Last post Dec 05, 2005 02:35 PM by christoc
Dec 05, 2005 05:42 AM|DeveloperMCDBA|LINK
I was asked to put something together for a potential client. DNN rocks so much, that after a few hours of putting some stuff up on a new portal, when I go in to show it and when they ask me how long it will take, the answer
will be "how long does it take you to write out a check?"... This particular "potential client" has a complete html static catalog site and hire the developer/designer to add/edit content at $95/hr!!.... text changes!! I start to explain they can have role
based management of everyone who comes to their site, and their head starts to spin...
anyhow...I'd like to show it off, and hopefully get some "constructive criticism". [:)]
http://modularhomes.mahometcommunity.com/ ...just about the only thing that's really differnet on my portals anymore is the banner
I put up. (I just finished up one at http://www.mahometcommunity.com/ too...check it out!)
Just a few months ago, it took me a while to turn around a project to a
that was getting impatient. I was going through, what felt like, a steep learning curve to get everything working in dnn how I want it to, skinned an all. ...tonight, I finished a data-driven web project in roughly
4 hrs....and it was suppoed to be a prototype! dnn just rocks! [cool]
...did I mention I didn't have to write a single line of code!? lol...never thought I'd love to not code!
...btw, how much do you guys suggest I ask for? ...by how much time I spent on it or by the value rendered? ...by how many pages? (note: this is a
rhetorical question; see christoc's comment below) ...I used to do sites based on how many pages, but they were mostly
static sites, and people couldn't afford to pay for me to architect a xslt guestbook (yes, I'm being facecious) or design a data entry screen
to insert/update records to a single table (to put it simply), for which I'd have to gather requirements, prototype an entry screen, write, test, debug, deploy....debug some more....debug some more....then customer happy.
Every week that goes by, my love for dnn grows. (*ballad music starts*) It's been a gradual process, but as time goes on, I just realize how powerful and valuable is really is. I'm truely thankful!
I want to extend a thanks to all those who have contributed to the project and community....core team or otherwise.
.....k, need to get some sleep before I get too mushy here...
....I love you man.....er....guys!
[B] <-- hey...what happened to the beer emoticon?!!
Dec 05, 2005 07:23 AM|oziweb|LINK
.>..btw, how much do you guys suggest I ask for? ...by how much time I spent on it or by >the value rendered? ...by how many pages? ...I used to do sites based on how many >pages,
I don't sell DNN as a stand alone product - I package it as a Small Business Solution with hosting and as a part of an external IT department. but one of the best things about pricing is the fact that you can say to your client
- if you take the solution from XYZ company then when you want to add a page it will cost you $55 an hour for the programmer to do it for you and it will probably take a week or so - with the CMS solution you simply add the page using your browser - we don't
charge for extra pages
This has to be one of the best marketing ploys around. So I am not to sure just how you would price a stand alone DNN job but if you want to stand out from the run of the mill web design companies out there don't charge by the
page you will lose the advantage.
I layout the site design depending on what type of business they run - so they get a fully populated site less actual content, the client puts his own content in ( hey it is a CMS after all) so based on that I would assume that
you would cost out on a basic fee for the installation of the site, the design of the skin and the actual site layout. Then of course there is the onsite 2 hour training session on how to use the modules you may have already set out on the site. Finally an
ongoing support fee which would include updating the site with new modules and core upgrades. With my clients I have only had one or two actual dnn type questions ie which of the two photo gallery modules should I use and the most common is what is a Blog.
If you want the client to use DNN but have to bind to your for support etc then make some simple mods to DNN to customise it to make it different from all other dnns - with my client installations I went thro all the admin sections
(add page etc) and worked out the min entry requirements for example on add page the client only needs in 90% of cases to enter the tab name and title. I simply call that the fast track and set the rest of the input up under tab layout. The keywords and descriptions
generally are always the same for each page so I set those in the admin settings and they automatically enter into the fields in the add page. They can be over written at that level. I added a help ticket link to every admin type page so they can write a
help ticket while still on the page that they have the problem with. I am going to add a ICQ link so they can talk to a support member and get a walk thro on their problem while still on the admin page.
Now you can charge a little bit more for the 'improvements' that set your dnn above the one they can download from the dnn site for free.
I think that this is what DNN is really all about - its a portal engine that allows value adding with very little energy.
>just about the only thing that's really differnet on my portals anymore is the banner I put >up.
This is the only downfall of DNN - the skins are table based you tend to work in little boxes I would love to work in some circles and ovals and the like just for a change. The demo site is crisp and pleasing to look at (and
I like your banner) but and this is not an insult in any way - it looks dnn -header pane with banner, menu pane content panes and footer panes.Boy it would be nice to have say a curved graphic type menu down the side for a change. Maybe we need to think outside
the box - a content pane on top with a menu pane half way down just to be different.
The above ramblings have nothing to do with costing of the site but maybe there is some extra income in a skin that is outside the box.
Dec 05, 2005 07:36 AM|DeveloperMCDBA|LINK
yeah, i agree. even if it doesn't look like a dnn site, it still looks like almost all of my other portals, since I work from the same template. I need to change the backcolor of the pagemaster/skinmaster (or whatever it is) to a dark blue.
DNN is actually the most flexable system, imho, in that you can do any html you want,
and just stick in the dnn tokens where you want them to be.
One site I did the design for, I thought was very non-dnn look like:
www.mshose.com and also http://www.walkertireperformance.com/ However, the fact that it has a date and all those other very familiar skin objects makes it easy to spot, but not everyone are dnn freaks
like us, right?
I understand what you mean when you say "it looks like a dnn site" and its not meant negatively...the issue isn't so much looking like a dnn site, but looking like many other non-inventive/createive sites already out there...and I can imange, there are
many dnn sites out there. [:)]
Dec 05, 2005 07:37 AM|DeveloperMCDBA|LINK
what's up with the carriage returns in this editor today??! [:O]
...there i go complaining again! [:#]
Dec 05, 2005 08:08 AM|oziweb|LINK
your right this site stands out - it clearly is dnn but on first sight it leads you directly to the content rather then thinking hey another dnn site.Good use of graphics and texture in the skin.
The problem is not a dnn think as such it is a problem of dynamic content - if the content is static you can wrap it around curves etc with no problems but being dynamic one really does not know about the content when designing the skins thus the little
boxes. It would be possible to design the rendering process to consider the shape of the container when injecting the content- little bit of maths.
an outside the box approach on the walker tire site would be I supose to break the main content panes into 3 rather then 2 ie the text pane and the image pane add a third pane the width of both the text pane and the image page below . The continue the text
into that third pane and you would not have the great area of white space - does complicate it at bit but would look really good -applies to a number of the pages Company History etc
Dec 05, 2005 09:36 AM|kurtstricker|LINK
Dec 05, 2005 02:01 PM|DeveloperMCDBA|LINK
What menu module are you using?
The sites looks good, however I think the mohemtcommunity inactive menu items looks like they're disabled.
Yeah, I've noticed that...need to find out what's going on there...probably some bad css
Dec 05, 2005 02:13 PM|christoc|LINK
Dec 05, 2005 02:27 PM|DeveloperMCDBA|LINK
Generally pricing discussions are frowned upon on Asp.net.
oh...because it could be in the form of spam, I take it?
just to clear the air, it was a rhetorical question, meant to give thought to "what is your cost" vs "value provided"...I'll go back and edit...
Dec 05, 2005 02:35 PM|christoc|LINK
I think more along the lines of price fixing or something. but I could be wrong, just remember this coming up in the past.