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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I am just wondering what someone would be willing to pay for a Content Management System (CMS) that is similar to the one that is on Spotster.net .

    The CMS is written in PHP and utilizes MySQL.

    Everything on Spotster.net is automated. We can add any content in any of the areas by filling in a couple of form fields, which are specific for each area.

    All the main pages are static so they load much faster and all we have to do to update all the pages is click a link called "Build Site". That link will then create a static page for the home page, all the main area pages and all the categories in all of the areas.

    The home page of the site lists the 4 latest addiions to each of the areas and each of the areas has something featured. We can easily change the featured by uploading a new graphic and specifying what is going to be featured in the Administration area.

    The site has a total of 5 templates that we can edit and it will take affect on all the pages on the site, right after we click on the "Build Site" link. The templates include one for the home page, output pages, main pages and the search results pages. Each of those templates deal with a specific type of page: like a main areas page or dynamic pages, etc...

    There are a ton of other features in the CMS on the site, but I only listed the main ones. I am not trying to promote spotster in a sneaky way, I am just trying to find out how much a system like I created for spotster, is worth.

    The only reason I mentioned spotster was because it would give you a chance to see how powerful the site is by looking at the results the CMS produces. I really don't have any clue on how much it would be worth.

    It would be great if you could give me a range between the lowest and highest you would be willing to pay for something like that.

    Thanks!

    Chris Roane

  2. #2
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    First of all I'd like to say I think you ripped off alot of Sitepoints design.

    Second of all I wouldn't pay a dime. Database management systems aren't a good idea in my opinion because there is a 99% chance that what you want isn't what the DBMS will deliver and so you end up changing what you want to fit this content management system.

    You so ripped off their design, how can you live with yourself?

    Chris

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    Huh? What are you talking about? The only main similarity between the two designs I see is that they both divide their main sections on the home page. I really don't see any other main similarities.

    Ripped off Site Points design....yeah right. You can ask Aidan and Eric (the two other guys who worked on the site) if we had any intention at all of having any similarities in the design Site Point has. Do you think if we really meant to rip of their design, we would be stupid enough to post in their forum?

    Both sites designs are very different in many ways and if you say that we made the design off of Site Points design, then you need to compare the two designs side by side.

    Chris Roane

    [Edited by wsresource on 10-23-2000 at 10:27 PM]

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    I was mainly talking about how much a system like that would be worth, if you were wanting to run a site similar to that.

  5. #5
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    It's probably worth something. I think shareware with a free limited version would work pretty well. They are lots of companies that make similar thing, though so yours would have to be a lot better.

    Edit: I meant better then the competition, not better than it is.

    Owen

    PS> The site looks pretty snazzy.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    I've seen many sites with a similar look and feel. I don't think it is accurate to say that he ripped off SitePoint. All designers and artists take elements of what they have seen elsewhere to create something new.
    Jim Lewis
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  7. #7
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Look at the similarities.

    First you have your general layout, With an upside down L cupping those 3 header bars. Like Sitepoint. Then look at the header bars. You have a larger top bar a smaller thin sub bar, Like sitepoint.

    Underneath the bars you have a list of articles on the left and a picture on the right that acts as a headline for the top article, like sitepoint. Oh wait, you use a circle instead of a square (dont want to get sued)

    The pictures themselves are created in much the same style as Sitepoints. Ie a stylized photo overlaid with text.

    Now you can hardly claim that this is all common design practice. I've never in my 7 years of surfing the net seen someone else use Sitepoints design structure, I consider it fairly original. And I've never seen two sites so obviously similar as your site and Sitepoint.

    When a regular visitor to sitepoint makes a site in competition with sitepoint, that has so many not so common design techniques in common, well I'd call that a rip off. Very Lame.

    Chris

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    aspen, do you think we had the idea of "Let's try to copy SitePoint because they seem successful and if we copy them we'll probably be successful as well?" Well...we didn't.

    I don't see how we ripped off SitePoint. Yes...SitePoint does list recent articles in a list with a graphic...but that's about where the similarities end. The three of us have been working very hard for more than three months on Spotster.net, dedicating all the time we could on it. We didn't have the intention of ripping off another site, in fact we try to do the exact opposite. If you examine the site, you'll notice that we try to be original in many ways. Rather than the traditional "webmaster's site" that is by far overdone these days, we focus not on only website creation/management but the computer industry as well. I personally have never heard of such a combination.

