One of the things that has kept me busy off and on over the past few months has been the rebuilding of the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association website.
The SLODA first approached me back in June to redevelop their outdated and antiquated website. They wanted to give the Downtown Association site a more modern look and feel, along with the implementation of enhanced functionality and usability. My goal was to replace their old static html site with a new data-driven web 2.0 site, capable of meeting the needs of future growth, as well as allowing for easy in-house updating.
So how did a small potatoes, no-name upstart developer such as myself swing the job for one of the more prominent non-profit organizations in San Luis Obispo? For one, I know people. Those people like me and recommend my services. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, my prices are reasonable and realistic.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, being a one man show allows me the ability to underbid most other developers. Lower overhead = lower design fees. I later found out from the SLODA that not only was my bid the lowest of all the project estimates, but I also came in at one fourth of the highest estimate. Let me tell ya… there’s definitely no standardized rate for web design.
After meeting with the Administrative Assistant and discussing the vision for the new SLODA website, it was time to get to work. To carry out this task, I went with an open source Content Management System that I’ve enjoyed great success with time and again. The CMS I used for the foundation of the new SLODA site was Joomla 1.5.
Joomla is arguably the most powerful and customizable open-source CMS available. Best of all… because it’s open source, it’s absolutely free! Free is always a plus when it comes to developing sites for clients at a reasonable price.
The people over at the SLO Downtown Association are a pleasure to work with. Their organization and attentive eye made developing the new website a very hassle-free and efficient endeavor.
In addition to a premium custom theme and myriad of 3rd party plugins, the other thing that really enhanced their new site was the directory component. A very special thanks to Sigrid of sigsiu.net for providing excellent support as I executed the task of migrating the SLODA’s 800 business database over to the Joomla CMS.
Well, so far the new site has been met with good reviews by both employees of the downtown association, as well as members of the board and the SLODA’s various committees. I’m not only pleased with the finished product, but also privileged to be able to add the SLODA site to my portfolio.