Home / General / A Little Help From My Friends. Or Whatever You People Are.

A Little Help From My Friends. Or Whatever You People Are.


Imagine a scenario with me, if you will. I would like to take my labor history posts and turn them into a website and app that would create the possibility for labor history tourism around the country. I would like to create said site and app that allowed me to link to my essays that were connected with various places so people could visit our many, many lost sites of labor history. Said site and app might also allow other people to contribute, crowdsourcing our labor history so that individuals might tell the story of industrialization, unions, and deindustrialization in their communities. Or they could find the site of old brothels and discuss sexual labor. Or they find information on plantations and talked about slavery and sharecropping. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Now imagine that there is a fellowship I could apply for that has a $50,000 prize for putting together public facing projects in the humanities. You don’t have to imagine this part as I am applying for it. And my application is the project described above.

I can describe this really well. But while I am one of my school’s nominees, to actually win this fellowship, I have to deal with one huge problem. And that problem is having a clue about the budget for how much putting together the site and app would cost. I am not real great with technology, but the fellowship could pay for me to learn that stuff. But I would obviously need to pay one or more people some level of money to put the initial site together to get it off the ground. I would like it to be fairly user friendly so to attract real people who are into this.

This is where you all come in. Many of you I know are far more tech-expert than I am. Some of you work in this field. How much would it cost to put all of this together. Ideally, I’d love that $50K to buy me out of a semester of teaching so I could make this project happen and pay for the necessary tech support. But if that’s not possible, I can work around the teaching. But I do need a real budget and I need you to help me show that I know what I am doing, or at least to pretend.

So help a labor historian out, will you? Comments are great, so are e-mails.

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  • N__B

    Hire Barron Trump, since he knows the cyber. Then, after he’s delivered, stiff him, claiming that you’re unhappy with the results for unspecified reasons. Budget: zero dollars.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      y’know, I’m not sure hooking someone up with any part of the trump fiasco is a *friendly* gesture

      though otherwise not a bad plan

  • twbb

    The web page doesn’t sound that hard; you could probably pay some undergrad in your art and design department to code it up for you. Pay them $10 an hour times what, 10 hours a week for a few weeks to get it off the ground?

    If you want to get fancy, you could do something fairly easily in ArcGIS where you create a map of the United States, then create points with embedded hyperlinks, so everytime you clicked on a Loomis site it could either open another window with the blog entry. You can then embed the map in a web site on your own (ArcGIS is $1,500 for a single-person license, though you can probably get it through your school for free).

    I don’t know how that would work with an app, though, but if the web site is designed right you could probably code up a simple app that just goes to the website.

    • keta

      Yep, hiring students on a co-op basis is the best way to go. They get valuable experience in producing something they can include in their portfolio, and you get their expertise.

      Costs could be kept relatively low going this route, and also by using an existing platform such as ArcGIS.

      The big costs would be incurred by building brand new elements that you think you’d like to include, like graphics or video. Keep in mind these can be produced and added later.

      The site absolutely needs to be built mobile-friendly.

      If you’re serious about providing opportunities for third-person elements to be embedded in your the site consider that these will have be vetted for both pedagogy and quality (erroneous or sloppy content will drag down the whole site.) You will also need tech support to help them, or you, get the content in place. Much better to link, methinks.

      • My general sense is that 3rd party people would have to send their material to me or someone else who knew what they were talking about and we could go from there. But I don’t really know I guess.

        • keta

          I’m just assuming the pedagogy is going to be your lookout. I’m also assuming the site will live on a streaming server at your institution.

          Reading the comments here in response to your query I think it would be useful for you to list what you want the original site to do. For instance, I’m guessing bare bones:

          – home page and brief overview
          – how to use page
          – list of links page
          – interactive, i.e. clickable, map of the US with hotspots denoting each location of your labour articles
          – when user clicks on hotspot your article about the labour history in that location(s) appears

          Then list what other elements you’d ideally like to see flesh out each hotspot, like:

          – video of the event
          – photographs of the event
          – video of an expert describing the event
          – maps or other graphics
          – existing documents, documentaries or other media about the event

          If you have a fairly clear idea of the look and functionality, the basic UI in its most stripped down version, and then are able to describe what other elements you’d ideally like to add now or link to over time, a good developer can steer you to an appropriate content management system (CMS) and give you a good indication of the time it will take to build.

