None of the links work, it's just a basic layout I plan to use for a client's site...I'm charging around $200-250 with some monthly fees for updating and a commission of sales...
Some of you may take this personally, but I think that some designers feed off the fact that some businesses know next to nothing about the internet and are willing to shell out this kind of dough simply because they assume it's a fair deal.
The Information Technology field is populated by elite programmers. These people know the inner workings of a computer and can get it to do what they want. I have been asked in the past "Is this possible? Can the computer really do this?", and my answer is "Yes its possible but it might not be monetarily feasible". What I mean by this is most companies charge between $60 and $200 per hour for programming. This is using languages like Visual C++, C, C++ and Visual Basic. MS-Access developers can command similar rates. Mainframe and high-end database programmers can command even more if they have the skills. In comes the World Wide Web. Now you have a graphical, platform independent, worldwide presentation method but wait anyone can create content for it. You can learn HTML in less than a weekend and build your first webpage in as simple a program as DOS Edit (which is better than Notepad). Now the elite have to scramble for customers. There are many professions where the public assumes the more they pay the better quality they are getting. Lawyers, Doctors, CPA's, and Computer Programmers. Its part of being in a "professional field".
The number of design firms charging these prices do so because their big corporate customers are willing to pay the price. The average e-commerce site still costs several hundred thousand dollars. Companies like Amazon, Yahoo, Microsoft, Netscape, Barnes and Noble, Wal-Mart and many others are investing millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars each in their sites. Microsoft's sites have a budget of almost one hundred million per year just for operating costs. These large amounts of money are why dotcom IPO's are all the rage right now eventually prices will stabilize but I estimate that it will take five to ten years. You will see e-commerce take off this year especially because people are up in arms about high-gasoline prices in the U.S. what better way to save gasoline costs than to purchase online. Your shipping costs might be a little higher but it will be no where near the $1.70 - $2.30 per gallon (California's Current Prices) your paying in gasoline costs.
Internet Media Provider
[This message has been edited by wluke (edited March 17, 2000).]
I tend to think of myself as a rookie in this field who still works out of his home in his sparetime. Perhaps my outlook is simple.
My real job is assembling office furniture for a leading company. I was hired shortly after I graduated from high school and a lot of education and/or experiance was not required. My base wage is $14.05 per hour. Factor in overtime, vacation, medical and dental, education reimbursement, and some other benifits and my pay is probably close to $20 to $25 per hour for screwing two pieces of metal together.
Now let's look at the web design. I've spent the last year and half spending my weeknights and weekends learning this field through college classes, Internet sites, and do-it-yourself books. Then add that I also have to cover my own overhead - computer, periphrials, software, etc... Is it unreasonable to add another $10 to $15 an hour? Where should the price go if you add several years of experiance on top of these factors? How much should a team of these individuals charge?
I don't mean to sound angry, but please stop and consider all the factors. Do you have a business plan? Personally, I can't make a living on $200 to $250 for 30 to 40 hours of work.
[This message has been edited by westmich (edited March 17, 2000).]
[This message has been edited by westmich (edited March 17, 2000).]
I agree with all of your previous posts.
I often got upset over high prices and the over cost of design. Now that this is my living I think of it defferantly. We charged our last client 240,000.00 US. This was an extremely costly project. We payed out 20% of the cost to two of our Sales members on commission. (48,000.00) Then we have operating costs for spending all of our time for the last few months on this project. 50,000.00 Then we have employee costs. We had a total of 10 developers and 3 graphic designers all ranging from 15.00US an hour to 35.00US, plus over time. 400 hours X 20.00HR average total hourly wage.
All this excluding cost to Eyewire.com for fantastic photographs and extra servers from the great people at CompUSA, etc.
Huge costs and reasonable profit. Large industry leading development firms can not afford to have Mom and Pop websites for $250 or $500.00 or even $1000.00. If we charged that we would have a hard time paying our programmers. Let alone the commission from the sale.
I go for what you can afford. If you like working on $250 projects great. For those that love rapidly growing public design firms I say go for that.
It's called supply and demand. When there is a large supply of something, the price goes down. When there is a shortage, then the price goes up.
