One of my blogs needed a few simple changes to the WordPress theme. The theme was already in excellent form but I wanted some basic modifications. I’m by no means a theme designer, but I’ve hacked enough themes to know approximately how long the project would take… maybe 3 – 5 hours of work max for someone with a decent background with WordPress theme design and no more than 10 hours for someone with only a little experience.
In my previous postings on oDesk for designers and virtual assistants I had become acquainted with a few companies that manage a plethora of providers with diverse skill sets. Each company said they would provide me with contact info for designers with WordPress experience. After a few back and forth emails with the providers I decided to zip up the theme and email it to them along with the list the 3 simple changes I needed made. Two different individual quoted me for outrageous amounts of time. One guy said 40 hours and another, get this, said it would take him 3 weeks of full time work!!!
I sent each of them emails saying, “I believe there is a miscommunication here. Do you understand this project is for edits to an EXISTING theme… not the design of a new theme from scratch? This project shouldn’t take over 5 hours to complete.”
… I didn’t hear back from either of them.
So, I’m either totally off my rocker and am confused at how tricky it is to move a column in a WordPress theme, or I’m experiencing the problem many buyers seen in this space: Providers come into hourly based systems (like oDesk) and quote really low hourly rates. Unfortunately they end up taking extremely longer to complete the task and the total cost of project ends up way higher than it should have been.
So, is this happening because providers are intentionally taking advantage of the hourly system or because some low rate providers just don’t know what they are doing and therefore the project takes exponentially longer?