[thelist] web site maintenance woes

Jim Dabell jim at jimdabell.com
Tue Jul 23 12:54:05 CDT 2002

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On Tuesday 23 July 2002 1:23 am, Rebecca Milot-Bradford wrote:
> I find myself spending more and more time just maintaining our company
> site, with less and less time available for developing new "stuff." This
> is frustrating for me, because, well, maintaining is not nearly as
> interesting as building new. This is frustrating for my co-workers
> because they don't understand why I can't just keep building and
> building. It is frustrating for management because they don't understand
> why I am insisting that I need a slice of the budget pie. So here are my
> questions for all of you:

You have my sympathy.  It wasn't long ago, I was working in a similar
situation, however since everything was a rush job, nothing got designed
properly to begin with, and we always had to go back and spend time fixing
things.  Needless to say, that ate into our new projects timeframes, which
led to a vicious circle.  Of course, since there was no time to try out new
ideas, we just got stuck in the same old stuff, over and over.

This was a web development shop, where design specs, validation and
stylesheets were the new concepts I was trying to push, right up until I
left, earlier this year :(


> 1) Are there any figures out there showing how much it costs to maintain
> a page? (I've searched Google and come up with nothing.) Or any
> suggestions about how to figure out what it costs us? In the eyes of
> people here, it costs nothing, since they are paying my salary
> regardless.

I can't recall anything specifically about web development, however I
believe there are quite a few studies in the traditional software
engineering field that you might be able to use (for instance, code re-use

> 2) Does anyone have ideas about how to convince management that we need
> more manpower if we want to keep expanding the site?

Point out how far behind you would get if a team member developed a serious
illness.  You'd have to find a replacement, train him up, and he'd still
not be as effective as your original member.  You'd be behind schedule,
with less than 100% performance available.  In short, push it as a business
risk that needs addressing.

> Sorry for sounding whiney!

You don't, I'm sure most people here have been in the same situation :)

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