Monday, March 25, 2013

How Much Should You Pay For A Website?

I call it 'business terrorism'.

Businesses - holding others hostage, or using fear - to charge WAY more than they should for website design, web maintenance, hosting, social media and more.

Lately - I've seen several local 'web design' and 'SEO' agencies and firms preying on small business (and doctor's offices mostly, that I have seen).  I have been watching people pay hundreds of dollars for things that take less than an hour to perform (adding links to copy on a page for example, or a new link from the drop down menu on a custom Wordpress site).

I've seen instances this year - where doctors paid more for their website - than they would a luxury car.  

I have seen cases - locally - and recently - where these webdesign and marketing companies 'host' and design the sites for the client, then do not give them access at all or full, free reign to manage their own site, AND then - they charge them unbelievable money to make small changes. (over $1000 to add a link to the navigation? really?)

Now, I'm not talking about a website that provides an interactive, multi-programming platform experience that does something AHHHHH-MAZING.

And if anyone needed that - it's not something we do - it's out of my league and skill set. I'm talking about a Wordpress site design. Or a standard HTML (page by page) small business website.

For this same type of website - which we do every day - our website design rates start at $1500.00 and go up to around $2500 - and it all depends on time involved. We post these rates directly on our website - we try to be as up-front as possible - from the start and communicate the entire way through. Of course - it can cost more - sure - but it rarely is.  We do small changes, updates for our hourly rate and a two-hour minimum. And - I can get a TON done in two hours.  We work hard, one on one try to include as much as we can - to give added value to our clients and do quality work, efficiently. 

Bottom line: we're nowhere NEAR $20k, $30k and even over $50k. (all of which - I have seen here LATELY - as in the last 6 months on more than 5 different local clients)  Makes me wonder if our prices are that far below the ballpark?

And - we don't 'host' sites and mark up that cost with another fee. We charge money for a providing a service to you. We don't need to make more money by marking up hosting. We refer our clients to our favorite web hosting company - Host Assured, and then let our client set up their own account - billing and management so that they can manage that fully moving forward. Why, you ask? We find this works best on a number of levels - 1/ they can get support directly from the host and 2/ if they choose to leave us, or go with another company - they have full freedom over their website, it's content - and who has access to it. These poor companies I've been working with lately seem to be in the dark on their access and what they are paying for. That's just wrong.

Of course, Kari & Co. is just me, and Kim - and a couple of other quality folks. We have some help from time to time with blogging and content, but for the most part we do all of the design work, we have a WONDERFUL programmer friend in Bangkok who is a brilliant jQuery ninja - but beyond that - what you see is what you get with us. We stay busy, we work hard and we feel we provide a quality end result at a competitive price.

But I see an opportunity here. As a consultant maybe - helping clients (especially medical companies needing medical practice websites) save money from the business terrorists.