Automated quote tool
Posted 06 Nov 2010 in business

An ongoing problem for my web scraping work is how much to quote for a job. I prefer fixed fee to hourly rates so I need to consider the complexity upfront. My initial strategy was simply to quote low to ensure I got business and hopefully build up some regular clients.

Through experience I found the following factors most effected the time required for a job:

  • Website size
  • Login protected
  • IP restrictions
  • HTML quality
  • JavaScript/AJAX

I developed a formula based on these factors and have now built an interface that lets potential clients clarify the costs involved with different kinds of web scraping jobs. Additionally I hope this will reduce the communication overhead by helping clients to provide the necessary information upfront.

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