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How much would it cost to program/code/develop my idea?

Discussion in 'People Mgmt: Customers, Employees, Investors' started by KC Dash, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. KC Dash
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    KC Dash Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Or better yet, how much would it cost YOU to build out this idea? I am sure different people might take different paths to the same goal.

    I want to build a rental management software and website for a "niche" of real estate investors. I would be looking to build a subscription based website with software on some sort of cloud network. (The managers can sign onto the site and enter their data which is stored and accessible from any computer).

    I do not want to create a software that would need to be purchased and mailed out and installed on the customers computer.

    This company is similar to what I want to develop but directed to a niche market:

    Property Management Software: Rent Manager



    I am looking at outsourcing for the programming, coding etc. out for this project. How much would it cost to program the above site and website, with the rental property software (everything included)?

    I am looking at any ideas on how you would "cost effectively" handle this outsourcing process, and why you would do it that way. How would you get the best results?

    Thank you
     
  2. James Fend
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    James Fend Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    There's really two ways to go about this:
    With a fairly complex app and with the subscription recurring model you will be implementing; I would say find someone local if you really want this to come alive.

    1) If you outsource it, and you go with someone say in India, you will be taking a huge gamble and add 3x your deadline date. You will save thousands, but you'll 80% of the time get spagetti code so it will only handle a hundred users tops; but it's up to you.

    2) Find someone local who can code in PHP for anywhere between $30 for part-time guy or $50/hour for most full-time freelancers.

    You will get it made fairly quickly and can communicate very well.

    For project price; it's hard to determine how much it will be without specs but just from overview of what you are describing; you are easily looking at 50+ hours of development time just for the backend software part. The homepage and all the frontend stuff will depend on what you want..

    MHO, if this is your first web app: I would go local coder or outsource it to someone in the states that's always on Skype and has tremendous reviews that will give you personal phone, contact info to their current clients.


    Hope that helps,
    James F.
     
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  3. kwerner
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    kwerner Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Post a project on elance.com to get an estimate. Describe the project in detail, know what platform, code, etc that you want the site built on.

    Tip - only hire US / Canadian companies for programming work.

    Another tip - make sure you're building what your customers REALLY want, not just what you think they want.

    Good luck with your project! :)
     
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  4. James Fend
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    James Fend Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Couldn't have said it any better..
     
  5. kwerner
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    kwerner Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I guess we were writing replies at the same time, haha. I'm kind of slow typing with thumbs on my phone. :)
     
  6. KC Dash
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    KC Dash Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thank you guys very much.

    So for a simple front end website like the one posted and the backend software we are probably looking at $10k plus for a local programmer? Or is that too low?

    How many months would it take to be up and running?

    How would I find out about copywrite or any other infringements with the other software companies out there? Is this something I would need to worry about and look into?

    Also, can you guys recommend any U.S. programmers to work with a rookie like myself? Please PM me if you do.

    James, I can't wait until you get freelanceful.com up and running! Looks great! In the meantime I will also check out Odesk.
     
  7. FastNAwesome
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    FastNAwesome Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Hi, I just glanced over the site you linked to, can't draw definite conclusions and I agree with your below conclusion that it's probably $10k+ for doing it right. So maybe my below idea is silly, but maybe it can save you a lot of money while guaranteeing the site is built on solid base:

    1. Install wordpress - it's very mature and stable website platform, it's free, and installs in 1-5 minutes depending how it's done. Brand new version just got out, and it's awesome.

    2. Check out below plugins for wordpress:

    WordPress › WP-Property - WordPress Powered Real Estate and Property Management « WordPress Plugins

    WP-Property - Real Estate and Rental Property Management for WordPress | TwinCitiesTech.com Inc.

    Great Real Estate » Great Real Estate plugin for WordPress

    Does any of these do what you had in mind? Or even come close?

    If yes, then you're good to go. You can use some of these plugins as they are,
    or have someone do customization for you - add/modify both looks and functionality
    that you need, which still could be way cheaper than building it from scratch.

    If no, you can go ahead and look for some other wordpress plugins, or see how much
    it would cost for someone to make for you exactly what you need.

    3. Enjoy and start doing business, while wp takes care of the rest.
    Wordpress is easy to use, and it can easily be setup to be search engine friendly,
    and mobile device friendly as well. Also, a lot of developers (a LOT!) support it, so you
    will always find affordable maintenance.


