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keeping a tab on development costs

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Everyone wants to limit web development costs. But how can non-technical web managers make sure that costs are kept in proportion to the development work involved? Is there a service provided anywhere to ensure people are getting a fair deal for the work they need done? Or is 'geeks to go' it!!!

Currently, the (large) website I work on needs a tweak to the Content Management System that will allow users of the website that have been added to a permissions database to view a particular resource online. We already have such databases set up on the CMS (which we use for editing purposes). In this instance we need a group on one particular database, once they are logged into the site, to see a one particular piece of content on one of our pages. Those that aren't in the database will not see this content. The estimated charge for coding the CMS so that this database list talks to the page in question and makes sure it determines whether people see the link is more than 3 days work.

This seems high, but how are non-tecchies supposed to check?

Any advice?

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