News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

RA's New Website Looks Like a Million Bucks, Cost One-Tenth of That

New web
Wow, the Reston Association's fancy new "web site" looks like a million bucks $100,000! Which is only apt, since that's what it cost. SRSLY. Give us some outrage-inducing blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

RA spokeswoman Kirsten Carr said the new site is “the culmination of a year-long process that included both outside design consultation and internal staff planning.”

RA hired Reingold, a communications and marketing firm, in 2013 to assist RA with an overall communications strategic plan design, which included a website renovation, said Carr.
The board approved $100,000 in the 2014 budget to redesign to meet the findings of the strategic plan process and community interviews, she said.
Wow. Doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations, that's 100,000 times the design budget of this filthy "web log."

But before you head off to the earth-toned barricades, let's look at the good things about the site. They got rid of the hokey, non-Reston-like clip art we gave them grief for during their last redesign, way back in ought-nine. The colors are nice! And included in that sum, at no extra charge, is that fancy "infinite scrolling" that all the cool responsive design kids are talking about. No need to click around looking for where to buy your pool passes, just keep scrolling until you find what you're looking for! All in all, it'll be a place where we'll be proud to pay our assessment next year. And after only 155.76 more years, we'll have paid off the cost of the redesign, by which time the Internet will be beamed directly into our cyborg brains, the end.


  1. If you google "reston association approved paint colors" and click on the first link, you get "Page Not Found". Not a stellar performance in my opinion.

  2. Captain Obvious (USAF-Ret.)March 17, 2015 at 5:27 PM

    You'd think more folks who work in this high-tech area would know web services are expensive. Who do you think pays the exorbitant salaries that drive the expensive stores, restaurants, etc. around here? It's still cheaper than hiring a full-time web developer/designer.

    1. Except that, invariably, the website is going to need maintenance, new features added, existing features changed and obsolete features removed. Then there's the whole compatibility issue with new releases of Internet Explorer and Firefox and, to a lesser extent, Safari and Chrome.

      And then there's the whole issue of the care and feeding of the webservers that serve up these pages to the public. Most any server technician can handle the day-to-day operating system stuff, but the web developer probably knows the tuning the web server application, like IIS or Apache.

      No, they paid $100,000 for a set of web pages. I'm betting that the big costs are going to be in the maintenance of the new website with all of its bells and whistles, and changing technology.

  3. @Restonian, Do you even bother trying to come up with your own content anymore or do you only repost Karen Goff?

  4. Because links to a lot of activities are needed, this is a fairly complex website, but I thought the navigation was nicely done. The things I checked worked and were easy to find. (Because of the changes, some of the old Google links may no longer work.)

    Assuming the contract provides training for RA to handle the inevitable updates, this looks like money well spent.

  5. Worrying about a hundred grand? With a two million dollar-plus mistake about to occur, don't sweat the small stuff. John Farrell wrote an excellent op-ed in Reston Now.. ..and while he often leads the "you kids get off my lawn" wing of the local curmudgeon party, this time he is spot-on in his exposure of the Tetra purchase. Seriously, there is something wrong in the process and the numbers involved.. please read this, and then we grab our form of flame 'n pitchfork: irony-laced humor and a knowing smirk. We are willing to bring both to bear at every RA meeting between now and ..the day that this dumb idea is euthanized. And then we will post our cries of victory on this low-budget but high-charm web log.

  6. Simple stuff... I could have built the site for a whole lot less and far better. The site is built on Foundation Framework... You can learn about it here ( )


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