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  • # January 14, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Hi guys,

    Should we, as web designers, be offering clients responsiveness to websites as an optional extra which they can pay for, included as part of every website or as a package in itself (i.e static site, cms site, responsive site).

    As it stands I have not been charging clients for making their websites responsive but am not sure if I am at a loss by doing so?


    # January 14, 2013 at 7:05 am

    If it takes you more time then you should be charging for it. If you are doing it for free for a few clients then make them aware of it, and use those sites in your portfolio to sell responsive sites to new clients.

    # January 14, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Not sure if I agree with that – in some cases a whole separate mobile site would be more appropriate – should that be at no extra charge too? Anything that takes more time should cost more.

    If you were charging £1000 for a website before you started doing responsive, you should keep that rate for non-responsive. I don’t think you should start spending more time for the same amount of money just because of a new web development trend.

    # January 14, 2013 at 7:51 am

    calling responsive web design a trend makes it sound as if its something thats a passing design fad, simply its not, a few years back you could have gotten away with a static sized site how ever most likely you’d have built your design around either the common average desktop resolution or some lower common resolution and as resolutions only tended to get bigger, you’d be safe. But then mobile devices came along and basically threw the rules out the window. Not catering for mobile devices these days is kinda like deciding to ignore the design quirks one of the major 5 browser’s.

    As for a mobile site vs responsive design, responsive wins out because a) you don’t have to maintain and update two sites b) some of the big player’s have come down on the side of preference of responsive design.

    Having said that, responsive design does take more time than simply a static site, far more testing tweaking and lateral thinking, idealy it should be part of your standard package it should be the norm for designers to consider mobile devices now just look at how many smart phones you see when you walk down the street or look at brwoser statstics. But its going to take some time for that to completely sink in across the community and ofcourse its going to cost a bit more, my opinion is that it should be part of your standard sales pitch but give the client an opt out rather than an opt in, and explain to them the advantages of having a responsive freindly site.

    # January 14, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I made the decision (rightfully so) for Unleash not to charge extra and just include it in the regular pricing.

    @joshuanhibbert is right – responsive web design is web design now, charging extra is charging extra to do the job properly.

    # January 14, 2013 at 10:48 am

    @AndyHowells but do you charge by time? because if you are then you are charging for it. @ToxicFire – there are situations where a separate mobile site is more appropriate – if you’re a listener of shoptalkshow then Chris explains this quite well.

    I’d guarantee you that more than 90% of new site builds are still not responsive, so I don’t think it’s the norm yet.

    Personally, I like to create responsive designs but doing work for less money to give the client a responsive design seems like poor business sense to me. So a website that maybe took you 14 days work non responsive now might take 16 responsive – would that be the same price?

    # January 14, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Would you charge extra to make the website compatible with IE7 & up?

    # January 14, 2013 at 10:57 am

    We take cross browser testing/development in to account when pricing a job, so not directly charged but the time for doing that work is still charged for.

    # January 14, 2013 at 11:47 am

    How do you currently charge @jshjohnson? by time or just a flat rate for the project?

    # January 14, 2013 at 11:55 am

    If it’s by the hour then you’re fine really, as long as you log all of your hours accurately.

    # January 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    >responsive web design is web design now

    It is part of web design, sure. But not every project requires it.

    If you know that the project should be scaled to other devices then you should be developing that way from the beginning.

    # January 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    No one can tell you how to run your business – my view is that my time is chargeable. If doing a responsive site is going to take me more time (which it is) then the cost to the client will be higher.

    # January 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    The way I view it is some people don’t have the know how in making a responsive web design/development so might as well charge extra because you have the knowledge you know?

    # January 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Yes & no regarding the hourly vs fixed price. It totally depends on the client.

    Sure hours factor in to any development project, but we charge on a value basis rather than on a set number of hours so responsive design doesn’t necessarily have an impact on pricing.

    # January 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Responsive design has come about due to the current landscape of web accessible devices. Once we had had desktops, now there are a plethora of devices that can access out content each with their own display type.

    Back in 1974 houses in my home town were built exactly the same way they were built everywhere else in Australia. On Christmas day that year a devastating cyclone swept through and destroyed most of those houses. After that day people realised that to survive in this landscape the way houses were built had to change drastically. All of sudden houses required more planning, deeper foundations, architects had to spend more time on ensuring structural integrity would be maintained in the various conditions… and all of this ensured that the cost of building a house went up along with it.

    The builders were still building houses, but the houses were just built better. It was a new standard of building houses that didn’t exist before.

    It’s up to everyone how they charge for the services they provide. Someone said to me a long time ago “You’ll never make any money charging what it costs you to do something, charge what it’s worth to your client”.

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