One of the most common questions I hear is “what do you charge for a web site?”. My answers to that question have varied over the years and I often find myself wanting to give a dollar figure like the sales person does at Bestbuy when asking a price for a shiny new gadget that my wife will disapprove of.
I found an interesting article today while doing some research on this topic:
There is an old joke I saw once where a ship’s captain needed work on a boiler. He called a boilermaker who went down into the ship’s hold and tapped on the boiler in some different spots with a hammer. He said he was done and presented a bill for $1,000. The captain was upset and demanded an itemized invoice. Here is what he got…
Tapping with hammer: $1.00
Knowing where to tap: $999.00
I think too many of us in this trade are focused on the hammer tapping part (which is the actual coding) and not the part of knowing where to tap (which is the planning, experience, education, etc.)
Now, I would never say this directly to a prospective client but it did give me a chuckle and the fact is, web site development is no longer as simple as it once was. Database driven applications have become more complex and web site visitors expect more than just “cool” graphics. Some development firms are very good at animated Flash as a means to win-over clients and others employ some of the best graphic designers in the world but the fact is, you need it all now, including world-class application developers located in house, not overseas.
Here is another great article related to pricing web site development.
Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion. My house should have somewhere between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted. When you bring the blueprints to me, I will make the final decision of what I want. Also, bring me the cost breakdown for each configuration so that I can arbitrarily pick one.Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in. Make sure, however, that you correct all the deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen vibrates when I walk across it, and the walls donâ€™t have nearly enough insulation in them).
As you design, also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of extra-cost features like aluminum, vinyl, or composite siding. (If you choose not to specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail.)
Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be alerted, however, that kitchen should be designed to accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson refrigerator.
To insure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, make certain that you contact each of our children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year.
Make sure that you weigh all of these options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any choices that you make.
Please donâ€™t bother me with small details right now. Your job is to develop the overall plans for the house: Get the big picture. At this time, for example, it is not appropriate to be choosing the color of the carpet. However, keep in mind that my wife likes blue.
Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources to build the house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the house to be under roof within 48 hours.
While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind that sooner or later I will have to sell it to someone else. It therefore should have appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers.
Please make sure before you finalize the plans that there is a consensus of the population in my area that they like the features this house has. I advise you to run up and look at my neighborâ€™s house that he constructed last year. We like it a great deal. It has many features that we would also like in our new home, particularly the 75-foot swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe that you can design this into our new house without impacting the final cost.
Please prepare a complete set of blueprints. It is not necessary at this time to do the real design, since they will be used only for construction bids. Be advised, however, that you will be held accountable for any increase of construction costs as a result of later design changes.
You must be thrilled to be working on as an interesting project as this! To be able to use the latest techniques and materials and to be given such freedom in your designs is something that canâ€™t happen very often.
Contact me as soon as possible with your complete ideas and plans.
PS: My wife has just told me that she disagrees with many of the instructions Iâ€™ve given you in this letter. As architect, it is your responsibility to resolve these differences. I have tried in the past and have been unable to accomplish this. If you canâ€™t handle this responsibility, I will have to find another architect.
PPS: Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but a travel trailer. Please advise me as soon as possible if this is the case.
Most of our clients come to us after dealing with smaller (and usually cheaper) firms that are good at one or two areas of web development and outsource the rest. Delaware.net, Inc. has four teams of true internet professionals in which we pay full medical benefits and 401k retirement.
After 10 years of experience managing hundreds of projects at once and making it profitable to do so, we continue our mission to develop world-class applications and provide unmatched service and support. We have the experience to make your web site not only graphically pleasing but more importantly, useful for web site customers. We have seen MANY small companies come to town, make a splash and vanish over night, leaving their customers feeling stranded. Be very cautious when your web development firm does not own their servers or they work out of a house.
Delaware.net uses time as a measurement for a projects cost, not the budget that a client has or a per-page pricing structure. Price shopping is great when shopping for a new coat but when you are considering a company to manage your data and online marketing, I think you will agree there is something to be said for longevity and experience.
What happens after you request a web site design proposal?
Six years ago Delaware.net, Inc. developed a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Application called Team-Logic , our business runs on this very robust framework. We continue to add features to all of our applications daily. Once you submit the free web development quote form on our web site, you become a user of Team-Logic which allows you to login and view the progress of your site development and it’s ongoing care right from our web site http://www.delaware.net. Once you are logged-in, you can view/add notes, files, follow-up, history and work requests. All web design and web development proposals include QA/QC, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), free training, 30 days of free maintenance changes that do not increase the scope of the project and unlimited free technical support.