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  1. #1
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    Charging for Web Design
    I have a situation that I'm sure a few of you may have been in before. A friend of a family member wants a website for a new company he's launching. Naturally, my family member told him about me. I will talk to the guy on Friday, but from what I know it's just a corporate information site - very basic html that looks professional and gives info about his company. He may also be somewhat concerned about being able to get some search engine rankings.

    I simply do my own sites, and have never done something for someone else, so how much would you charge for something "simple" such as a corporate info site with some basic on-page SEO work (I'll explain to him that getting up in the SERPs takes a lot more). Although I say it's simple, the guy (like many) has absolutely no idea building a website, obtaining a domain name, hosting the thing, uploading it, etc. As all that is very basic stuff to us, it did take time to learn it, and so now I can say I have some "expertise" ... shew!the things that qualify you as an expert. It will be some type of insurance business, and the guy is experienced in his field, so he's not poor - my guess is he probably makes at least $100,000 in his regular job.

    I was also thinking I could possibly host it for him and do any kind of simple updating, etc. - a complete package. I'm sure he has no interest in learning any of that, so I could *magically* take care of it all. So, what would you charge for the building (and possible hosting) of such a site?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Pass it on
    I'd pass the job to someone else and take a referral.

    >A friend of a family
    That is trouble! I know from experience.

    I know a woman in Maine who needs the work.

  3. #3
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    I'm with Adam, having gotten into that a few times, I'd say pass the work along to someone you trust. When it's friends or family, the expectations on both sites can be out of whack and it's better just to have someone with a little distance dealing with it.
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  4. #4
    Internet Cowboy
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    I am with Adam too. But if you decide to do it, charge him a good fee and don't be scared to make plenty of money on him. If someone else does it they are going to make plenty, so you might as well too.


  5. #5
    lurk
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    For very basic sites like that (strictly html) for friends I'd usually charge $20-$25/hr. Although you have SEO work as well, which can very easily justify a much higher rate.

    Like everyone else is mentioning, it can become a huge hassle. I have done sites for people in the past and you end up getting small updates daily that become a big pain. I advise working out a contract before hand. Something like $x/hr. to create the website and something like $20 for each small update... this will keep him from emailing you daily about typos or title tags that are wrong. It will influence him to create a list of things and email them weekly as opposed to daily.
    Jason

  6. #6
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Ultimately, this person will either have to hire a webmaster or learn themselves. You might set them up with a simple site for them to learn from and let them decide what they really want, all the while stressing that you will not be able to constantly do updates.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  7. #7
    Full Member deepestblue's Avatar
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    Pass it on and take a referral. This sounds like more of a headache than anything.

    ...Unless you can structure it such that you gain a referral for each qualified lead you send him. Still get someone else to build the site though. Ugh.

  8. #8
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    If you do decide to take it on (I say pass too) I would make very clear the difference between basic SEO and more in-depth SEO. If you don't you could end up with a situation where the guy thinks because he paid you should devote every waking moment to getting him to #1 in google.

    If you do decide to host his site I would also charge him extra and set him up with a google adwords account that he pays for but you administer. You charge him a monthly fee which for it which is included with the hosting fee. That will get him off your back about getting people to his site.

  9. #9
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    I pass all site building requests on to people I know who do it for a living. I've done it for friends/family but usually end up with the headache of helping with domain names, hosting and maintaining the site, too.

    Get the referral and pretend it's an affiliate "commission." Stick with what you know or, more importantly, know who you are and what your business is and focus on that instead of delving into web site design/management. Unless you want to be a web designer, of course. :-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Rule number one is never work for friends. $20.00 to $25.00 an hour is not enough to make a living at web design, simple or not. Uncle Sam takes 25% If you don't want to do it and just can't say no, talk to him and then send him a high quote.

  11. #11
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    If you do take the job here are some basic price ideas...

    First page, includes basic background & navigation images - $85.00

    Each additional page using same background & navigation images - $55.00

    Simple logo/page header starts at $45.00

    Photo manipulation for photos they provide - no less than $2.00 each. If you have to take the photos, come up with a price per photo plus milage.

    Forms start at $25 each

    Search Engine Submission & search engine optimization - (hand submission to about 15-20 search engines) $25.00

    If you register the domain name for them, go to some place like GoDaddy where you get a domain for $9.20, but charge him $15.00 for it - giving you $5.80 for your time in registering it.

    Once you get final approval on the site all updates beyond that are not free.

    Simple text based updates of a paragraph or less of prepared text runs about $8.00 per update. $2.00 to delete a paragraph or a link, etc.

    If they add another page, charge another $55.00 for that page at base rate. Same with photos, etc.

    Come up was an estimate once you get all the details for what they want. Make them pay 1/2 up front, half upon completion.

    Hosting example - sell 50mbs or space for $20.95. If they pay for the full year up front they get a month free and charge a $30 one time set up fee.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the input. A special thanks to Michelle for such a detailed response.

