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  1. #1
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    Question for the Professionals here?

    Hi,

    This may seem an odd question, but I have been hired by some friends of mine to build 5 simple websites for them, about 7-10 pages each. They are all restaurant sites, and they want a simple and clean design, (which is good, because I don't know how to do much fancy stuff :-) ).

    However, I have never made sites for anyone "professionally" before, and I have no idea what to charge them???

    I want to be fair and not charge too much, seeing as I barely know what im doing. But they can certainly afford it, and I want to get paid fairly.

    Any professionals here care to share what they charged for their services starting out? Or what would be a fair price for such a job?

    thanks a lot!

    kc

  2. #2
    Foozle Reducer ServerStorm's Avatar
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    Hi lou2u,

    It would be a mistake to set your price low as a result of your inexperience. You will learn as a result of this job and to provide the type of site your customer wants you will likely take much longer than the average web-designer. There is one school of thought that if your customer is willing to pay (in this case for you extra learning time) then get paid to learn. However, if ethically you find this idea hard to swallow then provide a range estimate to you customer, something like $5000 - $7500 or optimistic $3500 most likely $5500 or pessimistic $7500. You may also (due to your inexperience) give your customer a discount but show the actual real time and effort reflected on the invoice and calculate the time/cost that it really took you and then show on a separate line of the invoice the discount amount. Depending on what your customers knows about you, this could be labeled a volume discount (for the 5 sites) or if they know your inexperienced and willing to live with it then you could say shared expenses discount.

    Hope this helps,
    Steve
    ictus==""

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Black Max's Avatar
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    Good advice from ServerStorm. 5 sites for 5 different restaurants, 7-10 pages each? This is anything but an easy project. $3500 is, to my mind, something of a lowball price.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member Kochizzle's Avatar
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    I also have had a lot of difficulty trying to gauge my pricing. I usually try and estimate how many hours it will take me. I add on a few more just in case and multiply by anywhere from $25 to $75 per hour, depending on the client. Half up front, half upon completion. Seems to have worked out well so far.

    What I could use though, would be a better contract. Anyone know of any online resources for web-site contracts?

  5. #5
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Member Kochizzle's Avatar
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    Thanks Doc!

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot RogueScripts's Avatar
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    Whatever you do I recommend doing them in a CMS like Drupal or Wordpress. It will save you a lot of time rather than doing them in scratch, and it will allow them to edit and add their own pages.
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy Slackr's Avatar
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    I'd read this thread:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=592321
    It contains much discussion and advice about pricing particularly the downside of not considering it properly. I'm sure there are other posts too, this just happens to be one I know about.

    It also contains the downside of dealing with people who aren't necessarily the best informed on what they are actually asking you to do.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict jemple's Avatar
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    I personally think the $3500+ estimates are nuts.

    You can go onto scriptlance and get a 10 page website done in a cms with graphics for around $100-$200. Even taking the high end of that, you are looking at around $1000-$1200 absolute maximum for five sites.

    Sorry guys, but I cant see how you can justify $1000 a site for 10 pages, that smacks of exploting the ignorant to me.

  10. #10
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jemple View Post
    I personally think the $3500+ estimates are nuts.

    You can go onto scriptlance and get a 10 page website done in a cms with graphics for around $100-$200. Even taking the high end of that, you are looking at around $1000-$1200 absolute maximum for five sites.

    Sorry guys, but I cant see how you can justify $1000 a site for 10 pages, that smacks of exploting the ignorant to me.
    Can't agree. Those cheap sites are, as a rule, rubbish (code wise and service wise) and while they work, at the end I have always ended up creating a brand new design and new code myself. That's the quality you get. Of course, that's only normal considering the amount that you are paying. Plus, they use a generic CMS configuration and most of the time you need to adapt, configure and re-code the CMS to your satisfy your customer's needs and requirements.

    If you are simply designing and coding without thinking about your customers needs then you are not providing a good service.

    That takes a lot of time, work and effort. That's why you don't charge $100.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict antirem's Avatar
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    Depends on who they are... start low >1000 and work your way up as you design more.

  12. #12
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    Thanks all, I really appreciate the ideas.

    I don't think I'd feel right charging more than 3 or 4k, mostly because they are friends of mine, but I'm happy to hear that web design has not been totally undermined by cheap elance work!

    I might go with about $2000 flat rate with an extra $30-$50 per hour if It takes over an alloted time, (or if they're super picky ;-)

    I might actually come back here to get some feedback and assistance. Would anyone be willing to give a critique?

