Learn how one web designer decides on pricing.
My preferred method is to quote for building a website. This can have it’s disadvantages because every build will be different and even things you have done many times in the past can vary from project to project, leaving you doing more work than you expect. Which is why you have to allow for that possibility when quoting.
My philosophy towards work is pretty simple, I have knowledge and skill the customer doesn’t, so I provide that and they pay me accordingly. Sounds obvious, but sometimes people need reminding. The classic example is the customer who just wants “a few small changes” to their website, typically changing their logo and moving it, say, to the right of the screen. “Oh and can you just add another tab for links”, they always call menu items “tabs”. “Oh and can we make the page headings bigger and change the colour to red”?
The customer assumes this will only take fifteen minutes or so. What many people don’t realise is something as simple as moving the logo can result in quite a bit of work.
If it’s on the left, the website header will have been designed to have it there and it usually has a dedicated area, style and size allocated that has a place in the hierarchy of the design. Moving it elsewhere may mean re-writing the entire header code and the style sheet.
So rest assured, when I give a quote, I will have carefully assessed what has to be done, how I will do it and estimate how long it will take, then apply what I believe is a fair price both to me and the customer. I want to get paid reasonably for what I do, at the same time, I don’t want to frighten the customer off.
Also a quote tells the customer exactly what they will pay, the only thing that will change that is if they ask for extras. I will stick to my quote, even if I realise during the build I have done myself out of some money.
Web Developer’s Hourly Rate
I sometimes work on an hourly rate, usually when performing urgent recovery work, because when someone calls and needs their website fixed after being hacked, or after they have been editing themselves, I drop what I’m doing and get to it. I have no idea at the outset what is going to pan out and as is often the case with anything I.T. related, what appears to be a small problem can have a lot going on behind it.
Anyone who troubleshoots anything will confirm this, a large proportion of the work is finding out what’s wrong and once you know that, you just need to go through and replace the broken bits.
So here it is, I charge $110.00 + GST per hour for web development work. That’s anything that requires coding, database work or other backend stuff. Want to pay me by the hour? Didn’t think so.
For a long time I offered packages, because again, we all like to know what we’re for up for so that we can tell if we can even afford the goods. I fully appreciate this, however website packages just haven’t worked for me.
Understandably, people hope they will be paying the lowest price, but when a customer says they want to buy the basic package, quite often it won’t fit their needs.
Again, of course I want to earn as much as I can for my work, but there is no point in pushing the customer to pay more than they need to, this work relies heavily on reputation, so it’s in your interests to ensure the clients are treated fairly and with respect.
As a rule of thumb, I used to say to prospective clients, budget for $100 per page, which from my perspective worked okay, covering not just the cost of building each page, but being a good average once you include hosting setup, an online form, a slideshow or home page hero section and so on. Of course then they come back and say “I just want a single page website”. You are then at pains to explain even a single page website is made up of more than one file.
So sorry folks, packages are out, with the occasional exception, as per our current Ecommerce Package for COVID-19 Business Grant recipients.
To summarise, don’t be afraid, tell us what you are trying to achieve, tell us your budget and we’ll come up with what will do the job for you at a realistic price.