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It might get easier determining length after a multitude of projects- but what are some good mile markers if you know what I mean?
Thank you as always-
For SEO Project, you need to mainly think about time SE's and Dir take to index/list/rank your site + your speed of working + client field of business....... there are quite a few other things, but I would rank these pretty high.
For programming... your knowledge about particular language, project size, your understanding about the project, ....... and more.
Hope this help. :)
Don't take it personal, but there is no fix timeframe. It all depends on your skills, project, client .... So only you can guess how long will it take to get x amount of pages ready. Yeah, also don't forget - client will generally ask for few updates after seeing the final site :)
Well, how long have some of your bigger projects been? How about the shortest?
A couple days to a couple months. NeedScripts is right, every project is different and a lot of it depends on the client.
The more you do it, the more comfortable you'll get guessing how long to schedule out a project. But even when you're at your most comfortable, you'll realize that the client can throw your entire schedule off with constant changes to the project scope.
Going further, a very important factor (and often the one hardest to pin down for time) is the upfront organizational work that goes into creating a solid information architecture. Many clients have no sense of what that means, or how it affects the success of their site.
Don't take it personal
None taken. And thanks for your input you guys. I realize that the project scope will depend on the type of programming involved, amount of data and complexity of each...
I guess in the beginning it will be easiest to give myself a bit of room to breath. I would hate setting something for a week and it take me three;)
Just to get some ideas from those folks who've been through it. Do you generally have a sit down with your clients to discuss the site they need- and hit them with a scope then and there? How do you normally go about letting them know what your schedule for work is?
for a small job, say 1-14 days, i normally state that completion will normally be within 14 days, but i set a final termination date to be another couple of weeks later - maybe the end of the month etc. for larger jobs, i'll set a final termination date 4-6 weeks later. i state that the contract will termination upon completion or on the final termination date, whichever comes first, and payment will be due say 7 days following completion.
this then covers for any eventuality such as client not providing content or not approving something before you can move on to the next stage, or illness (me or client) or for me getting a number of new business enquiries while i'm in the middle of a project, or for computer failure or for another client messing up his site and needing it fixed urgently and so on.
this allows me to work hard and complete early and get paid early. it also allows me to terminate and move on to the next project if the client doesn't co-operate etc.
clients seem to like it, i like it, all works out quite well. takes a lot of pressure off both me and the clients by having the fairly loose deadline. i've not had any problems with it so far.
As far as payment is concerned- I think it's best to say 50% up front, 50% upon completion. I don't know if there is a better formula, but this seems cool because you don't have to bother the client too much.
After 7 days do you start adding late fees? Or do they seem attentive?
If some party gets late for some good reason, the rest of the team should have selected side work to do. Such side work should be independent of shedule and is unfortunatly not possible for every part. Changes in shedule is almost inevitable. Be flexible to some extent, verify evolution of all different process at all times. Increasingly increase the pressure if you see trouble in advance.
Right now, I am putting the polishing touch on a site that is 6 weeks late. We had to gather informations from many different house builders and real estate companies. The high amount of information sources was the main explanation for it. It is an important factor.
i don't bother with tying up contracts in detail like macguru - so long as the client understands what they need to do (ie, provide content by a certain date) then all should work out fine. if they fail to provide and cause me to fail to complete, they still have to pay. no problems so far.
i guess you gotta decide how you want to play it. sometimes it'll be best to tie everything up tightly, sometimes it won't. sometimes it'll be best to charge partial fees upfront, sometimes it won't.