OK, this has been covered before by other much more expensive web designers, but I wanted to really focus on why web design costs what it does.
I charge what I think is fair for my customer service, programing skill level, design capabilities and overall business experience.
Not all web designers have owned and sold an e-commerce website, to me that is worth something to my clients. Not many will offer any help above and beyond what is written in the contract without charging for it – I often do. Very few will answer emails within hours of receipt – I do.
These are just a few reasons I charge a little more!
Here are some other things that make web design costly which many clients are not aware of:
1) Consultation Time – I know my clients will vouch for me in saying I spent MANY hours on the phone consulting on everything from design layout to marketing to SEO. Not all web designers will do this – but the good ones will help a bit.
2) Education – I am useless to you if I do not keep up on the latest trends in web design and online resources. Think Facebook Integration – Social Marketing etc. These things change DAILY. A good web designer will spend many hours a week reading and absorbing the latest trends in design and technology. When I keep up with these new trends I can better create a site with features that are relevant to your industry.
3) Research – With every client I will research their industry – evaluate the top competition and find the best of the best in terms of industry related websites. This will give me a competitive edge in creating a standout design.
4) Design – Have you tried to design a website lately? It is not easy! On average to create 2-3 design mockups I average 10-15 hours of work – this does not include the edits after the client chooses their favorite design!
5) Programming – OK, to me this is the easiest part for a typical site, but can still take about 20-25 hours. This includes the complete design integration, setting up all ecommerce components such as shipping and merchant, setting up the extra pages – basically everything EXCEPT product input!
6) Testing – A GOOD web developer will do full browser testing as well as make sure CSS and HTML are valid. This can take many hours as well. I test on a MAC and on a PC in all browsers as well as place several test orders using a variety of situations such as logged in, as a guest, pay by paypal, pay by check etc. The more features you offer the longer this takes. Testing is the step that many web developers skip in order to save time.
I have closely tracked my last 4 full web design projects from the writing up of the contract to receipt of final payment and sign off on project. You know what I realized? On average I invest 110 hours in EVERY web design project I do. Yes, that is almost 3 FULL weeks.
Think about how much you would want to make for 3 full weeks worth of work.
With that said – please remember web design is NOT easy. And if you require a web designer who really cares and will be glad to help you, it may cost a little more.
Yes, there are designers that can do an e-commerce site for under $1,000. But if quality is an issue I would not go that route and I will give you examples of why in another post!
So what are your thoughts? Is charging $2500 for an e-commerce design just insane? (Yes, I have been told that it is!) – should I be charging more?