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"if i charged you by the hour only, your cost would be monumental"
"you are getting more than a website (pretty design on the screen). you are getting a complete product (development, seo, 24-hour advertising, etc.)"
this is common, but one thing i don't do is breakdown a dollar amount for each and every thing. i do, however, provide a breakdown of what i did after the job is done. a nice long list of all the steps i took, large and small, usually seals the complaining mouth when the money is due.
Also, the individual items will often seem like a reasonable price... like $xyz for design $xyz for seo and so on... and suddenly the "package-deal" price is MUCH lower then the combined price.
So you're approaching your client form a position of basically giving him already a SUPER deal, and you're preempting them from tryign to cut bits out to save cost.
I agree. When I first started out in my business, I charged way less than everyone else. For that, I had 2 clients who thought they could take advantage of that and I should have quoted them 10x the amount. You learn. Save the 10% discount on sales that you might want to have when business is slow.
However, as an advertising photographer, I've heard the same complaints about price from potential clients. Then I talked to my brother-in-law, who's a plumber. His company bills their plumbers out at roughly $250 an hour.
So now, if a client balks at the numbers, I ask them if they'd prefer that a plumber do the job for them. When they say "of course not," I tell them that a plumber would charge much more than I do on an hourly basis.
This isn't meant to be a slam against plumbers or other tradesmen. It's just a fact that we all have our own fields of expertise and should charge accordingly.
I base my prices on a base amount and then a per page fee. I do not charge extra for XX amount of pictures/images or because they want a contact form. That is just too detailed and most sites have the same amount of images anyway. If it was a Photographers website, I would add in an extra fee for the Gallery script.
Another idea is to look at other web design companies and see what they charge. Example: If you want to start out at $500 for a 5 page website, then try it out. If you think it's a good price for the amount of time put into it, then stick with it. I have adjusted my prices about a half a dozen times in the past 2 years of being in business for myself. You just have to keep on trying until you feel you are worth the money you are charging.
Our's has gone through a few incarnations to get to its current state (nice, NICE, nice site IM'H'O haha). To do that has cost some money but its well worth every last penny.
If you are doing sites for $1500 and think you are over charging, maybe we should exploit you to make the next version for us when we upgrade!
I'm surprised it's that high. These rates are about what the market would bear back in the Dot Com bubble years. (I know that it was much higher in "hot" areas like San Francisco, etc.) But this seems high. I live in a technological backwater where these kind of prices won't fly. Not the norm, I know, but no wonder US companies are shipping IT jobs to the Indians.
[edited by: stuntdubl at 9:42 pm (utc) on May 8, 2004]
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a friend of mine started into the web design business did a 5 page site for about $500 + retainer of $300/year. This is for a basic , no dynamic form creation or anything.
She's starting, so this was really lowballing it.
for $100 a page I would want some darn nice pages and for $300/year I would expect a lot of time and updates.
Every time I hear about someone thousands of dollars for a website that doesn't even work or increase their sales or anything, I want to choke these people.
just my rant.
The $300 retainer is for I believe 3 or 4 minor changes per month - the type such as updating a calendar of events, or adding new photos to the site (its a jazz band site). So she won't get paid to do any of these things for a year.
This site was all custom from scratch - not a template - with custom made graphics. I've contracted design work myself from a third party, and this is not the case - most of the time people just re-use templates - and the end result is a bland looking site which really does not convey a unique identity to the site. I know, I've been there, and I wasn't happy.
If anything, at $500 a pop, at a contract rate of $25/hr, that's 20 hours work. That's 2 1/2 days work. Any less time working on a site, and I really would doubt the quality of the work done.
"In a world where mechanics and carpenters charge $50/hr and up, no client worth considering should balk at paying $75/hr for creativity."
Once you convince yourself that you are worth what you charge, it will be easier to convince your client. $25/hr for web design is insulting to the profession, and is simply not acceptable for a technical, skilled trade such as web design. You (and the rest of us) are worth MUCH more than that!
I actually price out my fees depending on the budget of the client. I've been on my own for 2 years now and make really good money. I do not have a problem with my fees, though, and am not complaining. I charge about in the middle of that.
So, to be OT (on topic), if you feel that you are charging an amount that you think is too much, then lower it. If you think the amount is too low, then raise your prices. I have raised and lowered my prices a few times.
The prices quoted in the webpriceindex are outrageous; you could easily divide that by half in my area, even by 2/3.
Finally, if a mechanic or plumber is making $50/hr, there's no reason to me to value our work anymore than that. Our work is more fun, and we get to be creative. You'd have to pay me more money to work those trades! And seriously, as long as it takes about the same amount of education for either trade, it seems pretty greedy to want more just because your job is more intellectual.
$50/hr is a good wage. Unless you're living in an area with inflated wages or adding extraordinary value, I would have a hard time justifying paying anyone that much.
you make some really interesting points. playing the devil's advocate here, the enjoyment one gets from their employment should not dictate their wage. i would assume a plumber of 20 years enjoys their business, else why continue to do it (of course, im talking a perfect world here :) ), but he/she should get more money for more experience, more expertise, more professionalism, etc. i agree wholeheartedly tho about producing a bloated and unproductive website. there are many many 'designers' out there.
one thing to keep in mind is that a good number of people are both designers and developers. development, imho, is the heart of the effort and time spent and knowledge put into it.
just to give another example, a carpet cleaner will charge me at least $60 to clean just the floors in two rooms (no walls, no windows, ie. no seo, no database, etc). they come with tank ready, knowing exactly what and how to do it, spend about 30 minutes and take my money. surely for years of continued education and OTJ training, i can charge more than that.
a dentist will charge $250 for 15 minutes removing my wisdom tooth. Is that really fair, even considering their extra 3-5 years of med/dental school?...
I suppose if that's how the system works, i can always go ahead and try to be a dentist myself....