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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    How much would you charge for to develop this site

    OK, so I am one of "those", the part time guy who has a little skill with PHP ad MySql who dabbles. A used car dealer in town asked me to develop a new site and find new hosting. He was very displeased with his old developer who was also hosting the site.

    I gave him a "low ball" price because of all the learning I would have to do in the process and the possibility that I would take forever to complete the job, that and he helped me out very well when I was in need of a car.

    The site is complete but now he wants to add a couple of things and he isn't happy with the price I have quoted for the additional programming his changes would require.

    I would like to be able to give him an idea of what most other web designers would have charged for the site just to illustrate that he really is getting a bargain and I am not trying to squeeze him for premium pay.

    What would you charge for this site:

    Used car dealer site programmed in PHP, MySql, and HTML

    What visitors see:

    • Index page - all vehicles listed with thumbnail photos and some details - Each image and the make linked to further information and photos for that vehicle
    • Individual vehicle - Thumbnails of all available photos and all details on the vehicle - each thumbnail linked to full sized version of photo as well as a link to a photo slide show of the vehicle
    • Contact form uses php mail function to send information to the dealer
    • Credit application also using php mail function to send the information to the dealer
    • About us page
    • Directions page - uses Google maps

    Admin functions for car dealer:

    • Enter, edit, and delete vehicle inventory - stored in MySql database
    • Upload unlimited number of photos for each vehicle in inventory - each image is resized for display in 640X480 and thumbnail
    • Modify order images are displayed or delete image all together
    • Dealer ability to modify information to be displayed on "About Us" page.
    • Each modifiaction function performs "housekeeping" on database and any image files to keep server nice and clean.

    Dealer is subscribed to a national used car advertising service so I have automated that as well:

    • Designate inventory to be displayed on national service
    • Automatic generation of text file with inventory data from database and generation of correct images for national service
    • Automatic upload of text file and images to national service

    Use of "alt" text as well as individual page titles and embedded text for SEO purposes.

  2. #2
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
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    I am not surprised at your question, quoting is one of the hardest things to do.

    Do you have any idea about how long it will take you to code this? If you do, you can risk to charge an amount per hour, or if you think that it will take you months, a monthly rate so you have some income every month.

    If you want to give him a closed price, then if you think that it will take you 2-3months and you want to earn, let's say $1000 per month, then quote $1000 x nbr of months.

    Charging an amount per hour is a classic way of quoting and it is a quite secure way of doing. The price will depend of the living style in your area and your own goals, basically.

    Another way to calculate a quote is using the revenue this new site will generate to your customer, and then quoting accordingly.

  3. #3
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    The site is complete already and it took me about 60 hours after I deduct some time I took to learn a few new methods of accomplishing things.

    To my calculations that comes out to at least $1200 for the site - 60 X $40 per hour. I didn't charge even 1/2 that amount

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard webcosmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alhefner View Post
    The site is complete already and it took me about 60 hours after I deduct some time I took to learn a few new methods of accomplishing things.

    To my calculations that comes out to at least $1200 for the site - 60 X $40 per hour. I didn't charge even 1/2 that amount
    Quotes always very on the person really. If I had to quote that, it probably would have been 6k or around.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tailslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alhefner View Post
    I gave him a "low ball" price
    That's your problem right there.

    I know where you're coming from - I've been there - we've all been there. You're unsure of your own ability and feel that you can't charge what you might want to.

    Problem is - it quite often ends up with the perceived value of your work in the eyes of the client being less than it should. Often they'll then go elsewhere and sometimes even pay more for a site that's not as good.

    Don't sell yourself short - tell him what you want to charge him for the changes. If he's unhappy then let him go elsewhere. If you end up doing the work for less than you want then that'll be the pattern you'll have with him and you'll end up repeating it with him until you finally get fed up with the whole thing.

    BTW - slightly worried about what "embedded text" means - sounds like hidden text which could get you banned in Google plus it sounds like you're stuffing the Alt text with SEO stuff... always use something useful for Alt text (e.g a text alternative for whatever the image is). I may have got the wrong end of the stick on what you were saying though!!
    Little Blue Plane Web Design
    Blood, Sweat & Rust - A Land Rover restoration project

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot
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    BTW - slightly worried about what "embedded text" means - sounds like hidden text which could get you banned in Google plus it sounds like you're stuffing the Alt text with SEO stuff... always use something useful for Alt text (e.g a text alternative for whatever the image is). I may have got the wrong end of the stick on what you were saying though!!
    No, no hidden t3xt at all. All relevant to the page it is on and all fonts are at least 10pt. The alt text for images is a combination of the listing's make,model, and year along with the fact that it is a used vehicle and the dealership name. I may make some changes that would make this more unique for each listing if the SE placement doesn't go the way I like.

    I really want to be able to get him to understand that he did get a huge deal and that I am not trying to rip him off for the modifications.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tailslide's Avatar
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    I'd suggest that if you ever do a site cheap, put the "full" price on the invoice and then state the discount.

    If you gave him a good deal then hopefully he'll realise it when he gets other quotes. On the other hand there's always someone willing to undercut people! Still - the advice stands, unless you're starving, don't let him undervalue your work by working cheap (anymore).
    Little Blue Plane Web Design
    Blood, Sweat & Rust - A Land Rover restoration project

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tailslide View Post
    I'd suggest that if you ever do a site cheap, put the "full" price on the invoice and then state the discount.
    This is something I do when necessary.

    It lets them know they're getting a bargain.

    But yeah, don't sell yourself short next time. If you can do the work, charge accordingly.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot Lavinco's Avatar
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    Professionally you should charge $4-$5k. Trust me, you'll understand after you get a few behind you.

    Personally, you should charge a good 2k. But only if you know what you are doing. Don't do the work if you can't deliver the goods or else charge your experimental price of 1k. Half to start and the other half to go live upon completion.

    never deliver the site (make it live) without full payment. There's no motivation to pay when the site is done and running. Plus, once they realize that websites are nor magical, and don't automatically get 5 million visitors a day, customers try to justify even more, not to pay you.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy dc dalton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lavinco View Post
    Professionally you should charge $4-$5k. Trust me, you'll understand after you get a few behind you.
    absolutely, that's an accurate middle of the road price

    BTW, I noticed you (the OP) said you were sending a credit app via email? Hope to hell you don't have sensitive personal information in that email because email is NOT secure and if someone gets hold of a person's credit info both you and the dealer are going to have some nasty legal bills to pay!


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