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How much will a forum cost

     
12:33 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hi there

How much would you quote for building a forum? What if your using a free open source software such as phpBB?

Many thanks in advance
CHEERS :)

3:00 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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As we don't do business on these forums, I would only say that many hosting companies offer these free forums as part of their packages. They're already installed and ready to go! Look at your cPanel.

Building a forum? That could be done for nothing if you have a great idea. Look at WebmasterWorld.

3:53 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Building a forum? That could be done for nothing if you have a great idea. Look at WebmasterWorld.

Whoa there! Believe me it doesn't cost nothing. Figure on spending way too much time on the thing and talking to yourself on it for a long time before you're able to garner new members. And if you're doing it for a living you will be very poor for a long time, and forever if you're not 100% committed to the project.

Putting up a forum engine is easy. Building a decent community is not.

How much would you quote for building a forum?

If I were you I would quote a daily rate and do on a time and materials basis. Make sure you have a very clear set of requirements from the client and understand exactly what it is they need.

5:28 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You mean get someone else to do it for you or do it yourself? Do it yourself is basically the cost of hosting it. A good quality host will run you, oh, $120 - $150 a year, including domain registration.

Now, if you want someone else to do it, me for example, you couldn't afford to pay me enough for my time.

I second trillian's comments 110%

6:31 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If, by building a forum, you mean the cost of the software, then trust me, even a site like WebmasterWorld is not done for nothing. I guarantee you Brett has invested many hours in his software. His time, like ours, is not free.

If you mean building a community with forum software then all you have to do is look at the Community Building forum to see how much time those people put into making their forums a success.

7:43 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Software: One side... from free to some dollars.
Community: Another side ... can take forever.
Time: Priceless ... charge all you can.
8:58 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You are asking the wrong question. What spec/quality can I expect for my budget & how long should it take is what you should be asking.
6:17 am on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Wowsers! I am happy with the feedback. Thank you very much.

I am a web designer and was wondering how much can I quote a client for a forum? Basically I would be using phpBB and then skin the forum.

I like what TJedi said, if I do design one for the client will it be up to me to work on building a community?

Thanks heaps

12:24 pm on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Basically I would be using phpBB and then skin the forum.

Really? Has the client specified exactly that?

if I do design one for the client will it be up to me to work on building a community?

That's why the statement of work/client requirements document is likely to be at least 2 pages of A4.

You need detail. You can't quote without it, unless you just quote a daily rate with no cap to it.

That's why your question in the origninal post is impossible to answer. It's a how long is a piece of string question.

12:43 pm on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I am a web designer and was wondering how much can I quote a client for a forum?

It's really up to you. There is no standard really. There is competition though and creates pressure getting clients and so your quotes are likely to compete with quotes of other designers for the same client.

And as was said earlier a proper requirements document is extremely important. It gives a clear direction for a project and both sides can agree on milestones for each project component and its specs.

1:12 pm on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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True! I never thought of that TJedi, I was suggesting that they wouldn't need to know that as long as they have a forum :D. My clients don't know the difference as long as I can come up with the goods.

Is there a sample of what a proper requirements document look like?
This is one area that I'm trying to perfect or progress. I really tried so hard researching on the net but don't really know how to prioritize or know what to include in this scope document.

1:50 pm on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Is there a sample of what a proper requirements document look like?

If you sign up to eLance and go partway through the process of submitting a job spec, you'll find a link to one. Note that this is copyright of eLance so you shouldn't copy it, but it will give you the gist.

There is almost never a situation where you can use a boilerplate document. Every document is specific. But the headings of a example doc should point you in the right direction of what to think about.

In addition you need to consider negligence (of your own and of phpBB) and whose liability that is to be. If you build this forum engine, and it gets hacked in 12 months time, is the client going to blame you? Get that clear.

You might also want to consider insurance. As an example, I consult in a niche industry (not web related) in a product strategy role that frequently involves my having software created, which I outsource. My insurance policy covers me for claims up to 1m in negligence (code I have had created going horribly wrong) and costs me 200/year. I would recommend looking into that.

So two things to consider. Scope (which is part of setting client expectations as much as anything) and liability if something goes horribly wrong. Don't be afraid to consider the latter - we are all human and we all make mistakes from time to time. Sh*t happens.

Both of these things are important when doing any kind of freelance work.

You might also want to consider doing this through a limited liability company vehicle of some kind rather than in your personal capacity, just in case something does go wrong that your insurance doesn't cover.

Note that this is not legal advice, just practical advice. For legal advice you need to consult a lawyer.

9:02 am on Dec 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thanks TJedi, man thats a lot to know. Definitely will be taken inconsideration.

CHEERS :)

9:11 am on Dec 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Here's a good book published by New Riders, a leading Internet technology publisher. The book features many business templates, checklists, and solid advice on how to navigate the process. It's called Web Redesign 2.0 Workflow that Works [web-redesign.com]. It covers the entire client/web designer workflow.

Check out this section about defining the project [web-redesign.com]. There are lots of free downloads here, but don't be cheap and assume that's all you need. Buy the book and read it, you'll find more gold in there.

Good luck.

7:46 am on Dec 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I was suggesting that they wouldn't need to know that as long as they have a forum

Could really come back to bite you. For example, when the client decides to sell his site and discovers he doesn't own the forum he paid you to create - even worse that he can't sell it without having to release the full source code to anyone for free. Another example is when his forum gets hacked by a robot following the latest phpBB vulnerability - how are you going to explain to your client that he needs to keep updating the forum you built for him by using a third party package he's never heard of - and more to the point, who will pay for this updating work?

If you plan to use open source components, you really must inform your client of this and make sure he realises the implications. Give him three prices if you like; the highest for you to build it entirely as 'work for hire' so he owns everything 100%, the second for you to build it and give him a perpetual license (allowing you to reuse it for future clients as well), and the lowest for you to base it on open source software. That way you aren't hiding anything and he is able to decide how much the advantages of proprietary software are worth.

12:44 pm on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Oh dare, thanks for clarifying that up. Your right, it would of surely come back to bite me.
I'm not sure how to give a perpetual license to the client?
1:03 pm on Dec 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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IANAL
Write a contract where you:
a) Agree you hold copyright and IP of code
b) Agree an upfront, one off fee whereby client has irrevocable rights to use the code (barring contractual defaults)
c) Agree you can license code to third parties without consulting client

Talk to a lawyer and have thme draft the contract

1:48 am on Dec 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for guys well hopefully I can do up this contract properly.

CHEERS :)

 

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