          The clearer you are in describing your needs, the better and more accurate the feedback on time and cost. The biggest clusterfucks I’ve been involved in have been due to simple miscommunication.

          Again, I second all the folks here urging you to talk with the CS department at your school. If you’re unsure about who best to contact there, a simple email query to your colleagues in the humanities will likely reveal someone who has worked with CS in the past.

          • I agree with all of this.

            As someone who was once a baby freelancer, the main issue you have giving a project to baby freelancers is that they suck at project management. That’s something that developers have to learn over time. Some of them never learn it.

            So to deal with that your best bet is to have a very detailed rundown of all the different parts of the site, what you want them to do, etc. and then to break things down into as many small deliverables as you can. The first deliverable is the plan (“the site will be built with this CMS and it will run on these servers”, etc.). The second is a running staging site that is just “hello, you have properly configured [CMS]”. Then go chunk by chunk. The home page. The help page. The map. The article pages. Etc.

            You will not get an accurate “n weeks” estimate of the entire site from student developers. Period. Your best bet is to get estimates for each deliverable and then revisit those estimates after each one is delivered.

            Also, make sure you have a well-established plan for how you’re going to get your existing content into the site. Back in the olden days I worked on projects which ended up months over schedule because each side assumed the other was fully responsible for prepping and loading in these huge piles of existing text and images. If you’re going to be putting the data in yourself, they should be able to set you up to be able to start that process before they’re done with the site.

          • Moondog von Superman

            – submission/approval function so that Erik can curate the crowd

      • Whirrlaway

        Interns!! Now that Erik is joining the “job creator” class it’s vital to put the money where it can be seen. Free experience for them, and the kids get free health care through their school like I did, right?

  • bender

    I wish you well. It’s a good idea.

    I have none of the requisite skills or knowledge to offer. If you decide that a survey of people who are interested in labor tourism would help, I’ll answer the survey.

  • Rhysling

    Wish I had the chops and time to help, also. What I did have time and wit to do is hit the Donate button for $25. Please apply it toward alcoholic beverages and not technology.

    I value your take on the present insanity immeasurably. (Well, ok $25.)

    Yours in faith!

  • rlc

    Oh damn Loomis, there’s probably a half dozen people here who could do this job. I’m a server-side person so that doesn’t help much for the UI side. I used to do that (the front end side), but the kids are just better and much cheaper.

    Here is an idea. It turns out that the LGM website is this thing called a “weblog”. What you are describing is what used to be called an aggregator site, with onsite commentary. Think of a sort of inverted wikipedia. I suspect your site fixer might know a thing or two about that. Ask that person. Get a quote.

    And godspeed with your project.

  • rwelty

    i would do this as a web app, using one of the CMS frameworks (i like Joomla, have done a couple of websites that way.) the good ones will automagically provide a mobile template that better fits phone sized browsers. a website i redid last year, for the Albany Rotary Club, uses Joomla and it handles the mobile vs computer browser thing pretty well, i think, take a look here: http://www.albanyrotary.org/
    once you have the framework up, take your articles and add them through the CMS.
    the time consuming things are decision making about artistic and style choices, how do you want the tabs and table of contents laid out. if you wanted a map widget that used local position, that might be a little different piece of work and a bit more time.

    • See, I don’t understand any of this. But it sounds good! What I need is for someone to tell me what such a thing might cost with as much detail as possible and then I can go from there.

      • But it sounds good!

        You must do it this way, so that we’ll all be able to say we knew you before you sold out to Big Rotary.

