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If you work in an organization using Drupal, or you work with nonprofits using Drupal, this is the group for you. If you work in a nonprofit using Drupal, or you work with nonprofits using Drupal, this is the group for you! Stuck on something? Have a question? Drupal experts are on hand to answer questions! You don't need to be a member of NTEN to participate in the monthly calls — feel free to invite colleagues and spread the word.

Price estimate or quote for Drupal development?

  • 1.  Price estimate or quote for Drupal development?

    Posted May 04, 2016 18:58

    How do I go about finding the cost for developing a site?

    We're on the template exemplified at LawHelpNY and have trouble finding a good way to estimate the cost of transitioning away from this platform and migrating content to a copy of a Drupal site of Maine, Michigan, or Connecticut

    Some key features are:

    • Content labeled for multiple subtopics that has language variants
    • Library of content that dynamically changes when subtopics are re-labeled or sorted
    • A directory of contacts that can filtered by topic and location
    • Page headings that can be translated to language variants
    • Search tool 

    In-house staff would be able to do much of the content migration and creation once trained in the CMS.

    Thank you. I apologize if this is inappropriate for the list.

    Tech Accelerate

  • 2.  RE: Price estimate or quote for Drupal development?

    Posted May 05, 2016 12:05

    That's a very reasonable question to ask. Unfortunately, different companies have a wide range of cost structures coupled with different methods of engagement which can make it very difficult and time-consuming to get this information.

    The most straightforward way to go about this is to simply set a budget and get in touch with a few companies, sharing your budget with them as early as possible to give them the opportunity to identify if your project is not in their typical range. This does have a few downsides, though, and I'm assuming you're asking this question because you are seeking to first establish a realistic budget.

    Here are a few strategies you can use:

    1. Contact companies and ask them their average project budget and if they have a minimum level of engagement (i.e. the smallest project they are willing to accept). This will help you weed out companies that might be too expensive so you don't waste time going back-and-forth with them. If you don't think you can budget more than $20k, for example, and their average budget is $100k, that's probably a good indicator you won't be able to work together. Be aware that an average project budget is simply an average, not a quote. In reality, they might be accepting projects that vary up to 3x in either direction depending on the work involved.
    2. Ask your network how much they paid for their site. Make sure you actually check out their site - you usually get what you pay for. Be aware that firms often change their fees in between projects as they gain expertise or notoriety, so what your network paid them 2 years ago may not be their price today.

    That should help you narrow your search down to a specific budget range and a smaller number of firms that can help you. Once you get to this stage, you can reach out to individual firms (or one specific firm if you really like them over the others) and explore a project more formally. You will generally find there are 3 ways this occurs:

    1. The RFP process. You can elect to issue an RFP to a small number of firms to get a quote/estimate from them. Some people will also just issue an RFP from the beginning to cast a wide net and get as many proposals as possible in order to set their budget. There are people who will disagree with me here, but my issue with this process is that 1) you are self-diagnosing what you need, which should be the firm's job, 2) the RFP process is painful and time-consuming for both parties, and 3) many firms choose not to respond to RFPs, so you will be excluding many excellent options by choosing this route.
    2. Get a quote/estimate directly from the firm. This is the most well-understood process - you ask the firm for a proposal, they meet with you to discuss your needs and create a proposal outlining cost and timeline for you.
    3. Paid discovery/roadmapping. A greater number of firms are starting to utilize a paid discovery phase before providing a proposal to help improve the outcomes of their projects. Paid discovery is a short, strategic, outcome focused process where you review the intended outcomes for the project, set expectations for what success looks like, and identify any potential barriers to achieving success. This came about because firms often have limited or inadequate information when they create a quote, which can lead to the project running over budget or missing agreed-upon features at launch. The issue here is that you have to make a soft commitment to a specific firm before getting a price, but if you have established an understanding that you are operating in the same budget range and you are confident in their expertise, they will be able to work with you to come to a win/win solution. This is the arrangement that I prefer and use in all our engagements.

    I hope that helps give you some insight into the process of determining the cost of a website!

