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Maintenance Contract Pricing vs. Hourly

Setting pricing for maintenance contract

8:14 pm on Jun 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:Mar 23, 2009
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Good day all,

I'm wondering how to base my monthly maintenance contract rate for my web design clients. I've Googled and gotten a ton of awesome ideas for the maintenance contract, and have seen some sample pricing for maintenance contracts - but what I don't know is how much these people are charging for straight design - so I don't know if their hourly rate for maintenance is higher, lower, or the same as their design rate.

In a nutshell: if my hourly rate is $50, then do I base my maintenance contract hourly rate as MORE than my regular design rate, or less than it?

Seems to me that if I base my projects on a $50 an hour rate for initial design, concept, and site building, then the work I do on a maintenance contract (text updates, etc) would cost LESS than my usual hourly rate. But on the other hand, some maintenance work could be just as intensive (banner creation, etc). So would I base it at the same rate?

The examples I saw on google made me think that people charge a HIGHER rate for maintenance work than actual design work. i.e., regular rate is $50 an hour but maintenance blocks can be purchased at $75 an hour. I don't get that -- other than the convenience factor of having a designer on retainer?

I would so very much appreciate some guidance. I don't mind if you don't share your actual rates, but give me a basis for how I should structure maintenance rates.

Thanks much in advance!

6:25 am on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 3, 2004
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I would say that monthly maintenance contracts should be delivered for an agreed fee based on a service level agreement. You should tell clients what you will do for them for a fixed amount where a contract is involved.

For ad hoc support we charge a minimum fee of 25 for a support request. This would cover most minor alterations and text changes. Anything more than this is based on the time taken.

[edited by: BeeDeeDubbleU at 6:26 am (utc) on June 23, 2009]