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Webdesign business - Need advice on pricing models

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by PatvonB, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. PatvonB

    PatvonB Registered Member

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    Hey guys!
    I'm finally heading out to make an offline business after years of being employed in the webdesign/graphic/photography/video industry. I've been freelancing for years to earn some beer money in my spare time but now I want to make a legit enterprise out of my skills. I'm going to focus on local businesses as most of their websites are pretty sh*t in the area I live and I'm sure there is some money to be made if you reach out professionally to them :)

    I'm currently building my website and I'd really like to share it with you guys when I move from localhost to my domain ;) However, as I'm getting everything ready I'm starting to question my pricing.

    Basically there are two considerable options for me:
    1) One time payment:
    + no running costs for client (except domain and hosting which I'm NOT offering)
    + instant money
    + no duties on server maintenance
    - one time money, no ongrowing passive income

    2) Monthly subscription (with Hostgator Reseller Hosting):
    + passive income after setup
    + revenue rises linear to business growth
    - need to set a lower "design" fee (lets say 100€ for design), 25€ monthly

    Currently I'm set like this with one time payment prices:
    1) Package 1: Design, CMS, Responsive, max. 10 pages - 429€
    2) Package 2: Design, CMS, Responsive, max. 20 pages - 729€
    3) Package 3: Design, CMS, Responsive, unlimited pages - 1390€
    4) Package 4: Design, CMS, Responsive, unlimited, E-Commerce ready, 1890€

    You see, Wordpress and Responsive Design comes as a standard but is a page limit enough to motivate clients to go for a bigger packages?
    Do you have any further ideas on how to add value to bigger packs without raising my efforts too much?

    Would you rather go for one time payment or subscription model? How would you set the pricing for my packages if I'd make them a subscription (living in central europe)?

    Thanks in advance,
    Pat
     
  2. seopsycho

    seopsycho Registered Member

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    First of all. How to you acquire your clients? online or offline? The subscription model is better for the long-term. However, you have to set up a contract for min. duration etc.. Keep it profitable for you!
     
  3. cnick79

    cnick79 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Drop the pricing and the number of pages. Every client is different and have different needs and budgets. I ask potential clients what their budget is and adjust my deliverables accordingly. Websites are a commodity at this point with all of the free and pre made templates available. The reason you are seeing such poorly made local sites is probably because they have tight budgets so don't expect them to shell out a lot of money for a redesign.

    Do not offer unlimited pages or even 20 in your packages because that is a lot and can quickly eat more time than you charge. What I do is offer a base package of a website with up to 5 pages, Homepage, About, Contact, a generic reusable page for everything else, and a more specific page to suite client needs such as a gallery or restaurant menu page. All other pages are extra at an additional per page cost. No content is provided so any text is written and provided by the client. Logos are extra. Images and photos are extra.

    I then offer a separate "maintenance" plan which includes 2 hours of work per month at $50 monthly or they can pay $100 per hour with a minimum 30 minute charge for "as needed" service. All of this work is related only to website changes such as creating new pages, adding images, etc...

    A separate hosting plan is provided at a monthly cost that includes keeping Wordpress and plugins updated as well as server issues.

    The important thing is don't sell yourself short and under charge for your services. You can't and won't be able to make everyone your customer, nor will you want some of the potential needy clients, especially if they have small budgets.
     
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  4. CyncUnany

    CyncUnany Registered Member

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    Go and see what other webmasters charge for a rough figure.
     
  5. MisterF

    MisterF Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hard one to quantify as such until you have a portfolio of your work to see.

    You're doing all the work yourself by the sounds, but you're up against people who are middlemen and take orders and outsource to India/Thailand etc.
    Another thing to consider is the customer, a dentist will have a bigger budget to spend than a chimney sweep, as an example.

    I'd suggest having a couple of classes of service, the top quality sites and also a more basic / budget offering.

    I cringe when I see people in the UK being bombarded by tv ads for Wix free sites and that sort of stuff.
     
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  6. Jason Bradbury

    Jason Bradbury Power Member

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    Good luck
     
  7. PatvonB

    PatvonB Registered Member

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    Until now I acquired most clients offline to make some pocket money. When my business website is up that's gonna change I think. I want the clients to get in touch with me via E-Mail or phone to arrange an appointment with me to sign the contract.

    Wow, thanks for your reply, very in-depth! :) Well, dropping the prices isn't such a good idea imo. The clients have the money - there is a luxury car dealer for example who has a non-responsive, totally out-dated website.
    He’s been sucessfully selling Porsches and Ferraris for more than 10 years here. There are many doctors, lawyers, construction companies, etc. that are very well-known and reputable here but have very cruel websites. I scraped potential leads from yelp and already sorted out the ones with good websites from the ones with a bad one.