      • rwelty

        i had forgotten that LGM is already in wordpress. probably current wordpress does everything you need. you just need to develop an appropriate template.
        if you want it to have an icon on a phone that’s probably doable, and you can limit yourself to creating one app.
        costing is tricky. i’ll recommend using wordpress since you are already familiar with it. i did a little with wordpress a few years ago and ran away screaming, so i’m not your man. but i know people who are good at it, i will inquire.

      • rwelty

        sent a PM with the email address of a friend who can reliably estimate WP projects over on the FB thingy.

        • Be in touch tomorrow, when my brain can function again. Thanks!!

  • ZakMcKrackenAndTheAlienMindbenders

    This is really exciting. Your posts have done more than anything else to get me interested in labor issues in the US in the 21st century. This is kind of an embarrassing admission, but I came of age in the burbs (and then at small expensive colleges) in the 90s, and it took me a very long time to be able to link the struggle for justice for at-risk and marginalized persons in America with labor/union issues. The unions I was most familiar with were the builders’ unions whose members tended to be regressive jerkoffs and I was primarily familiar with those groups because they were always in the process of trying to exclude blacks/Latinos/women/whatever other group from their ranks.

    The fact that I now give much more of a shit about American labor issues is mostly all you and your work here (and that you link to elsewhere). So thanks for that.

  • Peterr

    I would like it to be fairly user friendly so to attract real people who are into this.


    Which, it seems to me, is the whole point of the fellowship for “public facing projects in the humanities.” Whoever you talk to about doing the set up for you needs to have this memorized.

    You have the “public facing part” down cold. Just make sure your tech minions understand that.

  • N__B

    Also, here’s an app in another field that has functionality a lot like what it seems like you want. I think this is a well made example: http://urbanarchive.nyc

    • PhoenixRising

      IMO this is the most useful post so far.

      The way to get what you want in app/mobile development is to show your designer something that works like you want your thing to work.

      Also, I can’t wait to use the Things Happened Here app–I’d like a feature that lets me get push notifications when I’m near a site. That would be easier than pulling out the old laptop and running a search for ‘Miners Memorial Colorado’, to give an example. If I could also add a note for other users (‘Parking is gravel lot, easy big-ass RV turnaround’) that would be even cooler.

    • Tom in BK

      I really enjoyed the functionality of Roadside America when I was traveling for work all of the time. As just one example, I was between Bozeman and Missoula, found out that Evel Knievel’s grave was in Butte, and just went for kicks.

      I’d expect that building in the additional functionality that Loomis is looking for wouldn’t be too difficult. And, really, they’re pretty similar projects, just with different emphasis.

    • That is pretty great, although I guess probably a little bit too advanced for what I could do with a relatively small amount of money.

  • Taylor

    Do your Computer Science students do senior design projects? Could this be sold as a senior design project? Also, find out who teaches your Web programming or mobile apps courses, and take them out for lunch. Besides giving you the information that you’re seeking, you could see if they can put you in touch with some good students. You might find some bright undergrad who is attracted by the political aspects of the project and would be willing to work as a research assistant and/or for course credit (do undergrads in CS have a senior thesis option?).

    • Yeah, maybe so. Of course, I don’t even know any professors in our Computer Science department, not to mention students. But this might be a good idea!

      • Peterr

        You also might be surprised to discover that some of your humanities students have computer chops for something like this. Ask around before/after class, and see if there’s anyone you already know with some hidden talents that you don’t know.

      • Moondog von Superman

        This doesn’t sound like a student project to me. Not at all. Sounds like you could get enough money to work with an experienced design firm.
        I would identify a few firms who have made sites you like and ask them for a formal quote.

      • DonN

        When I graduated from UO we had to do a year long, multi-person senior project. The project had to be invented the first couple weeks of fall term. People who had real world projects were lucky. Given I graduated before you, I don’t know if it is still required. If it is, this sounds like a great example for a senior capstone where work can be easily partitioned and you could get a couple willing workers.


