The Ostrich Website Project Requirements (v1)

This post is a detailed requirements analysis for The Ostrich website project.

Future posts will describe incremental progress in the project, striving to meet the requirements.

Mandatory Requirements

  • Content Management Platform with following properties:
    1. Stable, robust, reliable.
    2. Highly configurable and customizable (design and behavior).
    3. Has open APIs that allow interaction from external tools.
    4. Tagging and / or categorizing content.
    5. Multiple content types (e.g. time-based posts, time-less pages).
    6. Markdown content authoring support, with optional raw HTML.
    7. Code highlighting feature.
    8. Side-bars feature.
    9. Customizable navigation bar and menus.
    10. Internal search (that works…).
  • Original website design with following properties:
    1. Clean, consistent, and pleasant.
    2. Mobile responsive.
    3. Based on re-usable building blocks that can be integrated with complementing platforms (social etc.).
  • Comprehensive commenting and discussion system, including:
    1. Visitors can engage in discussion on per-post level, with minimal friction (anonymous, simple log in using common identity providers, etc.).
    2. Threaded comments and replies.
    3. Spam prevention & moderation capabilities.
  • RSS feeds with ability to control excerpts effectively.
    1. Include post thumbnail if exists.
    2. Render HTML.
    3. Include “Continue Reading” link.
  • Complement main site with social presence.
    1. As additional platform for community building and engagement.
    2. Let visitors (and myself) easily share my content via social networks. (like, share, +1, tweet – per post + entire site)
    3. Tight linking between main site and pages on social networks.
  • Integrate methods of monetization.
    1. Ads, non-intrusive, text-only (e.g. Google AdSense).
    2. Affiliate programs when applicable and relevant (e.g. Amazon Associates links to products that I use for projects).
    3. Option to make donations (pay-what-you-want with recommended values, user can designate cause).
    4. Must be non-instrusive also on mobile.
  • Complement main site with opt-in Newsletter.

Important Requirements

  • Ability to export content and settings for backup.
  • Ability to import content from WordPress site. Including comments and static files (images).
  • Content caching system to serve cached static HTML to most users most of the time.
  • Analytics.
    1. For website, with desktop / mobile breakdown.
    2. For RSS feeds.
    3. Including referrer info.
  • Easy integration with Google+ Authorship.
  • Automated Sitemap generation. At least for Google and Bing.
  • Effective way to redirect original URLs to new site.
  • Automate implementation of SEO best practices.
  • Integrate with Newsletter platform to collect signups.

Nice-to-Have Requirements

  • Extra discussion system features:
    • Discussion aggregation across social network.
    • Multiple sort-order options (timestamp, popularity, etc.).
    • Reader feedback for comments (e.g., like / report).
  • Seamless content migration from
  • Auto-scaling of hosting platform.
  • Post publishing scheduling.
  • Automate sharing of content from main site to social networks, using network-optimized format and presentation.
  • Track activity of posts over social networks (counting shares, etc.).


Due to the meta nature of this project, you’re reading the requirements post in a pretty advanced stage of the overall project. This means you “already know” how some of the requirements manifest in the current site. But it also means that there are requirements that are not yet met, because the project is not yet complete!

If you have thoughts on the requirements as I present them, go ahead and make yourself heard in the comments! Think I missed something important? Completely wrong with prioritizing something too low or too high? Don’t hold yourself back! 🙂

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