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  1. #16
    raf
    raf is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaitco
    From the few details I have received about the project, I know it will be a small-scale site and most likely would not require anything more complicated than some basic javascript and php, possibly some flash. However, I know I would probably have create the site from the ground up, including developing their logos and probably actively running their site for a month or two.

    I have looked around here a bit at some of the offers, but I still cannot get a grip on what would be fair for a job like this. $50? $100? $500? More??
    well, the description of the site sounds like it's just another plain "13 in a dozen" site. this sort of stuff usually doesn't realy require a lott of thinking or coding --> rather just copy-pastinging everything together from existing stuff.
    this is exactly the kind of stuff where you indeed find rediculously cheap offers from 'freelancers'. it's not realy the market segment where you'll find "a professional coder" because:
    - it's boring work
    - it's work for clients that don't have high expectations about the quality of your code ("it just needs to work and look good in IE" kind of attitude)
    - it's the type of work that can be done realy cheap if you 'specialize' in it

    in short --> not the kind of work where you can charge much for a site and where you can only make a good living if you:
    - focus on volume
    - are based in a country with a low cost of living

    or in the tradesman analogy --> it's more a 'replace a lightbulb' kind of job that plenty of people will want to do for a beer or so, but that most electricians will pass on.

    Quote Originally Posted by kaitco
    I know, as they probably do, that if they go through a professional coder, the costs could get rather high. Since they will be so small scale and because they are friends of friends, it does not seem right for me to charge too much, plus the idea that this one offer to could lead to others gets me hopeful.
    hmm. friends of friends? if you need to make a living from coding and you want to do a first class job, then you should be compensated. if you're gonna start giving discounts for friends of friends than you better start looking for another profession, because if you do a good job, then you'll get plenty of requests from other friends to do low-priced work...
    i either work for free (if it's for a friend or if it's something interesting that i might use myself) or for my standard rate.
    "could lead to other offers" --> so you're then suddenly gonna increase your price? you should get other offers because of your analytic/coding/designing/... skills that deliver a good service/product and not because you did something cheap. don't believe in the 'foot-in-the-door' technique here --> i'd rather recommend giving 'volume discounts' then offering 'try-out bargains'
    Quote Originally Posted by kaitco
    If I decided to charge by the hour, should I set a timer or make a log or something? I usually code my pages a little at a time; could be an hour here or there or five hours at a time. Or should I just estimate?
    you should keep a very detailed log of all your activitys.
    before you start on any activity, you should:
    - have all activitys prioritised
    - have a detailed (and agreed on!) description of what is required
    - have an (agreed on!) estimate of the development and testing time
    - have a detailed description of who needs to supply what for that activity
    - have a completion date for each action of that activity

    and wen you're developping, you should log all spent time agains the activitys + keep each activitys status and open issues up to date.
    you should also be keeping track of how many time is spent, how many time you think is still required till completion and how this relates to the forecasted budget.

    you can do all this quite easy in an excell-sheet (no need for project-planning tools etc unless you have a lott of projects you're simultaniously working on) and i would actually recommend to use Google Spreadsheet for this, so that you can give your client continuous access to your log.
    i would also recomend to periodically report to your client if you're still on time and on budget and each time something occurs thats gonna make you significantly go over budget --> ask formal agreement to continue.

    if requirements change --> always edit your activitys and possebly timeline and budget + check with the client if they agree with changed timing/budget or if they'd rather stick witht the previously agreed scope (and then possebly add the extra's at a later date).

    working like this doesn't realy create a lott of overhead, and it will give you a lott of insight in how many time you'll actually spend for each task --> it will help you to make more realistic 'fixed price, fixed budget' estimates.

    regarding the triangle stuff --> i use my own version where the corners are:
    - Interesting
    - Reusable
    - Rate
    For uninteresting where that doesn't generate any functionalitys that i could reuse, i charge more then my standard rate. (If the client thinks it's to expensive, then i get saved from a boring job. If he wants to pay that price, then i'll at least get well compensated for a boring job).
    If the job's interesting or will generate reusable code, then i'll lower my price, because i'll learn something or i'll make money of the code with other clients.
    Posting guidelines I use to see if I will spend time to answer your question : http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graft-Creative View Post
    Hehe, I'm glad you added that last bit, I was beginning to wonder if you were losing it

    To be fair, I dare say $30-$100 is a fair amount of compensation in the Balkans?

    ....Anyway, over the past few years I've struggled a fair bit with the same problem and I've boiled it down like this:

    For any web work, I want at least a tradesperson's wage (think plumbers etc) otherwise I may as well be doing something stress free and uncomplicated, like stacking shelves at Asda (Wal-Mart).

    So I tend to think of it like this - if I'm doing web design, and the job is going to take me approx five working days (even though those days may be dotted around over the course of a few weeks) then I'll need a decent weeks wage from it, plus a bonus amount for the skills/experience/and care I'm bringing to the job.

    For bit's of jobs - changes/ammendments etc. yes I'd charge by the hour, but for full projects, I tend to think in terms of days rather than hours.

    If you're confident in your abilities, there really shouldn't be any fault in quoting, say, $500 for a job like this - then the friends and family discount off of that.

    That's my take anyhows

    Kind regards,

    Gary
    To be fair the owner could actually contact a "Balkan" web designer to do a fine job for 30-100$. I'd rather say, when it comes to friends do it for free instead of a 30-100$ charge.

  3. #18
    Senior Coder twodayslate's Avatar
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  4. #19
    Regular Coder nolvorite's Avatar
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    $10 for every language they will work on . . . fair price.


 
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