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View Poll Results: is it fair

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  • yes

    60 75.00%
  • no

    13 16.25%
  • not sure

    7 8.75%
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  1. #51
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    The Ford Mondeo is the basis for a number of Jaguar cars. The same oil filters, engines, chassis - even some of the switches and lights.

    Is it fair that Ford charges double or more for the Jaguar when its using the same parts as the Mondeo ?

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    How the designer implements their design is not all that important - after all if you hire a designer you are after a particular look to your pages. If you want the pages to actually work in a unique way then you'd need to hire a developer.
    i totally agree: a good webdesigner is able to come up with designs i can't create, but when the business logic is complex and you can't create it with a ready-made cms, we're entering my playground .

  3. #53
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    You should not charge for do the job, you should charge for know HOW TO DO it.

  4. #54
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I think using a CMS is fair game if you STATE that you are using a ready-made solution.. I favor CMSes for traditional solutions for two main reasons: the upkeep, and turnaround time. In simple cases, it can help avoid additional requests for updates and new pages. I had to use Wordpress to replace an existing site, but keep the same exact design and content.

    This was because the client wanted to edit his own content and add new pages. Our work time involved re-fitting the design for all the pages and altering the code to turn it into a Wordpress theme, and inserting the content into the pages. We also had a small meeting to show him how to use the CMS interface.

    The only way I won't suggest a CMS is if the client explicitly wants a custom-made solution, or if they have an existing site and just wants some final cosmetic and content tweaks done for a static site. In the latter case, adding a CMS add unnecessary time to the work.

  5. #55
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure I would be just as happy with a construction company using pre-built trusses for my house versus them cutting and constructing them on-site specifically for me. Personally, I would assume that pre-built trusses would save time and labor, thus I'd probably get a better value by them doing so. The same goes for web designers / developers using any pre-built CMS or code.

    The question for those who believe that it is not ok to use OS scripts for their clients, do you re-use any of your code you've written for other clients? Perhaps you wrote your own CMS, shopping cart or login script ... if another client wants something similar, do you start from scratch for the new client even though you already wrote your own? If you copy any of your own code for a new client you are basically doing the same thing ... it's simply code that YOU originally wrote instead of someone else. Your hard work and effort put into the first client is there, but it is lacking for the second. If that's all it takes to make it valid for you, then by all means, spend the extra time on the first client. Personally, I would rather utilize the tools available out there to give my client the best option for their needs while keeping the redundancy of my workload to a minimum.

    As long as you're honest with your client by not representing that you are hand-coding it from scratch if you're not, then I think using pre-existing code is plenty fair.
    Kevin Hauge : Modern Leaf Design : Follow Us on Facebook
    Client Axis v.08 - client / project management script

  6. #56
    SitePoint Wizard Young Twig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki View Post
    The Ford Mondeo is the basis for a number of Jaguar cars. The same oil filters, engines, chassis - even some of the switches and lights.

    Is it fair that Ford charges double or more for the Jaguar when its using the same parts as the Mondeo ?
    That's not all that comparable. A Mondeo and a Jag are two completely different classes of cars. They differ significantly in features, interior materials, and most importantly external brand name.

    The issue here is not a difference in anything external. If the two possible outcomes (CMS and custom) are identical, is one worth more than the other?

    Modifying your car example, it's like comparing a hand-made car to a mass-produced car. Even if they are equal in quality, I'd say the hand-made one is more valuable. Personally, I'd buy the mass-produced one, assuming it was priced significantly lower.

    With all that said, I hate CMSes.

  7. #57
    Floridiot joebert's Avatar
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    "Everything is worth whatever its' purchaser is willing to pay for it."

  8. #58
    Twitter - @CarlBeckel busy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joebert View Post
    "Everything is worth whatever its' purchaser is willing to pay for it."
    Agreed. People offering the results of Joomla, etc. are my competition and I worry about them. But I won't claim it's unfair because I can use a CMS just as easily.

    In fact, I would prefer them to charge a lot so my prices don't look too high when someone has already gotten quotes from them.

    A lot of my work goes into writing my own code that lets me get sites up faster. If I write enough of it that it qualifies as a CMS, then would using it suddenly become unfair?

