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redesign after redesign after re...

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by tim, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. tim

    tim Senior Member

    basically, I'm redesigning a e-commerce site for one of my clients, but I have a few problems.

    1) A site like I Want One Of Those but not I Want One Of Those because they want a site that isn't like I Want One Of Those - that's what they want. I have to design a site which sells perfectly, is cheap, provides a good CMS, and is easy for them to maintain. And beat market leaders. Really? yes.

    2) How much do I charge!?!? A three year deal cost £1399 for them with over 400 products. Maybe that's cheap. Maybe that's expensive. Either way, I got paid that much. But now, I don't know much to charge for the redesign. I was thinking half of that.

    3) an e-commerce system that I can design for their shop for free. I can't find that either. Well, I found one site, but it's so highmaintenace that this is labelled at the top of my browser currently:

    "FireFTP: Working... 0% of 3256 file(s) left - transferring at 0.01 KB/hour"
    Okay, so maybe not that slow. But there are that many files and that's how it feels!


    Maybe I'm just being a little stupid by posting this? I dunno. Either way, if you have any ideas or tips, PLEASE help me!
  2. philjohns

    philjohns Senior Member

    So your looking for an eccomerce solution (opensource?) for you to design a site for which the client can then update there products through? Sounds familiar but I could be missing something ;)

    inllighten me in a simple sentence!
  3. tim

    tim Senior Member

    Basically, my clients want a great design that looks like I Want One Of Those but at the same time a site which is completely independent.

    Which doesn't really work! And, I need a CMS that I can use (i've tried one already, but it's just a ready made site that I can't call off as my own - Gadgets and Gizmos Galore) that will be independent but reliable.

    So I'm at a dead end. Deadline is january
  4. Sneakyheathen

    Sneakyheathen Member

    Just use the same layout and change the colors, logo, style, etc. All E-commerce sites look essentially the same anyways. As far as the solution goes, if you get paid some upfront, why not just buy a commercial solution? Download a demo of one and fool around with it, and then choose one that works best. Is open source seriously your only option?
  5. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi Tim,

    For an opensource e-commerce solution have you looked at Magento? It's fairly new so you'll need to check how compatible it is for the UK market (check their support forums) and also check the hosting/server specs as remember reading it has quite high requirements to run.

    Other than that you could look at a UK system called Openmind commerce, it's not open source so the licence cost would have to be passed on to your client, but it is ready to run in the UK market, and from personal experience is not too hard to 'skin'.

    Then you have all the usual options like ZenCart, OSCommerce, JShop, etc, etc.

    I wouldn't follow this advice! If the costs are that prohibitive that you need to start mimicking other sites, don't take the job on, if you can't create something unique to the client then give a quote/price that can allow you to.

    Hope that helps,

    PS- Deadline is January!? Do you have a date in January? Sounds like it might be too short a deadline for any type of e-commerce site.
  6. tim

    tim Senior Member

    Yeah, this is the exact problem with the job:

    • They tell me to create a site in no time at all (January, to precise)

    • When I submit a great site, which works well and is part way through development, they tell me they want a new one designing. (By the deadline, we haven't even reached an agreement as to the design of the site, so they go b*tch about me in forums)

    • They then tell me they don't want to invest on looking good by having an integrated shopping cart, but want to skank their way through using a free PayPal one that looks, quite frankly, very unprofessional.

    • Their budget is about £1000

    Right, so in my eyes, everything under this is impossible.


    For a 500 page site, I'd be nearer £2000 (and more), as I'd have to pay for shopping cart CMS and the amount of time I spend on it a week (being as I normally spend about 6 or 7 hours on it a day), and all the designs I create to make them look good (flash, integration of the flippin cart, logo design, etc).
    The only problem with this is, they've already spent £1400 on the site, I doubt they'll want to spend this any more on me.

    On top of that, one month to redesign and launch hundreds of products AND market themselves effectively, is just unrealistic.

    I'll look into those recommended carts Greg, thanks v much!

    And thanks for the other comments; I'm sure I'll take that into consideration when I'm designing. Open source isn't my only option, but it's the only realistic one if they want a properly developed site.

    I guess what I'll have to do is explain all their budget spend to them and then try and get them to change their mind. I don't think they have a realistic view on their business, but it's not really my place to point it out, is it?

