Not too sure this is the right place to post- if it isnt, sorry Mr Moderator!
Im just wondering what anyone thinks an acceptable timescale is for the production of a website for a client. This is my second freelance project and im not too sure how much time i should allow myself.
The site is relatively small, only requiring a small amount of intergration with a content management system. I have to design/code a home page, about page, and a contact page.
A CMS template with three pages? Less than a week, but -
These things are highly dependent on factors you haven't gone into:
amount of graphics work
CMS used (custom programming?)
cooperation from the client with the content
This one took me about 15 hours over 4 days. It still needs some seo work (the client wanted to do that himself to save money), and I wouldn't consider it a portfolio piece, but the client is very happy and has approached me for a second site and recommended me to another potential.
Without previous experience estimating time is difficult, but the client is the variable that totally messes things up.
For instance, I've pretty much completed a certian project, but I'm waiting on the client to supply me with some photos. They alway seem to be busy and say will get them to me later in the day and that always falls through.
I would say 3 out of 4 projects that I do get delayed because of this reason. I make sure the client is clear on this before hand, that my estimate is IF they supply me with the appropriate materials I need.
Actual man-hours for development or calender time to delivery? From the sounds of it I think most experienced developers could do something like that in 10 hours or less, but we all know that time is completely meaningless compared to actual turnaround time taking into account client meetings, client delays, your other projects, client approvals, more client delays, client content delivery, client delays (and so on). In the end, how long is a piece of string - it depends on the situation and why you need to know.
If you need to know in order to give the client an estimate of when you can deliver, then I strongly suggest you first get him to agree to delivery dates for design approvals and content, otherwise anything you promise is meaningless - or at least say something like '1 month from the moment I receive all final drafts of content from you...'.
On the other hand, if you need to know so you can work out how many hours you need to put by so you can fit other work around it, you should be able to guestimate this yourself as only you know how fast a worker you are. That said, whatever you estimate; double it and add a bit more.
Ok, thanks for the input guys. I think the reason i posted because this is because ive just taken this project on whilst ive been developnig my own portfolio site which is taking me an age to get looking like i want!
On reflection i think i could do this in about a week. I have problems with design not coding. I always want the look to be perfect. I end up looking at a design so much that i get used to it then i get bored of it!