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November 9, 2012 at 4:57 am #40708
What does everyone think about bulding a site for a fixed fee? — i mean as opposed to working off of an estimate. Do other people find that clients prefer that? Is it a bad idea? If so, how can one explain to clients the advantages and reassure them that costs will not explode? Or do people here often build sites at fixed cost?November 9, 2012 at 5:15 am #113780
I think most people will come out with a fixed cost, but then in their terms and conditions state that if any changes need doing after the final user requirements have been agreed on then charges will apply.November 9, 2012 at 5:45 am #113785
You also have to know EXACTLY what you are offering at that fixed cost and what would be included.
It would be an idea to have a range of fixed rates depending on the complexity of each site.
A decent portfolio / price list would make it easier to manage clients’ expectations.November 9, 2012 at 5:50 am #113786
I know this isn’t the best website to show this on in terms of design etc but you can get the idea of what @Paulie_D is trying to say;November 9, 2012 at 6:02 am #113788
Yep…that’s what I mean and I would lay odds that those ‘cheap’ options are all running of basic templates.
Although I still laugh at any company offering a free ‘flash’ banner….soooo last century. :)
Sliding banners, complex JS and clever effects should all cost more.November 9, 2012 at 6:19 am #113789
I’m only just starting to learn the basics of using @media for different viewport sizes, would you say that’s an additional skill/cost which should be agreed for by the client, or would you class that as an optional extra?
Obviously when you’re creating a website, you want it to look good on an array of screens not just for their sake but obviously for yours since you will be the one putting it in your portfolio.November 9, 2012 at 6:31 am #113790
Hmm…I’d add it as a option (at a extra cost).
Not every client wants (or needs) a tablet or smartphone site.
Also, not every site needs to go in your portfolio…only the good looking ones that show off what you can do.November 9, 2012 at 6:32 am #113791
Hmmmm. I have to say I’m a bit surprised by the answers coming back here. Boiler plate designs + set costs? Is this really how people on this site go about their business. The situations I confront most often — and I am new at this — where a client comes to me with a design that is highly customized, with more or less special requirements, that really don’t fit within any fixed framework based, say, on the number of pages. The number of pages a site has really doesn’t seem to be much of an indicator of the time required, as it really depends what is going on those pages: is the site CMS or not, what kind of data framework needs to exist underneath, are the pages static or not, and so on and so on… I usually can only estimate the number of hours a site will take based on the amount of time other sites have taken…. Hence my hesitance to operate at a fixed price that could either end up being too high or too low… Other thoughts?November 9, 2012 at 6:41 am #113792November 9, 2012 at 6:54 am #113796
@ethanmiller I’m not arguing FOR a fixed cost, just saying that IF you offer it then you have to know up-front what you are actually offering.
Overall, I would absolutely be in favour of discussing with the client their precise requirements and coming up with a custom price for that specific project.November 9, 2012 at 7:09 am #113797
@Paulie_D, cool, ok. I guess my question was more along the lines, then, of how do you come up with a fixed price, when you are in fact quite unsure how long something will take? Is it just really a rather messy mixture of a rough estimate combined with what a client is willing/able to pay? I.e. negotiation around a rough estimate? The problem I face is that I am still not sure how long a site will take to build. Sometimes things that I think will be very time consuming turn out to be quite easy, and vice versa. Also I frequently encounter a situation in which I quote a price and then a client comes back and says, oh well, I have some friend who said they had a whole site built for $x — where x is like 1/3 of what I’ve quoted.November 9, 2012 at 7:11 am #113798
I have just read that article @ethanmiller, that does help me just as much as you as I’m just starting to try and get [my name](http://stevenwatson.co.uk “”) out there for some freelance work, and when it comes to pricing, I am awful.
I charged £100 to my friend for [this website](http://shaunjeffersphotography.com “”) which has been coded from scratch and integrated with WordPress so he can make changes.
Many people I have spoke to said I was stupid for only charging for £100, but as many others said and I say, it was my first ever website that has actually made it online, I have made some money from it, and also gained confidence and learnt some cool new stuff such as how WordPress works, setting up databases, using FileZilla.
There seems to be more advantages than disadvantages, I would never have learned those things if I gave him such a high starting price which he then could have went elsewhere for.
However, this fixed-price thing basically turned out bad as I have spent so many hours working on it, re-designing mock-ups and also adding/editing stuff in the back end. All because I didn’t have a set plan which I laid out in front of him, all of these things are learning curves so I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again with my next client.November 9, 2012 at 7:15 am #113633
@Watson90, that does seem a bit low to me. How many hours did it take more or less? I think you are right that pricing is also dependent on how much *you* want to build a site, and what the client is willing/able to pay.November 9, 2012 at 7:18 am #113800
What I am saying is, IF I were to offer a fixed price range, each price would state quote clearly what would be included.
Let’s just say that my lowest offering is…er $250.
You might get a few static pages all based on the same HTML framework (perhaps 1 column with a menu).
I’d throw in some SEO work / Google Analytics and if you don’t have one, I’d offer to include a few logo designs.
The HTML would take almost no time (I’m not offering content don’t forget) the work would be in discussing color choices and layout and any additional design work.
Extra options (chargeable) might be sliding panels / banners / twitter feeds etc.
How one prices these is down to the individual.
Sure, people will come back and say, “My friend’s site was 1/3 of your cost” but then are they comparing apples & oranges?November 9, 2012 at 7:25 am #113801
Yeah @Paulie_D has got it in one, it’s kind of a hard question as everyone has their own opinion and way of doing things.
@ethanmiller I agree it is low, but the stuff I learned whilst doing the whole thing are worth far more and will make me more money for future projects, so it’s kind of the sacrifice I decided to make, the money never went far but I already work full-time as an ICT Technician, so I have guaranteed, monthly income. If i were a sole freelancer then I would have charged so much more etc.
I think I approximately spent about 15 hours in total, I designed him a website, he liked it, then didn’t like it, then he wanted to sell prints of his photography, so I set him up a store, then he didn’t want it etc etc. It was a long and grueling process.
I personally don’t really like outcome of the design, it was initially dark tones with light grey text, but he wanted it basically inverting, but, you have to satisfy the client at the end of the day, he’s happy.
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