To: Joe Austin
Date: Mon Jan 11, 1999 6:27:25 PM
Joesorry to have missed you at Kevin's last night. Sue told me that you perhaps were ready to move on this softball league web project, and it's getting tough trying to contain my enthusiasm over the possibility of working with you in mapping out a web presence for your league[s].
I myself played baseball up through highschool, and would love to construct such a site based on my love of the game. As you certainly realize, spring and the grueling schedule will soon be upon us, and if we are to do business I'd like to get as much of the infrastructure in place and the thorough testing phase finished before the crunch of the season is upon us.
Took a looksee at the Firebirds site. Not a bad site, is comprehensive, fun, informative, although an online personal stats page would probably add to the delight of the players. Aesthetically speaking, I think the 'Birds page could certainly be improved, that is to say, tweaked here and there to tighten it up, spiff up the graphics, and make the site generally more pleasant on the eyes, and yes, there is no place for the players and coaches to swap messages in a Bulletin Board or forum, which is what you have indicated is a desired feature of your league site. The 'Birds guestbook is a well-known third-party application that I once used in my own sites, but in recent months the free guestbook as grown increasingly troublesome due to the high traffic along the LPage corridors.
I suppose your next question would be, well, how much would I charge to to replicate, or improve upon this site exponentially, based on the number of squads in the league.
First of all, depending on the ISP, in this case Erols, tiered levels of monthly accounts can be purchased to help with the page, or rather, storage space limitations. This is measured in megabytes, and with each dial-in account, usually ten to 20 megabytes of storage space is made available to the ISP customer. Depending on the size of the league, one may actually be able to host a limited site on one of these "free" accounts. But with all the graphics, multiplied over the 70s squads you mentioned, you may have to buy extra storage, if you were to opt for the "free" dial-in webspace. Of course, the league would not be able to use a private domain name with an ISP company such as Erol's, although there are other virtual hosting companies which provide this service, as does our own company.
However special knowledge and special permissions by the ISP are required in order to run interactive web site CGI program add-ons, such as an interactive forum. More often than not, CGI add-ons are prohibited by the ISP. If allowed, this solution however, can be very complex and expensive, particularly since most commercial servers are not Macintosh servers, but one of a variety of UNIX flavors, each with certain criteria and programming language subtleties, and therefore usually require administration expertise by even more expensive technicians than the ordinary "web designer" can offer.
That said, I believe I can build you the a strikingly beautiful interactive site for less money than than you would pay any professional designer in the area, and maintain it for you for next to nothing. But I need to know how many squads your league site intends to host. Of course, the larger the contracted job, the better rates per team you would be charged.
I would like to host the sites on our own Macintosh webservers. While my usual rates are higher than somea cross the nation, they are lower than many others. Any web hosting companies do not include ANY maintenance services. They merely provide the server space. You would still require a HTML designer and a web server technician for any troubleshooting and updates.
Let me be frank. I just finished a makeover job similar in size to the Firebirds that was handed to me by another company that didn't want to touch it for the money involved. I was paid $500. That is the same fee I would charge you to do a "makeover" of this Firebirds site, less ten per cent. Once a solid template for the site has been designed and established, the cost could possibly be lowered for additional squads, again, depending on the size of the whole job. This may sound like a lot of money to you, or it may not. But it IS a lot of work to put together a clean, easy to navigate, interesting and beautiful site. The site set-up and domain name registration and annual fees (first two years) are extra ($155 total). If you decided to host your site with Graphic Solutions Ink Systems, I would reduce the annual server fees (ordinarily $55/month for the entire league), and over the course of the season, make the weekly updates at a modest charge, or gratis, depending on the agreed contract. Or once the design is finished, perhaps someone in the league with HTML and FTP knowledge and software can be issued a password and make the weekly changes herself. The interactive bulletin board functional for the entire league would incur an additional one-time $500 fee. For a working example of an interactive forum, please point your browser to:
As Sue has mentioned, we would be happy Joe, to give a comprehensive presentation of the features and desired beauty your site can offer and to help clarify any matters of cost or maintenance hassles involved.
Please phone, or confer with Sue to arrange a convenient time we can meet for this discussion.
Graphic Solutions Ink Systems