I really kind of hate to talk too much about price without context.  In other words, I can’t tell you a basic website costs $XXXX every single time.  What a website costs depends on about as many factors as how much your car costs.  Well, maybe not quite that many, but there are a lot of factors to pricing a website.

  • Do you have all the content already?  Or do you want me to write your content for you?
  • Do you want to edit the website by yourself?
  • If you do want to edit it yourself, do you want a fully custom design?  Or maybe a WordPress or Joomla installation?
  • Do you want to sell something?
  • If so, how do you want to take money? PayPal? A merchant account? How many products? How do you want to manage them?
  • Do you need custom programming?
  • Do you want photo slideshows?
  • Do you need a database?
  • Do you even know what a database is used for?
  • Do you already have a design?
  • Is that design done by your kid who is in 8th grade? Did he do it in Microsoft Paint on the laptop he got for Christmas?
  • Do you need user accounts?
  • Do you need a secure section of your website for members?

The list goes on and on.  Here is what I can tell you though. I charge a base rate of $110/hour for labor.  I honestly don’t care if you want me to do graphic design, custom database programming or clean up after Fido in your driveway, the price is the same.

“$110/hour?  Are you nuts?”

Well, I may be a little nuts, but it’s a fair rate for a web developer with my experience and, honestly, I’m pretty damn good at what I do.  In a metropolitan area people with less experience than me charge as much as $150/hour.  I happen to want to live where the grass is green and the trees are real, so I charge a base rate of $110/hour because that’s a fair rate outside the big city.  Make sense?

“Great, but how much will a website cost me?”

Not catching on, huh?  Ok, here’s the short answer.  I don’t know what it’s going to cost you because I don’t know what you want.  I will give you one really simple guideline to live by though.  If you don’t have $1,000 to budget, please find it before you call. If you think about it logically, that’s about 9 hours of my time.  That can get you a custom design with some decent graphic design and a couple pages with some text.  I imagine you were wanting a lot more than that, right?  On another note, it has been my experience that people who are really good negotiators and convince me to do their site for a few hundred dollars are also the ones who won’t sign a contract with a scope of work and argue that all the crap I said I wouldn’t do for their shitty price was included and it ends up taking all my time until I want to die. 

“What if I need lots of stuff done every month?”

You’re in luck.  I can be bought.  Cheap.  Well, not really cheap, but I do offer my services on retainer.

I do retainers on a three month contract to start.  After the first three months we usually know each other pretty well and can tweak it as necessary.  After the initial period I much prefer a twelve month contract, but can be talked into six months.  More info is available here.

Retainers make sense for you in several ways.

First, you know exactly how much your website is going to cost you on a monthly basis.  Second, you already know you’re going to be spending the money, so why not take advantage of it?  Tweak the text, change that dark red to a light red, just because you can. Third, when you call, I jump, meaning retainer clients bounce straight to the top of the mound of work always piled in front of me.  And last but not least, maybe you know you’re going to need work every month so why not pay a lower rate?

Oh, on that last part, if you have a 10 hour retainer, but you need 15 hours worth of work in a given month, I bill you the additional 5 hours at the same rate as the retainer; not my normal bill rate.  See?  Still saving you money.

So what do you think?

Interested?  If so, contact me and we’ll get the ball rolling.  What are you waiting for?