.