    I'd agree with this, in this particular case (as outsourcing itself seems to be the new thing to you, so why complicating things any further).

    Also, look for relevant references, and check them. You want someone who has proven ability to do it.

    Are these regular US rates? I thought it was more along the lines of $70-100.
     
  8. semsniper
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    semsniper New Contributor

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    Well, I worked on a project just like this for a client and it went upwards of $20K.

    That said, while we were confident in the specs and such from the beginning, during the process the client kept adding new items and features he dreamed up or forgot about. So the end price ended up being double & took 1 1/2 years to complete.

    The point I am getting to, is the number one reason a project goes over budget and/or takes longer than expected is lack of or poor instructions and specifications from the beginning.

    So with that in mind, be sure you do 2 things.
    Sketch out the functionality of the site. What is supposed to happen on each and every page.
    And write out every single feature & process you need for this site. No detail is too small.

    Keep in mind programmers are techie coder guys. They do what you ask them to do. They cannot or won't presume to know your business(niche), so you cannot assume they know what you want & that they will offer suggestions and ideas.
     
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  9. dec360
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    dec360 New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Just curious, do you know how successful your client was/is with this project? Could you share a link to it?
     
  10. semsniper
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    semsniper New Contributor

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    Hi dec360,

    Normally i don't mind sharing, but cannot in this case.

    I should have mentioned that this wasn't a start up. They were an existing business, fairly successful already.
    Specialized in high end rentals, but had a tired, old looking website straight out of the early 90's.
    So we gave it a fresh look with lots of pop, tons of added functionality & ramped up their SEO & re-built their Paid search campaigns.

    My job was done 2 months after launch & haven't kept up with them, sorry.
     
  11. dec360
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    dec360 New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Semsniper,

    I completely understand and just thought I'd ask.

    Thanks anyway!

    dec360
     
  12. James Fend
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    James Fend Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Thanks! I think $10K may be on the high side; you can use a easy wireframing tool like balsamiq.com and build out exactly what you want like SEMSniper suggested and go through it and through it again and again like 30 times to make sure you didn't miss anything; then approach a coder and give him what you got. They should be able to give you a fairly accurate project price, but be sure to try to stay on the original plan as possible. Of course there will be pivots as some functionality won't be able to work as things are coded, but the problem comes in when people don't stick to the MVP (minimum viable product) and keep adding and adding.

    Should be no more than 150 hours at the most for a project like yours if you wireframe it out really nicely. and thats $7500 tops.

    Any good PHP freelancing coder will run about $50/hour locally. In the South anyways. Some may be upwards to $75/hour, and most firms will charge at least $100/hour. But if you can do your homework and find a person for $50/hour; they will usually be quality.

    Another tip is FastNAwesome for the homepage frontend. Go to themeforest.com and buy a theme for wordpress and learn some basic html/css and go in there and try to tweak it. By the time, the coder is done; you'll have learned and have a homepage up already. The community is vibrant for wordpress.

    Hey Fast, yeah I've been pretty successful finding good PHP guys for around $50/hour. I shy away from folks who charge less than that cause they don't have confidence in their skills or something.. but yeah, I've ran across a few with $70 rates, but not higher than that. Firms usually $100/hour+ and then the Ruby on Rails guys are more expensive. Usually starting $60 and up.. normally around $80-100 for RoR..
     
  13. Milenko
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    Milenko New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    +Speed

    Just want to echo this as these are very good guidelines if you're looking for an experienced PHP programmer. When I did freelance, anyone looking to pay less than $50/hour just wasn't worth my time. I learned my lesson the hard way when I was just getting started and subbing for another freelancer and saw how horrible the clients he took for less than that turned out to be.

    Anyone charging much less is doing so for a reason (not confident in their skills, not experienced, underbidding your project hoping to get more on the back end, subbing the work overseas, etc.) and that reason is going to result in your project not getting done right, not getting done on time, and being over your original budget...
     
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  14. KC Dash
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    KC Dash Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thank you guys for all of the insight. I will begin doing the ground work like all of you suggested.

    I do have a question regarding any type of content I would not be able to use for the software. Are there trademark, copywrite or anything else I need to be aware of for software? I am not real familiar with how the legalities of it work. The software will of course have similarities to other software already developed out there.

