November 29, 2012

Call for Quote

What is the right price for a website?

I think most business owners agree that without even looking they can't afford to have one!

Perhaps they were given the number by a web design company of say 6500.00. They might have put down 1500 as a formal deposit, received the contract for review, signed off, and waited for their website. They waited and they waited... I know of this happening so I am not just making this up! They heard this story from someone else, experienced it themselves or it just happens to be the rumored price these days.

Firstly understand a website can be a lot of different things; what you want out of it, your expectations of what it can do, its look and its function for your business. So therefore there is no ONE right price.

I tried this is an experiment once. I made up a fake email, went to a web design directory, posed my request for a quote, and got back about thirty answers in less than a day or two. My choices among those included forty a month for the life of the site, 1500, request for more information, 399.00 etc. In other words they had no idea what they were building or how much it was worth. It was a stab in the dark for most of them. The only one's i could really respect were the one's who DID NOT give me a number, but needed to know more information.

It takes a lot of questions from a web designer to a client to dig underneath the business needs to get to the emotional aspect of their need. And indeed there will be a substratum of emotional need in there, and the anxiety that goes along with that. Just as anger has a sadness component, a business need has an emotional component.

The aspect that i think about most these days, besides that, is what is the collaborative factor and the patience factor in getting this done? I think for some clients the work shouldn't start until they hand over all their assets so it can be collected and distributed in the site during the first part of the site build. After all, some clients need to get it done, and must be FORCED to give their photos and text RIGHT AWAY otherwise they will ride off into the sunset thinking their site will just build itself - after all THEY PAID didn't they?

Other clients can be more trusted to collaborate with the designer, and when asked will either write the material or get the videos or photos over to the designer when needed.

It's a bit hard to tell from first meeting what kind of a client this will be. It's unfortunate for the designer who makes the mistake of trusting the client too much when it wasn't warranted.

The hard part of the call for quote is it takes time. It should take time otherwise there is that flimsy feeling about the whole project that lives throughout the whole life of it. And when it is three parts done then it was decidedly going in the wrong direction. That can be avoided by taking the time to get to know the client, and the client get to know the web developer in the first place.

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