    In my opinon calling something "unfair" is the same as saying "They do it better than me" in many cases.

  9. #59
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    Several people have made points that I agree with, but for the sake of the vote...

    If someone simply creates a skin for a CMS and then calls it all their own, then they probably aren't going to last long. After all, word of mouth should never be underestimated. Clients may not fully understand or care about the effort, but they aren't 'stupid' and will figure out pretty quick if you fudged the truth.

    We should also skip underestimating the usefulness of a CMS. Yes, there will be situations where you probably should do the coding yourself, but if a CMS provides a framework that meets your client's needs or can be modified to do so, then go ahead. Especially if it means you can better provide future services. Of course, you should take credit for what you actually did.

    Honestly, I use a CMS for each of my own websites. It has little to do with my coding skills and much to do with time management. I admit I haven't given them as much love as I would for someone else's project but that means nothing about their expandability. One of those CMS was created as a community system, but I am not using it that way and it works pretty well.

    As the the question of pricing, I do agree that if everybody involved with the transaction is happy with the results - then that is what matters.

  10. #60
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    Wink

    I believe the global consideration to this (seemingly) sticky subject is really quite simple. Focus all your efforts on building a solid business and spend all your resources on developing ways to solve your customers problems.

    The real question should not be 'what can someone charge' but, 'am I digging down to what my customer really needs?'. If the answer is yes, then simply provide them with the best possible solution for their needs!

    The price or system used is absolutely irrelevant to anybody else except 'your business'. If your business focus is about what someone else is charging or what you can or can't do, then you really are focusing on the tail, not the dog! You are 'riding the horse backwards' (to use another appropriate metaphor) and wondering why you can't see where you're going.

    In light of this, the topic of 'he said, she said' becomes completely irrelevant...

  11. #61
    SitePoint Addict Romuba's Avatar
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    My vote is definitely with you SteveNicel! I have just read an article about the lies of Multi-Level-Marketing and the chief reason more than 90% of people don't make the big bucks there is because they don't know the first thing about sales and marketing. Marketing is critical to our business. I need to identify the dog and then groom it and not be overly concerned with what the tail is doing - note I said overly.
    Ross Bartholomew
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    E-mail: ross@bartwebsites.com

  12. #62
    SitePoint Enthusiast exstatic's Avatar
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    If the system is free - OS CMS, but it still takes 20-30 hours to implement, i.e; Client Consulting, Template, Skin, Mod Development, Training, Data Entry, Graphic design, support etc.. Then I want to be paid for that 20-30 hours work.

    It is not fraud, it is not lying, they are paying me for a product and I have delivered on that product, they do not necessarily need to know how I went about doing it or what system I used. All they want is a working solution that meeds their needs and is within budget, if an OS CMS can do that then I will use one.

    Business is business and as someone said in a previous post, successful businesses work smarter not harder, if someone else has created a solution that I am legally allowed to use, then why on earth wouldn't I use it? Why re-invent the wheel?

  13. #63
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    This reminds me of the argument about whether or not web designers should use HTML editors like Dreamweaver instead of hand coding all their sites.....

  14. #64
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    I cannot believe the arrogance of some of the comments in this thread.

    There are some beautiful sites made in CMS's such as Joomla and Drupal that take designers/developers many many hours to make and are incredibly successful sites. It also can take a long time to learn these systems properly and there is NO DOUBT that they offer the client (with proper training) a way to update their site and feel like they have some control themselves.

    The developers of all of these systems deserve congratulations and I am in awe of the designers and developers who make these products sing

    Is anyone game to take on Jeffrey Zeldman over his use of a "pre built" CMS like expression engine for sites he makes or Andy Budd from clearleft or Veerle from duoh for the same thing? I doubt it, these are the best of the best and they see no problem in it

    Why shouldn't you be able to start your project off with tried and tested code that offers you instant functionality from which to build from?

    There have always been "Dodgy Brothers Websites" going in cheap and using pre existing templates and undercutting the real guys and there always will be, it isnt a new phenomenon brought about with the introduction of some of these amazing CMS's. There will also always be those (and Im guessing some of them in this thread) that over charge for poor quality work as well!

    To those in this thread who boast they can come up with a unique, quality web solution for a client in 30 minutes using any technology "including flash"..

