how hard is it to find good reasonably priced c5 developer?

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How easy is it to find a good reasonable C5 web developer? Tried pph and elance..no luck at all! Sorry if I'm being dim but where on here can i find someone to help with my c5 site development?

thanks

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mhawke replied on at Permalink Reply
mhawke
You just did! What can I help you with?

PM me if the details are confidential.
TMDesigns replied on at Permalink Reply
TMDesigns
Well I think posting on here is a good start. There are some really good developers on here
tallacman replied on at Permalink Reply
tallacman
That actually took a little longer than usual ;-)
imJack replied on at Permalink Reply
imJack
Welcome to the family Phil!
pvernaglia replied on at Permalink Reply
pvernaglia
Define reasonable priced :>
pgee replied on at Permalink Reply
I need updates to my site. Not complex, really.
Someone who can do my initial updates for no more than £250.
I have update information. Moving some pages around. Adding book now buttons etc.
pgee replied on at Permalink Reply
And then on going support and enhancements
tallacman replied on at Permalink Reply
tallacman
I can help with that. Is your sitehttp://www.eqworks.co.uk/.
imJack replied on at Permalink Reply
imJack
It might help the community to give us more details about the project scope?
TMDesigns replied on at Permalink Reply
TMDesigns
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goldhat replied on at Permalink Reply
What is definition of "reasonably priced"? My issue with Elance and most others was always you want somebody you can communicate with and 95% of the applicants don't speak English and/or are in a timezone where it's almost impossible to meet up. The flip side of the coin is that if you have a low budget for something it's not easy to afford $50+ per hour because it's not like hiring a lawyer where might only need 2-hours of help. This is time-intensive work where things take dozens of hours, so you're looking a few thousand dollars every time you hire somebody for a project. The key is to make projects that are worth it.

Anybody care to chime in on what the "average" rate is for a qualified C5 developer? Personally I think if I can find a freelancer at $35-40 that's pretty good.

As a small firm my company charges $60 as our standard posted rate and we give discount of up to 25% to new customers.
TMDesigns replied on at Permalink Reply
TMDesigns
Generally I think you get what you pay for. If you want 20hrs worth of work for £100 then good developers and freelancers won't even bother replying. Now the problem with elance or people per hour is that when you are looking at the expectations versus the amount being offered they are way off. I look at prices offered for work and its daft, people looking for small websites for £100. Students might be interested or people looking to get into the industry, but not good experienced developers.

The best way to get good quality developers is to spec out what you are looking to do, when you would like it done and anything else you think might cover any questions. Then post it on a website like this and ask people to quote. You'll soon get a feel for how much it us going to cost you. Then once you have decided to use someone, post back on to say "thank you for all your quotes, we have now gone with somebody".
goldhat replied on at Permalink Reply
The problem with that approach, the project-based approach is that while it sounds good on the surface it tends to only fit a few rare situations in real life. Sure it works for the situation where you want to build a whole new website, or you have a fairly large feature or set of features to add to an existing site. But the majority of work on an existing site doesn't fit that limited model.

On a real living breathing site it's not a project with requirements, it's more often a to do list with a lot of "option a, b or c" or "if this works we'll do that" or "depending on the results of marketing campaign well need this or that". In other words it's fluid, ever-changing, with priorities and timelines and it doesn't live in a bubble. So that's why existing site owners usually need to find a contractor (freelancer or firm) that they can hire with an agreed hourly rate.

Another problem with suggesting site owners should write project plans and be specific about what they need is that this actually take developers like you out of the planning process. So don't be surprised if the plans you get from most site owners are unrealistic or not formatted properly or describe things in a way that doesn't make sense. Where were you when the plans were being drawn up? I think developers can help a lot in helping site owners plan changes to their sites. But if the prices cannot be determined until after the plans are made, then a site owner cannot get your expertise until it's too late.
goldhat replied on at Permalink Reply
I'll just add one other issue I have with project-based quotes is that as a developer I feel it takes up my time to have to write dozens of quotes in order to get a few wins. And if 20 developers are all competing with each other writing quotes, we are wasting tens of thousands of dollars per year on writing quotes. We could use that time to work together to build our own ecommerce website instead of scrambling around to give clients customized pricing.
TMDesigns replied on at Permalink Reply
TMDesigns
I agree that project by project is not the best way to go but if you are looking to form a relationship with a developer then its good to have a start point. You make some valid points most of the long term clients i have had in my 15 year career started out as project quotes. If you are good and clients can see that then they keep coming back and will turn to you for advice and you start to help form the scopes for on going work. I guess its about trust and building relationships.

Looking for a cheap fix is never going to work out,so quality and elance/people per hour aren't going to go hand go hand.
hereNT replied on at Permalink Reply
hereNT
As a developer, if someone only wants a couple of hours, it's 100% not worth my time.

Say it's 4 hours of work...

