We’re often asked how much a website costs and more often that not, the question is being asked (innocently enough) by someone who thinks it’s possible to estimate costs for a project whilst knowing absolutely nothing about it.
It prompts the question though – how much should you charge a client for a website?
Should you charge an hourly rate? Fixed Fee? Should you have ‘packages’? Should you include hosting? What about support after launch?
There is a lot to consider, and we’ve seen businesses enjoy great success with a range of different pricing options and offerings. The fact is, effective pricing isn’t the same for every design firm.
The pricing model you adopt should be as flexible and adaptable as your offering. Critically, it should be:
- Easy to understand & justify
- Provide value for the client
- Protect your firm from ‘project creep’
- Be competitive
It’s a tall order, but without considering all these factors, you’ll end up leaving potential profits on the table, either from over promising or under charging.
Web Design quotes are part quote for web design work and part quote insurance premium. Obviously you will charge the client for the work which you both know needs to be done at the outset of any project, but what about the unexpected? Who should foot the bill for additional unforeseen work, which crops up during a project?
Whist clients moving the goal posts mid-project is not a novelty for experienced designers, many still fail to account for this during the quote phase, preferring instead to charge the client as and when changes are requested or unexpected circumstances arise. This can lead to animosity with a client, who may not realise the amount of work required to make some changes and therefore be surprised or (in the worst case) take offence at what they are being charged, in addition to what was already quoted.
One way to avoid this is to build in a ‘buffer’ on each project quote. This is usually between 10-20% of the total project value, and serves to allow extra time for change requests, which might normally be chargeable.
Setting client expectations is important, but equally important, is maintaining the ebb and flow of communication and goodwill between you and your client. Keeping unexpected invoices and mid-project budget reviews to a minimum helps with this.
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