I'm inclined to agree, there's a lack of professionalism which puts Sly in a difficult position as it's a friend.
Maybe Sly should get the site online as it is and ask for comments.
I have been in the web business for about 15 yrs. You get what you pay for, and it is a business. Treat it that way. Here are some things you need to consider.
1) Know exactly what you want. If you don't know, it's hard to convey to a web head.
2) Make a commitment with your designer. This is business and if he/she/it made bad quotes, that's their fault and they live with it.
2) Stay away from Friends or Family. It's hard enough to defend your rights as a client without bringing that baggage into the pile. Just don't do it. The side effects can last a lifetime.
The ecomerce websites I worked on generally start at 50k. It's not all visual. You can guess the quality of the designer when they low ball sites, as they really don't know what it takes to do it or they rely on being able to "adjust" you bill. As an example I am a programmer and worked with the graphic designers. What does it take to support those salaries to get the job done? It's not happening for a couple hundred. For a higher end job it takes manpower and high skills to do it. I code html by hand.
You need to think of it as a business. How much will it take in and how much of an investment is actually required. The rest will be compromises based on real value of the task at hand. Then and only then you can be satisfied with the outcome.
The design, css and html is the cheap bit. It's the backend which costs the money. That is, the ability to design and setup a database to store the data which is the images and which gallery they are in, the text associated with each image, the price and shipping cost of each image. Also the accounts records for each sale which also means an account for each customer with a log in so they can check whats been happening etc etc etc.
Then you have to build the content management system to handle all of that which is more design, css, html and probably PHP or ASP coding to manage all of that which means advanced online forms processing with insert, edit and delete options where necessary. Then you need more php or asp code to build the actual web page content dynamically with buttons for buying which also needs coding to interface to a payement gateway including collecting sucessful payment data and subsequent update of your own database with that client payment data etc etc etc.
To put it bluntly, anyone who thinks that a simple website for selling images is a breeze to knock up, doesn't know what they are talking about. It's simple relatively speaking with regard to some really complex e-commerce sites but its still a lot of work and is beyond your average hacker who just tries to bolt together some free utilities they got there hands on.
That's why a bespoke package is usually a better option because they have already done the hard work and refined it over time so you get a decent content management system and they provide some templates you can tweak for your own look. They make their money on selling the work many times over so you get a good a price. Go for a bespoke from the ground up package and you pay big bucks for an unrefined system.
how does free sound? minus the cost of the domain, etc. but if you'd like to save money check out indexhibit.org and download their php/css driven sites. customize them and there you go.. your own website :)
I'd worry only about how to salvage the friendship. The website sounds like a lost cause.
Maybe I missed it but what was the original quote? If he quoted $100 and is now +70% then that is not a big deal as he probably didn't know what he was doing.
Can't agree more. This is business.
I have been working as a consulting structural engineer for the past 20 years and I have done work for family and friends. Family and friends get the same contract as any other client. If I don't have them sign a contract it is because I do not expect to be paid for helping them.
I would shut down your friends efforts. If you decide you want him to finish the job, then y'all need a written contract.
Going 70% over budget needs to be justified. Did you ask for changes or more features? Or was your friend overly optimistic in what he could get done?
williambretzger.com) - with indexhibit you can do a lot of customizing I haven't gotten into... but I have a hard time recommending it to someone without a reasonable base of experience. A lot of fine art, artsy type of photographers and designers do put it to good use.
That said, it is a free download - can't hurt to try. And it gives you control over maintenance of the site.
http://www.clikpic.com/index.cfm?sec...&mode=featured) and what looks customization and control, the prices for Clikpic look really, really good. Never used it, but it seems to me that you won't be paying much more for your site than if you went it alone and had to pay for the hosting, etc.