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Am i getting my moneys worth.....

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by airius, May 25, 2012.

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  1. airius

    airius Junior Member

    Im after some expert advice and guidance from professionals in the industry.

    I have been investing in the development of a new 'bespoke' website for my business, however i am beginning to lose faith in our providers.

    I would be extremily grateful for any feedback anyone can offer. So far we have invested around £5,000 on this site and we still currently only have a homepage and the whole look and feel doesn't appear to be any more sophisticated than an off the shelf package..

    Please see below for an artwork visual and i would be vaule any comments or feedback anyone can offer so i am armed for our next meeting.

    http://50.116.100.136/www.airius.co.uk/airius2/
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Is this a serious post?

    For starters, the link doesn't work. Okay so I'm looking at the image you've uploaded... you spent £5000 on that? I am at a loss for words. I'm feeling a number of things right now, utter shock, empathy and disbelief to name just a few.

    How long has this project taken so far? Do you have any kind of written agreement/contract with the provider. Does it state exactly what your provider must create for you to hold up their part of the agreement? What are the project milestones, are there any dates agreed upon for specific sections of the site to be completed by? Are you expected to part with any more than the £5000 you've already spent? Any recurring monthly fees for hosting?

    What is the functionality of the website, log in system, CMS, payment gateway, product databases/catalogues - anything? Or is it a simple text/image website? (I'm assuming for £5k that it has a fairly substantial level of interactivity).

    Who is the provider, do they have a website?

    Honestly, I was making websites like this when I was 14, and you say you paid someone £5k for this!? If you would be so kind as to provide some more details as to your arrangement it would be much easier to provide you with some advice. The only thing that could save them from further criticism is if they have been doing lots of back end development for your site.

    I may be jumping the gun here, and I will wait for further information before making any other comments, but the situation doesn't look too great.
     
  3. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Squiddy try adjusting the link to Airius Destratification - Saving You Energy

    As to the site... I'd say you're possibly being ripped off, a quick look at it from firefox 12 and the first thing I see is the bottom section is broken. :rolleyes:

    From a quick look it appears the dev's are still using 'onmouse' javascript for hover/rollovers and tables for the drop down menu which went out years ago, both of which are now usually done using css styling.

    Now I'm no web designer/developer but even I wouldn't be using those techniques on a new site.

    Are you getting a custom content management system or something with it because I can't see anything that warrants £5000 if I'm honest. Even more so when it sounds like they're likely going to want more money from you for additional development
     
  4. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    5k for that? I can assure you there are many web designers out there that will do a much much better job for much much less (even lass than 1k)...
     
  5. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Ahh, good spot Levi, I didn't notice the duplicate http:// in the link when I first saw it at that (very, very early) time in the morning!

    Yeah just looking through the code now... wow. Tables? Seriously? No speed optimisation... No modern techniques of any description, I'm surprised they were able to get a jQuery app running. The coding in its entirety is out-dated, inefficient, bloated and in quite a few areas simply wrong.

    I'm not even going to comment on the actual design of the site. It would be a better use of my time to gouge my eyes out with a sponge.
     
  6. byronc

    byronc Member

    tbh it looks like about 2 to three days work so far - if that.

    bunch of empty pages

    not sure of your requirements bu looks like an app that can be done for £250 to £600
     
  7. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I wouldn't even charge that much to be honest...
     
  8. yellowdog

    yellowdog Member

    With everything working and all your content added, I reckon the site as a whole won't be too bad. However, you've definitely paid far too much for it. How did you find the company and did they come recommended?
     
  9. airius

    airius Junior Member

    [FONT=&quot]Thanks to all for your comments, it’s very much appreciated.

    First of all i have amended the link now so this should take you straight to the site.
    To answer some of the questions posed:

    - It is meant to be a content managed solution with admin area, which would let us add, edit and manage pages, have an image gallery managed through the admin area, no customer log in area, and with no payment gateways
    - Work began on the site in January
    - We are on a monthly retainer for website and PR services and would be expected to pay ongoing fees until its completion, at which point the retainer would be reduced to include just the PR
    - One of the advantages presented to us by the provider was that the developer uses his own unique coding

