Recommendation Filter: I need a new web site designed with custom code
January 7, 2019 7:26 AM   Subscribe

I have been Googling. I have reached out to friends. I have talked with colleagues. But I need some experienced recommendations for a company or contractor to design my new website.

I have a podcast, and our web site is about 11 years old, and looks like it was styled 20 years ago. We underwent an "Upgrade" about 6 years ago but it was iterative and not so great. The site is NowPlayingPodcast.com (if that helps anyone)

I want to hire reliable, professional people to redesign the site. (A side note -- I am a web programmer myself, but between day job and running the podcast I don't have the time to actually code this myself).

I have googled and gotten bids from $5,000 to $100,000. The problem is I'm nervous about the lower-end bids' ability to deliver (most of them seem like oversees coders ready to churn out code cheap, but how reliable are they and their code), and the high end bids seem extraordinarily expensive. Plus they're discussing a 12 month development cycle, which seems crazy.

Honestly, the coders I work with could do this in 4 weeks, 8 after rounds of revision and go-live planning.

I WILL need some custom coding. I want people to be able to log into the site, get custom content that is assigned to their account groups, and interface with a couple other sites' APIs. But I'd prefer the site to be standard so I'm not locked into a single developer or company to support/upgrade code on an ongoing basis.

What I'm hoping for is anyone who's been in this situation and has actually hired a company or contractor that they would recommend. I'd prefer to use someone who has completed work. Or if there's a known company that does this that somehow I am unaware of.
posted by arniec to Technology (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hey this is exactly what my partner (another mefite) and I do! We're Duck Brigade, a design + dev partnership. We do tons of podcasts sites including 99pi, Criminal, BackStory. Check out our podcast specific work here and our other work here and feel free to get in touch if you'd like to discuss. I hope this isn't too self-linky, but this is so exactly my work, I wanted to let you know!
posted by Uncle Glendinning at 8:24 AM on January 7 [9 favorites]


I'm a full stack developer. I'm not taking new projects at this scale right now, but I worked a lot on projects like this with Jeff Forrest at Flying Eye Design over the last several years. I recommend him wholeheartedly as a professional and designer and he'll probably give you a bid at the medium-low range of what you describe, depending on the amount of custom coding that you require.

(Since you are a web developer I believe you when you say that you need a significant amount of custom coding, but if you weren't I'd be curious about how much custom coding you really needed to get where you wanted to be-the features that you mention say to me "this can be accomplished with out of the box software, perhaps with minor modifications." But I'm sure that the devil is in the details.)

My other general comment is that a lot of digital shops just start the bidding for whatever website at six figures-they don't want to spend the time actually scoping out the work so they fit it into a process where they price it so they know they'll make money no matter what happens, and they're used to dealing with budgets where that isn't an issue. So that's the source of the higher bids that you see. IMO there's an underserved market at your level, where there's a real budget but it's five figures and not six, and there's a need for actual custom development work and not just Drupal plus plugins or whatever.

Happy to chat about this a bit more, email's in my profile.
posted by Kwine at 8:25 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


(oh man you should totally just hire duck brigade though, that's great looking work in exactly your space!)
posted by Kwine at 8:27 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Uncle Glendinning, I'm composing a TMI e-mail right now and sending it to the Duck Brigade e-mail address. Thanks for the information!
posted by arniec at 9:46 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


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