Goodies to Go (tm)
February 24, 2003-- Newsletter #221

By Vince Barnes



Goodies to Go (tm)
February 24, 2003--Newsletter #221

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
http://www.internet.com
 


Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - The Value of Web Development.
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Feedback Goodies  
* And Remember This...

 


 

Goodies Announcement

Just in case you missed it before, the new Beyond HTML Goodies book is now available!

 

Go beyond the basics and learn how the pros add and use dynamic HTML features and advanced JavaScript techniques. Beyond HTML Goodies demonstrates dozens of new and different features readers can add to their existing Web pages using HTML and JavaScript. The book starts with simple text and image tips, such as adding a clock to a Web page or causing text to appear when the mouse moves over an image. It gradually builds to more complex tricks, including manipulating forms or working with cookies behind the scenes. Throughout the book, readers enjoy Joe's snappy style and "to the point" discussion of each "goody" in the book.

 

http://books.internet.com/books/0789727803

 

 

Goodies Thoughts - The Value of Web Development.

Every now and then one of my friends will ask me how much they should charge for doing web development work. I am usually a bit at a loss for the best way to answer a question like that and so will often give an answer something like "everything you can get away with; not a penny less, and, if you're wise, not a penny more." Of course that's not particularly helpful, but then it's difficult to provide a truly useful answer to that question. Then, however, I was asked the same question by a reader. Hmmm! Then another, and pretty soon another. When HTML Goodies and Goodies To Go readers want an answer, who am I to deny them?!

It is still a very tough question, and it's impossible to provide a numerical answer that would have any real meaning in all the parts of the world that are graced by our readership. Instead, I have tried to think up a method for deriving an answer that will hopefully provide some guidance, and enable you to come up with a good number yourself.

There are four elements that go into a price: time, materials, overhead and mark-up. I think it will be easiest to look at each of these in reverse order. Note that these elements are for your own use only; I wouldn't recommend sharing your calculations with your clients!

If you want to include a mark-up, remember these tips: apply a uniform percentage across all the other elements; don't be greedy or you'll lose business; remember that this is a great place for you to give something away in the form of a discount.

Overhead is actually fairly easy to figure out! Take your monthly costs and divide them by your time. That's your overhead! For example, suppose your office space, utilities, phone, internet connection, insurance etc. adds to 2000.00 each month and you work 50 hours a week on your web development. Assuming four weeks to a month, your overhead is 2000/200, or 10 per hour (in whatever currency you are calculating!)

Materials are probably non existent unless you choose to use stock photos that include licensing fees, or you wish to consider hosting cost as a "material" cost. Use as close to actual cost as you can, applying your mark-up, if any.

Time is what you are selling. Your time is the true value in your website development effort. Consider what is a reasonable amount for your time on an hourly basis. Again, don't be greedy, but rather be as realistic as you can. What could you earn for your work as an employee of a company? As a freelancer, your time would earn a little more than you would be paid as an employee because employers provide other benefits to their employees. When selling your time remember that this fee is all you are going to get for your time, and be fair to yourself as well as to your client.

Let's say that you have arrived at an hourly rate of 15.00, that there are no materials involved, that your overhead came to 10.00 and that your mark-up decision was 10%. 10.00 + 15.00 = 25.00, plus 10% is 27.50. There is your hourly rate. That amount times the number of hours you work (plus the materials -- in this case zero, with mark-up: still zero) is the value of your effort and the amount you should charge.

If your client wants to know ahead of time what the total is going to be, you will have to estimate your time. To do that you will need to have the client give you written, detailed specifications for the site. When you then present your estimate you will have to specify how you will handle changes or variances from the original specifications that occur. The chances of changes coming along are usually very high, and it is not uncommon for the total changes to involve more time than you originally estimated for the entire project. Be certain that you clearly handle this issue with your client in advance of starting work; it has a very large potential area for dissatisfaction in either direction if not handled properly.

