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Help on estimating project cost
How much would you bid for this project?
ratman7




msg:3597032
 2:10 am on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

I am a web developer and I have a project that I'd like your feedback on in terms of ballpark cost. The client is a corporate client (aerospace) with some online reference guides. The guides are for reference, and used by internal staff, so they are really online manuals. The pages are static html, and are coded in typical, 90's-era table layout.

The project is to make text changes to these pages, approx. 450 html pages. Not all of the pages will be changed, but the client cannot estimate exactly at this time how many changes there will be. But I am told that it will be a significant amount of work.

Anyone ever bid a project like this? If so, what is a good ballpark price to quote? (and please, no responses like "$500 ought to do it"). This is a legit corporate client with a budget and resources.

Thanks in advance...

 

shadeofgray




msg:3597236
 9:26 am on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Choose 10 pages at random, then proceed with them. Make this changes, calculate time spent on work. Find average cost per page, then multiply by 450 - now you have an estimate of the total project cost.

P.S. This is only an estimate, not very exact (due to random fluctuations in your sample; that's why it is important to choose pages at random - not first 10 or last 10). The more pages you will process, the more exact it will be.

henry0




msg:3597289
 10:34 am on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

What is "change" meaning?
Some texts or in depth change such as layout etc...

Also will the changes trigger a need to change it all for continuity in aspect, feeling and user experience?

You may even suggest a second layer of pricing by including a CMS so they could deal themselves with text change

paladin




msg:3597561
 4:25 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

How about quoting an hourly rate?

dbdev




msg:3597564
 4:26 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

If it's only text changes to a page as your post states I think you would be fairly safe with an estimate of 1 hour per page. Even if the page has 500 words on it there is no reason it should take more than 1 hour per page.

If the client cannot give you a specification of the exact changes required you have no choice but to quote a time per page estimate.

Given an hourly rate of $60...

60 X 450 = $27,000

Obviously you will lose this contract if you quote the client almost $30k for changes so it doesn't make much sense for YOU to do it.

I would put out an RFP and solicit bids for the lot (450 pages of text only changes to a maximum of n words [500 words perhaps?]).

Take the bid price and add 40% plus 5 hours ($300) to verify contractors work.

You will most likely get bids in the $500 - $750 range.

Based on that I would quote your client $1350.

raedthakur




msg:3597569
 4:29 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

hourly rate sounds better to me

ratman7




msg:3597948
 11:52 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Based on that I would quote your client $1350.

dbdev, thanks for your feedback. But are you sure you didn't mistype here? $500-750 for 500 pages at 1hr per page is a little over $1 per page. If you can find me contractors who will work for a that I'll pay you a referral fee!

ratman7




msg:3597951
 11:53 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

What is "change" meaning?
Some texts or in depth change such as layout etc...

I'm pretty sure these would be text changes. There isn't design involved.

ratman7




msg:3597952
 11:54 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

hourly rate sounds better to me

I agree, I'm starting to lean in that direction.

raedthakur




msg:3597984
 12:32 am on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

the reason i recommend not to go for a flat fee is that if the work is a lot more then you estimated then you will be at the loosing end.....

so better then that quote a decent hourly rate so the clients are also happy that they are getting theirs moneys worth and you also receive for how much you work......

jtara




msg:3598755
 6:41 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

How will they give you the changes? That would seem an important consideration.

dbdev




msg:3599655
 4:27 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hey RatMan

dbdev, thanks for your feedback. But are you sure you didn't mistype here? $500-750 for 500 pages at 1hr per page is a little over $1 per page. If you can find me contractors who will work for a that I'll pay you a referral fee!

You sound surprised.

You shouldn't be as folks in India and China will gladly do this for the price I stated!

Based on 500 words of changed text per page, typed at 60 words a minute = 8.3 minutes per page or roughly 7.5 pages per hour. This all equals 66 hours total for the job or roughly $12/hour.

I regularly get bids in the range of $7/hour.

If I were to put out the RFP for you, "I" would make $5/hour times 66 hours. Or you can do it and keep the $ for yourself. Don't forget the extra $300 on top of it all too!

If you do the work quoting an hourly rate at "north american" rates ($60/hour average), the client will laugh at you.

Mike.

henry0




msg:3599674
 4:42 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

That's why I mentioned earlier
adding a CMS so you could bump up your price while offering a decent pack.

Not to mention future update easiness done directly by the client staff

dbdev




msg:3599850
 7:41 pm on Mar 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

The CMS route is a good idea too however it would cost a lot more to deploy depending on their server situation (database, web server) plus having to recreate the page into a skin, recreate all the pages plus all the url rewrite stuff so they don't lose their page rank and incoming links.

Henry0 has a point. While it would be good to have a CMS from the start it's not too late to introduce the concept as a cost savings measure that is scaleable to the n'th degree and yada yada yada... all the great benefits and advantages to editing your own content.

Nothing like turning a $1k deal into a $5k deal...

Keep us posted on this as I would like to know how this turns out.

ratman7




msg:3600072
 12:02 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

You sound surprised.

You shouldn't be as folks in India and China will gladly do this for the price I stated!

The problem is that I need accuracy, and I feel that it will be compromised by using non-English speakers. If I have to proof-read the whole thing it defeats the purpose of outsourcing it really.

re: CMS - henryO, that's a good idea. Might be something to pitch for the future.

ratman7




msg:3600075
 12:05 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

dbdev, one more question: How do you justify assuming the risk on a project that only nets a few hundred dollars? How is that even worth the time and effort to you?

dbdev




msg:3600442
 12:01 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

ratman: Overseas there is a huge talent pool including people who are fluent in English, both written and spoken. You only need to research their portfolios and feedback to see if they are good or not. Typically they will offer up 3-5 documents to show their writing style and quality of work. Contact references just as you would hiring a new employee at your brick and morter.

Obviously it's difficult to really know if the contractors portfolio is all smoke and mirrors however if I had to sit there biting my nails every time I sourced a project I would be dead of a heart attack due to stress.

I justify assuming risk by choosing to adopt the concept of the global economy and I have come to the realization that I can't be competitive in this market without sourcing to offshore companies. In other words I have to choose carefully who my subs are going to be and have faith that they will produce high quality work based on their past experience.

The key is validating the work of others. That way I can do 2-3 of these projects in the same amount of time.

That's why I put a $300 addon to the price (in the above example) so that I can read over what the contractor has written (the text modifications).

May I ask how you are thinking of quoting this project?

I understand that this is your question in this post but what route do you see yourself taking forwards?

also... 4th year univ english\media students might be up to this aswell... (this is the only goup of students I'd be willing to chance this on...)

ratman7




msg:3601474
 3:03 pm on Mar 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

How will they give you the changes? That would seem an important consideration.

Agreed, this is a key element. Not sure of the answer, but I cannot estimate the project without this information.

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