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Thread: Website Launch

  1. #11
    charlesh's Avatar
    charlesh is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    It's a good topic, whether or not to post prices.

    Of course, I thought about it, since I am in a position to do the same as you, and I guess it also depends upon what kind of clients you want to attract. Big discount designers usually are heavy in "one size fits all" type of approach. You would have to be to charge say, $600-$800 a site. Since time is all you have to make a profit, you would have to minimize the amount of time it takes you to do a site. If you can get two to three done in a day, hey, doing really well. And, if you have low prices, the idea is that you will have a high volume.

    But reality being what it is, it inevitably takes longer to do a site than I usually bargain for. Clients don't like to give up the goods and you usually end up writing half their content anyway based on what you think it is that they do. Ever see a room go quiet? As a client, "What is it, exactly that you do? Describe your process." You may get a pretty good answer sometimes and you better take notes, because when they send you the "paper" version word doc for the about us page, they left out a lot of what they said. So, I usually end up writing stuff from meeting notes (extra time).

    So then the question becomes how do I recoup that cost? Ah, charge them extra. Yes, good idea. But then you go to them and tell them how much over and above you have to do to extract what they should know in the first place and it doesn't go over so well. They point back to the website and say that that is what they are buying and that is what they are going to pay for. They say that you as a designer should know how much it is going to cost them.

    If I'm selling widgets, it's easy, since that is a tangible product. However, I look at web design as both a service and as a product. The finished product is a result of the service you gave. And, you'll spend many an extra hour or two or three setting up emails for people, creating forwards, not to mention the hours on the phone talking about design strategy or content updates, etc.

    That all being said, as a one man band, that's why I've decided to go priceless with my prices. I don't want bargain hunters, but companies who really want a site to work and the excellent support to go along with it. If you go the prices way, we'll have to stay in touch to compare notes.

    Charmon

  2. #12
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    bdominick is offline I am a Glowru!
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    Thanks for sharing your reasoning on this, Charles. I think our approaches to the business in general are similar, so it's interesting that we arrive at different conclusions re whether to post prices.

    But reality being what it is, it inevitably takes longer to do a site than I usually bargain for.
    I have the same disease.

    Clients don't like to give up the goods and you usually end up writing half their content anyway based on what you think it is that they do. Ever see a room go quiet? As a client, "What is it, exactly that you do? Describe your process."
    Same here, all the way.

    And, you'll spend many an extra hour or two or three setting up emails for people, creating forwards, not to mention the hours on the phone talking about design strategy or content updates, etc.
    Yeah, like you I offer a free initial consult, but I sometimes get the impression that clients think phone consults are free without limits. They call at all hours, want advice about business stuff unrelated to the Web, etc. Very strange.

    Oddly, we've just decided to throw all that extra stuff in. We're doing "administration" work (setting up emails, managing domains, etc, etc, for small businesses/nonprofits that don't have their own tech staff). We're also doing copy editing, consultation, etc -- and we're charging hourly for it all (or selling administration packages, like up to 4 hours/month for $100 -- most clients only use 1 or 2...)

    I don't want bargain hunters, but companies who really want a site to work and the excellent support to go along with it.
    Yeah, we (2-person outfit) don't want bargain hunters, either, so I guess that's a risk we're taking. I guess I just don't want to lose the potential client who thinks we're too expensive (or else why wouldn't we just post our prices?).

    Let's definitely keep in touch and share experiences/strategies. I'll let you know when our site is up (I really do think it might be next week ;-)

    If you go the prices way, we'll have to stay in touch to compare notes.

    Charmon[/quote]

  3. #13
    charlesh's Avatar
    charlesh is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    I think that's a great plan. It's really good to discuss this with another designer openly. Most of the other designers I've talked to about this feel as though they are giving away some sort of strategic secrets. We all have the same business model, by in-large, so it should be no secret.

    I used to talk to a designer in Atlanta who was more open to these types of discussions. I moved to Kansas from Atlanta, so we were at least out of the same sandbox, so to speak, so she was more willing to discuss her strategy. We both came to the conclusion that you have to have at least four fires burning at all times, since you can't be dependent upon a clients schedule in getting you what you need. sometimes that can take a couple of weeks or longer, so while that client is on the back-burner, you pick up work on another. With that model, I think set prices could be a good thing.

    Let's definitely keep in touch and share experiences/strategies. I'll let you know when our site is up (I really do think it might be next week ;-)
    Stick to that! Just get it out the door. You may have some grand plans for it in the long run, but those can come later. Who was that famous French Poet, Voltaire, who said that a work of art is never finished, only abandoned.

