Under Construction or Under Stress
by: Nicolas

Under Construction pages are a natural part of the design and redesign of a website. As they are naturally occurring in the wild, finding them on an upcoming website shouldn't alarm anyone...

However, in the majority of cases, if the website is not about to be launched in a few days, and the section "coming soon" has been around for a couple of months (or more), "Under Construction" probably means: "that damned web designer said he could do it, but the bastard never finished the job".

In my experience, 9 out of 10 Under Construction pages, come out of any of the following: shopping cart section, blog, client login, file uploading, pay per access pages, and other similar "apps".

The reason for the season...

All of the above mentioned section (shopping cart, blog, client login, etc...) have in common that they require a database, and a computer program to retrieve the information from the database and display it to the user. Most wannabe web designers and (graphic artists who moonlight as web designer) do not understand how databases communicate with a website and how complex developing that computer program can get depending on the particular needs of the client.

The client usually states pretty clearly (in my experience) what they need at the time of contracting with the "web designer"; and even if they don't really spell it out with all nice technical terms, a seasoned web designer knows what questions to ask in order to make sure he or she understand exactly what his or her clients need for their business. The Imposter (I mean the guy that said he was a web designer) doesn't. He/she hears the client mention something pertaining to client login, or file sharing, restricted access, etc… but he/she is going to ignore it and think: "they'll get over it, once the site is done, they'll have forgotten all about that login crap. Worst case scenario I'll find something online for free, and if I have a problem I'll get one of those geeks to help me out, give him a hundred bucks and problem solved!"

What our Imposter doesn't know is that creating a website is a walk in the park; but creating a secure interface where a business owner can share private information with their clients; that's serious, custom web programming. The kind that can't be done for $100; and, depending on what the client needs, it might not even be possible to get it done for less than a hundred times that.


The average professionally designed website costs anywhere between $1,200 and $2,400 for something simple without too many pages. Custom applications such as a secure interface where clients or employees can log in (manage inventory, etc...) are computer programs that require specific knowledge or experience and hours of work. Of course some firms have code that is ready to go because they have worked on similar projects in the past, but in all cases, such applications will at least cost a few thousands to develop, even when you go overseas.

If you anticipate that your website will need to have that type of programming needs, make sure to talk to an established firm which has at least a couple of comparable projects to show you. Don't be afraid to ask for references, a reputable web design firm will be more than happy to let you speak to their customers (our existing customers make the best salespeople for us).

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Article date: Jun. 01 2010

Article type: Web Design


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