Utterly Boring dot com

One Project Down, Several More To Go

I'm working as we speak on building a couple localized sites that I won't get into here for a variety of reasons, but I will now have a bit more free time on my hands. I'm still working out the bugs with another developer, but SPNW Supply is live. I was really my first major on-the-side gig that I've done, and learned a lot from it.

  • Mambo/Joomla is insanely powerful, but it's obviously built by geeks, for geeks. Doing the simplest of things in there is a royal pain in the butt compared to some less-fancy CMSes. The reason I chose this system (after talking to some developers) as this client wanted to be able to edit his site's tutorial-type content as well has his catalog all from one interface. So we tied it together with phpShop, and it provides a nice clean back-end interface for doing things (far easier than their old site). It was a lot of fricken work, but I think it looks pretty decent and it's far more usable than their previous system.
  • I need better project management software to manage all communication better between developers, clients, etc... . I have folders setup both in Outlook and in Windows to keep track of this type of thing, but there surely has to be a better way. I'm looking at this Customer Manager software that came with the copy of Quickbooks that I have, and might give that a whirl, but wanted to see if anybody else had other ideas.
  • I will never do a job like this again if I have to subcontract a good chunk of the work. While I'm making a few bucks (very few), I think it'll just be far easier in the future if I can do all the work myself -- meaning I probably couldn't take on a job like this. While some of the developers I worked with on this were fine to work with, some I had to basically say "Screw you" to and move on to somebody else, losing me both time and money. I needed to screen folks better, I guess.
  • I need a better, more solid contract. Thanks to a suggestion that Paul made to me a while back, I'm probably going to buy this book and get things a bit more solidified for myself.
  • I need to quit doing sites for old friends of mine. This site was done for an old college buddy of mine who is their inside sales guy, so I made the mistake of thinking I'd be dealing with him primarily and that he'd be making the decisions on the site as he came to me. While I was dealing with him for the most part, he had to deal with his boss who was very particular about things, but didn't want to deal with me directly and insisted on going through my buddy. It was a real mess. But it did make my buddy realize how little respect he got from his boss, so he's actually already given his two weeks notice.
  • Trying to work on this stuff on a computer you're not used to working on is a pain. My usual workstation -- my laptop -- is out of commission, and due to be back in my hands later this week (hopefully sooner than later). It was much easier when that was my primary workstation as then I could work just about anywhere (home, work, cafe, etc...).
Just the same, the project is now live, and after I clean up all the dead links, make sure the SSL cert is working properly, and otherwise test, tweak, and fix, I can move on to other projects that I've been wanting to get done (that I'll be mentioning here soon, as there are some locals I know that will enjoy them).

Update at 10:40: I realize that some folks here in Bend (especially folks on BendCableBroadband because they like to take forever to clear out their nameserver cache) are probably seeing the old site. If you see a guy sitting there in a chair, that's the OLD site. If you see a little baby crawling across the floor, that's the new site I refer to above. Hopefully within the next 24 hours the DNS will be fully cleared up so everybody can see the proper site.

Posted by Jake on 11/14/05 @ 02:11 PM
Posted in Jake | Permalink

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Input Needed On Community Portal Software Packages from UtterlyBoring.com on 12/15/05 @ 04:40 PM:
For those who know me, you know I'm working on a couple community sites to compliment the Bend Blogs site. I'm finally getting to the point where I really want... (Read More)

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