Currently, I am dealing with one of my current clients. They control a multi-national non-profit organization. In the past they have used basic html to do the work for them in the web side of things. They came to me through a person I knew and asked me to do very minor things for their web site. I agreed and started working with them. There last request was to accept payment through the website and I told them to look at PayPal. I thought it was the best bang for their buck. Banks can charge an arm and a leg to manually enter things in while PayPal does it just fine. Most of the time, PayPal is much cheaper than what banks charge too. So I built them a PayPal system straight from Rick Strahls site. The next thing they started asking was a bunch of questions as in what can I do next, what can they do next and what can be done to improve apon this? Now they aren't very big, with a membership only in the thousands and much of the money is spent through the year. So I decided to write them an email explaining what could be done with this organizations site. I decided to post it to show others why there is a need to have a Content Management System and hope it helps any other programmer trying to convince their customer to buy into a CMS.
I would like to title it "How to Convince you Customers they need a CMS"
Here is the deal. I decided to go with the cheapest
hosting possible when I purchased the space for $60.00 because of your budget. It is another server hosted by GoDaddy. Since its PayPal we are
talking about. You are not required to have another server from another Service
Provider to use PayPal, but for me to work using my programming languages ASP.NET,
C# and SQL I needed another type of server other than what the company you were
using had to offer. Basically, since you wanted my work I needed to use
GoDaddy (which is the cheapest hosting so far). PayPal doesn't have restrictions as to what it uses as a server, but the application I build for
you and the programming I do for you does have the restriction. The
$60.00 will be an annual expense once a year on or around the same date of this
The way I look at it is that we are in the very early
stages of development on what is formally known as a Content Management
System(CMS). The best place to loosely define it would be Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_management_system. If
we look at your organization at the base level. We can see the
organization requires most if not all of the following:
event calendar and scheduling feature for the calendar.
money management system.
Above and Beyond:
place to hold all your images and review them in a photo gallery.
- A place to hold all your official documents.
- A place to publicly display all your public information (Website).
place to download any and all forms or documents relating to events and
place to write and read all the news of your organization.
place to create newsletters that can be emailed out to all your members once
blog for your organization.
place to email all your members on a regular basis.
place to host a forum which would allow all your members to communicate and
chat amongst each other.
Overall it would be a place to store all your information
and data about your organization. It would not only be a time capsule,
but an evolving time capsule. The software will belong to you. If I
disappear with no word, you will be able to higher another person with my same
skill set that could help you develop more. As for having the ability to
update the application/webpages I create for you online would be difficult for
a person in your shoes. What do I mean by that?
your organization has several other organizations below it in a tiered approach, you could also host
webpages for those different organizations. It could have something like
a main page for each and every member in your organization or team. This
can be seen for example in another online application such as facebook.com or
linkedin.com. This of course is above and beyond, but it is available.
ASP.NET and C# is not regular HTML that you might be used
to. It is an entirely new platform for developing web applications.
When I say new, I must say that’s it has been around for about nine years and
is owned by Microsoft, so I do not see it going anywhere soon.
You will get all this with the $60.00 a year hosting
through GoDaddy and along with my working costs. You can achieve this with your other hosting
company, but it would not be through me. I am sorry to say, but I do
believe the other languages that are used to develop applications like this
could not compare with what could be built with ASP.NET and C#.
I hope that clears things up for you.
P.S. As an organization, I must imagine you do have a
membership management system in place along with some sort of news letter
system. Both those systems could/would cease to exist once I built this
Side note: All this information is completely dynamic.
Once I build a “component” for your application, it will then pull data
dynamically from the database. This means that you can have an
extensively large amount of information on a webpage without very many things
to develop or need a programmer for.
I hope this all makes sense.
If you liked this post, please be sure to subscribe to my RSS Feed.