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Website design pricing

Posted on 2011-02-27
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Hey guys

I have a few people that asked me to build a website for their business. I have very little experience when it comes to Websites. I have created a few before using dreamweaver. I feel very confident that i will do a great job but i am not sure what the website design pricing is. Can someone provide me with some prices of how much i should charge per website and aslo should i charge a monthly maintnance fee.. thank you veru mcuh
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Question by:MXU2011
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Amick earned 125 total points
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There are people who will design a website for $25 and people who will design a website for $2.5 million. The key is to charge a price low enough to make the value of retaining your service obvious, but high enough that when your customer comes back for more you'll still be there.  I believe that charging an ongoing fee is a very reasonable idea as it provides a growing base to contribute to expenses and covers the occasional call for advice and maintenance.  However, be clear how much time you're willing to provide for the ongoing fee.  There are some customers who, once they are paying you a fee will call you to troubleshoot their desktop wi-fi or try to get you to do a total site redesign for no more than the maintenance fee.  The point is to be very clear what the fee covers and be very consistent in charging for work outside the scope of that fee.

Good luck with your business.
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by:profgeek
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Ditto all that Amick has said.  I will add that many potential clients have no idea of the value of a website either.  Much depends on what they want to do.  Is it static or does it have dynamic elements?  Is the site 3-tiered (e.g. database access involved)?  If programming is involved (php or whatever), you should charge a premium for that.

Developers all do things differently.  You will have to be good at translating user "wants" to actual work so that you could give a reasonable flat-fee estimate.  Beware of the following:

1.  Incomplete specs or "I'm not sure what I want" mentalities, as they will usually come back and bite you.  If the client doesn't know what they want, they'll never be satisfied with what you do.

2.  Clients who want everything they see on the Internet, but don't want to pay for it.  

3.  Clients who want to "own" you.  As Amick as pointed out, charging a monthly maintenance fee can turn into a nightmare because of this.  They think you're available for any and all questions, regardless of whether or not it has anything to do with their actual site.

4.  Flexible estimates.  It is best, if you can do so, to get real specs and then give them a fixed price for that.  Spell out additional charges in the estimate.  

Best of luck to you with your new business.
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by:SaigonJeff
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Double Ditto to the comments frm Amick and profgeek...

The only thing I would add would be that no matter how savvy the client is, they will still want the universe for a dime and expect 8 cents change.

Be ABSOLUTELY CLEAR about every charge. Provide an Itemized breakdown of your quote and be sure to be perfectly clear about your maintenance fee and what it entitle the client to. I have been caught in that situation.

Also include clear instructions with regard to time requirements. eg. If an normal update take 2 days, make sure they provide notification and supporting materials in time to allow for the update to be done on time. If my clients request an immediate update at the last minute, they are charge a penalty fee which is clearly stipulated in the contract.

Rule of thumb = "Cover every hole" It's less painful that way.

Good luck.
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by:MXU2011
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Thanks a lot for the info and advise.. I have one more question.. Once the website is build what is the best way to go about search engines.. such as the website showing up on top of the list on google once googled. what are the steps that need to be taken. thanks a lot
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by:profgeek
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That's called SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and there have been books written about it and how to "game" the system.  Google is currently taking steps to tweak their search engine, by the way, to reduce such gaming.  

I wouldn't promise any SEO to the customer unless you are very clear on what it is and what you might be able to do.  I would suggest getting a couple of good books on the subject, or do a thorough web search, before you even broach the subject with a client.  As a beginner, I probably wouldn't touch the subject, lest you accidentally promise something you can't deliver.
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by:stkoontz
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If you haven't discovered it already,  www.sitepoint.com has a wealth of information and helps for website developers.  I subscribe to a couple of their emails (http://www.sitepoint.com/newsletter/) and find them very helpful.

Steve
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by:SaigonJeff
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You could also suggest other companies that specialize in SEO if you are not able to tackle it yourself. But with the wealth of information about SEO on the web, it shouldn't be a problem.

Here is a link to one great little SEO software download called WEB CEO. Check it out... you may find it useful...

http://www.websiteceo.com

Good luck...
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