The hardest part of interactive projects is not the coding or ideation, its working efficiently as a collaborative team. There are ways to spend a ton of hours & money on your infrastructure, and then invest hours of maintenance every month, all on tools that don’t directly make you money.
Continue reading “Interactive Infrastructure for under $25 a month”
Update: November 30, 2012 a.KindEndeavor.com is a growing directory of Apostrophe CMS professionals like developers, designers, Testers, & Strategy folks.
Update: January 7 2012 – @dandyMedia did a companion post reviewing the Diem CMS.
Update: December 16 2011 – The demo links no longer work for this post it was pretty old anyway.
Update: this review refers to the 1.0 version, as of Jan 2010 the new 1.5 version is available: http://window.punkave.com/2011/01/18/apostrophe-1-5-released/
Why do I care and where is the demo:
* login info is prepopulated in the login form so you can just press the login button
** The database and media are reset at the top each hour.
Why you care
- The Apostrophe CMS is easier to use, and easier to write templates for than WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla.
- It’s well integrated into the enterprise ready Symfony framework.
- Apostrophe still allows developers to use almost all the features built into Symfony as well as the Zend Framework.
- Expensive features are baked in like:
- It’s open source and easy to customize so it’s ROI is outstanding
Continue reading “Apostrophe: An outstanding Symfony CMS with no backend”
1. Requests for Proposals pay for themselves
The RFP document will be how the development team provides an estimate on both the work described in the document and the risk you represent as a client. Better RFP documents will result in a higher response rate, more accurate estimates, less time in meetings talking about the RFP, and less padding to account for risk.
The customer acquisition process is the most expensive operation for a custom development shop. Every lead that comes in the door represents a mix of opportunity, risk, and expense that development teams work very hard to mitigate. The good news is that you are the one with the money to spend, but to get the most for your money, you need to maximize your vendors’ opportunity and minimize their risk and expense.
Start your RFP with the the project working name, who to contact with questions, and how and where to submit the RFP to. Next, write a short, high-level project summary that includes what you want to do and how you will define success. Follow the project summary with a project timeline with a deadline for submitting proposals, a start time, and when you need the project completed. If you have any specific technical requirements, include them. If parts of the project are already completed or will be sourced to other vendors, make that clear as well.
Make sure each page of the RFP has a page number; this will save you time when going over the document in phone calls. Section headings also help to quickly steer conversations to the relevant portion of the document.
Focus the RFP on what needs to be done and avoid how it is going to get done. Sometime there is a temptation to get into details, but a decent web development team will quickly figure that out on their own. There are exceptions, but focusing on what to do and not how to do it is a good rule of thumb.
Pro Tip: A good RFP document can replace about half of the scope of work document your development team will write, which translates to even more cost savings for you.
Continue reading “5 tips for Cheaper Web Development”