    And PLEASE, if any of you have any tips at all as to taking less time but looking just as professional, please tell me. Even a link to an easy drop down menu or something will help.
  7. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi Tim,

    (I would firstly be careful about what you say with regards to this on forums also, as these posts will be indexed and picked up by search engines)

    Did you have any form of agreement/contract from the offset?
    A document containing all the requirements and specifications for the site, did you include specifics when you quoted for this job/work?

  8. tim

    tim Senior Member

    Maybe I'm not making much sense.
    Infact, maybe is probably a definitely.

    But this is stressing me out. They just seem to contradict themselves on what they want for a future. They want a shopping cart CMS but they don't want to spend money on it. They want a redesign but they want it for £1000 or less and by January. They just seem a little out of their mind
  9. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi Tim,

    You really should have a set list of site specifications and all this should have been finalized before taking on the project, from the sounds of what you've said both you and the client have had entirely different ideas of what's expected from the project and the price quoted. I would try and get this sorted before moving further with the project, go back to your original quotes and their original requests, you'll need to figure out what exactly has been agreed....
  10. tim

    tim Senior Member

    Yeah, such as facebook apps (done), hours spent weekly, etc?

    At the start, they just wanted a site to sell products, but now they want a full on CMS for them to customise, along with the other things I've listed.

    So they've developed on their original idea, wanting a re-design blah.

    I'm really not describing the situation well, am i?!
  11. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    It's difficult to understand exactly what the client requested at the start and exactly what you have quoted for... did you ever have a site specifications document detailing these things? From the sounds of what you've said this sounds like what may have caused these issues further down the line. Without that document/spec list who's to know what's been agreed and what's expected as final deliverables, I hate to use the cliche, but you all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet!
  12. tim

    tim Senior Member

    Your right; we have had a document specifying what was wanted and what was going to happen but they've realised they're bigger than they first thought, so want everything re-done.
  13. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    If I was you I would refer back to that, and let them know that all the additional requests are in addition to the original specifications of the job... and as a result will add costs/time to the original agreement. Get a new quote and timescale agreed with the amended extras.
  14. tim

    tim Senior Member

    Excellent. Never thought of doing any of that.

    Thanks very much!
  15. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Tim that should have been your first thought! If the client changes the specifications of the job beyond what has been agreed you need to let them know that there will be additional time/expenditure, what may have started off as one small extra could end up being an entirely different project and leave you with a lot of stress! Good luck with it, let us know how things progress.
  16. tim

    tim Senior Member

    I will.

    Apologies, my posts have been all over the place today, didn't get enough sleep!
  17. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    No problems, best of luck with it.
  18. DennisWilliams

    DennisWilliams Junior Member

    Great reply's Greg to this post. Tim-ater, I really feel you need to look at your processes when specing and quoting jobs. The basic fact is your time = money and if your doing this for a living you want to make sure that everything you do is making you money. If the budget and timescales are tight provide the initial spec that was agreed but make sure the basics in planning, design and build will allow you to expand and develop the site and the ideas they may want now in the future. You could earn more than you initially set out over time with this if you plan and propose this to them correctly.
  19. tim

    tim Senior Member

    thanks for the reply Dennis.

    I agree, I haven't been as organised if I hoped. Everything I say seems to be contradicted by the client nearly immediately after I decide it, so everything confuses me at the moment.

    Apologies for the thread, but thank you very much for the help and suggestions you've issued. :D
  20. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

    Hello tim-alter,

    We all feel your pain on this one.
    I would suggest after reading what you have put down and taking into account the timescales that you really should take the bull by the horns so to speak.

    Get in touch with the client, and eat some humble pie, you both want the same outcome on this project because a successful project is a win win situation for both parties, its just that your clients don't understand the technicalities and difficulties you are facing and in return you don't understand the demands and the expectations of the client.

    Once you reestablish whats exactly expected and confirmed and agreed in writing timescales and deliverables you will be in a much better position to either pursue with the project and hope for a good ending or, being professional about it, suggest to the client that you cannot fulfill their expectations and gracefully step away from the project. They may not be overly happy with this, but you keep your integrity and more importantly sanity, and they are then free to pursue this project with someone who can deliver within the time frame whilst also remaining within the clients budget.

    Personally and in my opinion, if your taking flak in public forums due to unrealistic client requirements, and or the client cannot agree an amicable and positive way forward you really are better off letting this one go.



    PS. A lot of posts above are speaking from past expereince, and they have been in your shoes long before you, so don't fret.

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