    Cheers,
    Kc

  13. #13
    SitePoint Addict g1siberia's Avatar
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    I cant believe by your own admission you dont know how to do "fancy stuff" but you are preparing to charge BIG money. It sounds like you are barely starting out!!

  14. #14
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by lou2u View Post
    I might actually come back here to get some feedback and assistance. Would anyone be willing to give a critique?

    Cheers,
    Kc
    You can use the review and critiques forum for that. Simply remember to follow the rules there (you need to review three other sites before you can ask for a critique of your own site)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1siberia View Post
    I cant believe by your own admission you dont know how to do "fancy stuff" but you are preparing to charge BIG money. It sounds like you are barely starting out!!
    If $2000 is big money or not can be discussed. That perception can be based on various things:

    - This is not a sole site, but 5 of them, even if they are small. 5 different designs which may prove to be hard work.

    - How much his friends are willing to pay and what they consider expensive, fair or cheap

    - How much his friends will earn with those sites.

    - How much money does the developer need to pay the bills

    These are just a few.

    Regarding the fancy stuff, it is nice but you don't need the fancy stuff on a site. You need it to be successful that is to accomplish the goal for which it was created and do it well. And there are plenty of examples where non-fancy sites are more successful than fancy sites.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict RussAdams's Avatar
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    How much you charge is based on the quality that you can produce. If you are only able to create entry level design you should charge a lot less than if you can create a more sophisticated design.

    It also depends on how much they are willing to pay. My guess is they picked you because they figured you would work cheap. No offense... this is common among friends.

    And finally, how long is it going to take you, and how much is that time worth to you.

    Factor these three items and you'll have your price.
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Zealot chrissie76's Avatar
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    I completely agree with Russ Adams, why would you charge top rates for a below par product? what do you know about accessibility? the law? the DDA 1995 (if youre in the UK) or other relevant legislation...
    Do you know how to make a site usable or validate?
    How well do you know CSS , XHTML, JavaScript, php or other programming language for making secure forms?

    Are you aware of cross browser compatibility, doctypes, checking server response and download times?

    if the answer to these is not that much then you should not really charge that much.

    If you went for surgery and the doctor said, "i'm not really that good at this, but i'll have a stab at it and you can pay me what youd pay a top surgeon, hopefully i wont b*****r it up too much" youd be pretty cheesed off. especially when you realise down the line youve paid too much for an inferior service. thats a quick way to lose friends.
    Live Long Laugh Often

  18. #18
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrissie76 View Post
    I completely agree with Russ Adams, why would you charge top rates for a below par product?
    You do bring very good points. Still, there is something that needs to be clarified. What do you call top rates and how much do you think he should charge?

  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot chrissie76's Avatar
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    well like you said that completely depends on his level of skill. if his level of skill is basic then i would see this as an opportunity to learn and charge enough to cover my expenses.

    if you go to college and learn to develop websites, you pay them, they dont pay you.

    I'd be tempted to see this as a great opportunutity to learn and get an instant portfolio together.
    When i was first starting out, i didnt charge at all. looking back i am still pleased that i didnt because i realise now how little i knew.

    I dont expect this to be a popular view since everyone likes to earn money, but there are alot of very dodgy sites out there and it pains me to think of some poor person paying lots of money for them. imho it is far better to learn your trade and then start making money.
    Live Long Laugh Often

  20. #20
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
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    Your view is completely understandable and I agree with you up to a point.

    As a matter of fact, you and I are agreeing that the amount should be based on perception and many other characteristics that can affect the price.

    But I find that we are assuming that the original poster is a newbie because he doesn't know how to do fancy stuff. For me, fancy stuff means animation, or Flash, or cool effects. That doesn't mean that he's not a good coder or programmer, and that his friends are going to receive a poor site because of this reason.

    So I am trying to narrow things a bit more by defining what's big money and what not. For me $2000 is not big money at all, specially for 5 sites.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Zealot chrissie76's Avatar
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    its hard for me to quantify $2000, i think its about £1700 with the current exchange rate. although it would have been about £1000 before the economic crash. so is it alot for 5 sites? since the guy stated the number of pages we can assume they are static html, and since he said he didnt do fancy stuff, well i see your point it could be flash, javascript, ajax etc but i suspect that it might be css.

    all i can really say is i dont know if $2000 is alot to pay since i dont know how great they are. and i think we are agreeing :-)
    Live Long Laugh Often

  22. #22
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    I think $1500 for the whole project would be reasonable. You should be able to templatize the process


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