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Estimating WordPress project time for developers

May 14, 2014

One of the trickiest things about web development is coming up with an accurate estimate for projects. This is especially true for new developers without much experience. Accurate estimates are important for both the developer and the client: for the developer, an accurate estimate helps you schedule your time and figure out your profits; for clients, accurate estimates allow them to budget their time and money accordingly and avoid any gotcha moments down the road.

While every project is different, through experience I’ve stumbled upon a formula that seems to work for WordPress projects:

If n is the number of pages, and N is the number of hours:

(n x 2) + (n x 0.5) = N

In other words, take the number of pages and double that. Add half the number of pages again and that number is the number of hours your WordPress project will take to develop. Mind you, there is absolutely nothing scientific about this but in my case it has proven to be remarkably accurate.

Now this assumes you are not entering any content except what is necessary to build out the page/post templates. If you have lots of jQuery and interactive features, you will need to tweak the formula a bit. For one page sites, especially ones that scroll down a lot, you can guestimate the equivalent amount of pages for a long home page.

Still, I’ve used this formula for the last year or so and if nothing else it can be a baseline to build your own estimate formula. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you in the comments.

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