Upwork proposal thread October 2017

Initially the customer requested Drupal website support for quite a limited budget.

Our bid was placed for a bigger budget with some notes explaining that:

Thank you for your invitation.
Please let me know more about your project.
I'm bidding for $Z because I'm not quite sure what kind of support can be done in $X. Thats around 1.5 hours of our work, and we could definitely do something within that limit, but as you can understand that would be just something rather basic and high-level.
I'm happy to learn more about your needs and discuss the project further.


The customer's response was:

Thank you very much for coming back and I understand the difficulty you have.
I think it will be best if you could diagnose it first as you are a highly respected professional thus, I will trust your judgment.
Could you please kindly provide a diagnosis list to remedy to my website and based on the priorities you will highlight I would draft a priority list scheduling work on it?
On this website I need to address 1. maintenance but, also to carry out extra work (billed separately) which is urgent to helps the website to be very 2. stable, 3. secure, 4. very responsive, 5. fast and 6. perform at its best.
It will help if you will provide me with an estimated cost on tasks and per total on this and I hope this now, makes sense.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you very much again for your email.


Our reply:

Thank you for your reply.

To estimate the work we need to understand more specific needs/requirements.
Things you mentioned are too general - stable, secure, etc. All of these characteristics are measurable, and we should communicate the specific values and specific issues you're facing.

All of the points you mentioned require clarifications.
1. Maintenance. What's included into it? Updates of the current modules to the latest stable versions? Reviews of the logs for errors?
2. Stable - how do you understand that? Isn't your current website stable enough? If no, what are the examples of instability?
3. Secure - same questions as for point 2.
4. Very responsive. Responsive has 2 meanings in web - responsive in terms of performance and responsive in terms of mobile adaptation. Which one did you mean? What exactly is not right with the current responsiveness?
5. Fast - how fast would you like the website to be and what we should measure? Did you measure the website with some tools already? If yes, what were the results?
6. This point is tricky as well. I believe your website already performs at its best the way it's built and in the conditions it's in. Maybe you meant you'd like to improve the performance? How do you measure it? And what are your goals in terms of the performance?

I should note that before doing any work on your website, especially maintenance we'll need to perform the code / database audit to check for general high-level issues. That would take around 8-12 hours (research only), plus additional time might be required on specific issues we find during the audit - they will be estimated separately.

As you can see, we need you to be as specific as possible. This is the only way to get what you expect. If we don't understand what you expect, the results would be unpredictable and unclear.


Client's response:

I love your reply - this is what I looked for but, I never come across.
I'm entering into a meeting and I will be out at about 5pm.
Let me reply to you when I'm out of the meeting and on my desktop.
Regarding code audit - you meant addressing the code (audit plus address the code - code compliance) ?


Our reply:

The website audit includes:
1. The review of the website logs for errors.
2. The review of the website status reports.
3. The review of the website code, check for hacks (changes in Drupal core or contrib modules code).

Basically the idea of this audit is to find out if the website is built well or not, identify hidden problems.
This is important not only to identify the current issues, but also to understand how complex would the further maintenance and development be. If the code is in the bad state, any fix or update may break something else. We should understand that before applying any changes.