After going through some of the ads on Craigslist. I thought I would post this as a handy guide for those seeking to hire someone for web site builds, etc.

First, you need to define your task. If you aren’t sure what the task will entail, pay someone $100 to take a look. Looking at your code or your issue takes time. If you paid someone $200 for custom code, it’s likely that another $200 won’t fix the issue. The requirements are the thing that will be used to base the cost of whatever you want done. Without them, people are blowing smoke. I actually responded to an ad that turned out to be another “developer” who under-bid, over-promised, couldn’t deliver, and wanted me to fix it. No way.

Second, avoid saying “it should be simple”. It’s not simple, and depending on inter-dependencies that may exist, it will almost certainly be more complex than you planned. It may look easy, but that is skill, training, and experience, not simplicity.

Third, everyone has ideas they would like to turn into money making online businesses. The no upfront cost ideal is a bit of a fantasy. We’re not trying to crush your dreams, but you need to be a little realistic.

Fourth, interns. Everyone would like free labor, but I’ve had real interns and have had to fix, or trash and redo, everything they’ve ever done. Seriously. You will get what you pay for.

Fifth. Let us know where your site is hosted and what type of host it is. This is going to impact cost, especially if we have to install the web server, extensions, and DB server. Is it your server, a shared account, a VM? Be as detailed as possible. Cpanel access? VHM access? SSH and root access?

Here is a list of what you can expect, and at what price.

  • $15 an hour will get you code generated crap. Good luck here.
  • $45 an hour will get you some desktop support.
  • $65 an hour will get you server maintenance.
  • $75 an hour will get you some database work.
  • $85 an hour will get you a custom coded website.
  • $100 an hour will get you an iPad/iPhone application.
  • $120 an hour will get you an Android application.
  • $100 will get a stock HTML template. They may promise something else, but that is what you will get.
  • $125 will get you a fairly nice logo.
  • $150 will get you content updates to static pages, it won’t pay for changes to the styling and layout.
  • $250 will get you a CMS or blogging platform with some stock themes and maybe some light style work. If you want a custom theme for it, custom coding is going to come into it.
  • $350 will get you a stock online storefront configured and working, not counting the fees you will pay for secure hosting, SSL cert, and a payment gateway. And you will still have to get your product in there yourself. Managing inventory and products is your job unless you want to pay someone by the hour to do it. Theming it will cost more.

That’s just a basic guide and I’m sure some will disagree.

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