Custom work is a large part of our business. Many of the customers in the jobs area have been with us for years, and speak with our developers a few times each week. We’ve worked hard to develop a good relationship with the jobs area customers, and the jobs area is a pretty happening place now!
To insure people have a good experience we strive to communicate with them about what to expect, and best practices, so as to increase the chances that the work will be a success. We hope you will read through some of the following frequently asked questions, as we want to leave as little to guess as possible for you, so that you will get exactly what you expected.
Q: Can you just quote me the total cost of the job, and I will pay you up front?
A: When it comes to web development, there is almost a “natural disconnect”. The programmer may not know every detail the customer expects, and the customer may not know every requirement needed for the programmer to complete the job. And to make matters more complex, it is very common for more details to be discovered as work gets under way. This is why we only bill per hour, and never a fixed rate. However, the last thing we want to do is create a false expectation or cost overrun, because that would mean you would be less likely to work with us in the future. Please keep reading, and we will help you understand how to minimize your risk.
Q: If you give me an estimate, what are the chances the work will meet the estimate?
A: Having completed hundreds of jobs, we have a pretty good feel for how long certain tasks will take. There are some things that are repetitive like making a template or importing data where we have a pretty good idea how long it will take. When possible, we will tell you that. The more clear the instructions, and the smaller the task, the easier it is to estimate. That said, even on a basic task, sometimes there can be an unknown variable at the time the job is being estimated. But again, we are out to do a good job with the time you have purchased, so that you will want to continue.
Q: What can I do to help keep costs low?
A: There is a lot you can do to help!
- Organization - We highly recommend you create a list of items in your own document (numbered or in outline forum). Then think carefully about how to assign the items in a logical order. When making comments in the job, try to stick to pasting the items from your document that make sense to do next. The more you have thought and planned BEFORE you make a comment, the more likely you will communicate with our developers clearly.
- Communication - You can expect that we will communicate with you in the job a few times per week, especially if it is an ongoing task. Occasionally, we do miss something, and the best way to “bump” your job is simply to reply as that moves it up to the top. At the same time, as mentioned in “Organization”, try to make sure you continue to plan what you are going to say ahead of time, and have everything as clear as possible.
- Planning and Examples - It is rare that an idea or task is unique, in so far that it has never been done before. Most likely, the request you are making is something that has been done in a similar way on another website. Do your research and see if you can learn more about how they did it, and let our programmers know too. When we are working off an example, it makes it so much easier. Always feel free to provide and example URL with accompanying comments or instructions.
Q: How much work should I assign at a time?
A: It is always good to work in increments of 3 to 5 hours. Even though you may have big plans, focus on what is needed next. It’s okay to talk about the overall plan, but we always recommend you keep tasks as simple and straightforward as possible.
Q: Can you handle large projects? What about non-phpLD related projects?
A: Yes, we can build complete web applications from scratch using the latest technologies. We can also work on other software products. On occasion we do reject some jobs if it is outside of our expertise, but we do have a pretty diverse skill set, including web design, PHP, Django, Python, Flash, C#, and more, so feel free to inquire.
Q: How long have your developers been working with phpLD?
A: At the time of this writing
- Volodymyr - 10 years
- James - 5 years
- Radu - 4 years
- Dimitry - 5 years
- Sergei - over 1 year
- Igor - over 1 year
- Vitaly - over 6 months
- Pavel - over 6 months
We have a well developed staff. On occasion we do have others assisting for specialized tasks or new hires to help with growing work load. However, in most cases by the time someone is working on your task, we have already been working with them for a couple of months with our own in house tasks, and this is how we test everyone.
Q: Do you offer communication by phone or skype?
A: If you desire this, feel free to post a comment in your job. We do offer this, but we really prefer that we have great documentation first and foremost, so that means in most cases that phone or skype will be for planning and assistance in documentation. The better we can help you get good at this, the more likely we can help you be more successful in your projects. In most cases, we do charge for this form of communication, but are happy to spend a few minutes getting to know you.
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