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  1. #1
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    What's a website worth?

    I know that It's impossible to give an answer to the question without knowing some specifics first.

    But here's my real question to you all: "is it really worth buiding someones website for them for 200 or 500 USD?"

    I would say that it should take noless than a week to build a website. Even a website built in a week I would be real sceptical of. So one week, working 40 hours a week @ 200 USD = 5 USD an hour....At 500 USD it would be 12.50 an hour...That's just not worth your time...NO WONDER so many webdevelopers are out of business...

    This is just bad for all webdevelopers. Here's what I'm faced with...A client wants a website...I tell them I charge 75 USD an hour...Then they say, "but I can get a whole website for 200 dollars." I usually tell them, you'll get what you pay for"

    Another point, NEVER charge a fixed rate!!! Trust me on this one. You say yeah, "Ill do it for X amount of money" Then 4 months goes by and you're left with 200 USD or whatever amount after 4 months of work...DONT DO IT!!

    Just some thinking out loud here
    Regards,
    G~

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I think a client will more easily buy a website of which he has some sort of price indication (before contacting the designer / developer), which is the fact with a fixed price.

    With the hour price, the client has no security or whatsoever that the price doesn't get too high. And usually a package from $200 to $500 is a basic package which allows certain add-ons - like bulletin boards, extra pages, flash-introduction and more - and those add-ons will build up the price.

    Never judge a book by it's cover, a $200 website plan, doesn't mean it will cost the client $200 .

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    What if I had just started learning web design and wanted to build a few websites to teach myself and make some pocket change? I couldn't justify charging $75/hr because I wouldn't have the work to prove that rate. I might HAVE to charge less just to get the work.

    Besides, for someone thats still in High School, like many of the people at this forum are, even $200 is a LOT of money. All you spend is time. But remember that not only do you get the $200 at the end of the project, but you also gain the experience of the work itself. This means that $200 project is actually worth considerably more than that. However, someone like myself who's been doing web design for a long time, can charge more and get it because I know what I'm doing and can prove it. Plus, I get the experience as well.

    My freelance company uses a fixed rate of $85/hr to quote jobs by. Sometimes the total comes out to more than we think the client can afford so we lower it. Sometimes the total is less and we raise the cost. It all depends on what the client is willing and able to pay. Would you rather keep your $75 principles and starve or charge someone $50/hr (for certain jobs) and have work all the time?
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  4. #4
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    of course you still give the client an estimate on the time it will take to complete the job...This equals an amount. The client says they want database integretion, a message board, Flash, scripting, whatever and based on that you tell them how many hours that should take. BUT you're left with a lot more room for flexibility.

    HERE's the problem with a fixed rate, I may not have made clear earlier.

    If you say, and this is basic, I will do a 4 page website for 200 dollars. You think hey 4 pages no problem. BUT, the client doesn't like those 4 pages. Now they want to go a different direction. So, you create 4 new pages. They say, hey that's better, but what about doing this instead of that. No problem you say. So you go fix those 4 pages again. Now, the client says, that's real close, but trying adding this to it...Ok, So you go rework those 4 pages again. AND now the client loves it....GREAT JOB...one problem.

    You worked on 4 pages the whole time...and the price is the same....and that is a small scale example.

    I have been building webpages for about 3 years now. And it is very rare to have a client like everything you came up with on the first try...It's taken me a week to build 1 page sometimes...

    Owell, that's just my opinion. Don't need to take it.

    Regard,
    G~

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot c-pr0mpt's Avatar
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    I work with an over all flat rate. And normally I get a site done in 2 weeks.

    And Im doing just fine financially. I don't like charging an hourly rate, how does the client really know when you're working, or when you are not? Thats just a bit too much trust in my opinion.
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Golgotha...

    YOur point is taken, BUT 4 pages is 4 pages. The onus is on the designer to make sure he's got a design the client likes BEFORE he starts building the pages. Do your preparation first and then the rest is just building.
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  7. #7
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    Originally posted by creole
    Golgotha...

    YOur point is taken, BUT 4 pages is 4 pages. The onus is on the designer to make sure he's got a design the client likes BEFORE he starts building the pages. Do your preparation first and then the rest is just building.
    You say, "BUT 4 pages is 4 pages" that's my point. 4 pages can take less than an hour sometimes and 2 weeks other times. It just depends. That's why a fixed rate is not in your best interest.