    IF YOU TAKE ONE HAND OFF YOUR DICK AND THE SPLASH GUARD OFF YOUR KEYBOARD YOU MAY GET IT DONE IN 15 MINUTES....THAT IS BS IN ANYONES LANGUAGE!

    My guess is those who don't like these products are unable to match the power of them in their own work and so are losing business.

    My advice would be to stop wasting time trolling forums complaining and go and learn a couple of them (Joomla and Expression Engine would be my suggestion but Ive seen some amazing stuff in Drupal as well!)

    Go ahead make my day
    Last edited by Davib; Jun 10, 2008 at 22:28.

  15. #65
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    Interesting thread!

    Surely, this is just a boils down to whether are you're ethical and give detailed, honest answers to your clients expectations or are you unethical?

    As mentioned, price is what you can get for your product/service. It's not unethical to charge as much as possible for your labour in fact it's what we all do and should be doing. we owe it our families and ourselves. If hard work paid more than smart work we'd all be digging ditches! And not using the technology available for the job, in my opinion is plain daft whatever way you look at it. Or do you guys have to re-invent the wheel to get to work in the morning?

    What tactics do you use to sell? Does anyone really believe that this mythical, cynical, unscrupulous Joe Bloggs character is going to get repeat sustainable business? Keep happy clients? Get referrals? Maintain a thriving and healthy business? Get paid on time, even? I think not!

    Like all the "my mate can do it for a fiver" types the clients will get what they paid for. If you can't out sell him don't complain about it go learn how!

    Remember clients choose us and more importantly we choose the clients. Clients with unreal expectations and cheapskate values are not worth doing business with.

    Be honest, open and up front. It's good for you, good for the client, and good for business.

    James

  16. #66
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
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    Good question, but I think it's unfair to say that the cost charged for a site represents 'creating the site from scratch'!

    If the development team are using a half-decent CMS it represents thousands of hours of coding work - which would push a 5000 website into the hundreds of thousands cost... really!!

    Also, you are paying for knowledge, development and support (hopefully!!) of the CMS. Would a client be happy upgrading the CMS to patch that security hole, or customise the code to bend the CMS to their requests... not in most cases!!

    Using an established CMS is a much better choice than using a bespoke custom written one. For a start, who's watching security? Also, what about future upgrades (if any) and lets not even think about if the developers disappear or future migration to another CMS!?

    Going for a besoke CMS is a VERY bad idea for so many reasons, and clients should be strongly recommended NOT to pay for one... much better to pay a little less and get a more mature platform!!
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
    UK Freelance designer and web developer
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  17. #67
    SitePoint Addict Romuba's Avatar
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    Come on guys, lets ease off on giving each other a work over.

    Surely at the end of the day whether I use Dreamweaver, Joomla, A List Apart, SitePoint CSS or whatever else, I am just using a tool to get my job done? Just because I know how to code does that mean it is imoral to use some assistance? As always one charges for what you do and not how you do it.

    The old story of the guy battling to fix a leak and buying all sorts of tools for the job but constantly failing, and then eventually calling a plumber who fixed the problem with one twist of a wrench and charged $100. $1 for The nut used and $99 for the knowledge to know where the problem was. If I can use any tool to get my job done better and quicker then is that not wiser. Is that not working smarter instead of harder?

    As has been said, To really be able to use a Joomla or whatever really well will take many hours of study and experience - now surely that is part of becoming a better website builder?
    Ross Bartholomew
    Web Designer/Developer
    BartWebSites
    E-mail: ross@bartwebsites.com

  18. #68
    SitePoint Zealot evilunix's Avatar
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    Do you mean the web designers/developers themselves are using the CMS?! If so then the client should definitely be invoiced for less, as the website took less time and less effort to build! Using templates is just unfair, especially if you have specifically stated you are going to design a UNIQUE website for the client.

    If you are creating a website with CMS for the client to use, then maybe the invoice should be bigger, especially if you have paid for the CMS. After all, you are losing out on money you would otherwise earn from making updates to the website yourself...

  19. #69
    SitePoint Zealot Norebbo's Avatar
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    Even if a designer uses a pre-made CMS, no solution is perfect right out of the box. There is still usually a lot of customization and design needed.


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