That equates to 1/2 hour quoting, 1/2 hour emailing, 1/2 hour syncing up files / database... By the time I get down to actually working, often it means that I spend half as much time just trying to find out where I am before getting any work done.

If someone were willing to do something like pay for a guaranteed 25 hours of work a month or something, and I could take time to know the site / environment instead of spending all my time mucking around trying to get ready to work. That's something I, and a lot of other developers could go for.

When I estimate, I take the requirements and give people an estimate based on the hours, broken down by the different parts of the project. And I bill hourly. Bidding on a project only and saying "I'll do this for 5K" or whatever is a dangerous place to be in. Especially if you have a client that doesn't know what they need and is going to keep changing their mind.

The client doesn't need to know everything from the start, but they have to have enough of an idea so that I know my time won't be wasted redoing things. Maybe not every block / page wire framed, but they have to know what data they want to manage in that block. If you need an advertisement system, I need to know how you want the export of clicks and other data to go. If you say CSV, and then it changes to PDFs, that can be a lot of time that isn't accounted for and creates scope creep.

Another thing that worries me when dealing with someone that is going for a budget / low price is that they often don't appreciate the value of the developer. I'm a PHP guy, I'm not going to be able to tune your mySQL server or set up your email system. When you want a jack of all trades like that, you'll end up with someone that doesn't charge much because they're not good at any of it. And then you'll end up paying someone else to redo it.

There's a reason I don't typically go after end clients / site owners. The amount of hand-holding that's usually required makes it a pretty unattractive proposition.

I'm a quality dev, but even if the original poster could pay me, I'd probably turn the project down. My skills and time are both pretty precious to me, so I try to work as a sub-contractor to agencies and design firms. That way I know I'm not going to be spinning my wheels, and they're not going to balk when I tell them my rate or say that the project is going to be 30 hours instead of the 10 they thought.

As far as what's reasonable, I'm not 100% sure. 40-50 seems about right for a lot of the code that people write for c5. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to make things work using the CMS. If you want something more complicated and also want to know that the code is really REALLY solid, it will be more.

I charge $75/hr now, and that will probably be going up. The shop I worked for before going freelance charged $100/hr. It wasn't a big place, only three developers, one of whom was the owner. But our quality was much better than what you'd get paying 30.

If you're paying 30, there's a good chance that

1) The developer won't even be knowledgeable enough to quote accurately
2) The code they write is going to be buggy and require a lot of back and forth to get things fixed
3) They might even just disappear on you without finishing the job

My two cents...
imJack replied on at Permalink Reply
imJack
Well said.
mhawke replied on at Permalink Reply
mhawke
Ok everyone. I've had this difficulty before regarding this Jobs forum.

pgee simply asked for a developer to help with a website. He did not ask us to provide a lengthy discussion regarding the pros and cons of freelance work. If I call a plumber for a quote, I don't care to hear about why it sucks to be a plumber. I just want the leak fixed.

This discussion is very valuable but belongs in the Community Leader's forum, NOT the Jobs forum. I remind everyone that many clients who have posted jobs here in the past are still subscribed to this forum and they don't care about our problems.
goldhat replied on at Permalink Reply
The discussion may have gone slightly astray but I think it's still very relevant to the post. The job post is from a potential client who provided very minimal information about his job and expressed concern about being able to find an affordable developer. Well, a certain amount of education can help somebody in that situation. It's helpful to him to know the market. You can't buy intelligently until you understand the market. So hearing about how some developers won't bid on jobs of a certain size and why can help him rethink his approach. Realizing hey maybe setting a budget, and having limited details about the work is a poor way to achieve results... maybe that's a good lesson to learn. Especially when it's a free lesson.

A lot of site owners learn about how to hire developers by wasting away thousands of dollars on bad decisions. I don't think it's a disservice for members of this community to share the developer perspective and showcase different options to a potential buyer.
TMDesigns replied on at Permalink Reply
TMDesigns
Think goldhat is right. The OP asked "how hard is it to find good reasonably priced c5 developer?"

I think we are just trying to help him figure out why he is finding it hard to find someone
pgee replied on at Permalink Reply
Thank you all for contributing. A lively topic..
I appreciate it.

I'll contact a few of you who PM'd me and let me know how I get on.

fyi : elance and pph had a lot of foreign guys who don't know concrete5, and have poor sites/ no sites as references, even tho I asked for none of these. This is a key issues for me. So as I've had to do some pieces of work twice - money and talent becomes even more important to manage.

