Minimising costs

There are many ways to minimise costs when outsourcing - especially if you retain a developer on an hourly basis. Creating as much content as possible for delivery to the developer, in a format that can be used immediately, can save a lot of time, and money.

The site for the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney at www.sydney.catholic.org.au is a great example of what can be produced in a limited timeframe. The initial site was over 200 A4 pages of information, but because all the content was supplied as Word documents and GIF images, and logically sequenced, the site was completed in less than 40 hours.

According to Luke Southern, who creates the graphics for Pittwater Life Magazine and its associated Web site, a lot of Web development time is taken in recreating images.

"It is amazing how many people - in good faith - send us images as part of a Word document, PowerPoint presentation or even by fax", says Southern. "We then have to recreate these in Freehand and Photoshop to make them Web-ready as GIF or JPEG files, and this all takes time and is therefore chargeable. Others send us images as hi-res scans, which we also have to spend time down-sampling to 96 dpi for Web pages."

Similarly, if database information is to be added to the Web site, make sure it is supplied in a format that can be used, such as Microsoft Access. Time taken in converting data from other formats can be very expensive.

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