This morning I received a tweet from @adams_ian that spoke of a R 140 million rand website that was made for the Freestate Government and according to him, I could have done better with a simple WordPress website – if only he knew.
I went onto the website, wwwfreestateonline.fs.gov.za and with a simple right-click, ‘view source code’ I established that the website was indeed powered by WordPress and further more, it wasn’t even a custom developed theme but a theme from the ThemeForest library that can be bought for $40.
For those that do not know, WordPress websites are not even proper development – it only requires some databases to be set up and 4 lines of code that you copy/paste and Bob’s Your Uncle, there you have a website.
As a web developer who has worked with WordPress Themes and actual web-development – coding in Adobe Dreamwaever, I cannot for the life of me fathom how someone can charge R 140 million for a website. The government claim that they only paid R 40 million and even that is astronomically high!
In web-development, the top-end website are those for banks and financial institutes – the reason for this is the tight security measures etc that need to be adhered by. This Freestate Government, from what I can see, needs none of this – further dismissing the need for such a pricetag.
Freestate Government Website:
I can’t even find the website for “Cherrie Online Design” who is credited as the creators of the website as the link that is provided on the Freestate Gov’s website points to a domain with only a holding page.
I am in no way a expert when it comes to government tenders and how they work but one thing I can tell you is that from what I can see, there is absolutely no way that this website is worth R 140 million! In fact, I would have charged them only a couple of grand for exactly the same thing.
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