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55 Replies Latest reply: Jan 28, 2010 8:39 PM by mgmixsp RSS

Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?

WhiteBrow Newbie
Currently Being Moderated

I need to put up a simple website for our business. Each day, I get customers calling in and asking do you have a website? And the answer is no - not yet. I don't have the time or the skillset to design a website, so was thinking of hiring someone to do it. I've never worked with a web designer before so I'd like guidance on the standard pay structure - do web designers work for a fixed price for the job or is it by the hour? Any thoughts on the pros/cons of either pay structure? Again, I am just looking for a few pages with images to establish a web presence.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    BDS INC Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    WhiteBrow - if your needs are simple - I'd say a lump some. You should set a budget and negotiate from there. If you are looking for a few pages, no E-commerce, not big Flash design, then a few hundred bucks should get you a fairly decent web site.

     


    If you are looking for a freelance that does good work - cheap, let me know. I know someone good.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    score81 Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    Remember three different services makes one web site. You have to be aware of all three before bringing web site up and running. They are as follows:

    1. Web Name: You have to select name for your site( for example ??????.com or net etc.) and then has to make sure it is available and then register the name for yearly or 2, 3, 5, 10 year payment. You have to keep record of where you register the name and at exact time renew it. You can easily forget to renew and some body can take it.

    2. Web Hosting Company: This is the company where your web site will be placed so all people can access it, by inputting the web address. They charge monthly/quaterly/yearly etc. You can find different companies with different rates. Please check the web and compare values before contracting them to host your web site.

    3. Web Designer: These are companies or consultants who writes and design web pages for you. If you are looking for 2-3 pages web site I will suggest get a local consultant from High school or Community college and ask him to write 2 - 3 pages web site for you. He will like to know if it is Window base or Linux base site that you need to make sure before you order web hosting. It will cost you minimum and pay as lump sum.
    Things to remember:
    1. What software he used to write the web pages.
    2. Get the copy of the web page for your record and future use.
    3. Ask him if future changes are required, what will it cost?
    4. Have his address, email address and telephone in your record.
    5. Make him responsible for uploading the web pages to the web hosting site.
    6. Make him responsible for working website up to your satisfaction, before payment will be done.

    I hope it helps you to decide what need to be done.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    DustinSteller Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Short answer...Most designers will be a lump sum.

    Long answer...We like to meet with our customers (face-to-face or over the phone), to get an understanding of what it is you do, what your needs are, where you want to grow, who your target audience is, what your likes/dislikes are, discuss your budget and the scope of the project, etc...We prepare our quotes with a site outline from that meeting.

    For websites, my design firm prepares a quote with an outline of the site and an agreement. Then after the client
    accepts it, signs the agreement and pays the 50% payment, we begin work
    immediately upon receiving the first payment and the necessary assets to work with such as logos, contact information, photography, copywriting, etc.

    We design the initial page comps, either wireframe or full designs (depending o nthe scope of the project), then upon approval, we begin the programming and testing. Delivery, for an average site, takes place in two-three weeks with a normal workflow and approval process.

    Final payment is made before the site goes live. Then a final test is made of the live site to make sure all is working.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    MCG_Studio Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Whitebrow and Swimmer - good to hear you are interested in developing websites. I would strongly suggest anyone that has their own company to at least have a standard brochure website for their customers. The brochure website is nicknamed that because it is all the information you would find in a 2 - 3 page brochure about your company. All that's really needed is a basic welcome page that introduces your company, an "about us" page that goes into more detail about your services and what you can offer, and another page that allows the user to contact you via phone or email.

    As far as paying for the project most firms will go with a lump sum as that is starting to become the trend more and more now. And please keep in mind that you get what you pay for. The internet has come a long way and so has the public's expectations as far as presenting yourself online. For some clients, this will be the first impresion they have about you and your company. I suggest you avoid the family member or community college student as someone poorly suggested and hire a professional.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    skeebee Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    I will just chime in and mention a few more details:

    1. Depending upon the size and functonality of your site you can use free web hosting sites and simply pay someone to design it.