Finally. keep an accurate and honest log of your work time. This is how you will get good at estimating your time requirements. It's also how you will justify your charges to your client, if you are billing on a time basis. Not only will your estimating improve as you build experience, so too will your ability to fine tune your rate to the market in which you are selling. Stick to your formula. Don't suddenly start making guesses at the final number. You need to know the elements so that you can adjust them as they change and see the effect on your final number.

Just as your estimating skills improve, so too will your coding skills improve, especially as you continue to use Goodies To Go to keep on top of things, and HTML Goodies to pick up new technology skills and advice! As this happens, your time will become more valuable -- but then, you already know how to adjust for that!!


Thanks for Reading!
- Vince Barnes

 

Top

Q & A Goodies

Questions are taken from submissions to our Community Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/.



Q. How do I open a separate window when a link is clicked, rather than overwriting the current page?

A. Add target="_blank" to the link tags.




Q. My question involves creating a default style that would contain font-family, style, etc for all elements. I'd then like all styles to default to these setting except when I specify an override. Is this possible?

A. Create your style as body {} and whenever needed, create other styles and put <div class="otherStyle"> to override.




Q. I am making a website and I downloaded a .psd file that was supposed to be a layout for the website. I am not sure what to do with the file.

A. A ".psd" file is a PhotoShop file. You will need either Adobe PhotoShop or another image editor that can read ".psd" files to open it.




Q. When I try to insert a snippit of Java Script into an already completed HTML page everything gets scrambled up and I have to delete the Java Script portion to get it working again. How can I put a Java Script somewhere other than at the top or bottom of an HTML page, without disrupting the HTML coding?


A. As long as you use the script tags it should not affect your html (unless that is the script's purpose). The script tags look like this:
<script language="JavaScript">
some java script statements
</script>




Q. I have link that is targeted to open in a new browser window. I want to force the behaviour of the new window but cannot find out how to do so. The behaviour I want to force is as follows:
The browser window has no nav bar, address bar etc.; the size of the browser window is dictated by me.
The site I am developing will be running on an intranet using an MSIE browser and WinNT server.

A. This script opens a new window:
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="javascript">
<!--
window.open ('titlepage.html', 'newwindow', config='height=100,
width=400, toolbar=no, menubar=no, scrollbars=no, resizable=no,
location=no, directories=no, status=no')
-->
</SCRIPT>
The first parameter is the file that opens in the new window, the second is the name of the window, the third is the configuration of the window like size, toolbars and such. "No" keeps them off, and "yes" includes them.




Q. I can't figure out why, when the link below is clicked, the called page opens in a new window. The page that the link is on is loaded into a frame. I want the link to open the called page in the current window (not the current frame). Can you explain?
<a href="../index.html" target="top">Home Page<./a>


A. To open a link so it takes up the whole window, which means it becomes the "parent," use target="_top". To open in a specific frame, use target="framename" (make sure you've named your frames in the <.frame> tags). To open in a new window, use target="_blank".




Q. I am creating a e-commerce site; is there anyway that I can connect to an Access database with Javascript?

A. Javascript cannot do it. It is only client side and cannot read or write to files.

 

 

 

 

Top

News Goodies


Yahoo!: 2003 Big Year for Enterprise IM
[February 24, 2003] At IM Planet Conference and Expo, an exec with the portal player says corporate IM use will explode this year, however progress must be made on interoperability between major services.

Click here to read the article



 

Sex.com: Internet Will Not be Crippled
[February 24, 2003] The adult-oriented business disagrees with VeriSign's claims that the court settlement it procured in appellate court will harm the Internet.

Click here to read the article

 



Sun Aims Education Initiative at Microsoft
[February 24, 2003] The word processing battle intensifies with the release of Sun's EduSoft portfolio and an expansion of its no-cost StarOffice licensing plan.

Click here to read the article

 

 

 

Microsoft Goes On Offensive in Sun Antitrust Case
[February 24, 2003] The software giant makes counterclaims of unfair competition.

