Who am I?

Head Grunt, David “NfoCipher” Bunt - I'm a programmer..
Experience: With over 14 years professional experience both in corporate and small business environments. I'm a Linux junkie, have a healthy respect for macs, but cannot tolerate anything microsoft related. Been there, done that, never again.

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Insane Web Site Bids..

2008-07-15 @ 06:01 in Business

For Sale:


I'm not sure how many doors you will need yet, I can show you models that look sorta, kinda like what you would get, but you can't sit inside. Also, the engine will be installed after you buy it based on your needs.

$100,000 + $22,000 maintenance fee per year.

I've recently been tasked with the job of being a independent, non-biased consultant to help decide which company gets to redo a university's website. The range of bids I've reviewed range from completely reasonable to completely insane. Let's back up a bit. How does it all work?

This time they decided to hire me out to review what each company had to offer. The list was thinned out to 3 bids.

One company bid $100,000 with a $22,000 never ending maintenance fee. Just to talk to someone who could answer my questions took a week. This particular company makes their money by taking over university server rooms (ie: computer services). It's really amazing what a company will outsource. So why not try to invade the web design arena of universities also?

Yet another bid $120,000 but didn't handle any sort of back end integration. They were offering what I call a brochure site - meaning static pretty html that could easily be translated into a nice pretty brochure. No back end scripting, just basic html. They also had no idea how to integrate with google search nor had a demo site of, well anything. The funny part is, this company specializes in doing website for universities - that's it. Included in the bid is a page of existing customers with example links - which are broke in firefox under linux. They also informed me they do not test the site with lynx, but are completely ADA compliant.

The third company offered everything, worked with google search, used PHP, and it was a local company. They tested pages in Firefox under linux and lynx. The best part, $36,00 bid. The problem is, this was the company that originally created the site they are now unhappy with. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with the current site other than the fact it's reached the magical 3 year old mark. This seems to be the time people become unhappy with any site and want a change of any sort. These are the same people that need to paint their rooms different colors now and then.

My recommendation was easily the third company - no question. Now it's up to the university to pick.