    2. Some web hosting companies offer site design tools that are easy to use for a basic website and are also free.

    Of course if you want shopping carts, flash, javascript, forms, etc, then you will need to pay a designer and you will need to pay for hosting it as well. DO YOUR RESEARCH ON WEB HOSTING COMPANIES and I would suggest that you pay month to month at first (for web hosting). Also register your domain name with a different company than the one you are using to host your site. If case you dont like them, it will be easier to switch hosting companies.
    • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
      WebdesignGirl Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      Domain ownership is a tricky business. Several of my customers get letters and emails from companies purporting to be their domain registration company and getting them to renew. An innocent admin person thinks she is on top of things by signing the slip and renewing the domain for another year or two only to find later that she signed something to switch their agreement from their existing company to the new one, who send the letter. The best way to keep on top of all the people trying to poach your business is to save all the information from your reservation (preferably PDF the confirmation page or email) and set a calendar reminder 2 months before the domain expires so you get it renewed in time. That way you can ignore any requests you get from companies or individuals who more than likely don't have your best interests at heart. And always do it yourself, that way you own it, and not your hosting company so you can change hosting companies whenever you want to.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    MarketingMan Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi, I manage the Direct Marketing Association for Southern Cal, Northern Cal, Arizona and Nevada. There are a couple ways to go depending on your business and your businesses needs.

    The most common way to pay for a website is by the page. The price will vary based on complexity. If you pay by the hour it will cost you around $60 to $100 an hour but it is very hard to manage the cost. Especially if you don't clearly define in advance exactly what you want each page to look like and how it is to function.

    If your business is common there are a lot of standard sites that you can purchase that come with a lot of specialized functionality that is already designed for your business. That is a much cheaper way to go. If you need more information you can call the DMAsc office at 818-541-1152. I hope this helps.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    sumfun1 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    If you need any advice on designers, or ideas please don't hesitate to ask. I currently have 4 of my own websites as 80% of my business is online. I also have designed a few websites and turnkey sites. There are so many different options out there and you need to think about down the road as well on things you would like to have on your website or things you think you might need.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    SEO-Expert Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    The lumpsum should be the model that you should look for. Make sure that you have clearly identified your needs in a website. You have to be crystal clear in defining the scope of work to request for quote. I have got clients who told us strange stories where they were charged for small changes when they did not put basic things in requirements.

    make sure YOU own your domain name and not the company who designs the site for you. If possible try to host on your own using Dodaddy or other services. This allows you to switch web developer easily in future if needed.

    Create list of things that you need in your site:

    Flash banner
    Side menus & their sub menus
    SEO friendly design with meta tags
    Logo design
    Contact us form
    shopping cart

    Create the list of functionailities that you need in your site.

    Thanks,
    Bob

     

  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    Biz Online Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi WhiteBrow,
    Lump sum is my recommendation.
    Get someone who knows DESIGN and search engine optimization, so the on-page SEO is done while the site is being built. This will save you time and money. Also, start now on who you work with locally to ask them to link to your new website when it is done. Be sure and use "anchor text", or your site keywords, as links, not just your website name coming from your local business partners. Done correctly, you will not have to do any submissions to the search engines, as they will find you!
    Best of luck!
    Cliff
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    hightech Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    We do web site designing and more for your company. You can send me the details and I will send you customize pages for you to see before you purchase. Usually it goes by project basis. Don't go by hourly it will cost you more. And we can work with your budget.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    Transform_MD Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Find a really good and creative designer who will tailor to your specific needs. Ask for a proposal for time and materials, scope and hard delivery dates, and pay them in a lump sum. Hourly payment is dangerous becuase you can find yourself dealing with "scope creep" and escalating costs for the project with nothing to tangibly show. Time is money!
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    MedlineRecrui Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    There are many different ways of paying for a website. I did a lot of research before I chose my web designer. I paid a flat fee based on the number of pages and complexity/functionality of my page. Also, I went with GoDaddy for my hosting and domain purchase (it was like $40/year-24Hr tech support). Some Web Developers have their own server storage and will charge you monthly fees, but I think it's a rip off. I ended up choosing Ackerman Solutions for my page design (727) 418-6186. You can see my page --> http://www.medlinerecruits.com (I still need to finish some narratives on random pages). I also referred a friend of mine to them and this is the page that they did for him for under $1,000----> http://www.chsvcs.com. The developer/owner Tony Ackerman did my page in less than a week which is unheard of...I think. My friend never even met with him in person, and said that he was great to work with. I remember that his prices started at like $250+ a page and went up depending on extras that you wanted (forms...etc). I would definetly go with a flat fee again. I would be afraid that someone would add hours here or there, but that's just me.

