The value of a website.
I have been developing websites since 1996 and the only way I can justify R 40 million for a website is by going through a costing process. First we need to look at whether a platform is suitable for a particular need. In the past I have given many a small business a Word Press website.
The Word Press website has a number of positive attributes and a few negative ones. Let's look at it from the point of a government website first. Word Press was designed as a blogging platform with some pages. It has developed to becoming a CMS with some creativity on themes you can in theory run a big website.
The downside is that Word Press in my opinion is bloatware. Thre is so much overhead that every page takes longer to download than neccessary. Add a few widgets and the site comes to a standstill. Yesterday when the freestate site was getting a truckload of traffic the servers were overloaded with the overhead.
Now let's look at cost, The Word Press platform is free to download. It is free to run and unless you live in a hole by now you know that the theme they used cost $ 40.00. Let's look at a free price to set up such a site. I generally charge in the region of 3 - 4 000 for setting up a site like this including 5 pages of content which are added during training of the client.
Now the Free state site is a lot bigger, The page I checked was numbered 825, so I am going to work on the assumption that they may have 1000 pages, 1000 pages at an average of R 600.00 a page would get us to R 604 000. for the website. This excludes any real SEO so let's assume they did some SEO as well, let's assume R 600.00 a page , that brings the investment to R 1 240 000.
Let's assume that they wanted some stand alone server with it's own connection to the internet. Let's assume they wanted a direct connection to the back bone and were not willing to co-locate and / or get a Vrtual Private server. I am unsure of the costs of that infrastructure as the last time I looked at costings like that was about 10 years ago. I am going to assume a 1000% increase in costs so let's say the cost of the line and bandwith is R 20 000 a month (extreme), Over 3 years this would be R 720 000. so we are up to R 1 960 000.
Lets throw in a kick butt server at R 40 000. and we are a R 2 million. All of these prices quoted would allow for profit as a web designer. Having said this about 4 years ago we developed a website from scratch for a local hardware chain with over 20 000 stock items and the client spent less than R 200k. Include hosting for 3 years and they still spent less than R 220k.
Is the R 40 million a fair price, from the customers point of view? Not on your nellie, from my point of view as a developer, I'd kiss a lot of behind for a contract like that. Over 3 years I'd be set for life and I wouldn't use a platform that has known hacking risks. Because of the popularity of Joomla and Word Press theres always someone trying to hack and take over the sites.
I have stopped using these apps because I lost 8 customer websites in 24 hours due to an exploit. Running my own software makes the effort of trying to hack it less attractive to these hackers, You see if they find an exploit in Word Press they can contaminate 100's of websites, If an exploit is found in mine they can contaminate a few only.
Still I dream of a client coming to me with a R 40 million budget.
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