Gateway Sun

The Board of Supervisors of the Gateway Services Community Development District are expected to review a $9,400 proposal from Vistalogix to revamp the district’s website.

Vistalogix is based in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Under the proposal, Vistalogix would completely overhaul the gatewaydistrict.org website, along with taking over web and email hosting responsibilities.

The proposal says Vistalogix would use a responsive website design, meaning that the website would sense whether you’re viewing from a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer and reconfigure itself for your device. A definite plus, and an initial area of concern for the Sun considering the company’s own website – vistalogix.com – is not responsive.

Responsive design is considered a basic necessity in 2016.

According to the proposal, Vistalogix would design the website as a Content Management System, allowing district staff to feed information to the residents and their GSCDD co-workers in real time.

When looking at a break down of the $9,400, the first thing that sticks out is $2,400 for “portal updates, email, hosting and support”.

Most portal and web hosting software programs will update themselves either automatically or with a single click, meaning that the district will be paying $200 per month for web hosting and support. The gatewaysun.com website is hosted on a premium hosting plan, with unlimited support, on a dedicated IP address, for $24.95 per month.

Also of interest, the proposal contains a PESL-G4 Portfolio Enterprise Server Portal License for $1,250.

A Google search of “PESL-G4 Portfolio Enterprise Server Portal License” yielded no results. However, on the vistalogix.com website, the company compares something simply called “Portfolio” to other Content Management Systems such as WordPress and Softlayer.

WordPress itself is a bare-bones CMS platform, however there are countless plug-ins that enhance its capability and make it the most powerful, flexible and widely used CMS in the world.

Essentially Vistalogix compares a fully built car to a car frame, criticizing a car frame for not having tires yet – while pointing out that their completed car does have tires.

And WordPress is free … while the GSCDD would apparently be paying $1,250 for Portfolio.

Also included in the proposal was $5,000 to develop and deploy the new website. Supervisor Rod Senior recommended reducing that amount to $2,500, noting that it shouldn’t take as much time to build the website as Vistalogix is saying given that they will be using an existing commercially available website template rather than building one from scratch.

The final $750 in the proposal would be for consulting fees.

Looking over the district’s requirements, and based on our experience building dozens of websites, the GSCDD’s website could be built for under $2,000 with labor being the bulk of the cost.

The template could be purchased for anywhere form $19 to $99. Unless they’re putting the district’s website on its own dedicated server, which would be serious overkill, hosting would not cost Vistalogix much since they likely already have plenty of unused space available on their existing servers. Nevertheless it would be fair to bill the district $10 to $15 per month for email and web hosting, with an additional $10 per month if the GSCDD website gets a dedicated IP address.

Even with $3,000 added in for profit and unforeseen expenses, which is reasonable, the entire proposal should still come in at less than $5,000.

Senior is expected to recommend that the GSCDD offer $6,900 to Vistalogix.

We were unable to find where the district solicited bids on this contract and if any other companies responded, however if we locate that information we will update this article.

About Jeff Kuntz

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Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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