    Thanks
     
  15. James Fend
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    James Fend Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Can't steal someone's design as that goes under copyright.. but you can be 'inspired' by someone's design. Tricky thing.

    Trademarks of course are mostly logos and slogans, you'll def know when you are stealing it, lol.

    Um.. other thing is patents. Software patents suck balls. Some are as broad as
    1) press button
    2) cell phone performs call

    which would be a patent for the Call Button on a cell phone. There's some ridiculous patents out there; just do some research and see if that company has a patent.
     
  16. BeachBoy
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    BeachBoy New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    if you don't know well the backend of the system you're trying to build, be careful.

    the most common issue with these projects is the gap between what you see and what you get. Coders will build according to your spec sheet and not really care at the function you intended it to do.

    Also, try to think about every single "what if" possible in every single function/page.

    I don't know how complex your project is, but I don'T see it as being very complicated (MySQL backend, php frontend, and one separate graphics guy.. because every coder I know sucks at building good looking websites.

    Good luck!
     
  17. KC Dash
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    KC Dash Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Well, I have been sketching out the specs and functions of the project. We are looking at about 70-80 different pages that most will be intertwined. There will be bookkeeping like a simpler Quickbooks, as well as rent and property manager software, reports, etc that crunch numbers like a glorified Excel. As well as a payment processing (recurring model) function.

    I am getting closer to a start date and would like to hear if we are still on track for $10k plus in cost, or if this might have changed? I do not know how long it takes a programmer to spit out page after page with these complex fields, columns, etc.

    Also, if there is anyone local to the Dallas area that would be interested in the process, let me know. I would like to talk to you local programmers about the build-out.
     
  18. PatrickP
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    PatrickP Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I can't agree at all with limiting yourself to USA based programmers. I have had websites built by people in India and China. Amazing work for pennies on the dollar.

    $300 for a fully stocked 30 page ecommerce store, shopping cart, back end, royalty free pics the whole nine yards.

    Elance and rentacoder makes it so easy. You simply look at the persons rating, how long they have been doing their thing on elance or rentacoder.

    You also ask the person questions via IM if you like BEFORE you accept their bid.

    Think of it this way. There are really good programmers in other countries who get paid LESS than $250 a month. No way that should cost you 10K or even half that.


    As far as what you are looking for if at all possible I would buy already done software for whatever you can and then have some of it custom made, but only the stuff you REALLY need.

    Think of it this way better to get 70% of what you want from a tried and true system. Than get 100% of what you want and experience all the headaches, mistakes , and there will be, with a completely new untested program/site.

    And that 70% will probably be closer to 80 - 85% by next year with free upgrades.
     
  19. KC Dash
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    KC Dash Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Patrick,

    Where would I find software that is already built? There has to be a lot of bookkeeping software out there to incorporate. That part is universal, and then I can have the rest of the stuff built out.

    I think I will try to get some quotes from elance etc. as well. The problem is I know NOTHING about coding/programming-don't have time to learn- and I don't know what to ask them.
     
  20. PatrickP
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    PatrickP Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Hey kcw983 I am sorry I do not know much about what you are doing or what companies would offer something like that.

    I would do a search online to find anything that is close so you have a tried and true system and then add on to that, if you can find something like that.

    You and me both about coding/programming.
     
  21. KC Dash
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    KC Dash Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    No problem at all. I appreciate the feedback!
     
  22. hhhoang
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    hhhoang PARKED

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    Be prepared to have a big BUDGET. That's all I gotta say haha
     
  23. Cody C
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    When outsourcing development, what needs to be considered to protect your idea/product? I want to make sure I don't make a fatal misstep. I found myself getting caught in the minutia of trying to figure out how to file for an LLC, company name, finding a domain...only to realize I don't even have a product. Outsourcing development seems to make the most sense, but again I want to make sure I'm taking the right steps to protect myself and my idea. Any help to point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciate.
     
  24. astr0
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    Outsourcing companies usually don't care about stealing the idea. It's not their business as systems are tuned to land clients and deliver products non-stop and effectively.

    Simple NDA would be fine I think.

    P.S. This thread is 7 years old...
     
  25. Cody C
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    Cody C New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Thank you @astr0. This is very helpful. I was not expecting such a quick response for a 7 year old post ;)
     

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