    I don’t like the idea of flexible rates since it can cause confusion that leads to a bad reputation. People say „He charged me xxx€ but he charged him only xxx€“
    Moreover I think it’s better for conversion to have fixed prices displayed (either €/month or as one time payment).

    Lowering the number of pages is maybe a good idea as I'd really like to focus on the quality of my designs. You get what you pay for - I think you can educate your clients about that fact and they will surely see the difference between a professional website and "free-website-drag-and-drop-designer" :D

    My initial idea was to „upsell“ on page limitations. There is a nice wordpress plugin you can use to set a maximum of posts/pages for a particular user/role.
    For example: client buys package 1 and gets his website. he keeps adding posts over the time. When he wants to publish post #11 the plugin puts out a message: „Your page limit is reached. Please contact „My Company“ for upgrade options“.

    Thanks for the input. Maybe it’s good to offer a combination of both models. One time payment for website and monthly charges for addtional services like automatic backup, newsletter subscription feature, etc.

    I checked the competition but they just write about services on their sites and almost never include prices. Everything is pointed on the contact form to set up personal meetings.

    I do the work myself. I use themeforest templates most of the time as they have so many great features for reasonable prices and this saves a lot of time. If the budget is right and it’s a big client, I have a friend who is very good at PHP. So I do the design and html/css work and he makes a fully functionable theme out of it.

    We do outsourcing to India at my current company but I’m not considering doing it for my business. It’s never on point and communication is often difficult.
    I’m also offering photo/video services and you need to be on-location for that - hard thing for indian freelancers.
    Yeah, Wix and all those hompage-builder offered by hosting companies are a pure joke.

    Since the niche is no secret here and no particular methods involved I think I'm fine with posting a link to my website when it's finished. I'm already curious for your feedback :)
     
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    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  8. PatvonB

    PatvonB Registered Member

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    I did some more research yesterday and found a company about 40 min away from me. They're located in the capitol Vienna so the prices are higher. However, imo they're too damn high: http://www.informance-media.at/webdesign/
    Charging almost 5k for the best package Oo

    I expanded my search to other regions/areas and the guys from here are also charging big bucks. I really like how they set everything in place. Webdesign prices are one-time fees and they have monthly subscriptions for service/maintenance/security.
    https://www.webdesignland.at/webdesign/
    Webdesign: 699€, 999€, 1499€ (without 20% tax!)
    E-Commerce: 1498€, 1998€ (without 20% tax!)
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  9. cnick79

    cnick79 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    With set pricing you are potentially limiting yourself to certain clients. You just said there are dentists, luxury car dealerships,and lawyers with money to spend which is a good demographic to target. Are these your focus instead of smaller mom and pop shops? If so, with fixed pricing your prices should be focused towards those with money. My point is, you don't want to charge a Porsche dealership the same amount as Sally's Soap Shop unless you are not looking to take on smaller types of businesses.

    I've landed a couple deals by being proactive and creating staging sites and then contacting the owner showing them what their website would look like. I basically grabbed a theme forest theme and loaded their dummy data and swapped in the client logo and information. It's a good way to start if you don't have a portfolio yet.
     
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  10. PatvonB

    PatvonB Registered Member

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    I get your point, you're right. I'll do "mom & pop" websites too and think they will most likely go for either of the two lower priced packages. If the car dealer sets up a meeting with me I'll make him a custom offer for additional features like car listing or "reduced price", or an online appointment feature for doctors - everything thats not "stock wordpress". That way I can charge high profile customers accordingly while the basic packages are more aimed at small/medium sized businesses who just want a neat "presentation".

    This is a very good idea that I considered as my next step. I will create subdomains with dedicated wordpress sites for certain niches and change logos/texts. Basically creating a "live-preview", have the client pay for it and then move the site to his/her server.

    You guys help me a lot here! Thank you. I adapted my pricing and included services a bit and I think I'm on a good way :) Further suggestions are always welcome here :)
    Update: I'm in the process of finishing my site right now. Just need to do two more sub-pages for graphic design and my photography/video services. Afterwards I'm ready to go.
     
  11. Faldor

    Faldor Junior Member

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    Make a list of all the web developers in your region and note down how much they are charging and what they offer for it. It might even be worth contacting them as a potential client, it's amazing what people will tell you if they think there might be a sale in it.