    Hope that helped! Good luck!

    Tiffany
    Medline Recruiting
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    virtual_kelly Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I charge clients by the hour. Using a time tracking software, I always let them know how much time has been used. Typically, designing the template takes the most time consuming ranging from 3 or more hours depending on my client's ability to communicate. After that, it's a breeze.

    PROS to my method: If it is easy, it will be done quickly therefore you aren't paying $250 per page no matter the complexity.
    CONS: You have to be able to trust the designer. If you change your mind a lot, you can rack up the hours with changes. Definately know what you want. Look at other sites and be able to communicate what you want and need the first time.

    Always register your own domain name and pick the hosting company. Too many horror stories of designers disappearing and there is no way to get their website back.

    Hope this helps.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    idealtech Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I think you can really do it yourself. We have a simple 5 page website and average computer knowledge that built and designed it thru GoDaddy. Check out their website, it's pretty inexpensive and they have a companion called Website Tonight that we used to create our own. It was fairly simple and we received help whenever we needed it. You can also set up the domain.........one stop shopping for the average user. You don't have to "know how to create a website" they do all that for you, pretty much plug and play
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    abbasm Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi,

    Was just wondering if you got your website project completed already. If not, I can help you build simple static site for your business at a very compatitive fixed rate.

    Check out http://www.a-plus-dental.com for sample.

    Thanks,
    Arshnet.net
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    Ah yes, the inevitable chiming in of the cheap web designers that work by the hour, or for some ungodly low amount, because we all know how easy and simple it is to hack together a handful of pages and call it a day.

    And a car is a set of parts one can buy at NAPA stores nationwide.

    Considering that most of these fly-by-night or part-time firms won't be around a year after they start, you should invest in your website and find a professional firm, just as you should have a dentist for dental care, and an accountant for your taxes.

    Instead of posting for days, let me recycle what I have already written on this subject:
    http://www.miketruesecreations.com/faqs-cheap-website-designers.php
    Cheap hosting:
    http://www.miketruesecreations.com/faqs-free-hosting-websites.php

    Print designers doing websites (shudder)
    http://www.miketruesecreations.com/faqs-print-designers-not-website-designers.php
    How much should it really cost, and why?
    http://www.miketruesecreations.com/faqs-cost-of-great-website.php

    http://www.miketruesecreations.com/about-website-design-process.php

    Sign up for my newsletter, and receive free a guide to selecting a website design firm - which is NOT a sales pitch for my firm, but a vendor neutral set of questions, checklists and viewpoints to evaluate any webdev firm you're looking at.

