State Of The Site

Submitted by Brian on February 21st, 2017 at 1:00 PM

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Hey, so you may have noticed that things are slightly busted around here. The site's been in more or less the same state since I cobbled it together some seven years ago, with tweaks here and there and an ever-increasing amount of metal on the back end. This was fine; it's gotten increasingly less fine as time goes on. Let's bring in bolded alter-ego.

Why does your site look like Geocities still?

cumong man

Pets.com?

this was a bad idea

Does Marissa Meyer run this place or what?

Finding good developers turns out to be hard. Twice I've engaged professionals to do a thing, and neither time have the professionals actually managed to do the thing. A revamp of the comment section simply did not work; a planned site overhaul set to launch last summer obviously did not.

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I think this is about to change. A few weeks ago I met with a gentleman from Human Element, a local outfit. They're taking over the stalled site revamp. HUEL* has several things going for it. They are local, so keeping in contact is easy. They have 30 people, so they have become good enough at what they do to grow significantly. They're big enough that they've got experience in whatever CMS you would throw at them. Their wifi password is reassuringly nerdy.

For the first time in a while I'm optimistic this will get done and before football season.

*[Referring to them as HE was weirdly religious and quickly discarded. HUEL had much to recommend it.

Internally they go by HEI but you will agree that HUEL is superior morally and ethically.]

But I hate change.

Indeed you do. There will be some changes. The most obvious will be a magazine-style front page. This will require some extra clicking but with the amount of #content on the site, especially during football season, we feel it is required. Not that much else will change, at least at first. The site revamp is a necessary first step before moving forward.

But we can look forward to some new features?

The new design is responsive, which means it'll look good on tablets and phones. It'll be professionally designed, so you'll know that the navigation menu above has useful things that drop down. (Do you know that?) You'll be able to get to the second page of the board without clicking on the mgoboard link above. Points will be exchangeable for Venezuelan bolivars. The site should be much faster and less prone to going down when traffic spikes.

Going forward a continued relationship with HUEL should allow us to implement some larger changes, but let's eat one apple at a time.

What about the app(s)?

Those will also be revamped when the site re-launches. They have to get massively updated anyway since the APIs they ping will change so it'll be a refresh for both. Apologies for the situation with the MGoBlog HD app; I am an Android person and did not know that the standard app had so many problems. Unfortunately the HD app was never authorized and when we were looking for performance improvements before Signing Day it stood out as a big drag.

Please bear with us. That should be fixed when the site re-launches. Your patience will be rewarded. With bolivars, but rewarded all the same.

Comments

Prince Lover

February 21st, 2017 at 4:12 PM ^

I thought that meant we win a nonstop cowbell ringer that follows us around everywhere when I read that. Then I saw the a....

My two cents, this is the the extent of my internet searching, this and fantasy football. So I know I don't have much to compare it to, but I've never had a problem with the site as is.

Magnus

February 21st, 2017 at 1:08 PM ^

Thanks for addressing all this.

I also had problems with hiring site developers. I think the biggest problem was having a vision, thinking that I was making that vision clear, and then having the developer employ a different idea entirely. It made for a very frustrating back-and-forth relationship.

bronxblue

February 21st, 2017 at 1:35 PM ^

At least you had a relationship and a conversation.  I have been on the other (dev) side of these discussions before, and sometimes it would be weeks with no communications from the site owner, then a flurry of "this doesn't look like the way I see it in my head" and "make it like how Amazon does it, but better" with no additional feedback.  

TrueBlue2003

February 21st, 2017 at 2:28 PM ^

but this is why you always want to see a mockup/prototype to approve before coding actually starts. The designer should be able to whip that up in a day or two (and if your shop is a one person show or isn't working with a designer that can do this, you're probably gonna have a bad time).  Saves a lot of time and headaches down the road.

pescadero

February 21st, 2017 at 1:42 PM ^

IME:

 

1) Hiring developers is easy - but you generally get what you pay for.

2) As mentioned above - most folks are really bad at communicating what they actually want.

3) Don't sweat the small stuff (and I suspect this is part of Brian's problem) - no matter how educated you may be, provide only and overarching framework and let the developers (with no input from you) see to the details.

 

 

evenyoubrutus

February 21st, 2017 at 1:52 PM ^

I have a business that is not a website (thankfully) but we had similar problems. We are with our 3rd website company in a year. It's incredible that you can take endless hours to put together drawings, etc, multiple face to face meetings, and even find other websites that look exactly like what you want your to be, showing them exactly how you want it to look, and 3 months and $3,500 later they show you the finished site and it looks nothing like what you asked for. 

Magnus

February 21st, 2017 at 2:08 PM ^

Yeah, it was pretty frustrating saying, "Here's a link to a site, and I want something similar but with my logo, my colors, add this here, remove this there" and then seeing something totally different. It's like if I employed somebody to paint me a picture of Usain Bolt and it came out looking like Dustin Diamond.

TrueBlue2003

February 21st, 2017 at 3:47 PM ^

comment about you not being a "website" company.  And yet, here you are on your third website company in a year after endless hours of drawings and face-to-face meetings, etc.

Good dev shops aren't going to touch a project that tiny.  There's just too much time they have to spend on those face-to-face meetings, back and forth, pay the sales/account manager his commission, cover overhead, etc.  That's why anyone willing to take it on is farming out the actual work to a Macedonian teenager and is probably so bad at communicating what you want to that teenager that they have the capacity to take on such small projects.

The only way you could find someone good to do this is if you personally knew someone willing to do you a favor.  Otherwise, you probably could have done better using a wix or squarespace to turn those drawing into a website yourself if that's all you needed.

pescadero

February 21st, 2017 at 3:58 PM ^

Yes... and that is still a pretty low price for that.

 

The average "simple informational" website costs on average $5K-$10K for web design.

Now - if you offshore, or use small providers in Michigan - that number will be lower.

 

...but if you're looking at web designs in the $1K range, you're basically talking about a company filling out a pre-designed template for you, and there had better be ZERO graphics work.

 

Figure at $1,000 - you're going to get about 3-4 hours of total web designer time for the entire project. That includes all the coding, all the meetings, etc.

 

 

echoWhiskey

February 21st, 2017 at 5:14 PM ^

Right. As someone who is also in the web design/dev industry this is the major disconnect between businesses and devs. If you truly want a "simple" website, by all means use Wix or something analogous. But most non-technical web users paint with too broad a brush when declaring what's simple.