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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old February 18th, 2005, 12:31 AM   #1
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Building Websites

Sorry for my massive amounts of questions, but I was wondering how much do people usually get paid for making a website? Like how much does the student pay for their website to be made? I have hte domain name and space and everything, just need the website designed!
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Old February 18th, 2005, 01:37 AM   #2
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There are a ton of considerations that come into play when pricing a web site design. Best thing to do is check around and find web designers that you like, and then ask them for a quote. Be specific in what you want...for instance:

1. Home page (what's featured on the fp)
2. Contact page (with or without e-mail form)
3. About page (what's included)
4. Etc.

Also consider...

- Do you want a portal site? Something you can easily add content to that appears fully-formatted?
- Do you want Flash animation? If so, how much? A full Flash site? Or just a few animated elements?
- What type of media do you want to offer? And in how many flavors?

These are just starter questions-- best for you to write down everything you want to have and get your quote based on that. Then, you can either add or whittle away parts to fit your budget.

Good luck!
John Locke
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Old February 18th, 2005, 07:02 AM   #3
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I've moved your thread to our general off-topic media forum.

Good webdesign can be expensive. Clients of our company pay
easily $20+K for just the software to maintain the website (so
they can add, edit, delete content [plus a lot more!] without
needing us and in a friendly manner) and then $50+K to design
and build a site.

But I also know of a company that pays $2K to a couple of students
and hopes for a kick-ass commercial site and is then disappointed
with the results...

As John correctly indicated it also has a lot to do with what you
want and can do yourself. What your needs are, etc.

Rob Lohman,
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

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Old February 18th, 2005, 10:34 AM   #4
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Glen, if you are the one being paid to build a website, it is really up to you how much your time is worth.

Things to consider:
1) TOTAL time spent. - Time spent talking with the client. Time spent revising work. Time spent even thinking about the project. Time spent preparing to work on the site (putting down other projects, setting up files, setting up workspace). This is all time you (or the contractor) could have used on other projects or just playing with your dog. How much does someone have to pay you to even think about their project.

2) Resources used. - Did you have to buy software or licenses? Did you have to buy anything you didn't have before. Did you have to drive to meet the client. Did you give the client your cellphone and he insists on calling you and leaving huge messages.

3) How much do you think your skills are worth? What is your track record? Does the site you will build compare to the others in your client's vertical? Are you trying to build perceived value in your costing?

4) Who is the client? Your friend? Friend of a friend? Someone who may give you more work later on? Is it someone who is providing you with the opportunity to get into a vertical so you can then use your work to go after other clients in the same vertical? Is it someone you don't want a future relationship with and just want to do a one off and then go away?

The intangible is what is in the creator's head. Good design is hard work. The reason why corporations pay X dollars to a high end agency to do their website is because they trust them to come up with that intangible, not because of the actual time spent making it. When you contract a portrait artist to do your portrait you are not paying for the time and paint, you are paying for the artist's mind.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 03:27 PM   #5
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Another factor, should you charge for everytime the client says, "Could you just...?"

Myself, I charge $15 an hour, but that is just my standard graphics rate. I don't charge much to do sites, because I don't do scripting. What I can do, is create a functional, clean, and attractive site.

And yes, I do charge another hour for everytime they ask, "Could you just...?"
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Old February 19th, 2005, 11:14 AM   #6
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kieth loh has some very important points to consider. i would also add that my rate is between 60 and 80 an hour (i have been graphic designing for ten years) but i bill some clients on quarter hour terms. when it comes to websites i try to gear it to the clients needs and size. i charge a bulk of the fee for the home page and about 1/10 of the fee for each page after that because the main amount of work was building the initial template. i also try to include free fixes and changes until final sign off and then only free fixes for the next year. i charge an hourly fee for changes after the approval sign off.

hope that helps!

(note: things used to be really crazy during the dot com boom with people charge outrageous prices for sites but that day is gone!)


edit: sorry i read the post wrong!
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Old February 19th, 2005, 11:52 AM   #7
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I don't think Glen is talking about charging for making a web site. Let's keep this on topic and help him with suggestions on finding a developer and also help with ideas on what he should expect to pay.

John Locke
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Old February 19th, 2005, 12:40 PM   #8
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I have done Web development for a while. Here's something else to consider: before you go to a Web designer you need to have a very clear idea about what you want to use the Web site for and what you want it to communicate.

A typical experience for me is to have someone ask me about designing a Web site and as I talk to them I realize they really have no idea what they want the Web site do or say to benefit their business. They have not thought about what they want to say on the site, how it will be updated, who in their organizartion develop the content, when content should change, or how the site will complement their exisiting communications efforts etc. What such clients really need is a strategic communications/advertising plan for their business. Sometimes they need a business plan too! Some expect that the Web designer will do this planning and that the site will solve all their communications problems..

Strategic communications planning and Web site design are two rather different things. The former should drive the latter. If you don't have a communications plan it's unlikely that the site will serve your needs well. The most important questions:

1) Who is/are the audience(s) for the site? Where are they?

2) What do you want to say to the audience(s)?

3) What are the top three things you want a visitor to do because they visited your site (i.e. request more information, call you on the phone, buy your product?) How do you want them to feel about your company after seeing the site?

4) How are you going to drive the audiences you want to the Web site?

These are things a good designer has to know to do a decent job and they are questions a designer should ask in the first conversation with you. I expect that clients have answers to these questions. If they don't, I don't take the job. Run away from folks who ask you how much Flash you want. Form should follow/function purpose.
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