Responsive Website Pricing?

I’m updating my base pricing and I want to find out how many of you professional website developers are charging more for responsive websites? If so, how much extra (percentage wise) do you tend to charge?


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Ok, I’ll kick it off.

Yes, I charge more. How much more depends on the scope and complexity of the site and how responsive it needs to be and for what devices. For example, it could be as simple as making the text larger for smartphones, and that’s it. Easy. Or it could involve a substantial structural and visual reworking for multiple devices and resolutions. It’s all relative.

Todd

I’m updating my base pricing and I want to find out how many of you professional website developers are charging more for responsive websites? If so, how much extra (percentage wise) do you tend to charge?


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Thanks for the input Todd.

The reason I ask is that often a new client will want to know my base fees for the services I provide. Rarely, if at all, do my base fees come close to the cost of the final project, but they still ask. As a result, I’ve prepared a printed list of base prices for various services, such as website design, logos, letterhead, business cards, brochures, etc.

Quite frankly, I don’t know if this is the right approach, but it seems to work for me.


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If it works for you then something must be right.

I’ve never had a client specifically ask me for a base price, usually they ask something far more vague. I always tell them I can’t give a price for something when I don’t know the details of what you’re trying to accomplish. To me it’s like asking a car salesman how much a car costs. Not a specific car, just “a car”.

This is what works for me.

Todd

Quite frankly, I don’t know if this is the right approach, but it seems to work for me.


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usually they ask something far more vague

How long is a bit of string?

D


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Yeah, pretty much.

Todd

How long is a bit of string?


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How long is a bit of string?

How deep are your pockets?


Ernie Simpson


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In all seriousness, is it not wise to have base prices?


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Yes. But there are people who do not quote a flat price straight away, they use their hourly rate as the ‘base’ to determine what a project will cost. Meaning they do not say, for example, their websites start at $2500. Does that make sense? The difference is that you’re talking about using a flat fee as a reference point for a given type of project (web design, print, illustration etc.) whereas others use their hourly rate to compute it on a project-by-project basis. Does that make sense?

Todd

In all seriousness, is it not wise to have base prices?


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Sorry for the duplicate sentences. It’s annoying but unintentional.

Does that make sense?

Todd


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Yes, it makes perfect sense and that’s pretty much how I work (i.e. per hour).

Basically, what I’ve done is put together a list of a few sample projects to use as examples. This saves me a lot of wasted time putting together quotes for clients with unrealistic budgets. You know the type. Clients who think they can get a logo for $100 or a website for $500.

Here’s one of my examples:

A base website starts at $x,xxx and includes the following:
1. Up to 10 custom pages
2. Dynamic Navigation
3. Home page slide show
4. Custom Contact Form
5. Basic SEO Package (search engine optimization)
6. Monthly Google Analytics report (.pdf)
7. One hour of client changes

I guess there are several ways to approach this, and to be honest I haven’t found the perfect approach yet.

I have a friend in the business who always starts the conversation with, “what’s your budget?” He says the reason he does this is because more often than not, he found himself cutting his price because he assumed the client didn’t have a decent budget, when in fact they did. He also says that if somebody has unrealistic expectations, asking this question will help root out those people as well.

What are your thoughts?


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It seems a reasonable approach. I do it differently but like you I’m always looking for ways to improve the process, though I’m not sure there’s an ideal method. If, for the most part, it’s working in your favor then I think it’s a good plan. There are a lot of variables and personal preferences to consider.

Like your friend I’ve tried the “What’s your budget” lead-in in the past but it didn’t work so great for me, mainly because people were noticeably reluctant to show their cards too soon. They probably felt that if their budget was greater than my fee that I would just go with their budget and pocket some extra $. I wouldn’t do that of course, but I can understand their concern, if in fact that was how they felt.

A lot of my work is from referrals so I think by the time they get to me they already have an insight into how I do things and they rarely question the cost, or perhaps it’s not their primary concern. I honestly can’t recall the last time someone asked me how much I charge for a website. The conversation almost always begins with them telling me what they need then I tell ‘em I right an estimate and we go from there. Sure, sometimes they’ll take a pass because it’s too expensive but usually they’re fine with it.

I guess I never had or felt a need to use a structured price list like what you’re talking about simply because that’s not how people approach me, and if they did I would do what I’ve been doing all along. I’m not saying one approach is better or worse but for me this is what works and what I’m comfortable doing.

Todd


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The last big agency I worked at had a person work full-time for months to do a statistical analysis of our historical work, to determine what constituted a Small, Medium, and Large project. These were ranges (and they were for the pharmaceutical industry, so scale anything you believe a project should cost by 1,000). The analysis looked over projects that had gone well, and projects that hadn’t, and came up with some “tells” of what to look out for, and a scaling factor to apply when they were seen. This made estimating a project much less of a fire drill, and allowed for a better outcome. It was a serious investment, though, and relied on the company having been in business, doing the same thing, since the Web became a commercial playground.

Here’s how this got applied in practice. When a customer would send an RFP or request a bid, we would have a top-level conversation with the client about their goals and their vision of the project. We would write a proposal outlining the project as we saw it, noting any potential speed-bumps or areas of fuzziness, and then tell them which bucket we thought their project was in. This cleared out a lot of projects where we were just one of “the three bids”, rather than the vendor the client actually wanted. It also scared off the smaller jobs, because a “small” job for MBC would pay my mortgage for a year.

If the client didn’t spit out the hook at this point, we would go back over the outline, try to refine the unknowns, and come up with a fully-qualified estimate, accurate within 15%. But here’s the key. If the client wanted that, they would have to pay us to create it, up front, and that cost was automatically 20% of the total project “bucket” cost. So instead of doing a lot of spec work to get the job, we would get the client to pay for the project plan up front. The sweetener we offered them was that at the end of that phase, if they wanted to walk, they could have the entire plan and all our thinking that went into it. As far as I know, nobody ever walked.

Walter

On Jan 20, 2014, at 2:12 AM, RavenManiac wrote:

I guess there are several ways to approach this, and to be honest I haven’t found the perfect approach yet.


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Very interesting, Walter. Thanks for a peek behind the curtain.

Todd


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Generally once the spec/cost was agreed we have 33% upfront, 33% on agreed signed off wireframe/templates design, balance on completion. This way at least you’re in-front at each stage if the project withers and dies.

Also agreeing/signing off each stage - by agreeing each stage there’s no surprises like “I did not want that!” only “that’s OK this extra work will cost £”.

David Owen

http://www.printlineadvertising.co.uk

On 20 Jan 2014, at 15:47, Todd email@hidden wrote:

Very interesting, Walter. Thanks for a peek behind the curtain.

Todd
http://xiiro.com


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