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ksymmons

How many hours would you quote?

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Hi,

I've been developing a lot of portfolio websites lately, mostly for freelancers and small companies, and talking to a fellow developer the other day, I realized that he's consistently quoting more hours than me for essentially the same kind of job.

At first I thought, nah, he's clearly overcharging his clients but after giving it some more thought, it ocurred to me that maybe I'm the one who is undercharging!

So, here's the type of project I'm talking about:

- 5-page website (home, about, services, pricing, contact)
- Custom design: sometimes I come up with the design myself and sometimes I adapt a Bootstrap/some other framework theme
- Responsive design (of course!)
- Not much custom programming going on, mostly a very basic contact form on some of the websites
- Sometimes I code these sites with ProcessWire and sometimes I make them static, depending on the client's budget
- The sites are mostly informative in nature, so they don't require any fancy JavaScript or anything like that. They also don't require login pages for clients or anything like that.

Here's what my friend and I would quote for such a project:

I quote:

Static 5-page site: 16-24 hours
Processwire 5-page site: 30-40 hours

My friend quotes:

Static 5-page site: 40-65 hours
Processwire 5-page site: 60 hours

Now, I'm really curious at to the number of hours you would quote for a project similar to the one above, both for a Processwire and a static site.

Thanks for sharing!

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This can only be answered relatively to the skills, experience, and the amount of reusable code and templates someone has. Depending on that, for example, a 5 page general website can be done in a single day

or in 40 hours :) But building it with Processwire will always save you time and headache ;)

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Thanks, pwired. Of course, you're right, the time it takes someone to build a website greatly depends on the things you mention; experience, reusable code, etc. However, what I'm talking about here is not how long it would take to build a website, but how many hours to charge clients for it. For example, it might take me 8 hours to build a 5-page website, because I'm experienced and already have a strong and ready to go foundation on which to build, but that doesn't mean I have to quote 8 hours to the client.

See where I'm getting at? :)

Edit: What I'm really asking is: how many hours would you guys personally quote for such a project? I know we all have different circumstances and whatnot, but it would help me get an idea of where I'm at. Thanks.

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I count and charge for hours mostly when I have to do maintenance, changes or adaptions to an already

existing website. When building a new website I plan the time and the things I have to do for it. I don't

charge the client for hours but I tell the client the day when I can have it ready for him and the price for

the finished website. After that I charge for hours for making changes because they are usually little things.

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for the project in question, i think for a custom design, the # of pages doesn't matter so much as the information architecture;

charging by # of pages is sort of old fashioned, now that the CMS can generate unlimited pages using various templates; more sensible to charge by # of templates;

does the client want a blog, how often do they need to change their homepage content, and how much seo, do they want open graph, RSS, Atom, RDF, Schema etc;

it is sensible to break the hours up into areas, like

  1. Planning & Discussions (discovery)
  2. Graphic design, asset preparation & management
  3. CMS setup, back end development, custom admin stuff
  4. Front end development
  5. testing, QA, launch
  6. SEO

Most sites will clock in around 40+ hours even for a basic site - makes sense to estimate on the high side - i have yet to complete a project in less then the # of estimated hours...

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I count and charge for hours mostly when I have to do maintenance, changes or adaptions to an already

existing website.

Good point. I do actually just tell the client the final price, but I usually use the number of hours to come up with the final price. It's only when the client asks that I go into detail as to the number of hours involved, etc.

it is sensible to break the hours up into areas, like
  1. Planning & Discussions (discovery)
  2. Graphic design, asset preparation & management
  3. CMS setup, back end development, custom admin stuff
  4. Front end development
  5. testing, QA, launch
  6. SEO

Most sites will clock in around 40+ hours even for a basic site - makes sense to estimate on the high side - i have yet to complete a project in less then the # of estimated hours...

That's interesting, Macrura. I tend to do this detailed breakdown when I work on larger projects, but for these smaller projects that I'm talking about, it's not cost-effective for me to go into so much detail, as most of the time these websites are pretty much cookie-cutter so they don't require this level of detail.

Thanks for the links, totoff, a good read for sure.

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