Websites can be considered an apartment home. Some homes cost $200/mo while others can cost over $200,000/mo it all depends on what one wants. Websites are not very difficult to make, what is difficult is making them work. An experience design team has to deal with consulting and upper level thinking to understand the client before they can go to the drawing board. Even a freelancer like myself, I spend a couple of hours consulting with my clients finding out their needs/expectations and not to mention their business/industry.
The bulk of the money is not spent writing out the code, the bulk is spent in planning/designing/marketing.
Then one has to mix all of these details with one's creative juices and spit out a work of art that will work.
...the bottom line is <b>good websites cost money.</b>
That plan you described includes hosting, but didn't say for how long, nor did it take into account domain parking and reg fees.
$1000 is cheap for what was quoted. Graphics,done professionally to meet corporate identity standards, cost a lot of money.
Page creation. It doesn't mention any backend work, which runs into more $$ for programming. NT servers are more expensive as host server. What kind of pages are needed? If any database is needed, again, more $$. Programming takes hours, and then needs to be tested.
User Interface knowledge. If the web designer doesn't know what that is, the website will fail. Better to pay the $$ for the professional who knows what's up. A web designer who doesn't create backwards compatible pages is a poor deal. If they don't how to code for search engines, the site will never be found.
You get what you pay for. I develop in a corporate environment. We're paid well because we know what we're doing and as freelancers we're in demand because of that.
A business that expects to generate revenue from a website would be foolish to skimp on budgeting the site. Creation, changes, testing, programming, graphics design, hosting, userability issues, to name a few, take a lot of time. I've seen businesses waste money because they approached a website without a plan. They think anyone can design a site. My first freelance jobs were redoing entire sites that made this basic error.
That can't just be it...and I'm not really referring to sites that use all kinds of progamming and hyper-professional graphics, I'm referring to sites that have high prices for no apparent reason...
I think it's obvious that a fair amount of designers out there are ripping off their customers...I'm not sure how many, but they're out there...preying on the fact that some people think thats what it takes.
As for "supply and demand"...that can't be it...I think stuff like this is intentional...and there have got to be a whole buttload of web designers out there right now, and growing constantly...I think we'll have a surplus shortly.
From today's [Gannett] newspaper...
Designing a site averages $16,000. This as per a survey by Second Wind "the largest advertising agency network in the world".
The respondants were 650 small and medium sized ad agencies... they found the cost to produce a home page or web site ranged from $8,955 to $23,318 which includes web strategy, design, and programming, but not maintenance.
Web sites are not basic graphics and layout anymore. They are advertising, branding, new business strategies. In today's fast pace world you need to have programming behind the scenes that automates your webpage and enables anyone to update the content. The average computer user doesn't want to know or care how something works. They just want it to work. They know if they open MS-Word and start typing the words will appear on the screen. They know how to format their text, print it and save it. Some may even know how to do a mail merge. If they need to know anything more advanced they will call techsupport for help. I get at least 50 calls like this a day from the people I support.
Now enter Joe President. He knows his company needs a website, he knows what he wants to do on it. He doesn't know how to do it. He wants to be able to type in a word document and have it appear on the website. The communications depart needs to be able to post press releases at any given time. Now they can pay their webmaster, whether he is in house or contract, to do this for them, or the webmaster can devise a scheme enabling them to do it themselves. Allowing them to type in new content within a window is eaasier for the end user but harder for the designer to implement. That costs money.. Making things easy for the end-user is hard for the programmer because you have to account for all possibilities. Regardless of what anyone things if your going to design web pages then you are a programmer. Your language(s) of choice may not be as complicated as Pascal, Cobol or C++ but they are still languages. You are still taking individual components and creating a finished program.
Charge what you think a website is worth. I also think 10 pages of text (about 5000 words), 10 images and 100 href's is not worth $1,000 even with hosting. You also must keep in mind that a web site of that caliber is not going to help anyone's business because it can't do anything worthwhile.
AS you become involved in more complicated projects I think you will see that you need to increase your profits just to justify the increased skills, equipment, and education needed to maintain the level of service your customers will come to expect.
Internet Media Provider
[This message has been edited by wluke (edited March 19, 2000).]