Don't Go To The Used Car Lot If You Want A Ferrari

I take care of a 91 year old gentleman who obviously has a lot more wisdom than I do. I asked him for his opinion on a situation with a client. Here’s some of the tidbits of wisdom that I gleaned before he took his afternoon nap.


On Not Getting A Design Like the NY Times:
You don’t go to a used car lot with 800 dollars and expect to buy a Ferrari.

On Not Wanting To Pay:
If you order concrete, and it’s delivered to your house, and suddenly you decide you don’t want it. It’s still yours. As long as the concrete meets the general specs that were ordered and approved I don’t see how you get out of paying for the concrete.

What clients don’t understand
Plain and simple the web industry is a tough one, sometimes clients go away really happy, sometimes they go away not so happy. I try to relate to all of them, and compensate for them not understanding the economics of website creation.

A custom thesis costs around 1200 dollars, here’s how it breaks down:
1. Thesis License ~ $40.00 flat fee per site

2. Initial Consultation Time ~ $25.00 an hour
Up To 2-3 Hours

3. Graphics Development ~ $25.00 an hour
2-3 hours includes setup, and isolation into creative environment

4. Research and Development ~ $25.00 an hour
Let’s say a client needs Joomla integration, forum integration, or anything of the like this takes research. Sometimes a few hours to determine which plugins are ideal to implement with which version of WordPress to make a successful installation of WordPress and implementation into Thesis. I bill this research time into the cost of any project, even mine. In any given instance I might spend:

3-4 Hours in Rough Drafting
1-2 Hours in Plugin Research
4-6 Hours in CSS Development

5. Plugin Integration ~ $25.00 an hour
Often times once I find the plugins I have to install them, integrate them and make sure they are working, occasionally that includes creating some custom CSS, adjusting settings, etc. This can take a few hours to get 8 or so plugins working smoothly and ideally on a server.

1-2 Hours Installation and Tweaking

Minimal Time (Average) On A Thesis Project: 20 Hours
Minimal Cost To The Client: $500 Dollars

In conclusion:
I generally quote higher in order to actually make a profit, otherwise I’m actually losing money on development projects, something always comes up and I try to compensate for clients changing their minds, bumps in the road, last minute changes, requests after the fact, etc. Thus almost all my quotes hit in the ball park of $1200 dollars. Which in my opinion is very reasonable considering what you are getting. An amazing platform, with a simple design that is guaranteed to perform well in the search engines.

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