Click here to read the article

 

 


Hosted Windows Apps Coming Online with Linux
[February 24, 2003] Codeweavers, whose CrossOver Office allows users to run Microsoft Office apps on Linux, is teaming with Tarantella to allow the software to deliver the Microsoft Office suite over the Internet.

Click here to read the article

 


 

Public Floods Copyright Office With Fair Use Requests
[February 21, 2003] Electronic Frontier Foundation organizes push for government to grant four exemptions to DMCA.

Click here to read the article

 

 

Study: Companies Failing at Online Customer Service
[February 20, 2003] U.S. companies are failing at online customer service, forcing consumers to bypass email service for the telephone, according to a new study from Jupiter Research.

Click here to read the article

 

 

Microsoft Woos Academic World
[February 20, 2003] Microsoft moves to expand presence in academic sphere -- and give students experience with its development environment -- with grants and announcement of new Visual Studio .NET Academic Edition.

Click here to read the article

 

 

Microsoft Rivals Line Up for Mobile Software
[February 19, 2003] RealNetworks strikes a deal with Ericsson; Nokia with IBM and Oracle.

Click here to read the article

 

 

Intel CEO Calls For More Convergence
[February 18, 2003] Craig Barrett leads the charge for combining the micro world of the company's processors with the real world products like cell phones and optical networking.

Click here to read the article

 

 

 

 


Top

Feedback Goodies



Did you ever wish your newsletter was an easy two way communications medium? Ploof! It now is!
If you would like to comment on the newsletter or expand/improve on something you have seen in here, you can now send your input to:

mailto:nlfeedback@htmlgoodies.com


We already receive a lot of email every day. This address will help us sort out those relating specifically to this newsletter from all the rest. When you send email to this address it may wind up being included in this section of the newsletter, to be shared with your fellow readers. Please don't send your questions to this address. They should be sent to our mentors: see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/



Thanks for all the email this past week! I received many, many replies regarding Peter Moles "Site of the Week" suggestion. Here's the scoop: with a vote of gazillions for, and none against, how could we refuse? We are discussing the exact mechanisms we could use, and will have it ironed out in the very near future! Keep a close eye on your Goodies To Go - you'll be able to get advice (and free publicity) for your site

Thanks also for all the other suggestions. There are some very bright minds out there, and we're all going to reap the benefits of them! HTML Goodies and this newsletter will continue to grow and evolve according to your wishes. Thanks also for the encouraging compliments.

Welcome to Dr. Websites's subscribers!! Following the merge of the Dr. Website newsletter into Goodies To Go, we hope that you will find our newsletter to be everything you want in a Web Developer's weekly update! Also, check out our Mentors Section: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/ -- you can get help from some great experts by submitting your questions there.
 

 

 

 

Top
And Remember This . . .


On this day in...


1988 Supreme Court OK's Satirizing Public Figures
Back in 1983 Hustler magazine printed a parody of Jerry Falwell. The piece portrayed Falwell's first sexual encounter as a drunken chlidhood experience with his mother in an outhouse. Falwell a religious conservative and founder of the Moral Majority political advocacy group, sued Hustler and its publisher, Larry Flynt, for libel and won. Flynt appealed and, because of the constitutional implications, the appeal led to a United States Supreme Court hearing. In an 8-0 decision, the Supreme Court overturned the lower court's decision and $200,000 "emotional distress" award, saying that while it was "in poor taste" the piece fell within the First Amendment's protection of the freedom of speech and of the press.
 


Born today in 1786 was Wilhelm Grimm. With his brother Jakob, the "Brothers Grimm" created Grimm's Fairy Tales, giving us such characters as Rumpelstiltskin, Snow-White, Sleeping Beauty and Tom Thumb. Thanks guys!






Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!

 




Archive Home Page.



Make a Comment

Loading Comments...

  • Web Development Newsletter Signup

    Invalid email
    You have successfuly registered to our newsletter.
  •  
  •  
  •  
Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date