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Development Costs for a new community

How much does it cost to start a revolution?



8:47 pm on Aug 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've worked on quite a few sites before usually building them from scratch.
What I normally do is design the site myself with pen and paper then go about putting the code together. That consists of hand coding as much as I can and licensing software when needed.
This is not the best way as it takes a long time and produces sites which could be better...sometime its better to bring more people in.
I am now looking to develop a new site, it is a community driven news agency/site similar to popular portals such as NowPublic.
I want to have this professionally coded from scratch - much of it will be similar to NP but with some key differences making up the USP.
I have heard that web 2.0 start ups can spend around $200000 starting up - I want to know, how much would it cost to develop a site like this?
From initial design and development, through to coding, testing and maintenance of code etc.

How much, roughly, would a good job cost?


12:57 am on Aug 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It really depends on the size and the complexity.

The last mega site I had farmed out cost me roughly $ 10,000.00
which in hindsight was a bargain. Again it depends on what goes in the stew! KF


12:36 pm on Aug 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Coding and design will cost me - I'm prepared for that as i really do think I'm on to something here.
Can someone tell me, how do you find agencies that can do this for you? I'm looking for preferably a single agency to which offers initial review, planning, coding etc...

any tips? there are so many out there.


6:47 pm on Aug 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

I can't think of a good reason for coding this "from scratch".

Surely, such a community site can be built using a CMS/portal/framework at a much lower cost. But maybe your definition of "from scratch" is different from mine.

It's impossible to say, in any case, how much a "good job would cost". That's nonsensical, without the details, which, of course, we can't discuss here on WebmasterWorld.


11:36 am on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well it really depends what you are after. Like for example Guy Kawazaki is spreading around that he's built his social network for news - truemors for 12 thousand or something like it which is fairly cheap for that thing.


4:00 pm on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

Guy Kawazaki is spreading around that he's built his social network for news - truemors for 12 thousand or something

From a May 16, 2007 Wall Street Journal article:

Because it uses free software, with programming done by a for-hire outfit in called Electric Pulp located in the high tech mecca of South Dakota, the costs are minimal. Mr. Kawasaki says to date, he has spent $12,000 on Truemors.

This was not done "from scratch", though. The article doesn't state exactly what "free software" was used, but it looks like a CMS, smells like a CMS, and a quick "view source" in Firefox reveals references to "plugins", which are a common term used for CMS components.

So, it sounds like they wrote some CMS templates and perhaps a plugin or two.

I can see making a money-losing $12,000 bid on this if you are in South Dakata with low costs and know you will get mega publicity on a the back of controversial venture capitalist with a yen for making bombastic statements to the press...

According to the blog of the S. Dakata firm, as of July the truemors site has been "redesigned". Betcha they charged more than $12,000. ;)

A bit more from an earilier post in that blog:

If you look closely, you’ll notice we hacked up a wordpress install to allow community posts via web, sms, email or phone. Then we added a voting system, layered in some hacker stops, took it to the roof, and shot it full of lightning.

OK, no CMS. Wordpress. Not "from scratch", and then redesigned 2 months later.
I may have misunderstood what you mean by "from scratch". Re-reading the original post, I think you simply mean you are building "a new site", rather than necessarily building the software "from scratch" (i.e. not using a CMS, blog, etc.)


7:27 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Coding from scratch as in custom code will be too expensive at the moment, I am looking more into some sort of 'mash up' of different software's with a 'custom' template and design to hold it all together. I will probably need a few plug ins to weld the site together and make sure everything works correctly. I think with some good mash up programmers I should be able to pull it off.
TO shed some light on this the basic idea is similar to existing sites and draws on merging technologies used in these sites.
The aim is to create something like NewsVine, NowPublic and even BBC news etc using technologies used by Digg, Youtube, Wordpress etc
Ive found a few that look like they can be used, Pligg and Django look promising with a few CMS programmes.
Creating a mash up is something Ive never done before, has anyone tried it? how do you scout good talent? I'm probably going to need a freelancer.


7:43 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Consider posting at some of the major freelance sites, but be sure to ask for examples of similar scale projects. Also be sure that you consider only coders with sterling reputations and at minimum a year or two of successful projects in your scale. I've seen coders with high scores but who mainly worked on projects $200 or under - dropping a much larger and more complex project on them could be a recipe for disaster.


4:35 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Rogerd, you previously mentioned using a CMS framework for this type of site, I'm looking to emulate NowPublic - do you know of any Open Source CMS suitable for this project? I think I may have to use a combination of a CMS and some sort of a blog system like WPMU.


5:28 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Num85, Nowpublic is built with drupal - [drupal.org...]


6:30 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Fantastic! thanks woofwoof!

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