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Old 06-21-2007, 08:23 AM   #1
ilox
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Default Maintaining a Front Page site :(

Hello friends, I have just been asked to provide a quote on maintaining and adding content for a site - http://www.wingeddolphin.com.au/ - but they built it using MS Front Page
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What we are choosing now, is to find someone who can build the site to the same design as we have already, but in a manner that will exclude no-one.
I don't run Front Page anything. Blech! So is there any way I can maintain this site for them without the overhead of Front Page?

I would need to make the site accessible and able to be seen in non-IE browsers - no, don't bother looking if you don't have IE GGGRRRRRR!!!

If I took this site could I maintain the basic site look and feel but drop all the MS-centric crud so that it can be managed in say NVU for ex.

Any suggestions please.

Oh, and would this kind of site lend itself to changing into a (Joomla or Elxis) CMS site so that it becomes much easier to maintain and for contributors to update their content? And still maintain the look-and-feel of what they presently have?

Lastly any ballpark for charging this not-for-profit group for my services?

   
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Last edited by ilox; 06-29-2007 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:53 AM   #2
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Blech!
I totally agree.
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...I would need to make the site accessible and able to be seen in non-IE browsers...
A complete re-write is probably quicker than meddling with that mess.

   
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:22 AM   #3
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Hard luck Ian - I can only see the front page (appropriately enough) in Firefox, so have no idea if what is inside is any better. Hang on - just cut and pasted a link from the code - seems very ordinary (if rather 20th century) in design terms to me.

IME, it is more efficient to start again with a new design made from the start for accessibility, and just import the content from the old one. I am sure a CMS would be a better way to go - or a customised blog if there really are daily new topics to add. The design should be fairly easy to replicate in Joomla!, if not fully accessible.

(Kelvyn mentioned an accessible Joomla! fork a while back.)

As for charging - I would not be inclined to cut my commercial rates much or at all, as organisations like this often seem very keen to get something for nothing and then pester you endlessly for extra updates because they are cheap to get done. Just offer a 10% discount if you feel their aim is one you wish to support - who knows from the title? A being and learning centre - puuh!
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:25 AM   #4
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No great insight, though I do agree with Bo about it (usually) being easier to start over on anything than to try to mend or make do.

They say they want to be accessible to everyone; that cuts Front Page right out in the first place, no?

Sounds as if you have a selling job to do first: web standards, accessibility, and so on.

Sort of doubt you can make a living wage off these folks; labor of love, or out, Iā€™d say (having been in that position many, many times).

   
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:53 AM   #5
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Ian:

Even Microsoft has dropped FrontPage and replaced it by two other programs, one for chumps like me and one for more advanced users. I believe both are more or less W3C-compliant.

   
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:57 PM   #6
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If I took this site could I maintain the basic site look and feel but drop all the MS-centric crud so that it can be managed in say NVU for ex.
Ian, you have to explain to them really how bad this site in terms of browser compatibility and of user accessibility - and it looks like a 1990s layout. FrontPage is extinct, it is no more. And FrontPage extensions on servers are a potential security risk if the syadmins are not very careful about security. It is those IE specific extensions that stop the site working in FireFox, Safari and Opera.

I'd switch it to Joomla! This way they can add their own content whenever they wish. Usually you just have to mention that benefit of a CMS to a client and they want it straight away! It would be more accessible that the current "site" - and would be quicker to put together.

Costs vary from country to country and depend on local competition. For charity sites I insist that they provide all their own content and then reduce the charge by about 10%. A site like the one here, in this part of the UK, would probably cost between 400 and 1,500 GBP depending on which developer business is handling it. I'd be around the lower end as it really would not take long with a simple template.

   
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:53 PM   #7
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I totally agree. A complete re-write is probably quicker than meddling with that mess.
Yes Bo, I have the feeling that building a new site retaining the look-and-feel is the only way to fix it. Stupid MS even have their own proprietory DOCTYPE statement, how insular is that?

What I might do is to rebuild the site using the WAMP or JSAS or Ravenswood server and then load it all onto A Live CD so they can play the site on their own system.

   
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:59 PM   #8
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Yes, I warned them several times that Front Page is not appropriate in a climate of inclusiveness. I think Joomla or something like that would be the way to go.

Maybe even use UHP2 so the associates can have their own page and keep that up themselves. The free version allows 50 people to have up to 5 pages for their own site.

Thanks for the suggestion on the costings. It does help.

   
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Old 06-21-2007, 05:05 PM   #9
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Thanks Michael, early in their development I told them that Front Page was a foul beast and to stay away from it else their site would be locked into a narrow framework of users. I suggested NVU or something along those lines. I even offered to tutor the builder to help him produce a slim accessible site. Offer was never taken up.

   
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Last edited by ilox; 06-29-2007 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 06-21-2007, 05:07 PM   #10
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Well I know Joomla very well so if I was to go anywhere I would be putting that option forward. I cannot see the point of multiple stand-alone HTML pages and the concurrent updating challenge when a CMS can do all of this and so much more and so much simpler to maintain...

   
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