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Old Dec 7, 2005, 10:07 AM   #1
cemorris
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Another pricing question

So I have been doing basic websitess for a couple of small companies. I have been asked to come up with an estimate for creating an online survey. Basically it was described as the customer first enters their state, then gets a list of locations to choose from. From there they will answer a series of questions about their service experience. At the end it will ask for contact information and provide a coupon for future use. All the survey results should be emailed to someone. Also the contact information should be stored in their database (not sure if the DB is currently setup for this or not) as they will use it to send out mailings and coupons. Perhaps the survey results will be stored in the DB as well but I am not sure about that. I am gathering from talking with them that they would like a flat rate. I am not sure what the ballpark was for something like this. Some of this stuff I will have to learn, but obviously would not include any of that time. Basically how long would it take some of you pros to put this together? Thanks for any feedback
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 10:39 AM   #2
grapes911
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I know I'm going to get some crap for saying this , but I'd use .NET. I have a very small Web design company. I have .NET and my hosting allows me to serve .NET program and use MS SQL Server. It would only take me a few hours (if that) to create the questionnaire, setup the DB, and store all info in the DB. The cost would have to be higher than a normal web page that takes just a few hours because the .NET software and .NET hosting is expensive. Someone has to help pay for the costs.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 11:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grapes911
I know I'm going to get some crap for saying this , but I'd use .NET.
Not at all, I second that. The problem however is that it takes time to learn ASP .NET, so it might not be as fast as you think (at least the first time you use it.) The other problem is that you need Windows and Visual Studio .NET (expensive but not obligatory).
You can get some very cheap hosting for .NET here. You can even use MySQL instead of SQL Server to make it cheaper. I bought a domain and an account from them yesterday, but I haven't tested the site yet (I haven't built it yet). I'll let you know later on if they're any good.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 11:13 AM   #4
grapes911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyde
The problem however is that it takes time to learn ASP .NET, so it might not be as fast as you think (at least the first time you use it.)
Agreed. I'm talking with a year of experience. I'm sure some people could do it even faster. But I don't feel it is right to charge people based on your personal a learning curve.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 11:21 AM   #5
jeremy.king
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Charge them a small fixed cost (a couple hundred $$$ at most) and use the opportunity to ramp up in some server side programming. Personally, I would suggest PHP/MySQL or Java (JSP) since they are quick to learn and aren't platform specific (here comes the mono flamers) - so you can change web hosts when the better deals come around. Also, if you have a Mac you can get up in running pretty quickly. It seems nowadays that web hosts are practically giving away shared hosting plans that support PHP/MySQL
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 11:25 AM   #6
cemorris
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Thanks for the replies so far. I am not aposed to using .NET (would be a good learning experience anyway), but they currently have a host and it does not use .NET. I am not sure I could convince them to change. Any other replies with what this would take without using .NET?
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 11:28 AM   #7
grapes911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingjr3
...(here comes the mono flamers)...
Yuck. Mono is terrible in comparison. MS doesn't do too many things right, but they really did a good job with .NET. It would be nice if they made a version for linux or OS X (I know it will never happen, but I can wish).
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 11:31 AM   #8
grapes911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cemorris
Thanks for the replies so far. I am not aposed to using .NET (would be a good learning experience anyway), but they currently have a host and it does not use .NET. I am not sure I could convince them to change. Any other replies with what this would take without using .NET?
As kingjr3 said, Java or PHP would be other ways to do it and are usually available with most hosting packages. I personally don't like PHP too much. It is very popular though. I started to learn it, but I decided to go in another direction.

Some other alternatives (they may or may not be available for you).
1. CGI - starting to disappear a little, but it will also work.
2. Coldfusion - IMO, this may be the wave of future. Much like Java, and very conducive to fast development. It's also the next language I want to learn.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 11:41 AM   #9
jeremy.king
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An easy way out would be to use PHPSurveyor.

Your request for that amount of time is difficult to answer. Really, just think of a cost that you think your client can tolerate and charge that since you will be learning anyways. Personally, I would think about how long it would take me to write and then I double it to include all the iterations and testing as you review it with your client(s). In my experience, these small requests tend to snowball and grow into larger endevours than planned.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 11:51 AM   #10
grapes911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingjr3
In my experience, these small requests tend to snowball and grow into larger endevours than planned.
So true. Make sure you have a written agreement before you start. Make sure it specifically states what the company can expect from you. Not how you will design it, but what the final product exactly will do. Otherwise, customers change things WAY too much. Also, if they want something that is not covered by the contract, you can say, "well, you are not paying me to do. But, we can amend our agreement." Make sure the amendments reflect a difference in price. The worst the customer can say is, "no thanks, lets keep it how it was." I was hesitant to do this at first because I thought they would get offended, but then I realized that this is how business works.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 01:06 PM   #11
jeremy.king
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grapes911
So true. Make sure you have a written agreement before you start. Make sure it specifically states what the company can expect from you. Not how you will design it, but what the final product exactly will do. Otherwise, customers change things WAY too much. Also, if they want something that is not covered by the contract, you can say, "well, you are not paying me to do. But, we can amend our agreement." Make sure the amendments reflect a difference in price. The worst the customer can say is, "no thanks, lets keep it how it was." I was hesitant to do this at first because I thought they would get offended, but then I realized that this is how business works.
So true - they are known as a Statement of Work and are so crucial with these small engagements.
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 03:43 PM   #12
ChicoWeb
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Outsource.

By the time you figure out what you are doing you will earn 50 cents an hour. Not only will you make 50 cents an hour, but you will loose the oppurtunity to work on new projects while you "learn" php (which is no easy task by any means) This is probably the business man coming out in me. I'm a web designer, and I do not do code or flash. Could I do them? Sure, but its it profitable, no.

Think about it.

You can work on other stuff and make more money while your developer is making you money? I like double the money, thats just me though
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