    Our current website is here www.airius.co.uk

    The proposal presented to us was:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“We will completely rebuild and redesign your website. James will write the code himself which makes the site unique to you, so enhancing your Google presence. It will have the same functionality of your present site but give you better access to your content.”[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]They had put together an alternative design to begin with which can be found here:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]http://50.116.100.136/www.airius.co.uk/index.php?page=46[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]However, as we were getting little to no design input and we were basically designing the site for ourselves we gave them the opportunity, as experts in the field, to put forward a design with no restrictions, which is the site you have all been kind enough to comment on. It is when we reached this final stage that my concerns were confirmed and I have sought all your opinions.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Following receiving this new site design I had also sent out our bi-monthly newsletter and the designer came back and said “why don’t we design the new site like the newsletter?” This grew my design concerns even more. The newsletter itself can be found here: [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]http://airiuseuropeltd.cmail4.com/t/ViewEmail/j/32B814179FDEB8A1/9ACD3CB9703D5161D9767B6002735221[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]My main concern at this point is the standard of design. I understand that for a content managed solution you might be expected to pay around £5,000, however this isn’t the final total as mentioned above and we were expecting something a little more sophisticated than what appears to be no more advanced than a standard template design.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]If there are any questions I haven’t answered, or any further questions please do let me know and I will answer ASAP. But as ‘Squiddy’ stated, I just feel like we are getting a student level standard of design.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Dan. [/FONT]
     
  10. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I don't know if it was you or them that suggested the CMS but it doesn't seem overly crucial for the type of website that you want.

    I'm sure they had no qualms in selling you a £5k "custom" CMS - it sounds very bespoke... unique... special.. luxurious, doesn't it? Well, I don't know if you know this but there are some very high end, fully customisable, browser compliant and fully documented Content Management Systems available which are... (this might be painful to read) free. The only time you wouldn't want to use one of those is if you have a highly complex website which more than demands features well beyond the scope of what most CMS's can provide.

    From what I can see, your site doesn't seem to require advanced functionality. I could be wrong, but all I see is a standard website in need of a re-design. Not a website that requires a £5k custom built CMS.
     
  11. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm.. I'm pretty much with squiddy on this although I can understand the appeal of being able to change things yourself. Having said that, depending on how much you want to change, and how often, you could have probably got a web developer to give you a retainer fee for x updates/alterations/hours per year.

    I would argue the code isn't even up to current standard coding practices although I'm no expert (I can do a website for myself but I wouldn't offer it as a service) and it seems like they're just milking the monthly fees from my perspective. The W3 validation website is saying that tables (ie your menu's) are out of date and should be replaced with css.

    As to the site it does look like you could have got away with a standard html site and then maybe added in a blog (to complement the newsletter and aid website seo) using something like wordpress (which can be used for the whole site).

    I'm also a little confused as to why the web company didn't take any of the design aesthetics of your original site or even your newsletter in the second design.

    If you're not happy with the designs they're producing I would suggest maybe paying a separate designer to design the front end and then make the web developers code the site to your design.

    Now we don't know the contract you signed up for but this would be the sort of direction I'd be heading in now as from my perspective they don't appear to have fulfilled the contract.

    I don't know which company you signed up with either but the telephone numbers actually go to 2 trade names... the one at the 50.116... ip address and another one which is easy enough to find if you google the telephone number.
     
  12. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Personally I would have recommended WP or something similar, which would allow you to do everything you need, it doesn't come with a £5k price tag. Or any price tag for that matter.

    There were 33 errors and 20 warnings in the W3C validator last time I checked. That's not to say that a website is coded entirely wrong if it doesn't validate 100% it's more a guide for developers to see where (if any) issues are likely to be originating from.

    However, in this case the coding is simply terrible and Levi is correct in saying that code isn't up to current standard coding practices. The tables would need to be replaced by div tags which are then styled using CSS. This can be a very large job in itself and is often quicker just to rebuild the entire site.

    Do you have any details of the contract/agreement that you entered into (where it states what each party will do, which is different to a proposal)
     
  13. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Haha.. good spot Chris!

    This certainly seems to put the following statement at odds:

    [FONT=&quot]“We will completely rebuild and redesign your website"

    [/FONT]
    This goes a long way to showing that they are trying to fleece you.
     
  14. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

    Hi Airius, i would say the most if not all the members here are in agreement that you and your company are being ripped off. Depending on the contract you have with the development firm, I would very seriously be considering holding back any more payments and getting some legal advice on recouping your losses.

    Based upon what you have described and the fact finding missions by other members on these boards the development team behind this have no interest or ability in developing a web solution that one would expect to pay for the £5k mark.

    The standard of the code is very sub par, Its so bad!! its embarrassing. I really do hope you can get yourself out of this companies clutches fast, companies like this are akin to dodgy garages imho. and do our profession as web-designers/developers no good at all.

    Im sure all would agree we would like to kept abreast of any updates from your meeting with the development team.

    Good luck and stay in touch

    Geoff.
     
  15. KeithyDee

    KeithyDee Junior Member

  16. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Hi Keithy, welcome to the forums.

    You may not have been aware of this but the post prior to yours is over a month and a half old, there's little to no point in bringing up this topic again as the Original Poster (OP) no longer uses this forum.
     
  17. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    I've closed the thread to save anyone else posting if the OP is no longer around.
    Oh, and welcome to Design Forums KeithyDee :)
     
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