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Web Design
Your Advice
gi3wgk




msg:336497
 4:19 pm on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Could some of you web designers give me some advice please:

In November 2003 I decided that my site needed an up-date. It was 4 years old and nothing was changed
from first launch .My site is a dating agency. I did a search using google and selected 8 various companies with the view to an up-date on graphics or a complete new design.I also wanted to change my host. The quotes I received were between $1500.00 to $5500.00 US dollars. I chose one not on price but what I thought they had to offer. The cost was $3500.00. They told me the only thing worth saving on my site was the 15000 clients and I should go for a complete new design. They also offered hosting and would transfer my old site to there servers. I agreed and in February 2004 my site was transfered to there servers.

Before design of my new took place I was asked to pay a deposit of $1500.00 which I did through my credit card.
I was then asked to select a software package (they went me several examples) which they would modify to my needs. They also designed a new logo. A lot of time was wasted (3 weeks) talking about a landing page which I didn't understand.
In May 2004 I requested an up date and was told " Currently still customising the dating engine's look and feel, as we get closer to completion I will let you know. This is the most time consuming
stage of the process"

At the beginning of July 2004 I made another request was told "I, as a techical director at ****xx have the obligation to inform you about the state of our project xxxxxx

Right now, we are in a phase of customization that goes slow. There
are many alements needed to be shaped, but we are almost finishing it.
I hope the aplication will be set up during the next week, when you'll
be able to have a frst look at it.

The above quotes are copy and paste.

This seems a very long time to complete a web site (5 months) or am I being unreasonable.

I have not been able to use my old site. I have had a few clients complain they are unable to update there profiles. I have told the company this but they say I would need to pay more to get my old site working.

I have been in contact with the guy who says he is the C.E.O. of the company and he has also phoned
several times about things that I thought were not relevant to my site.

I live in Ireland and the company that is doing this work is in the USA.

Is this a normal time to wait?

 

lorax




msg:336498
 4:29 pm on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

5 months is not unreasonable for a complex site with a lot of communications between client and contractor. That being said, what you've described seems outrageously long. Especially since it seems you're not really involved in the decision/design process. They should have knocked out several comps for your review a long time ago let alone had the site completed by now!

Dudermont




msg:336499
 4:34 pm on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

That seems like a long time, and it seems even stranger that they wouldn't be showing there progress. 5 months and you are going to have your first look at it? And if it is nothing like what you want...another 5 months maybe?

Me and one other person build an internal site using java/jsp for a firm that handles all there payroll, project tracking, consultant fees, and many other things in under 4 months.

Payroll can get pretty complicated and so was the estimating portion of the system.

All of my projects that are complicated like this have a steady communication too, which you don't seem to have with them.

Something doesn't seem right to me.

zulufox




msg:336500
 4:38 pm on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

ya, it smells fishy.

I wouldnt say it was an outright scam, but it could very well be a slacker-company who is putting your site on the backburner becauase they can...

peterdaly




msg:336501
 5:17 pm on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree that there is nothing that indicates this is an "outright scam", and may just be a slow or lazy company. Did you have any time frames in the contract, estimate, or workorder that was agreed upon?

I don't think it's out of line for you to communicate to them that you are unhappy with the speed at which things are progressing, and would like to be provided with an estimated schedule for the completion of the project or at least some (a?) customer deiverable items. See what they come up with, and go from there.

I don't know what their hourly rate is, but at $50/US (low) you have paid for 30 hours of development time out of your $1500. $3500 breaks down to 70 hours. If they have or are purching software as part of this, they are probably allocating even less time. I'm no expert, but I would expect a project like this to take two months or less in real world time based on how I just broke down hours for you.

gi3wgk




msg:336502
 6:04 pm on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I should have explained I had to purchase the software on top of the $3500.00. The software cost $1800.00
Many thanks for all the advice

webwoman




msg:336503
 6:14 pm on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree with everyone that this is longer than one would expect - especially troublesome is that they are not really maintaining good communication with you.

The part I don't understand is why your old site is not able to be used in the meantime...and why you would have to pay more money to get it useable again. This seems like something that shoots up a red flag on this firm.

-webwoman

gi3wgk




msg:336504
 6:36 pm on Jul 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

The reason for my old site not working is they don't have something called ImagMask (not sure of the spelling) on there servers.

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