ocProducts

Stewards of Composr CMS. Experts in website technology & marketing.
Hello there!

ocProducts is Chris Graham's services company. We are primarily a programming (software engineering) company, but we work with designers to provide high-quality design services too. Other programmers work for ocProducts alongside Chris on a flexible basis.

Chris is the founder of Composr CMS, and has been lead developer since 2004. He has:
  • over 28 years of programming experience
  • a Masters degree in Computer Science
  • written over a million lines of code
  • written code for many high-street chains (including major banks)
  • been credited for helping on Facebook and Google projects
  • contributed bug fixes to PHP itself

Due to the enormous multi-disciplinary knowledge required to make competitive modern websites, most serious programmers will simply go work for an agency as a part of a team, or work for a tech company (with huge benefits and stock options). That agency will then rent the programmer out for something like $300/hr.

Composr was created to lower the cost of building a website, and Chris likes to work directly for clients. Hence ocProducts.

We will be completely frank - Chris is costly, just not as expensive as programmers hired through an agency. When we started out 13+ years ago, doing a high-quality project for under $1000 was feasible, but those days are now long gone. There's a high level of competition due to the amount of money investors pump in to the industry, and skill shortage has led to very high salaries. Website visitors have very high expectations that you'll need to meet.

As a primary sponsor for Composr CMS, we are not a typical company. Honesty, integrity, and openness, are very important to us. We don't do inflated hourly rates and fancy sales pitches: we focus on fundamentals. In return we do expect ocProducts clients to never treat us as a source of cheap labour, or to expect the same level of sales process and cost underwriting that a flashy agency would go through (e.g. we can't spend a week putting together a specification without charging appropriately for that time).

If you're reading this, you presumably know about Composr and therefore we don't need to make a sales pitch. We're also not going to set out many fancy processes and individual services, because at the end of the day you're paying for talent and require flexibility. We will simply set out how we're available to work with clients. ocProducts will work on projects where:

  1. There's a minimum of 3 months work, in a contiguous block with 24 hours work per week. Why? On a modern project we need to be all-in, and working multiple projects in tandem is just too much to cope with. And we can't realistically start and finish more than 4 serious projects a year at the level we work at. We also need to set aside time for Composr development and maintenance responsibilities. Subsequent project phases can be smaller, but also need to be done in contiguous blocks of time. (If you have a much smaller project, you will need to hire a smaller web design company, rather than a programming company.)
  2. You can wait until there is a block of time available for your project. Why? Existing commitments have to be prioritised, just as your commitment will be prioritised once it starts up. If follow-up work is needed this needs to be scheduled too, although we will book in a small set number of recurring hours as a part of a maintenance agreement.
  3. You can produce extensive written briefing material, or are able to provide office space for a few days while we write up a proper specification with you (you'll need to pay for hotel and travel costs). Why? In order to book out the time we need to have a project properly defined. If you don't have office space we suggest temporarily renting some space with a provider.
  4. You can pay the $100/hr fee, and are not going to ask for more than a few hours of unpaid consultation, or expect a fixed quote. The rate is charged for actual hours worked, included hours putting together specification material, answering e-mails, doing calls, and travel within working hours - and will be invoiced monthly. Why? Commonly 50% of our time is spent just preparing projects (which may or may not happen), or communicating about them, and we need to have income for those hours (else we'd need to double our hourly rate which we find distasteful). Also, modern projects need an agile approach, and you can't provide a fixed quote on an agile project.
  5. The project is significantly driven by Composr or Composr Mobile SDK. Why? We need to focus our work so that the Composr product grows with us. Also a developer can only regularly work with so many technologies without burn-out, Composr is what we do.

So, that's the deal. If you are able to work with us to define and schedule a project in a sustainable way, we'll get stuff done for you at a very high skill level, for ⅓ the cost of a good agency. It's still costly (you'll likely need investors or be an established business), but it may be a bargain.

There is some scope for flexibility, so you can always chat with us.

(If you would instead like functionality to be added directly to Composr then you may be able to sponsor Chris to do it through Composr's feature tracker. Sponsored functionality is typically done at a lower-rate, because it doesn't come with personal service or support.)

Contact us either by filing in our briefing form or e-mailing us.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Graham

 
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