“How much is it gonna cost?”

calculatorOne of the first statements a lot of my clients make is “We don’t have a lot of money.” That’s OK; I work with non-profits, and I know sometimes the bottom line is … pretty close to the bottom.

To try to accommodate narrow budgets, and also be as transparent as I can about costs and pricing, I post price ranges of what I usually charge for different website builds.  Let’s talk a little about what you’re actually paying for first, though.

Obviously when you contract me, you are buying one primary thing: My time. You’re hiring someone because you are already super busy, and don’t have time to build something yourself. You’re also buying my experience working with non-profits, and building a successful online brand.

I usually charge between $80 and $120/hour, depending on the task.  That hourly rate is one of the first things clients ask about. There’s a lot of investment and costs beyond just time I spend staring at the computer screen for you:

  • Maintenance and software for my computers, cables, and hard drives.
  • Internet connection service and cloud storage for file upload and exchange with clients.
  • 1 year of tech support for whatever I build for you. This is part of all my contracts (with a few caveats in the fine print).
  • Time we spend discussing your goals for the project, and how that fits into the bigger picture.
  • Training and testing of new software, new open-source CMS resources,  and new design codes before I put them on your site.
  • Payment for this website, and paid subscriptions to a variety of different online services (Wufoo, BatchGeo, MailChimp, RSSInclude, and others).
  • My rent, food, and utilities so that I can stay alive while working for you.
  • A charge of 35% to pay for local, state, and federal taxes plus Social Security fees.

That’s a little background on how I set my hourly rate.  Honestly, I’m pretty cheap compared to other web developers. I hope that I’ll keep being able to say that, since I love working with small organizations and non-profits!

Now, back to “How much will it cost?” That depends on just how fancy a website you want.

Here’s some questions to help you think about what kind of website you need (or can afford).

These are also questions that  I will ask you if we start to work together.

  • What exists right now? Do you have a website?
  • What is your current website not doing that you want or need it to do?
  • How will you know if a new website is successful? What metrics will you use to evaluate if the website upgrade was worth it? When you get this new website, what do you think will change?
  • What is your budget? Are there additional funding sources available? Can you work a website upgrade or creation into a “broader impacts” part of a grant, for example?
  • Who will maintain this website once it’s built? What, if any, IT or tech support does your organization have?
  • Do you plan to create new and interesting content? Or will your site be a fairly static “place-holder” that doesn’t change much from month to month?

Even more questions!