      • CHD

        Erik, don’t just limit yourself to CS majors. Any engineering student now needs to know how to program fairly well (especially ECE) and ( because they see programming as a tool vs art) sometimes they have an easier time envisioning what you want (especially MEs who tend to be generalists). And for that matter there may well be tech savvy art or even history majors.
        And I will heartily agree with the comments suggesting you find sites in different domains that do the same sort of thing.
        Oh, and make sure it’s possible (and easy) for you to reconfigure and add content without programming…

        ETA is this site have any similarity to what you want? http://www.jutland1916.com

        • Taylor

          Any engineering student now needs to know how to program fairly well (especially ECE)

          I can reliably inform you that this is bullshit. ECE pretends to do CS because that’s what the students want, but by and large traditional ECE has contempt for CS and thinks programming is for dummies. So they pretend to teach it.

          Not universal, obviously, but certainly more the rule than the exception.

    • plarry

      Taylor’s suggestion was going to be my suggestion. Call the CS department and find out who the coordinator for CSC 499 (Project in Computer Science) is. Take whoever it is out to lunch and tell them what you want. Brainstorm about possibilities.

  • Hi, Eric – LGM runs on WordPress. You could easily export your history posts from the existing site and import them to another WP site, or (as rwelty above suggests), port it to a new CMS. But honestly, WP is fine for such a small site (~250 pages). This is DIY territory, but if you don’t feel comfortable, I or many here could do it for you for nothing.

    You could get a professional from small shop to do this work for around 5K.

    As rwelty notes, the hard part is design work – choosing an overall layout/template, colors, fonts, graphics. But WP does have a large number of responsive templates that look great in a mobile browser.

    Good luck! Best, Sam

    • I don’t know what CMS is and I think that paying someone really is the way to go for me, but I’m glad people think this is doable!

      • CMS = content management system.

        It is doable! And it’s a great idea. There is a lot of software out there to help make this happen. So if you go out looking for bids, keep that in mind. You really shouldn’t have to spend more than 5-6k for development (hosting and domain name cost extra).

        One of the key decisions, however: do you really want a native mobile app? Or do you want a responsive website? Adding a mobile app will be more expensive, and you’ll need two or three versions of the app (iOS, Android, Windows). A responsive site would probably meet your needs, at least in the beginning, without incurring the expense of native mobile development.

        • Moondog von Superman

          I second your questioning the necessity of the app. Can be expensive, and it’s an ongoing expense and hassle. Much better to give that money to an experienced designer who has demonstrated that they can build a responsive site.

      • Moondog von Superman

        Do you want your new site to be kind of a POS as well as your full-time hobby? Then yes, for sure it is a good DIY project. Also the people telling you to DIY are definitely not sociopaths.

        • If I was unclear: I meant that porting the content to another system could easily be DIY. But as I said later, the hard part is design work.

          • Moondog von Superman

            Yeah, sorry, I did misunderstand. Even wrestling with WordPress, though, and then keeping it up-to-date and secure, it’s not for everybody. I’ve done it, I fucking hated it, and my starting point certainly was not “what is CMS?”
            Well meaning but potentially disastrous posts in the form of “you can do this yourself! It’s easy!” are just so ridiculously common. I don’t think everyone appreciates how wide the gaps in knowledge can be. Or they really are sociopaths. I could go either way on some of the advice I see.
            A really good, well planned site that’s truly responsive for mobile doesn’t come cheap and that’s for good reason.

            • These are all great points. All I can say in my defense is that my enthusiasm for Loomis’ project overtook me a bit in my initial response, and hence the ambiguity.

              If I’m understanding it correctly, the tech behind Loomis’ proposal is straightforward. But I agree that the design/layout/UX costs real money.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          setting aside whether certain commenters are sociopaths ;) I agree otherwise. Time is a thing and when/if I have it a project can be fun. DIY in my experience almost always takes longer especially on things I rarely or have never done. Sometimes they get done cheaper, sometimes not. But if it’s something you just want to *work*, then you go turn-key

  • Gareth

    It’ll be a lot cheaper if you get someone in India to do it.