Philip
pgee replied on at Permalink Reply
oh and getting people to show me their C5 sites they've done from scratch is really important and yet many fall at this fence...How else do I know someone can really do the job..? :-)
pgee replied on at Permalink Reply
oh and from buyers point of view..it may be true quality generally costs..but that doesn't mean the greater the cost the more the quality...
slojes replied on at Permalink Reply
slojes
I know what you mean. There seem to be far fewer C5 developers than other php platforms. A few years ago I wanted a large plain html website redesign and after evaluating the others (drupal, magento, joomla, WP, etc,) I decided on C5. Then I had to find a developer. I wound up selecting an offshore developer on elance (which I use very frequently for other projects) because they were far less expensive and had a good portfolio and expressed confidence they could build with C5. It was a long and tortuous process but in the end they did produce a wonderful site and did some nice custom programming to get around some of the short-comings of the e-commerce add-on. And the price was right. I don't know if it would have gone any smoother with another developer (US based) or not. It was a big project. All that said, I am now in need on updating the site to current C5 version (my site is on C5 4.2.2) and am very hesitant to go back to them. I am actually in the process of writing a job description and plan to post it here. I may put it on elance too, as those off shore guys are willing to work so cheap... I know this isn't much help to you, I'm just adding my 2 cents. If you pm me I can give you some names I have worked with, both off shore and US based.
JohntheFish replied on at Permalink Reply
JohntheFish
There is a lot of good advice coming out of this thread, even if opinions do not have 100% consensus (I would be worried if they did).

I often find myself having to write and re-write aspects of this thread when asked to quote for work and end up spending time to 'educate the customer' for free before I can give a rate or price. Over a number of responses, both won and lost, it all contributes to overhead which in the long run customers end up paying for.

A service to the community would be for one of you to take the lead in editing this into a howto (involve the others in reviewing before submission, because reviewing becomes difficult after it is submitted). That way, when asked to quote we can collectively point customers to the howto and hopefully many potential customers will read the howto before starting on the whole process.
mnakalay replied on at Permalink Reply
mnakalay
Just my 2 bits but there is a great article on smashingmagazine.com titled "stop writing project proposals". Maybe some of you read it already.

basically the guys explains now he writes evaluations. He charges the client for an evaluation of the work including solutions to problems. Once he has that in hand the client is free to go with the developer or take the evaluation and hire someone else to put the plan in action. At least he doesn't spend time writing quotes for nothing.

I am pretty sure we've all spent time writing quotes which sole purpose was to be used as leverage to get another dev to lower their price.
JohntheFish replied on at Permalink Reply
JohntheFish
I have used a similar approach. It takes care not to let proposals for the evaluations take over.....
Cahueya replied on at Permalink Reply
I am using a 9-page conjoint-analysis sheet which I ask the customer to fill out within a week.

The main purpose is, to make the customer think the goal through by making him answering questions and also showing me examples of what is "similar to" or "no way like this". My sheet is mostly about logo design and CI development but some things are asked about site functionality too.

Usually, customer return the sheet, realizing that there are many decisions to make that they havent thought about in the first place. Afterwards, we meet up and go through the sheet step by step. I've got some experience in coaching, so my main goal is to help the customer specify what is really needed, which helps me understand if I can do that, how much effort it would take and so on...

After all the steps are defined clearly enough, we agree on a contract of what will be done and whats the budget for it.

I realize that this is by far not the best approach to go, but having everything documented, every decision made, allows to recalculate without the customer feeling overwhelmed.

Normally, someone who hires a contractor to build a website/design something, does not have the necessary imagination or experience to even pinpoint what he/she _really_ wants.

Maybe this thread could be used to create not only a how-to on searching for jobs but maybe a basic questionnaire for clients to help them think about some things that need to be thought through bevor touching code and maybe help specify the request.

Like for example, how do you need to write your request with future development in mind (i.e. - want to go multilingual? do you really need to support IE6?) Some things that would be later explained by the contractor, consuming valuable time. There are so many good developers and builders on this forum, it should certainly be possible to find a consensus of "what would be best for most of us" and also putting the customer into the role of understanding requirements or impossibilities better without the need to talk to 10 different people.

And maybe this thread should be moved to somewhere else :)
goldhat replied on at Permalink Reply
In terms of moving this thread I'd propose we've got enough ideas and interest in the topic to make a new forum about marketing, selling, business development? I mean if it goes into Chit Chat it might get lost in the mix. I'd be happy to see a few different conversations like this popup and it could also be a place for other opportunities like partnerships, rather than just jobs.
italinux replied on at Permalink Reply
italinux
Hello Pgee

I find your job post is a good match with my skills.
And I am interested and potentially available.

I am Italian, living in Paris France.
I am fluent with: English, Italian

This is my latest work with c5 (April 2014)
http://dreamscene.fr

Have a look at my website for more.

- -
Kind Regards
Matteo Montanari
http://italinux.com
RadiantWeb replied on at Permalink Reply
RadiantWeb
I think @herent summed it up best.

I could add anything it would be to consider supply and demand.

If the supply of Quality dev's is great and the demand is low, then you can expect dirt cheep development cost.

If the demand for Quality developers is high and the supply of quality dev's is really low, then you can expect really high development cost.

Then you have the variable of what defines a "quality dev"

That means different things to different people.

What I would do is contact community members you see obvious evidence of quality from, and see if they might recommend someone if not able to do work for you themselves.

Always look at code. If you're not sure in that case, ask around.

m2cw

ChadStrat