[thelist] pricing for web sites?

Will willthemoor at gmail.com
Tue Sep 22 19:26:10 CDT 2009

I'm with Paul on this one. The company I work for is generally time
and materials because "technical uncertainty" is really generally the
smallest of the uncertainties. For my own projects, I prefer fixed bid
because it just makes everything outside of the design/dev work a
whole lot easier.

what's really important - developer, designer or plumber - is to get
the client to sign off on the site's specs before your start work.
Don't be shy about change orders and if you ever give something away,
be sure to list it as a line item and then remove it from the total on
your invoice. People should know how flexible you're being because a)
it sets up expectations and b) makes the change order pill easier to

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 5:18 PM, Paul Bennett <Paul.Bennett at mch.govt.nz> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I choose to fixed price on an agreed set of deliverables. Clients love
> it (no surprises) and so do the companies who use me as an on-call
> developer resource (easy to budget for development resource when you
> know the cost up-front).
> My reality is that after a few projects I have a decent idea of what is
> involved. There is inevitably some area of uncertainty so I research and
> prepare as best I can, but am prepared to absorb some time overrun. I
> don't want to pass on the uncertainty cost to the client as I feel I
> should have a much better idea of technical uncertainty than the client
> - that's why they hire us right?
> One of the curses of our trade is that we're seen a little bit like
> plumbers and lawyers - i.e. we want access to your open wallet and will
> tell you "what it costs" when it's done. Consequently, trust for web
> developers overall is generally pretty low due to the wildly fluctuating
> pricing structure and quality of the end product we deliver.
> In my experience, "I though I told you... moments can be avoided by
> drafting up a set of requirements and agreed deliverables before you
> begin and getting it signed off by both parties - any wise professional
> will do that and those that don't will likely be burnt soon enough.
> Discussions about extra features etc can be handled by "that's not in
> scope for this phase, but I'm happy to discuss this once the project /
> site / application is completed".
> Regards,
> Paul
> www.mch.govt.nz  -  www.teara.govt.nz  -  www.nzhistory.net.nz  -  www.nzlive.com
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