    Take care,

    Charles H.

  4. #14
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    I, personally like prices listed as I do a lot of comparison shopping online. I also list prices for most of the services I offer.

    A couple of suggestions I have about listing prices:

    Make sure you somehow take into account the time you are willing to spend on a particular project or service and make sure you document that in your price list. In other words, you don't want to quote a price for a page of web design and 3 weeks later, after conversing back and forth with your client and have a page 2500px long - still have your original price in your face.

    Also, have some sort of disclaimer that gives you some wiggle room in regards to the complexity of the design.

    I honestly have a couple of reactions to sites... if they are well designed and don't list prices - I usually will take the time to inquire.
    If they are poorly designed, or have under construction areas, lack of contact information (including a physical location) - I will pass them up, no matter what the prices are.

    Just thought I'd throw my two-cents in there.
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

  5. #15
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    bdominick is offline I am a Glowru!
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    Default Finally!

    Hey, I wasn't lying last week when I said we'd get our site up this week. We went for unusual, since our niche is a bit unusual -- all comments/criticism welcome, I have thick skin.

    WebRoot Solutions - Web Design, Web Hosting, Development, Editing

  6. #16
    rlhanson's Avatar
    rlhanson is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    I like the design of your site - you should add your website into your signature so we don't have to hunt for your link!

    I was just explaining to my son the other day about how cool (ya, I'm old school) it is to have so many different levels of creativity amongst artists. I have a client who drives me crazy because we just have two totally different concepts in mind whenever we do a project. I was explaining to my son that I am actually waiting for the day for my client to find the artist who really "speaks" to them, and how neat it will be when they find eachother.

    Do you subscribe to stumbleupon.com? I like to do that once in awhile - just gives me a perspective of things I wouldn't normally come across.

    I'm rambling...anyway - I like your design!
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

  7. #17
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    I have to agree. I like to see original concepts. You rank in the top 1% of anything unique I have seen lately. Sweet concept and I dig the original artwork.

    Now, tell us how much it cost you aside from your personal labor.
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlhanson View Post
    I like the design of your site - you should add your website into your signature so we don't have to hunt for your link!
    Thanks! And will-do re the sig.

    I was just explaining to my son the other day about how cool (ya, I'm old school) it is to have so many different levels of creativity amongst artists. I have a client who drives me crazy because we just have two totally different concepts in mind whenever we do a project. I was explaining to my son that I am actually waiting for the day for my client to find the artist who really "speaks" to them, and how neat it will be when they find eachother.
    And then there's the clients who will be impressed by nearly anything you show them. I used to get disappointed by that, now I pray for it!

    I'm not much of an artist myself. We usually subcontract illustrations. Not even sure I'm much of a designer, though the "underground" concept and background on our site is my doing. I try to think outside of the box, but in HTML that usually just means thinking of creative ways to box things ;-)

    Most of our business is what we call "rescues" -- we take over half-done or screwed-up projects and try to fix the codebase, CSS, browser compatibility, scripting, etc. I have one client (hopefully) lined up that wants a complete remake, from scratch. Really excited about that.

    Do you subscribe to stumbleupon.com? I like to do that once in awhile - just gives me a perspective of things I wouldn't normally come across.
    Actually, I do, but I try not to use it too much. It's a great way to get off on tangents!

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Now, tell us how much it cost you aside from your personal labor.
    Get ready to hate us... A friend did all 6 ant illustrations as a favor. She has her own animation studio and is really amazing. We've got the laptop ant on our business cards, too. They look great, though I'm afraid that ant looks overwhelmed

    :: Dancing Diablo - Choose your Lenguaje ::

    They have an office in NYC and one in Caracas! But when we asked her for her freelance rates, she said she's too busy to do it. But some of her artists are available, so if anyone wants to be put in touch, let me know.

  10. #20
    rlhanson's Avatar
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    We've got the laptop ant on our business cards, too. They look great, though I'm afraid that ant looks overwhelmed
    I like the IT Admin Ant! LOL




    I have to agree. I like to see original concepts. You rank in the top 1% of anything unique I have seen lately. Sweet concept and I dig the original artwork.
    This is exactly what I mean, I would not be able to create that kind of art - I love the fact that there are so many different concepts! I am actually more of a print advertising style artist.


    Actually, I do, but I try not to use it [stumbleupon] too much. It's a great way to get off on tangents!
    I see. Well, we all have our passions and opinions - it's just very cool that we can use the same technology and try to learn from eachother to accomplish individual visions.
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

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