Charging monthly for a new website

13 replies

I'm considering monthly pricing options for web design / development services. This is my first time persuing web business so I would love to hear your feedback. I've been working as a designer/developer for the past 6 years, so building is nothing new to me. Business is.

The business model I'm playing around with:

60-80/mo for a 2 year contract, targeting small biz. Simply put, I own their site until contract expiration. They would still manage all of their pages and content.

- smaller monthly payment may be easier to digest for some small businesses
- After contract expiration, they may continue to stay with me at the monthly rate indefinately, or take their website assets and leave.
- Continual cash flow

- would require working with a lot of clients for the long haul
- They could be a difficult client and could require 80+ hours of initial design changes

Not sure of yet
- Tech support, maybe charge hourly in addition
- Ongoing benefits, since hosting + domain average about 20/mo, I think I would communicate that the remaining 40/mo would be part of the build
- Possibly rather than contact tech support, I could release a video library for which the monthly payment would also compensate

It may sound really scatterbrained, that's because it is.

I would love to hear your thoughts on pricing modeles, especially for monthly retainers.

- John
#charging #monthly #website
  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    If I'm a business owner and I'm paying a monthly fee, I'm going to expect more than a video library of self help. I'm certainly not going to want to pay for support when I'm already paying you a monthly fee.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Urbank
      The monthly fee covers the cost of the website (60*12*2 = $1440). So upfront it would be more profitable for the client, and less for me, until the meet the end of the contract.
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    A business that needs a website isn't going to have too much a problem with paying you $1400 up-front so the monthly things seems inefficient at best. You are basically offering 24-month financing on a $1400 purchase. It's probably unnecessary and is going to cause you headaches down the line from a support standpoint.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Urbank
      This is the feedback I was looking for. Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrafficFlow
    The only monthly service I ever came close to being interested in was a webdesigner who had an email advertisement that for a $60 monthly charge he would create and maintain a wordpress website for me and then add fresh articles and videos several times a month. I was going to take him up and have him do a website containing a city business directory and articles about city events and happenings (he happened to live in the area).

    But he never returned my calls so that was the end of that proposition.
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    • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
      Originally Posted by TrafficFlow View Post

      But he never returned my calls so that was the end of that proposition.
      He realized he was ripping himself off...
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  • Profile picture of the author dougp
    It really depends on the top of site you're creating. Perhaps consider offering a monthly maintenance fee if the website requires a lot of technical skills. A wordpress blog using a free theme on a shared webhost is probably not your target customer. However, the more bigger and complicated a site is, the more things could go wrong, and thats where having someone technical to fulfill that void will be a worthy investment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    There are often large chasms between what a client will pay and what you need to cover your costs including your desired profit.

    If you can't make what you want, charging the prices you want, then you don't have a business.

    Figure out what you need to make in order to be happy in your service business. Then charge that amount with a plan to increase your share over time when you reach the number of clients you can comfortably handle.

    If you can't find enough clients within a reasonable amount of time to support your needs, you don't have a business and you can focus on trying something else.

    In other words, don't shortchange yourself. If you can't make it work, then you don't have a good business model.


    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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    • Profile picture of the author John Urbank
      Excellent. Thank you for your help.
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  • Profile picture of the author Regional Warrior

    You are worrying about something you have no control over , most of us have had bad clients before goes with the biz

    I started my website biz back in 2008 and applied the KISS program

    I just made them a site for under 1K and that was with 3 months hosting free* now if they started to be a pain I could flick them and move on before the 3 months was up

    But if they were no problem I would sign them up to a 3 yr contract @ $1200

    Also look at other areas like Auto res ponder , Facebook this will ad value to the client and your pocket , where you need to find value is hosting ! I found mine as a WSO and still have to this day and paying $25 a year best deal ever never had an issue even bandwidth

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  • Profile picture of the author katrim
    I recommend you get the price up but offer full support. Especially in your niche, having the safe net of contacting someone who can solve your urgent issue can be very valuable.

    So charge for it, but not separately, just get your price a bit higher.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hippos
    I have tried the same approach before, and it didn't work for me. The idea of renting a website is interesting for you, because you can keep earning after those 2 years. Like you, I saw the flashing dollar signs and went with it. But in my experience, customers are not interested in this.
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  • Profile picture of the author PolicyMaker
    Why not Test and Tweak Accordingly???
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