    Best wishes.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    K Bizz Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    If u work with www.kbizzsolutions.com. You dont have to pay per hour. Its a home base business, running by a developer mum. visit the site and read testimonials. You will feel it the right company for you. She started the business in March 2007 and now have almost 50 highly satisfied clients. She works with you on every level. Prices are so affordable u will not believe. Check them out www.kbizzsolutions.com
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    RB4711 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    WhiteBrow - Look to do a lump sum for the first web site for your business. Their are services that will provide a template that can be customized for your business. Make sure that your get a package design on web site design, domain name, hosting and basic marketing for your web site. Now a days, you need all these working together to have a good web presence. Also, keep in mind that since you do not have expertise, the person or firm will provide service to make updates to your site. Let me know if you have more questions.
    • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
      studio 525 Novice
      Currently Being Moderated
      Might I suggest that the real question you should be asking is what kind of results can I expect from my website. A poorly designed website can do enormous damage to your business, just as a well designed website can substantially boost your profits and improve productivity. Good website design that gets results involves much more than attractive graphics or the current web 2.0 design trends. It's an integrated marketing platform that involves graphic design, copywriting, SEO, and the many methods that drive the right prospects to your website. Good website design attracts your target market, sets the right tone to establish trust and is compelling enough to convert a high percentage of visitors into customers. Because it asks a great deal it is not necessarily cheap.

      Website design that doesn't accomplish these essential tasks is at best neutral, but more often than not actually drives potential customers away from your business.

      The web presents enormous competition for your products and services. If your website is not as good as your competition (and hopefully much better) you're in a very bad place. The web is probably the greatest marketing tool I've seen in my 30 years as a marketing and advertising Creative Director. But many business owners don't understand that a website that is not at the very top of its game can do as much damage as a good website can help.

      I believe the question most business owners should ask is what results am I going to get from my website and how do I ensure positive results and avoid negative consequences?

      Getting positive results usually costs money.

      You can always find a cheaper way to market. But, over the long run (and short run too), you usually end up reducing your profits, sometimes dramatically.

      As a marketing professional and owner of a web marketing and design company, it may sound like I'm selling something. Of course I'm going to ask people to pay my fees, which are fair but not the lowest on the block. But in 30 years I've seen this far too often to ignore. And the web accelerates these trends dramatically.

      Use an inexpensive template design and you'll look like every other inexpensive template design on the web. At best you'll be invisible. Fail to use compelling headlines and copy, informative content and irresistable offers and your results are going to be zip--or worse.

      For many businesses today, their website is their face. It's how people first know them. It's where people go to research before buying. There are many opportunites to make a customer, but just as many to chase them away. The real question may be, can you afford not to create the very best website you can afford?

      If you're looking for the best results and not the lowest price, you may want to talk to me further. You can reach me through my website at http://www.studio525.com.

      Good luck and may you prosper beyond your dreams,
      Peter
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    RealEstate Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    WhiteBrow

    The common sense answer to your question is neither. Escrow service would be your safest bet. I work in the domain and hosting industry and I hear horror stories everyday between clients and webmasters. I would take the time to do your homework and check some overseas free lance designers. They are relatively inexpensive and most provide escrow service to ensure that all parties are happy.

    RealEstate
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    timfahey Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Ultimately, you get what you pay for. I would recommend that you get an analysis of what you need and negotiate with the writer. If you are dealing with a trustworthy and professional writer, and just need an edit, I would recommend you pay by the hour. If you need ongoing edits and changes, the hourly rate works because each situation is different. Contact me if you need any recommendations. : )
    Thanks
    Tim
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    xenopod Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    WhiteBrow:

    If you truly have no idea of the scale, scope, or objective of your website other than "I need one" I would encourage you to use www.guru.com

    That website is basically an open market filled with varying quality professionals that are willing to do work for various prices or rates.

    Post any information you have developed about the project such as budget, what you can provide, and any idea of what you want or need. Then when you get responses for the ad read them, and I mean really read what many of the professionals post. Obviously there will be a lot of sales pitch language in the proposals, but over the course of the proposals you read you should be able to attain a sense of what it is you really want out of your website. Hopefully you will also have found a web developer you feel capable of creating your vision of your website.

