"My question is this. How hard it is to change the size of the site in cold fusion? Is there a way to do it without having to adjust all the content manually or would the whole site have to be redesigned?"
there are a lot of variables here that make this question hard to answer. it all depends, if the site was designed properly then it will only take changing your styles, if that sort of stuff is declared on each page then u could have some work to do. in my opinion, coldfusion has no place in the user interface of a 6 figure site, it is best suited to be used for supplying data and performing business logic - the CF layout tools are way to restrictive and bloated if you are worried about performance. I don't have enough experience with .NET to even talk about tuning, so I won't
"I have been told by a friend that it is because of the excessive white space and js files that are spread all over the place)"
Try not to speculate, get the facts for yourself. That might be a contributing factor, but I'm sure there are other things. Mercury LoadRunner is a great tool for performance tuning your application but it's pricy and requires someone with knowledge of the program. There are some free/open source ones out there but I've never used them myself. Ask your developers what they are doing to ensure the website functions well under load and make sure they understand just how much traffic your site should be able to handle.
"Also, when I mentioned cleaning up the white space and putting all the js files into 1 folder and compressing them, they mentioned a cost. Isn't this a design issue that they should have forseen?"
Again, all depends- did you work out any sort of maintenance agreement with them? Because honestly, yes compressing your JS will likely help some (depending on just what issues your having)- but there might be 500 other things they could do or should have done to speed it up, are they obligated to fix all of them as they are found? This is my opinion here but a proprietary site that large should be sold with an ongoing support/maintenance contract of some kind. Otherwise it is inevitable that the developer and client quarrel about expectations.
These are just my opinions from my experiences, take from them what you will.
Mr. Monkey is correct. ColdFusion has little barring on if it will be difficult or easy to change the User Inerface layout of your site. CFML is a server side language that is one possible language to provide for dynamic HTML (and several other technologies these days) web applications to be built.
How hard or easy it is to change the interface of your applicaiton depends on how well it was architected. And this would be true no matter if the application was written in ColdFusion, asp, asp.NET, PHP, ralio or any other language.
Some langueages try to enforce more seperation of User Interface from business from model logic, but none of them truely can control how well an application is designed.
Well, your first problem is trying to change over to .Net. Should have stuck with ColdFusion. I've tried to change over and you have to rewrite the entire site. So if they spent 6 figures on it originally they should have stuck with CF.
The layout/design has nothing to do with CF. That is your styles, tables, whatever else was done. BUT if you have a template built in Dreamweaver then you can easily (or not) integrate it with the site. If it was designed properly you have a data layer and a GUI. (A whole bunch of weenies are now pulling their hair out because I'm not using the "correct" names but there ya go ) ColdFusion handles the data retrieval/manipulation and the presentation of that data to your design (GUI). The GUI is what actually shows the viewer the data. So IF the data portion is seperate from the GUI, then you can plug it in anywhere. Piece of cake.
Moral of the story, don't let those MS and Java wackos talk you into changing from ColdFusion.