    • Peterr

      He should probably save that for when he builds the site/app out, expanding it to cover “Labor History Tourism in India.”

      • Moondog von Superman

        Or the “History of Labor Tourism” site.

        • trollhattan

          It can automagically change labor to labour for former Brit colonies.

    • I’ve heard you can get penguins in Antarctica for less, and they are desperate for the work as the ice shelves are shrinking all the time.

  • miwayha

    I work in IT in a university. We frequently have professors ask just these kinds of things. Sometimes, they pay IT to do it. Sometimes, they ask IT to help them work with vendors or identify tech or do consultations, etc.

    I would definitely call up your IT department and see if they offer either of these services.

  • john theibault

    You might want to get in touch with the folks at Curatescape https://curatescape.org/about/ developed at Cleveland State University. They’ve got a $10,000 do it all including mobile apps package which looks like it does pretty much what you are wanting to do.

    • Moondog von Superman


    • numbertwopencil

      I second taking a close look at Curatescape. You _might_ be able to make $10k go a bit further going a DIY route but a flat $10k isn’t bad for a clearly articulated workflow and some off-the-shelf design work and they do handle projects that at least on the surface look much like yours.

      As someone who has worked for years as an editor and designer in trade and academic publishing of all sorts, the thing I’d add to all of the advice above is: Hire a real designer as early as possible. You don’t have to have a designer do all the coding or the production work (that’s what grad students are for, right?) but having someone put together the big-picture design and workflow right from the beginning is likely to save you a huge amount of grief in the long run and result in a much better site/app. Out of the several hundred projects I’ve seen to print/website/app over the years, only a couple have been the design handiwork of the author/editor. The more design savvy the author/editor, the more likely they are to have brought in a solid designer early in the process for a project like this.

      A good designer can take a project like this and: 1. Sort out the workflow (who does what, what the text/image file specs might be, a schedule, etc.), 2. Create an overall identity for the site/app (things like, yes, picking the font, but all kinds of other parameters that insure the site/app will be usable), 3. Roughly design the user interface and provide various graphical bits to help pull it all together. You aren’t hiring the designer to do all the work, you are hiring the designer to think through and organize the work, as well as, doh, design.

      How do you find an affordable designer who has the chops to do what Curatescape is doing (or more)? Well, your publisher did a fine job with Out of Sight. Give the managing editor a call, explain what you are up to and ask her for a few recommendations. Write a few paragraphs explaining what you having in mind (which shouldn’t be hard, you could just send this post and then point to a sample Curatescape site or some other site/app that you think is a reasonable template) and ask a few of the recommended designers for a quote that includes an initial consult, an overall design plan, and then a few check-ins along the way. (Depending on how needy/ambitious/organized you are that’s perhaps two weeks work for a good designer so . . . you should expect to pay a minimum of about $4k and $10k isn’t out of line. Go into it with a mutually agreed on kill fee of, say, $2k and be willing to stop the work if you aren’t getting what you want/need.) You’ll still need to find some energetic grad students to do all the production work, you will still need to find someone to deal with the coding and hosting, etc. (unless you go the Curatescape route) but . . . you’ll be far, far less likely to hit road bumps along the way and your site/app will be far more likely to work, look respectable, and be done on time.

      • PhoenixRising

        thanks for typing all that so I didn’t have to! Well done and seconded.

      • This software looks promising!

      • Tom in BK

        Thirding or fourthing this. I built a site in 2009 or 2010. Learned a bunch of FYWP, and spent weeks upon weeks debating trivial crap like fonts with my co-editors. Then I called my brother, who’s a graphic designer, and he finished that whole argument in a couple of days’ worth of tinkering part time.

  • chandlerman

    I think you’re overthinking this a bit.

    I’d start out by importing the information into a Google Maps custom data set. Check out https://www.google.com/earth/outreach/learn/visualize-your-data-on-a-custom-map-using-google-my-maps/ for a tutorial.

    It’s simple enough you could probably prototype a few sites as part of your proposal–demonstrated technical viability has always gone a long way in the grants and proposals I’ve been involved with.