    That website has profiles that provide various depths of information about freelancers or development companies on the site. This will provide you a means of seeing what they have done and what their style is like. For a first website I would encourage you to only pick a web developer from that site that has a reviewed profile. You may also consider the additional restriction of prefering vendors and professionals instead of free profiles. You can also impose various geographic preferences, but other then binding to a USA developer you may not wish to limit all the way down to your city/state unless face to face contact is really imperative to your website being sucessfully completed. Be sure to read the developer reviews of any you are intested in to understand the developer's strengths and limits. Once you have selected your developer you can (as RealEstate advised) use an escrow service that includes dispute resolution services. The best of all this whole process costs you nothing all fees are handled by the developer. The worse case scenario is you may need to post several RFP's to finally comb out specifically what you need and then the correct professional for the job.

    My firm www.xenopodinc.com been affiliated with this site for some time now. We find it a reasonable way to ensure mutual protection and understanding. We do not always make as much money as we potentially could have in other means and we do look for clients through other avenues, but it is an excellent resource to be used by developers/designers and employers looking for firms/freelancers services.
    • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
      Iwrite Master
      Currently Being Moderated
      WhiteBrow:

      You have gotten a lot of good answers. There is no right or wrong answer to this. It is a personality thing for most. "Project Basis" verses "Hourly Fee" has been an ongoing discussion in the advertising community since there was an advertising community.

      Here are some thoughts from an advertising person:
      • Please get at least three bids.
      • Request, no, demand to see their portfolio. (If they don't have one - walk, no, run away)
      • Ask for references. Check references. (Family does not count)
      • Stop and think about what you want your site to do, put it in writing. (It is okay to look at other websites and find things you would like for yours to do)
      • Have a budget amount in mind for the job. Leave a little wiggle room, a little.
      • Ask questions, there are no dumb questions. How they answer the questions will tell you how they are going to be to work with.
      • Listen to their answers. Do they seem to understand what you need or want? Do they get it?
      • Get an idea of how many people will be working on your project. (It is ideal to have at least an art director/designer and a writer)
      • Do not forget about editing - make sure it is included in scope of the project and that there is time for it in the schedule.
      • There will be revisions, ask what constitutes a revisions and how many rounds are included in the scope.
      • Set deadlines or milestones that both of you can agree on.
      • Be patient. Yes, God created the world in 6 days but HE is God. The rest of us require more time.
      • Make quality the focus, not time or money! Get the best quality for the budget and time you have.
      • Build for the future. Ask for a website design that will not be obsolete in a matter of months. Make sure they are using some of the newer programs. This will lengthen the life span of the site.
      • Think long term. How easy is the site going to be to maintain, update, change or redesign? Yes, you can pull this site down and put up another, but you want to maintain a consistent look and feel.

      You may have known all of this and if you did, I meant no harm. I hope they help.

      Iwrite
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    rcameron Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I specialize in low cost, simple web design that is effective. Check out my site at:

    http://www.rlcwebdesign.net

    Good luck.

    Robby
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    SEOpro Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    There is a growing number of outfits that will build and host your website for free, or close to free.
    If you sign up with a provider that uses a Content Management System to allow you to add content yourself (through, for example, a web interface) they can, as part of the agreement, add a single link at the bottom of each page from your website to, for example, their website or that of a sponsor.
    Because inbound links add value to the site they link to, this can offset the cost, and indeed be profitable, for the provider, allowing them to host your website "for free".
    I have done this for one or two sites through www.foreverup.com.

    I think it is only a matter of time before "free website + free hosting" is the standard, at least for basic businesses with simple website needs.

    My 2 cents' worth.
    Liam
    Author of Web Traffic Magnet.
    www.amazon.com/gp/product/1438263074
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    rh1000 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    In 95% of the time you do not pay by the hour. You would pay a certain fee for the home page then an addtional $100.00 dollars each for additional pages. I have a soild source thats very professional and you would be very proud of the work they would do for you. It would cost less then $3,000.00 dollars. Remember you pay for what you get. To help suport the growth of your business you want it to look good I want nothing in return for giving you the source you need to help you get what you need thanks and God Bless and continued success.
    • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
      your_web_guy Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      holy crap! Three Grand?!?! The only time that is an acceptable number is if you are getting a completely customized ecommerce site with a custom script that will do various things to your person if you enter the right codes.

