Acceptable to clients as a portal?
  • 2003/12/19 21:42

  • brujah

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 2

  • Since: 2003/12/19

Not sure if this is the correct place for this post, but my question is as follows:

My main focus is the end-user for such sites, as the scope and development of such CMS sites takes too long to implement. GNU sites such as XOOPS and PostNuke are fascinating to me, and allow for quicker implementation times and considerable "maintenance contracts"...

Xoops is the latest site idea that I am investigating, and I am feeling more and more that I should drop Postnuke entirely.

I would like to know if any of you have dealt with SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) companies that are using XOOPS and what their feedback was in these implementations of these sites.

The main selling point for me is the user interface for the admin section, for clients are baffled when presented with textboxes and no indicatiosn of what to do next...

The old addage of

Developer: "Yes the site can do anything you can possibly think of...."

Client : "Hmmm...I don't like the buttons!"

Clients are not intrinsicaly adaptive to the idea of a CMS site as they only are result driven, and appearance mad in today's world of "Market Analysis" and "Corporate appearance".

Even though I am quite impressed with the package thus far, I am usually unable to see it from a "Techno-Phobic" and yes sometimes clueless clients perspective.

Any input would be invaluable that some of you entrepeneurs may have had, and I am itching to make the chnage over to Xoops...

Also just a word of thanks o all developers for the concept and the amazing follow thgough of the product that you have released.

Screw Licensing, Make Mine GNU!


Re: Acceptable to clients as a portal?
  • 2003/12/19 23:45

  • Draven

  • Module Developer

  • Posts: 337

  • Since: 2003/5/28

Well I'm a webdesigner by trade and currently have clients using XOOPS as well as using it myself.

One of my sites is http://www.gaining-mass.com

Some clients sites using Xoops:

http://www.fantasyref.com (Not finished yet, still shows old site)

All three of these sites are more then just hobby sites, they make money and are customer focused.

Hope that helps.

Re: Acceptable to clients as a portal?
  • 2003/12/21 17:17

  • brujah

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 2

  • Since: 2003/12/19

Thanks for the reply Draven

It is my ideal to have all of my clients running on XOOPS as their website, but I just wish to enquire whether your clients are updating the sites themselves with basic maintenance from you, or are you doing all the updates?

The reason for this line of questioning is that I wish to know if I can allow SME clients to manage the sites themselves, thereby garnering more clients, or should I rather focus on the maintenance of the sites themselves.

The goal that I am attempting to achieve is to have full-time staff managing the maintenenace of these sites, and to do so, I need the client base to grow.

Kind of s catch 22 situation, grow and not have the time, or not grow and lose out on a larger client base...

Currently I have two contractors that I utilise, but it is not a suitable situation whereby the communication with them becomes problematic...

Kind Regards


Re: Acceptable to clients as a portal?
  • 2003/12/21 19:22

  • Spiguy

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 18

  • Since: 2002/3/19

Let me chime in here also. I am part owner and webmaster for FantasyAsylum.com and Fantasyref.com. Draven did some great work for us. We have been using XOOPS on fantasyasylum.com for 2 years now and love it. Although I was able to pick most of it up and make the mods that we needed, Draben was better at it than I and really set our new site apart. I am still tapping him for info and help from time to time. So what I am trying to say is, if you set it up and then leave it for someone NOT code savy then there could be trouble if they went in and tried to mess with it. It can be easily messed up, as I do sometimes, but I am able to generally fix my problems. Just my advice. Maybe a "per call" maintenance type contract would be advisable. They would not need you that often, if they leave their hands off the code.
My 2 cents.


Re: Acceptable to clients as a portal?
  • 2003/12/21 20:05

  • fatman

  • Friend of XOOPS

  • Posts: 176

  • Since: 2003/12/13

I just wanted to add some comments to this great thread.

I think if your are setting up a site for a client and you have decided to use the XOOPS core, you should take some time to educate your client about open source software such as XOOPS can add lots of value to your clients long term goals (online and off).

The way I plan on incroporating XOOPS into my buisiness. Which has been up till now just typical custom development services in php or asp.

- I charge an upfront fee for implementation, which means I set up xoops, install required modules and design and implement a custom theme. The over all theme is theirs and will not be reused on other sites.

- If module customization or new modules are required, I'll charge a very reasonable price for this work, just to cover as much of my time as possible, but with the understanding that any module work is done so that it can offered back to the wider XOOPS community. My client although they may pay me to get the module done, do not own any rights to that module.

- Finally I charge a monthly hosting fee, that includes all the standard hosting services as well as free upgrades of modules and XOOPS core as releases are made by the community or I myself improve as a result of other projects.

This is a very different approach from what is likely offered from regular web site programming companies, but I think it can be made very attractive for small businesses as a strategy to control long term costs for running and maintaining a web site.

The intial upfront costs may actually end up being similar to what other people charge for custom development. However development time should be greately reduced as you can easily make use of previously built modules and the powerful XOOPS core. Most time would be spend extending modules where required and applying custom templates and themes.

But once the client is up and running under a hosting environment with your control, they can be assured that as long as they pay your hosting fee, their site will evolve at a similar pace as the actual XOOPS community.

That all being said, you'll have to examine hosting fees and other rates to see price point makes it worth your while and keeps you competitive.

Ultimately your focus over time should be to gather, assemble and deploy the best open source modules available to the clients can support your vision and pay you the monthly hosting that covers your bills.

As far as who manages content on the web site. I think turn overall managing of content to the client but convince them that they should pay experts (such as yourself) to design the site and keep it current with web standards and best search engine or online marketing practices.

Think recurring revenue, it's what pays the bills. Make money while you sleep so that while you're awake you can create value.

I hope that is useful advice for some people.

Re: Acceptable to clients as a portal?
  • 2003/12/21 21:52

  • carnuke

  • Home away from home

  • Posts: 1955

  • Since: 2003/11/5

Even though I am quite impressed with the package thus far, I am usually unable to see it from a "Techno-Phobic" and yes sometimes clueless clients perspective.

My first introduction to CMS was XOOPS. Like any piece of software it has a few quirky requirements, especially in the admin side. However, it is definitely designed to be user friendly. Within two weeks I had mastered the admin side and was happily buiding the site and that's with no experience of Nuke or anything else. Sure I checked out the competition, also had a look at Zope, but the complexity of user input and configuration for these others soon influenced my decision for XOOPS. I can also say that in the near future there will be some comprehensive documentation to support users of all standards and experience.

XOOPS is a fast moving, fast developing CMS, yet it retains a hold on quality and standardisation. That's a valuable asset for the end user who values procedural consistantsy over gimmicks and quick fixes.


Re: Acceptable to clients as a portal?

Novell uses XOOPS for their developer websites. I don't have the URL for it though.



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