    Another thing, SitePoint definately did not invent the style that we are using. If I had the time I'd point you to a number of sites that have sections split as we do, or feature stories with graphics, or have an upside L. I don't see what the big deal is...so what if the two of our sites have stylized graphics? That doesn't mean we had the intent to copy SitePoint.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard big_al's Avatar
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    Lets not get too heated up about this.

    Many designs may be similar to that of the competition (Hey look at microsoft) we all learn from our competition, doesn't mean you are about to copy the design of a site.
    Features are features if a site has similar features does that mean they copied someone elses?

    Aspen yes I agree some of the site does bare some similarities to SitePoint but how many sites do you know of that have a similar look to them?

    and wsresource you probably won't make huge money out of your system but I can't see why you wouldn't sell a fair few.

    Just remember you have a lot of competition out there.
    .NET Code Monkey

  10. #10
    @russellg RussellG's Avatar
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    ok, the only similarity that I can see is the graphic sections on the main page, like Articles, tutorials etc.

    But besides that I dont see any similarities.

    I'm not sure how much you'd get for it, if its userfriendly people would.

    P.S Abahta, what happened to activewm.com? Are you going to update it any time soon?
    russell.cz.cc - coming soon (I promise!)

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    Well, obviously aspen is the only one seeing so many _similarities_ so I am going to drop the whole issue. I don't know why it was even brought up and I especially don't like how aspen accussed us right off the bat, which wasn't even right. But oh well, such is life.

    Oh and by the way, I wasn't the only who created the site, if you recall. Eric Radtke and Aidan Abhata work on it too. Spotster.net has a more broader visitor range because we have general computing articles too. I love Site Point and is it really are fault that we are influenced by great sites? We surely didn't have any intention to make them similar.

    Everyone is influenced by the sites they visit , and I think both sites are similar. But, I think sposter.net has so many distinctions between its design and site points design that they are two different sites.

    Here is a list of differences between the two sites:

    - Our top and left navigatioin areas are totally different.
    - The designs both use different colors.
    - The main areas on the home page are designed differently.
    - Spotster.net doesn't use an upside down L, if you look at it. It is more like a sideways "N" then anything.
    - Spotster.net uses a lot more rounded corners.

    Now back to the main topic of this discusion.

    I guess it is kind of hard to put a price tag on something you can't really see. If I did try to sell something like this or try to show how powerful I could make a CMS, I should probably make a demo type of thing.

    Chris Roane

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Chris, That's an excellent idea.

    I think vBulletin got its start that way. They developed a pretty cool board for their own use at vb-world, and other people wanted it. It took off from there.
    Jim Lewis
    To BE or Not to BE, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barium Enema
    FrappyDoo Forums

  13. #13
    ********* Evangelist
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    As the head designer behind Spotster.net I would like to make a few statements, mainly addressed to Aspen, and then hopefully we can get this thread back to the original question Chris was asking about.

    When I sat down and designed the site, all I had in front of me was a graphics program to sketch out the design, and an idea. Never once did I take a look at SitePoint's design, or any other sites for that matter, while working on the layout. We've had people rip off our design and content before so we know how that feels, and we're sure as hell not going to put anyone else through that.

    Chris did the Articles/Tutorials/Reviews header bars and the way of displaying the latest content... this was done in nearly the exact same way we displayed new content nearly a year ago, before SitePoint even existed.

    Lets get back on topic now.

  14. #14
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Like someone mentioned earlier, a shareware version might be a good idea, seeing as how there would probably be a certain niche of people who would be interested in the software (mainly those running large and expansive sites). In regards as to how much to charge for it - see what your competitors charge for similar software. If yours is better and you want to raise the price a little, give the users a solid idea of the features that your program has over all the others - which will justify your price in their minds.

    On a completely unrelated side note, how do you manage to keep up with all those domains..intersurge, domainmailings, dev storm and now spotster?! I wish there were 48 hour days...
    Sherice Jacob - Web Improvement Expert
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict superbird's Avatar
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    Where's all these content management systems? I've been looking for one for months!

    I've not looked at Spotster yet, but I'd probably pay the same as I would for one of those "shop in a box" ecommerce packages so about 500GBP or $750 depending on if it does all I want. I basically want something that would enable inexperienced employees to update a site I'm planning, and make it a bit easier for me. Am I thinking of the right sort of thing? And yes, a limited shareware would be a good idea.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    Hi,

    SuperBird: Yes, you are thinking of the right sort of thing.

    Thanks for the estimate!