  13. #13
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    don't forget, if you are to come up with a domain name that is relevant, look at it like you are an artist and are charging per thumbnail design.

    finding good domain names is increasingly difficult. you have to locate a whole bunch that are not in use before they can pick one. that time is very billable.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    All these prices that are being thrown around just don't sound too appealing for a job like this. You really don't want to get bogged down with updates and maintenance. I always send web design requests to a friend while he sends programming contracts my way. It's a mutually beneficial relationship

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    I wouldn't pass it on or would I do anything, What generally seems to happen is that you go so bogged down trying to satisfy his seo requirements you might be losing yours. The Insurance field is too competitive forsimple seo work to make a difference

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    So, what would you charge for the building (and possible hosting) of such a site?
    You have to charge enough to make it a "job" not a "pain in the butt" as well as a enough for him to take it seriously, I would certainly charge a solid chunk of cash to develop thei initial site and then enough each month (with fully defined boundaries) to make it worth doing.

    The definition of "worth doing" really comes down to your present free time, economic situation etc.

    I'd go with $5000 for the job, then $1000 a month to take care of the site and do say 25bhours of updates per month.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris - AMWSO
    I'd go with $5000 for the job, then $1000 a month to take care of the site and do say 25bhours of updates per month.
    Now we're talking! That sounds much more reasonable and worthwhile.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateBuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Now we're talking! That sounds much more reasonable and worthwhile.

    - Scott
    LOL, not from the site owner's perspective!
    Gift Shopping Zone Affiliate Program on SAS - 10% per sale with unlimited cookie duration, over 10,000 products.

  19. #19
    The Beer Hunter LearnAbout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris - AMWSO
    I'd go with $5000 for the job, then $1000 a month to take care of the site and do say 25bhours of updates per month.
    To me that seems to be a bit on the high side. I once gave out a project thru Elance, the pricings there are quite competitive as web designers will bid for a project. If you go to elance dot com -> Marketplace (on the right hand side) -> Website Development (in the left menu) you can get some alternative quotes of how much is charged. Note that not all have their prices displayed, though.

    Cheers, Frank
    [URL=http://www.golfbeginnerguide.com/]Golf Beginner Guide[/URL] ; [URL=http://www.ladygolfersguide.com/]Lady Golfers Guide[/URL]

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Wink
    Quote Originally Posted by LearnAbout
    To me that seems to be a bit on the high side. I once gave out a project thru Elance, the pricings there are quite competitive as web designers will bid for a project. If you go to elance dot com -> Marketplace (on the right hand side) -> Website Development (in the left menu) you can get some alternative quotes of how much is charged. Note that not all have their prices displayed, though.
    Elance sure has come a long way. Forgot about them for a while. I definitely wouldn't use their service myself, but they do have an affiliate program. hmmmm

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  21. #21
    The Beer Hunter LearnAbout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I definitely wouldn't use their service myself
    Well, was also a learning experience for me. I needed a website done quickly with a professional look. I could DIY something like that, but it will take me quite some time and effort.
    I got 16 bids ranging from US$450 to US$2800. I went with the lowest, in hindsight not my brightest moment - you pay peanuts you get monkey...
    Boy, what a disaster. These guys had not the slightest clue of webdesign.

    8 weeks, more grey hair and an ulcer later they refunded my downpayment.

    Now I'm back on the DIY track...
    [URL=http://www.golfbeginnerguide.com/]Golf Beginner Guide[/URL] ; [URL=http://www.ladygolfersguide.com/]Lady Golfers Guide[/URL]

  22. #22
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    First rule.....friends are friends and business is business. Let them know that up front.

    Second rule....they know you so they won't be impressed with your work, no matter what you do...Example, my wife works with a retired Navy Captain. He had his own ship with 150 + sailors who quaked when he walked by. She gives him a hard time for his bad jokes....the point, expertise is only applied to people you don't know well..once you know them....people discount what you do.

    Pricing: I generally figure out how long I think it is going to take. Triple that number and then multiply it by an hourly rate that I am comfortable with for giving up time with my family or doing other work.

    With design stuff you run into the "I don't know, but I don't like it. Show me something else." You can get in that rut and end up putting in 100 hours for what should really be a 15 hour job.

    Don't mess around with SEO stuff...tell him you will put in meta tags and submit him to search engines but that is it. If he isn't web savvy, he won't appreciate what work it takes to actually achieve good SEO so you will be just wasting breath trying to explain it to him. Ultimately if he wants SEO, he will go to one of those rip-off guarantee top 10 placement places because they are the "experts."
    Chris Mayr
    When amassed, even dust can become a mountain.

    There is a finite amount of intelligence but an infinite amount of stupidity in the universe

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador darkstar7's Avatar
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    Do it. Just remember that they will make changes to your design. Be patient and polite. And the advise about multiplying your time is correct. It will take longer than you think.

    Great additional income.
    Luke
    Have you promoted your brand name today?

  24. #24
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    Glad I found this thread. Had an opportunity to make a little extra cash building a *Simple* website, but now decided not to do it. My thoughts were to just stay with affiliate marketing and not spread myself thin over different areas.

    Peace & Blessings,
    White Wolf
    Blessed Be,
    White Wolf

  25. #25
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I know some folks who paid to have a corporate site built. They went middle of the road on the quotes, and pay for updates as they need them, which isn't often.

    They paid $2500 to have it done. It has a touch of flash, but the rest is all text and straight html and graphics.

    So I think that anything around there is a fair asking price. You can even give them a 10% Friend of the Family Discount...

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