    Maps already does exactly what you’re looking to do, all you’d really need to do is either export or associate the existing posts to the locations.

    You’d probably want to add relevant tags or other metadata, e.g. Industry, racial or gender drivers, biographies, graves, etc. You could do custom icons, color schemes, whatever information encoding schemes you felt made sense.

    And it could be community-driven as well. Spend the money to buy your time to do the cataloging and ontology work that will make the data pop out.

    If you really want to populate it from a backend database or custom web work for a custom mobile site, $50k would certainly make that possible, too.

  • Wow, this is such a fantastic idea and I wish you great good luck in getting the fellowship.

    No advice just best wishes.

  • thispaceforsale

    Do an mvp exercise, what is the minimum viable product to accomplish your goals. An app is phase 2, user contributions also phase two. Is interactive discoverability the hook? You could go with a clickable map. You could go with time charts. Is the mobile experience more important than desktop. There are a lot of ways to get to there from here.
    Instead of thinking of it like project management, scope it out as if you were developing a curriculum. Is this the first year of the fellowship? If not, ask the previous winner what they presented.

    Also, this is going to be a time suck, especially because you don’t have the underlying language knowledge to effectively communicate what you want and don’t want. Watch a few YouTube crash course videos on project management, scoping, request for pricing, and working with digital agencies.

  • altofront

    I know nothing about the tech side of this, but based on my experience with such grant applications it would be a very good idea to build this around grad student support. Funding agencies love this. It might even be a way to simplify the budgeting: e.g., three years of work at $10K a year, specific duties only generally described. Surely there are students at URI doing digital humanities?

    Anyway, from the post title I thought this was going to be a discussion of the new Vulture list. But this is even better.

  • The Temporary Name

    There’s a pretty nifty (depending on the data maintenance) Google app called Field Trip that integrates with your map on your phone that lets you know when something interesting is nearby. Worth a look.

    • uila

      Yeah, this was my first thought as well. Your posts would slot in nicely under the History section. If nothing else, contact the developers (see link on http://www.fieldtripper.com/) to see about getting your content included there. More eyeballs, etc. You might even be able to use their content format on the backend of your custom app, making data management that much easier to reach the widest possible audience.

  • tde

    Agree with the comments above about getting people to volunteer for the project/ coordinate with you schools comp. sci dept.

    I don’t know crap about web site design, but my company just spent $80K on a website overhaul that will have less content than what you envision.

    • were-witch

      my company just spent $80K on a website overhaul that will have less content than what you envision

      I imagine that includes a *lot* of functionality that Erik won’t need (storefront?)

      At this scale, the amount of raw content (managed by Erik and/or users) shouldn’t be a determining factor in pricing, and for this project a quote of 80k would be “response: spend forty seconds staring incredulously at them before wordlessly bailing, then scorch the edge of their business card with a lighter to remind your future self how badly they tried to burn you” territory.

  • were-witch

    Very glad that numbertwopencil and stepped pyramids commented so that I can be pithy. Their comments above are worth reading twice.

    It’s very easy for this kind of project to get stuck in development hell, especially if you’re farming the coding grunt work out to volunteers / students, and the best way to avoid that is to really take what numbertwopencil said to heart. Find a website that basically does what you want, show it to a designer-developer recommended by your IT people, and get an initial quote thataway. Then compare the quote to what Curatescape quotes.

    I think the people blithely recommending WordPress are misunderstanding the scope and orientation of the project. (Either they are, or I am.)

    • I’m pushing back on the notion that anyone is blithely recommending WordPress. I don’t love WP, but it is the most widely used CMS, and it’d be silly not to consider it. There is a huge community of WP designers, developers, and users to implement this proposal, not to mention an endless supply of ready-made WP plug-ins that can capture a host of functional requirements. And Loomis already has experience using it!

      As many have noted, the challenging part of this project is design/UX, not the tech.

