Pricing for PHP-based project

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We're seeking to hire a local (Seattle-based) PHP/MySQL coder to handle
a project, but have been having no success. I was hoping to get your
feedback on whether the pricing, timeframe and job demands seemed
reasonable and what the reasons might be for the lack of interest shown
thus far (I posted on CL - -  and received
virtually no response).

Project Description:
The project requires a robust, custom-built e-commerce site that will
sell both a set of software CD-Roms that will be shipped and a high
number of mid-resolution images (~30-60,000) available for purchase and
download. The images will need to be scraped from our existing site
with the relevant keyword and content data and will require previewing
abilities with watermarks. The site will also require customization to
enable sales, promotions and special offers on the backend, as well as
e-mail newsletters and free image download credits assignable to
customers. We have an existing mockup of the visuals and functionality
for the new site. These templates will comprise the basis for the
site's construction.

PHP (strong)
MySQL (strong)
Writing scripts to scrape and parse data / Regular Expressions (strong)

E-commerce site development (strong)
Javascript (moderate)
HTML/CSS (moderate)
Unix/Linux/BSD System Administration (moderate)
Web design (minor) Usability (minor)

Schedule & Payment:
Our assumption (based on a good deal of experience coding similiar
sites) is that this project will take between 90-110 hours in total.
Our budget is $8,000, paid in 4 segments over 8 weeks:

$1,500 - down payment on March 13
$2,000 - payment on April 3 - assuming project is on schedule and work
can be verified
$2,000 - payment on April 17
$2,500 - project completion, payment on May 8

Thanks for your help and if you know anyone who would be right for this
position, please do send them our way!

Re: Pricing for PHP-based project wrote:
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Based from your (understandably) sketchy design, it looks like more than  
90-110 hours to me.  I would expect at least double that.  But I would  
want to see a detailed design to give a good estimate.

It's also possible that demanding a local person is giving you problems.  
  These days you really don't have to have someone local to do your  
work; they can be almost anywhere in the world (well, I suppose there  
aren't many internet connections at the North Pole...).

Remove the "x" from my email address
Jerry Stuckle
JDS Computer Training Corp.

Re: Pricing for PHP-based project wrote:
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For a good reason.  You think you need a coder, while in fact you need
a designer first.  You mentioned having a visual mockup, but it appears
that so far you have given no thought to either data architecture or
application architecture.  Working it all out will require time and
effort you have not budgeted for...

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You might be right, but someone needs to design this application first,
which will probably require another 100 hours...  


Re: Pricing for PHP-based project

NC and Jerry - Thanks for your responses. We have designed the
application very thorougly so that visual mockups for each type of page
are already existing. The developer would simply need to cut up and lay
these out. The information architecture of the website, in the form of
a hierarchichal sitemap, is also complete.

However, if you predict this will take many more hours, perhaps that
has been our error - we based the time schedule on what it would take
us to accomplish this in-house with an existing staff member.

Re: Pricing for PHP-based project wrote:
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So you do have the back-end designed?

The visual aspects of a site are one thing.  Any competent web designer  
can do those pages quite easily just from mockups.  But what happens  
behind the scenes is harder and takes a lot more time.

Have you designed the database, the flow of data between web pages, how  
shopping carts will be managed, etc.?   All this and more are what NC is  
referring to.  This is where you need a competent designer.

Since you allude to the fact you have the capabilities to do this with  
an in-house staff member, why not let your own staff do it?.  It would  
be a lot easier on you in the long run, and your staff would be familiar  
with the code.  Also, you seem to have a reasonable amount of time that  
they would only need to spend a few hours a week developing it.

Remove the "x" from my email address
Jerry Stuckle
JDS Computer Training Corp.

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