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Thread: Beginner need expert advice:

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Beginner need expert advice:

    Hey guys,

    First of all, I am not a programmer/developer and I have a very basic understanding of coding and scripting.

    I came to this forum to hopefully get some helpful advice regarding a website I found. My business partner and I are working on a start up right now, and we are getting quotes for a specific style of web design we like. One of my friends who is supposedly very good at developing, and claims to know a ton says this website looks like the most complicated developing he has seen in a long time. He said to him it looks like JavaScript or CSS but because the code is "ghosted" and he can't download or view it, he isn't sure.

    Essentially I have no clue how much he knows, or how to get an honest read on the level of difficulty that it takes to code a site like this, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    The site link is below. Please keep in mind, we are not looking to mock this site in anyway, we just like several features of it.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    The "magic" on the site you mention is all done with Flash. It's a very professional design. Designs like that generally run into several thousands of dollars for the photography, sound, and animation effects.

    It would be possible to reproduce many of the effects with just CSS and JavaScript. With computers, there are always ten ways of doing most tasks. It's mostly a matter of scale - how big, how smooth, and how much you want to spend.
    Rick Trethewey
    Rainbo Design

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Thanks for your reply,

    The things that is my friend who I know quite well, he said between the photography, post processing, retouching, film work, developing, etc. He estimated that this entire project budget was around 75k - 100k. I am very familiar with photographer fees,costs of retouching product photography, and the other costs associated, so I know roughly how much went into that. I think his guess is a little high, but I have no idea what the developing costs were for the site.

    On the other hand, my business partner has a friend who he graduated college with, and his friend has a degree in computer science, and he said he could replicate this entire site easily in a day, and it wouldn't cost him that much to do it. In my opinion, this sounds like an over-promise and probably some bluffing.

    So with all photography and film aside, assuming all the raw material was provided, and all that was left was to develop the actual site, is that a big project in itself, or does this site coding not look overly complicated or sophisticated.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    It's like one of Newton's Laws. Web design costs naturally expand to meet the client's budget. But I think your friend's estimate was probably high by an order of magnitude. It hardly matters.

    You could replicate all of the features of that site with CSS and JavaScript. Flash provides a powerful framework for coordinating the timing of sound and motion, with a fluidity that is difficult to achieve with simpler tools. There are downsides to Flash, but I admire those who can use it so well. Again, it hardly matters.

    If you have a basic layout in mind for your site, I'm sure your friends could make something you'd like at a much more reasonable cost. If the site you have in mind is as dependent on the images as the example site, that's where I'd go for a professional photographer. Shooting products and interiors well takes advanced skills (and equipment) that few independent designers possess. Once you have great images, the site can evolve as you and your friends experiment with different approaches until you're satisfied with the results. But if you don't have good graphics up front, then you're left with the choice of accepting less than you'd hoped for or having it all re-done. Good luck!
    Rick Trethewey
    Rainbo Design

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