  • ryan.denniston

    Contact your library and see to what extent they can help. It’s why they are there.

    • alercher

      The URI Library has everything you need, ready to go, and designed for projects like yours.

      I’m an academic librarian at Louisiana State University. I work with the same software that the URI Digital Commons uses, bepress. Currently I’m working with other library staff to move a math journal from a professor’s homemade webpage to our system, which has various advantages for the journal.

      Librarians are aware that each digital project is different from others. A lot of this project is really about getting one-on-one service. The other part is the software, and the bepress system is flexible.

      Oh yeah! I want to say that your labor history essays are a big part of why I read LGM. So all the best.

      • What would happen to it if I left URI someday for another job?

  • A friend who is a media historian is part of the group that made Radio Garden, which has similarities to your project.


    Another thing to consider, beyond the technical production, is planning for making all of that information known to a wider audience. That can be an undertaking every bit as large as the construction itself.

  • Bruce Vail

    No advice, just best wishes.

  • Steve LaBonne

    Another non-geek who can only offer good wishes for what sounds like a really great idea.

  • pianomover

    But how much will it cost?

  • MotherofPearl

    I am actually a little horrified at how many commenters think that hiring an intern to do the website and app is a good idea. I think it’s a terrible idea. If you want this thing to work. If you want people to use it and to like using it, and to recommend that other people use it – well, you’re going to have to shell out some coinage for this.

    I agree that the CMS should be WordPress, since this is a system you’re already familiar with.

    Yes, you can get an out of the box theme, but you’re going to have to customize it. And you’re going to have to hire someone who knows good user interface than an intern. Someone who will go through the pages on the site so that they work intuitively. I have a client who thinks just because his own clients use the website like X even though the theme he bought assumes Y, that changing it to X makes sense. And should therefore be really easy (read: cheap or free) for me to do.

    Don’t be like that.

    You’re going to have to have at the very least some plugins for the site, as well, such as an SEO plugin (maybe the premium version of Yoast’s SEO Local plugin) so that people will know about your site and app. A plugin such as WP Rocket so that your site doesn’t load too slowly for people who will disappear if it takes too long to visit. Also something like Cloudflare or Cloudfront CDN for more speed. Plus, additional security features so that your site doesn’t get hacked. Something that will do automatic backups so that the work you put into it doesn’t disappear (this actually happened to a rather large NGO and their site, which is why they hired me). You might want a membership plugin so that you can have a modicum of control over who contributes to the site / app, and to help prevent bots looking to Borg you.

    Not to mention the mapping capability.

    You should also use an SSL certificate for the domain name. Some hosting plans offer this for free.

    Are you going to want to advertise on the site to get some income?

    Are you going to monitor the site or will you need help with that?

    You’re going to have to use a hosting plan that will allow you to upgrade quickly in the event that you get popular quickly.

    And maybe integration with something like MailChimp to send out mailers, follow-ups to people. And social? Do you want to connect any social media accounts with the site?

    All the above and more (the app) connected to the site – well, all the elements have to play well together. Is your intern going to do that after all the work they need to put in gets done? Do you want to roll that out in a reasonable timeframe and work and look just how you wrote it up in this post?

    If yes, you have to pay someone for it to not suck.

    You’ll be lucky if you get something in the $8K range. And that should absolutely include responsive / mobile design as someone else mentioned. That should be a given.

    I do this for a living, can’t you tell?

    Whoever you use, I think the underlying idea is an excellent one. Good luck with the grant.

  • ApothecaryOfLight

    Mr. Loomis I just sent you an email to the address listed on the University of Rhode Island faculty directory (your first initial, last name, followed by educational institution?). In the email is a link to a live demonstration of what I think you’re talking about and some discussion about pricing the project.

  • clew

    Here’s another related project: https://www.hmdb.org/

    I am a little worried about the ongoing comments moderation requirements of the site, as I understand your description — do you have ongoing funding? It seems like it could attract considerably more organized trolls/attacks/advertisers than LGM does.

    • The answer is that I don’t really know….

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