    Spencer Brooks
    Founder & Principal, Brooks Digital

    Tech Accelerate

  • 3.  RE: Price estimate or quote for Drupal development?

    Posted May 05, 2016 12:21
    Edited by Sara Theurer May 06, 2016 10:20
    Original Message:
    Sent: 05-04-2016 18:58
    From: S T
    Subject: Price estimate or quote for Drupal development?

    Tech Accelerate

  • 4.  RE: Price estimate or quote for Drupal development?

    Posted May 05, 2016 12:36

    Maybe moderators can suggest if I am wrong but in other groups I've been a part of it's forbidden to ask for estimate requests due to potential allegation of "price fixing".  I'd recommend you look at the list of Drupal contractors in your area, e.g. in groups.drupal.org for your specific location, e.g. Drupal Consultants in the Greater SF Bay Area | Drupal Groups and reach out directly with a list of your requirements and/or your timeline/budget

    Drupal remove preview
    Drupal Consultants in the Greater SF Bay Area | Drupal Groups
    SF Bay Area Drupal Developer Email: jcmartinez (a t) goingdrupal (d o t) com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jcmtnez Drupal contributor: https://www.drupal.org/u/jcmartinez Independent Freelance/Contractor with 8 years of experience helping organizations get the job done. I can help with migrations, upgrades, e-Commerce, Performance optimization, Custom modules, Multilingual support, etc.
    View this on Drupal >

    for Bay Area c

    Monica Flores
    10K Webdesign

    Tech Accelerate

  • 5.  RE: Price estimate or quote for Drupal development?

    Posted May 05, 2016 12:46
    Honestly the price of building a site can vary widely for the same requirements. You can do a highly functional Drupal site very cheap but your design, user experience, and basic usability will suffer. Internationalization is especially complicated, and the dynamic navigation might also add complexity and require more skills from your developer. I would expect to pay something like $15,000 - $35,000 for this site.

    Good luck!

    = Ruby

    Tech Accelerate

  • 6.  RE: Price estimate or quote for Drupal development?

    Posted May 05, 2016 13:56
    Hey All,
    We three list co-mods just chatted about Monica's concerns regarding price fixing.

    Spencer, thanks for your great answer. We think it's healthy for people to be able to talk about the processes by which they figure out how to estimate a web project, and we think it's okay for org staff to share their thoughts and opinions about what actual costs might be. Ruby is an in-house Drupal developer at MomsRising, not a vendor, and she's sharing her opinion here.

    Just remember that the cost of a Drupal build can vary greatly based on where you're based geographically, how much design and content strategy work you may need, and the complexity of your site and its functionality. Monica's suggestion of reaching out to your local and/or nonprofit-focused Drupal shops is a good one.

    We do ask that if ​vendors​ want to offer prices or estimates, they do so privately, off-list.
    Johanna (and Jess and Margaux)
    Johanna Bates
    Developer, Nonprofit Tech Strategist, Co-owner

    Tech Accelerate

  • 7.  RE: Price estimate or quote for Drupal development?

    Posted May 06, 2016 09:28

    There's a few reasons that I'd recommend a paid discovery period over an RFP:

    • Because you mentioned that you want to copy an existing site it will require some research to figure out how to make that copy, and make your changes.
    • You mentioned the need for multilingual content.  There is an extremely wide range of options for how to approach this challenge.  This will take the original cost and put it somewhere in the range of 1.5x to 15x (I'm not exaggerating, the range is really that wide).

    Because there's so much variability with your project if you send out an RFP, then any estimates from vendors will really be like throwing darts at a dartboard while blindfolded.  You'll be inclined to choose the lowest bidder, but in doing so there's a high risk that the project won't end in a good place.

    I recommend shopping for a vendor who has a history of running discovery project that will produce a menu of options to choose from, and detailed spec's that you could take to yet another vendor if you so choose.  Be sure to add Advomatic to this list.

    Dave Hansen-Lange
    Technical Manager, Advomatic LLC
    Great White North office - Brantford, Ontario, Canada

    Great websites for good causes - http://www.advomatic.com
    Follow us! https://twitter.com/advomatic
    Like us! https://www.facebook.com/advomatic

    Tech Accelerate