Low budget high expectations

The Web Developer “challenge” in a country on a budget

Being a Portuguese Webdesigner and web developer adds a new challenge to the everyday challenging world of web development.

“We work every day on a budget”.

The Portuguese market is what you can call “low-cost high expectations market”.

Due to the economic crisis and the way the market grew over the years, even before the so called “crise”, the website development business, in Portugal, is extremely under-appreciated.

Almost every client and prospect wants to pay a “dime” for their new website having all the new technologies and gizmos adding value to it, without adding its correspondent cost to the final project quote.

As a developer you ‘re stuck in the middle, you want to “WOW” your client with your beautifully crafted website with all the functionalities he wishes and at the same time keep all the project implementation schedule on time, keeping the unbillable hours 0 or as low as possible to “WOW” your boss.

In order to achieve this goal, I’ve found the need to know where I have a “shortcut”, when to use it and most importantly if it’s going to “kick my ass” later down the road.


The first “Shortcut”

I’ve found that you need a good foundation settled in and work on top of it, for front-end and content management alike, building everything from scratch doesn’t work well on a budget and will give you a headache whenever it can.

Personally I use for the front-end Twitter Bootstrap and as a CMS WordPress.


3 Reasons for using bootstrap

– Responsive layout, both fluid and fixed width
– Lots of features out of the box
– Simple and straightforward markup, allowing a fast customization


3 Reasons for using WordPress

– Lots of plugins available for free
– A great community ready to help you when you need
– A stable and powerful platform with thousands of hours invested on its enhancement and ready to receive your customization whenever you need it, in form of a plugin or a simple function.


Whatever the tools you choose, you need to understand them and be able to correctly use it’s built in features in order to save implementation time.

Also one of the shortcuts as stopped being it, WordPress, I’ve been amused by it’s power, by the community, by it’s built in capabilities and available plugins, I’m using it for every project, small to large company website and always with great results.


WordPress.org also has an extensive theme repository and you can find several other websites selling themes for your every need, out there.This is also a awesome feature you can use in order to save you some time.

Personally and due to the kind of projects we develop @ samsys I build almost all the themes from “scratch” using a custom Starter Theme and this is the reason I haven’t mentioned themes as a good starting point to save time.


PART II – The shortcuts I use (Coming Soon…)