[nycphp-talk] CMS - Estimating Hours

André Pitanga andre at
Thu Mar 27 14:40:00 EDT 2008

I'll take a stab, BAS:

I noticed that on your numbered list you didn't repeat the need for a 
newsletter. That can take significant time as well. (I've been using 
POMMO as a mailing list manager at work and it's been great.) I would 
say add at least another 10 hours just for that.

I not sure why I'm a bit reluctant to say this, but from what you 
describe (including testing, and even training), I'd say more or less 
That may sound too high for some, but what I'm talking about here is 
solid quality work delivered as promised: firm deadlines (no excuses), 
fully web standards based (may require tweaking the CMS), etc.

It really depends on how much your client has it together as well. Are 
they gonna deliver the content to you in a timely basis. How tech-savvy 
is the staff you are training to run the CMS? Surprisingly, even the 
simple admin interfaces generated by CMSs are enough to scare most folks.

Have a detailed, signed contract before you begin work. Oh, and please 
don't charge less than, say, $60/hr. It wouldn't be fair.

Hope this helps,

BAS wrote:
> Okay, I've got a very general estimating question here.
> Here are the basics: The focus of the site will be selling products to
> people with autistic children. I'm still waiting for an answer on how
> many products there will be in the beginning, so let's just say a dozen
> for now. The client wants to be able to maintain the site themselves
> (i.e. add new products as the need arises), create a newsletter, and 
> also integrate a discussion forum to build a sort of community. 
> Accessibility is important for this site (not necessarily the admin 
> part, but the public front-end).
> This is the list of requirements that I think I'll need to take to
> consideration when giving an estimate:
> 1. Install & configure CMS
> 2. Design custom templates (I typically spend about 10 hours on this)
> 3. Code custom templates
> 4. Find, install & configure shopping cart
>   a. Product photos
>   b. Product descriptions/details
>   c. Pricing
>   d. Shipping
>   e. Tax
>   f. Create/modify shopping cart templates? (Not sure
> if this has to be done or if the cart can use CMS templates?)
> 5. SSL cert (requires static IP)
> 6. Payment gateway
> 7. Find, install & configure forum
> 8. Testing & debugging
> 9. Training client to use CMS
> Did I overlook anything? I've downloaded and am getting ready to 
> install both Drupal & Joomla to test drive them, but after much 
> reading I've gotten the impression that Drupal is the better overall 
> product in terms of code & flexibility.
> I know that Joomla has a "prettier" admin interface that the client 
> may like better, but I don't want to sacrifice functionality for 
> cosmetics.
> Can anyone possibly give me even a ballpark estimate on how many hours 
> you think the above might take? I'm assuming they'll also have the 
> standard About Us and Contact Us pages.
> FYI, a static site that I recently did involved about 65 hours total
> (design + coding + content porting + testing + client phone calls,
> emails, etc.) for a 17-page site. But I can't really estimate a CMS per
> page, so... help!
> Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
> Regards,
> Bev
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