      Keep it simple... a flat rate for a web site. Period. I cannot stand this per page pricing, it only encourages clients to put too much information on each page to keep costs down. Remember that for every page you have on your website you have an additional chance to get into search results.

       


      I do agree that you get what you pay for, but that just means you need to do your homework before you sign up with anyone. The bottom of the price (and quality) list is the GoDaddy homesite tonight service where its (barely) guided do it yourself. The top of the list is a high dollar design studio that can do everything you need them to do without much guidence from you and it is all completely custom.

       


      Shamless Plug Alert <<<</div>

       

      My company is right in the middle... we do everything you need done from SEO to Domain Registration to Hosting to Maintenance to Scripting, but it is not 100% custom. We employ a template company to make the basic design then we customize it for the clients specific needs. We do not write scripts from scratch, but we can modify very powerful scripts to do exactly what you need them to do. Scripts like oscommerce, wordpress, and even php nuke (although i prefer wordpress as a cms to phpnuke).

       


      My advice... dont get caught up in the "templates are bad" debate. They can be bad, dont get me wrong... but they can also be friggin awsome in the right hands. Budget about a grand for the initial set up stage and then get a decent host (if your designer/scripter doesnt do it) because even though $10 a month sounds good at first, if your seo is good you will be paying out the wazoo for bandwidth overages within a year of going live. I highly suggest you keep your site with your designer if they do hosting... all the time i see really well made sites get butchered by laymen who didnt set it up originally when they are making updates to the site. What we do is alway host the site after the initial design is complete. Our name is at the bottom and if i cannot vouch for the updates then i dont want my companies name on it.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    BLUELAGOON Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi,

    Inconcern with your posting. I can offer you a fully functional website for just one dollar a day. No web master needed. And anyone can use this product. I am a rep from Power Pro Sites and there are no contracts.
    Interested? Feel Free to contact me at 941 524 2318.

    Thank you

    Walt
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    powerusers Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I have read your question carefully. I think that should go for free
    lancer. as they are expert in the field and you can set you budget so
    that it will not be costly for you. If wish i can design website for
    you, just reply me.
    Your Friend Nikhil
    Waiting for Reply
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    bigcloudmedia Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Good day.

    I am the owner of Big Cloud Media, a webdesign company in San Antonio TX, and we charge by the hour, but that being said our structure is a tad different.

    We included all of our services under one hourly charge instead of splitting it up into: this amount for design, this amount per page, this amount per picture, this amount for flash work, etc.

    The amount of content on the pages and the type of content determines how many pages we can do per hour. Thus the type of content, amount of content and the amount of pages determines the overall price of the site. We sit down with our clients and draw out what they want and then make an estimate based off of that.

    Overall, I would say keep a price in your head that you don't want to go above and see what the designer can do with it. The end price is what matters in the end, regardless of whether it is by the hour or by the project, and if you know your ceiling amount, then you won't get into trouble later on.
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    Henrykjr Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I am in the process launch one of my latest websites. I purchased off the shelf website software that is being cut and modified by web developers. This is now my sixth running website business. I have to tell you that if you are not familiar with building websites and don't know the in's and outs of what you want paying a lump summ to get your website up and running will often leave you with additional development costs as you thought process on how you want your website to run evolves.

    Also paying by the hour is also somewhat loaded. If you are not 100% crystal clear on what you want done, your website costs will spiral out of control.

    As a rule of thumb, that what you had budgeted for a realistic, well working website and double it to get what you ideally want. I know this sounds kina dumb but it's really not.

