Costs for creating technical documentation

How much does it cost to create technical documentation?

Roughly speaking, you should expect to spend between 1 and 3 hours per page (or page equivalent for online documentation). With a typical hourly rate of documentation service providers between 80 and 120 Euros, this results in total costs of around 80 to 360 Euros – depending on complexity and quality standards.

Kosten der Erstellung Technischer Dokumentation

Counter question: How much does it in fact cost NOT to have good documentation?

User-friendly technical documentation and software documentation makes your clients happy and minimizes your support costs. My goal is to identify the optimum balance between these benefits on the one hand and the money that it costs to create the documentation on the other hand. Good documentation is expensive – having poor documentation or no documentation at all is almost always even more expensive.

Time-based calculation

As a rule of thumb, the approximate amount of time required for writing software documentation is:

  • approx. 1 hour per page to revise an existing document (strongly depends on the quality of the document)
  • approx. 1.5 to 2 hours per page to write new software documentation
  • about 2 to 2.5 hours to write new hardware documentation

Realistic estimates

My quotes are always based on realistic estimates, not on best-case scenarios. Of course, I only charge for the hours that were actually spent on the project.

By the way: You shouldn’t trust any offer based on a price per page (the only exceptions: translations and proofreading). It’s much more user-friendly, but also much more challenging, to present the same information on “only” one page than to fill a number of pages in a hasty action. Any price-per-page offer seriously penalizes user-friendly documentation and results in a conflict of interests.

Easy reading is hard writing.

Fair terms and conditions

My rates are based on the specific professional requirements of a project. Please feel free to ask for an individual quote.

I calculate times on the basis of 15-minute time intervals. So you don’t have to pay for any expensive rounding-off errors.

I provide the same terms and conditions to all clients, regardless of whether they are start-ups, mid-sized companies, or large corporations.

Flexible solutions in case of a limited budget

If your project is on a tight budget, we can find a smart solution that uses this budget wisely. For example, we can run an ABC analysis to pinpoint priorities, and we can then use the right tools to create the documentation efficiently.

Cheap can also be expensive

„There’s hardly anything in the world that someone can’t make a little worse and sell a little cheaper …“ (John Ruskin, 1819-1900).

  • A cheap but inexperienced technical writer often needs longer to create a document. Often, this already eats up any assumed savings.
  • An inexperienced technical writer also costs you and your staff more time. You need to answer more questions and you need to correct more mistakes. Both costs money, too, and it can become nerve stretching.
  • Low-quality technical documentation doesn’t make your customers happy and thus results in fewer sales.
  • Low-quality technical documentation increases your support costs.