    Chris Roane

  17. #17
    ********* Evangelist
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    Originally posted by Owen:
    They are lots of companies that make similar thing, though so yours would have to be a lot better.
    Just wondering, could someone share the URLs of any sites/companies that offer something similar to what Chris is talking about? The only one I am aware of that is remotely similar is Links 2.0, and that can only do a tenth of what a system like Chris described can do. It's just hard to put a price on the CMS when there's barely anything on the market that is close enough to compare it to, that I am aware of.
    Originally posted by Sparkie:
    Like someone mentioned earlier, a shareware version might be a good idea, seeing as how there would probably be a certain niche of people who would be interested in the software (mainly those running large and expansive sites). In regards as to how much to charge for it - see what your competitors charge for similar software. If yours is better and you want to raise the price a little, give the users a solid idea of the features that your program has over all the others - which will justify your price in their minds.
    I agree that a shareware/trial version would be a good idea, as it would give people an idea of what can be done with the system, and people love to get a hands-on experience before making the final decision. Features, screen shots, etc. will all be provided as far as I know. (Thanks for your suggestions by the way! )
    On a completely unrelated side note, how do you manage to keep up with all those domains..intersurge, domainmailings, dev storm and now spotster?! I wish there were 48 hour days...
    InterSurge and Spotster.net have been our main focus the last few months, DevStorm has been put on hold since summer (although that site is due for a revamping ) and DomainMailings is pretty much self sufficient... TWTCommish and I trade off gathering domains every week so it is not nearly as time consuming as the others. And alas, there is always another site in the works

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

  18. #18
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    Actually, Links was the one I was thinking of. When I was more active in the Links community, I know that there was a few major competitors similar to Links.

    I know that there is an expensive system like when CNET.com uses. There is also some popular system used throughout the web. Why? You quite often see similar URLS like "http://www.site.com/?something=number" where something is always the same or "45435,546324,2345234,234,,45,3425,1345,4352345". (I could never quite understand the second one.)

    Sorry for being so ambiguous -- I just don't know the names.

    Owen

  19. #19
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    Here you go: http://enterprise.cnet.com/enterpris...7-2825342.html

    Very reasonable too. One million dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to how much you can make with your newly organized data.

    And here is some somewhat relevent search results (should be for "webware" category.) http://www.webware.com/w/cgi/0-searc...nagment+server

    Owen

  20. #20
    ********* Evangelist
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    Thanks for the links, Owen.

    Vignette was another one I was aware of, they are a local company so they receive a lot of talk around here. Their pricing is way out of range for most people, however; yet they are pretty popular with the big companies that can afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on that sort of system.

    Most of the others are new to me so I'll be sure to check them out and see how they compare.

    Thanks.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    One million dollars? Man that is a lot of money.

    If I did create one I don't think I would sell it for more then $1000, but I guess it just depends on how much work I would have to put into it to make it do what they are wanting to do.

    Links 2.0 is just meant for search engine/directory type sites and is really only useful for sites that are just focused on that. My system would be for the entire site, and it could include a directory that would be similar to Links 2.0, but that is definately not all it could contain. Offcourse my version of Links 2.0 would be written in php and mysql and be much faster and more efficient then Links 2.0 . That is something I have been wanting to do for awhile now, but have been so busy with spotster.net and other things that I didn't have time for anything else.

    Chris Roane

  22. #22
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    The products that companies like Broad-Vision and Vignette sell are not PHP SCRIPTS. They are custom applications that are compiled into the Web Server and offer a lot more features than simple document serving. The price also includes complete and total Site Development, Support and Full Scale Database support including Oracle, MS SQL Server and Sybase. Their products give a complete out of the box solution to the customer, i.e. plug in server, turn on, boom e-commerce company online.

    Often times a new customer is assigned their own Support Representative as part of the purchase price. This support representative only supports 1 or at most a few customers. This support is both onsite and remote.

    These systems have had millions of dollars worth of research put into them and can handle millions of simultaneous users. They power sites like eBay, Yahoo, Amazon, Buy.com and Wal-Mart, Staples. These are the companies that build the systems that ISP's like Earthlink, NetZero and AOL uses.

    Unless you have the money to support and develop these types of systems, they are way out of your league in trying to compete. Now they won't compete with you either.

    For proper competition to what your developing you should look to Back-End or Midgaard both of which use PHP and MySQL and both of which are Open Source. You can find these and other related scripts at: http://www.hotscripts.com/PHP/Scripts_and_Programs/


    Note: All companies mentioned are examples and not meant to represent actual customers
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  23. #23
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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  24. #24
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    I didn't really think they were just simple scripts. Now I know why they sell for so much.

    Thanks a lot for the links.

    Chris Roane

  25. #25
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    The only similarities I see between Spotster and SitePoint is the center section with the articles. Other than that, it looks fine to me...


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