[thelist] pricing for web sites?

Bob Meetin bobm at dottedi.biz
Wed Sep 23 10:07:45 CDT 2009

Paul Bennett wrote:
> Hi Tania,
> How long is a piece of string? :)
> Items to consider:
> - does the client need professional design? Design costs will need to be
> factored in
> - does the client want to be able to update content / add pages
> themselves? In my experience, most don't initially and then realise
> later that they actually do. CMS integration may need to be factored in.
> Basically, figure out your base hourly rate and then roughly how many
> hours the work will take.
> My first freelance jobs were around $600 but I rarely do anything for
> less than $1,800 now, and this is just CMS integration and maybe some
> extra functionality (i.e.: no design work or IA etc). 
> (Also bear in mind that I have a day job and probably charge less than
> half market rates.)
> Regards,
> Paul
There is no cut/dry single answer to how this will work.  The package 
concept sounds attractive to the buyer but like many have said you have 
to be very specific about what the package contains, avoiding scope 
creep at all cost.  Some clients will take advantage because they're 
always out for improving the deal, others simply don't know what it 
takes, others simply forget, lose track. 

I have folks who regularly call/email asking for this/that password, 
access code, etc.  Or they've forgotten how to do something, lost the 
email, lost the URL to the FAQ.  If they wrote the password on the wall, 
they'd forget and wallpaper the wall. 

For my own peace of mind I developed a billing application which keeps 
track of time, expenses, rates, discounts if applicable, task 
descriptions. I did this partly for my own sanity as I needed to see 
where my time is spent, even if I 'give' away an hour or two.  It allows 
me to track webhosting and email hosting (both usually monthly but 
billed quarterly)as well.  Some clients care only about the bottom line, 
that's fine.

My common list of billable charges or discounts include:

    * Design/development
    * Research
    * Software licensing
    * Webhosting & email hosting
    * Domain registration
    * Discount
    * Non-profit vs commercial rate
    * Travel time - I should but this is sticky (you ever had a plumber
      out who didn't charge travel time?)

Ditto to what Paul said about first jobs and rates. You, your neighbor's 
son Mikey, your Aunt Gertrude in Montana, can create an electronic 
business card in a couple hours but a web solution is far more involved.


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