    However, you are so correct, doing a just amount of preparation before you begin will benefit you and the client.

    75 USD is not set in stone. You have to work with the client...but that's my average. I guess for me that's what is worth my time...

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    And knowing what your time is worth to you is a VERY powerful thing indeed.

    I remember when I first got started I felt bad for charging $35 because to me that was a lot of money. SO I thought that $35 was a lot of money to others (which it might be). What I didn't realize was that if you have confidence in your abilities then $35 is nothing.
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  9. #9
    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    I think for a site with bulletin boards and all, you should charge aroun $800. Of course a simple HTML only design I would do for like $50.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Archbob
    I think for a site with bulletin boards and all, you should charge aroun $800. Of course a simple HTML only design I would do for like $50.
    and you would probably be filling for bankrupcy in about 1 week

    i find all this talk about fixed pricing for 5 pages with 10 links and 3 images a little hard to comprehend, as you are not giving the client what you want, i have no set out rate, i take several factors, such as who i am doing the site for, what is involved and how long i estimate it to take into account when i quote for a site. i dont feel that i could do a "package" as im not giving the client what they want, im giving the client what im willing to do for a certain amount, wich i think isnt the right thing to do, you should take each project on its own merits and factors and price your work accordingly. thats just my $50 worth :0)

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Flat Rates: Personally, I think the only time it's feasible to charge a flat rate (like 3 pages for US$250) is when you're working with preset templates. If you've (or someone else has) already done the work, templates are a quick and easy way to make a buck. However, being an elitist of sorts, I frown on that.

    Hourly Rates: I don't charge buy the hour because I can never keep track of time, but if you can and you're fair, than you should have no trouble with it. Even though hourly rates may entice some customers (and, yes I think there are some...somewhere), I think that the majority of potential clients shy away from hourly designers. Business people are extremely aware of the phrase "caveat emptor" and they expect you to show them something that will make you accountable for your time. Pay by the hour is the norm for consultants because most constants do large portions of their work at their clients' place of work--the clients now have some measure of accountability for the consultant.

    Milestone Rates: This is the type of work I like to do. With milestone payments the client can pay with installments (usually, however, I do insist on a percentage up-front). This gives me a measure of accountability, gives the client an indication of the project's progress, and generally makes bookkeeping easier for me. Another plus for designers/developers is that I can charge slightly higher prices, since the overall price doesn't hit the client all at once. There are many variations with milestone rates like half up-front and the other half on completion, etc. But, beware because feature creep can happen very easily with both milestone and hourly rates--nothing beats a solid contract. Also, another consideration to milestone rates is that you'd better know your abilities well, or you're likely to be eating the contract and some crow...

    Of course, in reality, you'll probably use a mixture of the above. Also, none of the names are anything official--I made them up--so, don't go a complain' about the accuracy of it. O.K.?

    Now, that's how to charge, I'm not going to go in-depth with what to charge, because that's illegal where I live (and I'm just too damn cute to feel comfortable in prison). You should charge what you think you're worth and what you think the client is (or clients are, if you're uncomfortable with charging different clients different rates) willing to pay...

    ~~That's My 2 and I Hope It's Useful...
    Last edited by Ian Glass; Nov 21, 2001 at 23:37.

  12. #12
    Technically, a bit dim macdan's Avatar
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    I charge by the day and give a ballpark figure based on an estimate of time spent. This gives you the ability to carry on charging when the client changes there mind and asks you to completely revise the template the day before go-live - they always do

    Never provide a fixed quote unless you're really desperate to win the business - you'll end up fleeced!

    Having said all that, when I was starting out I worked for free / peanuts to get a client list going.
    gorillaweb is a small London based digital design agency.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I get around 3 clients a week with my own web design company. We are relitively small, but we have potential. We basically ask the client what he is looking for on the site (ie. forum, store, daily news, thousands of pages, active server pages, members areas, scripts, ect.). If the client is looking for a large site, then we basically give them a quote depending on how much we think it will charge them.Again, if we know it's a large company, then we charge more. Simple as that, and almost all big companies do that too.


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