Why is 1:1 copy of a site so cheap?


I have a 100 pages site written in 15 languages to replicate from one CMS (now discredited with the customer) over to SiteCore - which on the face of it offers many great features. The UX is to remain unchanged.

A respected offshore vendor has quoted 4000 hours to analyse, architect, develop and deploy. They have spent several days browsing the site.

A single local consultant has offered to execute a "1:1 replication", which will not include any attempt to analyse the site or design the optimum data set up. He anticpates that the task will take 100 hours. Whilst he has not spent much time reviewing the site, but has completed similar projects.

Both offers exclude content migration.

Both vendors were recommended by SiteCore, both have considerable depth of experience. I'm struggling to account for the vast discrepancy.

Can anyone shed any light on this?


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asked Jan 16 '10 at 05:09
81 points
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  • Jesse, Tim - for reasons of client confidentiality I can't provide a link to the actual site, but the following site is broadly similar www.fxcm.comPuk 14 years ago
  • Jesse to your point: 40 hours per page does seem extraordinary! BUT the objective is to create a robust extendible infrastructure, so that the site is easily edited by non techs. Workflows are anticipated to govern content creation, translation and publication. Also UI personalisation features and lead tracking tools are to be implemented. I can see that it isn't just a 1:1 copy, forethought is required to determine in order to realise the maintenance, personalisation and tracking objectives. Are there any yardsticks for the effort to analyse, design and implement these elements? – Puk 14 years ago
  • 4000 hours is _ridiculous_. I even bet there is a script that automatically migrates from your CMS to SiteCore automatically. Disclaimer: been developing web apps for a long time. On a side note, it would help to know their hourly rate. – Olivier Lalonde 14 years ago

3 Answers


40 hours per page? That seems ludicrous. That is 2-man years of effort. They must be ridiculously incompetent (or they will give you the best web site in the solar system.)

Good god, 2 years to build a web site? Amazing.

Tell them to take a hike.

Two and a half weeks seems optimistic.

Perhaps if you provide a link to the site you can give us a better idea...

answered Jan 16 '10 at 11:41
Tim J
8,346 points
  • Agree - a link would be supremely helpful to determining the work that needs to be done. – Jesse 14 years ago
  • Jesse, Tim please see notes added to question. – Puk 14 years ago


It would seem both are extreme. The quote of a 100 hours looks like they are desperate for business. Are you moving static pages?

It really all depends on the copmplexity of the product/site/design/backend work. I would try to get a list of prior clients and then contact them to see what their experience was with the vendors.

It also helps to outline in detail what needs to be done - sometimes you explain the projects to offshore vendors and there is miscommunication of what you need done.

The discrepancy is likely due to miscommunication of what you need done and possible what the vendor setup is like (small/big firm, US or offshore, what team will be working on the project senior devs vs. junior devs)

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answered Jan 16 '10 at 06:52
279 points


If the idea is that you can largely just move the pages and clean up any bad links in the process, then 100 hours may be reasonable, but, if the 4000 hours is to look at the setup, determine the best way to migrate, and to make changes to improve based on the new software, then that could also be reasonable.

It largely depends on what will need to be done. For example, if you were moving content from Sharepoint to Apache, there could be considerable work, as you may have dynamic pages that need to be rewritten, and the layout in Sharepoint will be different than what you want on a standalone site.

Be very clear about what you want them to do, and you may want to just pay a consultant a fee to examine the site, and determine what will need to be done, to help you better with quotes.

Also, with the 100 hour offer, what happens if they go over the budgeted hours? Will you be on the hook to keep paying even though it may take them 5000 hours to complete it?

answered Jan 16 '10 at 10:41
James Black
2,642 points

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