    Here are some pointers on how to get what you want:

    1. Spend as much time as you need writing a business plan
    2. Spend weeks researching your competition and how thier website functions, log all the good points and throw out the bad.
    3. Incorporate this new information into your business plan.
    4. Take adequate time to whiteboard how your website will work and record how your website is navigated.
    5. Take a day to read about how ecommerce works, open a google ad words account, and learn something about SEO
    6. Take adequate time to document all the specifications on the website (Most important)
    7. Pick a look and feel from a website like templatemonster.com
    8. See what off the shelf software is available that you can buy and modify. The first site I built from scratch cost me around $135K to build
    9. Interview at least 5 web dev firms.
    10. Sign contracts based on your written specifications.
    11. Split the cost of the website over 3 payments with the last payment being made 10 days after you have debugged the site.

    Hope this helps
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    intechspecial Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    Even if you do pay one lump sum, you will be paying by the hour. Companies that charge a flat rate estimate the amount of time it will take to complete a project and then add a few hours on for good measure.

    • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
      blitzlocal Novice
      Currently Being Moderated
      I agree with Mike.

      Lump sum (fixed fee) limits your risk of cost overruns, but also requires that you are ultra specific on scope (what you require built).
      By the hour reduces risk to the agency, since they can cover their cost with a reasonable mark-up-- but you risk the project going over a target budget.

      Dennis
      Analyst, BlitzLocal.com
      small business web lead generation
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    Being a programmer, I know that things may get delayed, so Hourly may be a bad idea especially if someone decides to flex their freedoms and take their precious time. A lump sum always works best for out-of-house projects in my experiences, maybe a little up front to give them incentive to finish (but only after they produce a prototype or anything to show they're skillful!)
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    leolazarus Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    hi,

    We do everything from a static web site that is a true representation of your business(sort of an ebusiness card) to a fully functioning entity that encapsulates all of your business needs. If you would like a reasonable rate and a website that could be finished in as little as 2 days feel free to contact us for more info. What we like to do is first have you send us and idea of the kind of site(business) you are aiming for, include some things like color preferences, number of pages you desire, and if you would like to see any specific type of functionality-(shopping carts, blogs, chats etc...)
  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    dave2009 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

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    if you have interest in running your own Interracial dating site or work-at-home
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  • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
    Iwrite Master
    Currently Being Moderated
    To ask a web designer to assist with anything other than building a website means that the client should be willing to PAY for those additional services, and since everyone wants something for nothing, I doubt that will happen.

    Bigger is not always better, especially in advertising and PR. The best work is often done by smaller agencies. Clients should be looking at the quality of the work not the name or the size of the firm.
    • Re: Website design - do I pay by the hour or lump sum?
      davidicus Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      one size doesn't fit all. if you want that level of simplicity, find a lump sum designer or firm. i offer lump sum quoting if they're comfortable with that, but my clients almost always opt for hourly pricing.

      here's why: having to estimate the amount of work a site will require--especially if i'm not familiar with a client and their process--means i have to be covered in case of eventualities. simply put, i overestimate somewhat. so does your designer. wouldn't you? mind you, a blanket price is certainly easier on my end as well.

      when i work hourly, i work to an estimate. my clients know i'll warn them if feature creep or alterations will take us over, and i let them know when we're within a few percent of the estimate so they can wind down. meanwhile, to be able to do that, i track my time closely. my bill comes with every fifteen minutes detailed. i stay focused, knowing the clock is ticking. my clients are smart; they'd know if i wasn't honest, but i'm busy, my rate is fair, and the project is usually on a strict deadline.

      i often come in under my estimate, because my clients had their act together and the project ran efficiently. they understand they have an effect; they're woven into the process and are always in the loop. i've rarely gone over the estimate, and when i have, it's been with clients' full blessing.

      lump sum can get you more work than you actually pay for with large development firms. estimating is more complicated, and account reps can be focused on undercutting competition, even to the detriment of the bottom line. they don't work hourly, (though the staff often does), and they pad their estimates with as much as they can get away with.

      P.S.: i don't really recommend asking for references. nobody wants their best clients antagonized by calls and questions, and it's not like you'll ever get the name and number of someone who has anything negative to say. look for testimonials to help put your worries to rest.

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