I had a very interesting phone call with a lovely woman this week who got in touch with me about designing her start-up business website.
We had a great chat: her business sounded brilliant, and we got on really well.
She explained what she wanted from her website: 5 pages and a blog, but no e-commerce functionality.
Her main criteria was that it had to have a prominent email sign-up box on the front page with a snazzy “Hero” landscape image to promote her free e-book. Oh, and would the price of my website include me “jazzing up” her e-book and converting it to PDF?
All fairly straightforward, and I knew I could do a great job interpreting her brief.
And so I gave her my price for the project: £550 – £500 for the website & £50 for the e-book design work.
There was a telling silence on the other end of the phone…
After a little while she replied, “But I’ve seen websites being advertised on Twitter for £199. Your websites are too expensive!”
What did you think my response was?
Well…I definitely didn’t take any offence, didn’t take it personally, or offer her a discount simply to get the project.
I just thought “OK, no problem: she’s NOT my Perfect Client”. The best way forward would be to offer her a list of useful questions to ask her £199 bods and then move on!
My advice was for her to get in touch with the £199 web company and find out if that is the actual final price, or if there will be any extras that they haven’t mentioned in the advert, and how much will they charge for the e-book proof reading and formatting?
Will her website be a design perfectly tailored for her business like mine would be? Or will they be using a generic design template that they simply adapt for each client?
You know what I mean: it will have a different colour palette, images and text content BUT the website framework looks exactly the same – they simply overwrite the template. This is how they can churn out website after website very cheaply.
Who wants to be churned out?! And have a website that’s an imitation of thousands of others out there? I know I wouldn’t.
Other important questions I advised her to ask:
- Establish if it IS actually built using WordPress: it could be on a different CMS platform i.e. Joomla or Magento (which are much trickier to maintain)
- Will her website be designed by one, dedicated contact? Or will she have to talk to different people? And, are they just at the other end of the phone in the UK ready to talk things through (as I am), or will any client/supplier contact be via email only? (I’ve had a client who had this happen!)
- Will her website be designed in this country by the business offering the deal? Do you know how many website design businesses outsource everything overseas, and pay them a pittance? Personally, I find that unethical practice.
- Will her theme be automatically updated, or is there an extra charge for updates?
- How much will they charge for SEO? And is it a condition of getting the £199 website that you have to take their SEO package?
- Would she have to have her website hosted by them; is 3rd party web hosting allowed?
- If they have to host the website, would she have full “back-end” access for maintenance?
- How long is she tied into their web hosting contract for, and how much will they charge her for “transferring away”?
- Can she keep the “theme” if she decides to “transfer away”?
- How much is their hourly rate for simple development work if there is no “back-end” access?
So you see, there’s a lot to consider when shopping for a new website.
My pricing and T&Cs are very transparent:
- Sales Landing/Squeeze Pages: from £100-£150 depending on amount of content and styling required.
- Mini-sites (up to 3 pages) are £350
- Standard Brochure Sites (up to 7 pages) are £500-£750, and are dependent on how much content and functionality you need building in.
- E-Commerce Sites (shopping cart functionality; up to 7 pages & 10 products) start from £600, and are dependent upon how many Shop Products you have, and if there are complex “Variations” i.e. Size and Colour etc.
- SEO Package is an optional extra at £150
- 12 months Web Hosting is an optional extra at £25 and you are not tied in after that. There is no charge to “transfer away”.
- The theme I use for your website is 100% yours, regardless of whether you host your site with me, or with another hosting service. It gets updated without any charges. The same for any associated plugins that work specifically with your theme to keep it updated.
- If you don’t want the hassle of maintaining your new WordPress website, my hourly rate is £25 – not £100 as some WordPress developers charge (some have even higher rates with a minimum of 1 day charge!)
- Any bespoke design/artwork that I produce for your website is included in the price (apart from logo design).
- You get a 30 Day Handover Guarantee.
I don’t think my websites are too expensive, and neither have my Perfect Clients who chose me to create their beautiful online presence. I’d be delighted to talk to you about your website project, and transforming your ideas into reality.
Bye for now,
PS: I have a sneaky feeling that this lovely lady will be back in touch, once she’s had her chat with the £199 chaps!