Free Mobile site to customer but Charge for hosting?

9 replies
Been reading different pricing structures.
Was wondering about one I read where the mobile site is given to the customer for free but charged monthly for hosting. In this case, the customer never really owns the website though, right? Would a customer go for that? I've been thinking about this pricing plan but fear a tech savvy business owner calling me out on this saying in the long run he'll be paying much more instead of purchasing the site from the get go. This could cause be bad feelings and the customer may not want to do business at all with me. Thoughts?
Thanks All
#charge #customer #free #hosting #mobile #site
  • Profile picture of the author Excel Fields
    You could also provide them with both options, purchase it outright for X amount of dollars (provide them with a significant "20% or so" discount for closing immediately and pay maybe 9.99 for hosting and maintenance)

    or

    Get the site for free with a $30 admin & set-up fee, and monthly hosting of X dollars per month.

    Just My Thoughts...
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    • Profile picture of the author HypeText
      We host the sites we manage. It makes updating much easier. Keep in mind most businesses arent webhosting companies and are generally paying for hosting for their main site as it is.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Solem
      Originally Posted by whodeeni View Post

      You could also provide them with both options, purchase it outright for X amount of dollars (provide them with a significant "20% or so" discount for closing immediately and pay maybe 9.99 for hosting and maintenance)

      or

      Get the site for free with a $30 admin & set-up fee, and monthly hosting of X dollars per month.

      Just My Thoughts...
      I've been thinking about the same too - a one time fee if they want to host the site themselves, or a reasonable monthly fee (Say $30 or so) if they want to reduce their upfront costs and have me host it for them. I'd also include at least some maintenance, a small change or two a month, to add a little more value to this offer.

      That's really no different than how mobile phones are sold these days. Get the phone for free or a huge discount if you sign a 2 year contract at $xx a month, or pay big bucks for the phone upfront and get a pay as you go contract. I've never seen stats on just which option most people take, but I'd bet that most go for the free/cheap phone and the 2 year contract.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author HypeText
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    • Profile picture of the author Ideology
      My other point is: if the customer goes for just a hosting/maintenance plan, they don't own the site. They don't own the code. They couldn't take it elsewhere. I think to be completely honest with a customer I'd have to disclose that. IMO I guess the thing to do would be to charge $40 a month till the site is paid off then drop it to $10 a month for hosting and maintenance.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrtreyk
    IMO, it would be very difficult to get the value out of charging just a hosting fee for a free mobile website. Let's say the mobile site is worth $500, it would take 50 months of hosting at $10 per month to recoup the $500. Even if you add a maintenance fee (depending on how much it is of course) you're still looking at quite a few months to make that $500. I think you're better off just selling the mobile site for a one-time fee and then trying to upsell them to hosting/maintenance.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
    i personally dont think you should under value what you are selling... if they are not prepared to pay $250+ for a mobile site then move on to those that will...

    I think doing small monthly payments can be more hassle than its worth unless you can automate the system and also have a way of suspending services.

    hth

    jay
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  • Profile picture of the author Magnum1
    I am not keen on this business model myself, although I have seen many use it. In the majority of cases, you will just be adding a m.subdomain on their existing hosting so no need for hosting charges. I charge a one time reasonable fee for a moble site and it will get you in the door to many more opportunities with the same client as you will now be their "go to" web guy/gal!
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    • Profile picture of the author Aermud
      I don't understand why everyone wants to use trickery to mask their price, or whore down the price.

      I wouldn't touch a mobile site for less than $1000. If you are maintaining it charge for that as well. Customers want to know you are on their side if you're worried about pricing you haven't sold them on the value.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Why not call it a development fee or something like that, after all the client will want an even more effective up to date site in 12 months time too , so you'll have to be developing things on an ongoing basis for them as the mobile marketing field changes and evolves, if their site stands still it will be pretty worthless in 12 months time as the ways its accessed, what can be seen on it and how it will be used will likely be different to whats possible now.
    The above of course presumes you are looking to give a decent ongoing long term service rather than the old smash and grab of the website designers of yesteryear.
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    Mike

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