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    Hey Guys,

    I’m a designer and front-end developer that primarily works on WordPress websites. I have now designed and developed over 10 custom themes for WordPress (I’ve been working in the business for over a year) and have a pretty well developed workflow, strategy, and tool set. I design in Photoshop and then take that to development using a starter theme that I’ve created (based off of the underscores starter theme).

    Right now I am trying to justify hours to my new boss (who doesn’t have much previous experience with websites). He claims that I should be completing full small-mid sized projects in about 32 hours. This includes all client interactions, discovery report, wire-framing, design, development, deployment, edits, and setting up all of the content. I just don’t find this possible with a completely custom theme. It usually takes me around 32 hours to do the design and development of the site, without any of the client meetings and content management. He has mentioned decreasing my pay (as I get paid by the hour), and I would like to know about the time other people spend on projects like this. Here is an average break down of my typical design/development times:

    • 3 hours strategy/wireframing
    • 8 hours homepage design
    • 4 hours interior page design
    • 20 hours font/back-end development/UX
    • 1 hour deployment

    If anyone else would like to share their typical time estimates, that would be greatly appreciated.


    Thanks @jshjohnson and @JamesMD… it’s good to know that I’m right on target with you guys as far as time for WordPress theme design/development. Seeing this, it seems like the issue has less to do with my project time, and more to do with whether or not really cheap projects deserve a full custom design. I think my boss should start thinking about working with premium themes instead, especially for really low budget clients.


    Yea, I also give myself a lot of leeway on my freelance projects. Just curious though… when you all say that you plan 40-45 hours for a project, are you including all of the time that you spend with the client during the initial stages, loading and styling page content, and also teaching the client to use the CMS (WordPress)? I find that these stages can get drawn out with clients, especially when they are not sure of what they want or have minimal computer skills.

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