Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 7 Feb 1997 to 8 Feb 1997

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 7 Feb 1997 to 8 Feb 1997
From: bmoeller <bmoeller -at- GLOBAL2000 -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 19:27:24 -0500

> Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 10:46:50 -0500
> From: Cynthia Maciejczyk <cynthia -dot- s -dot- maciejczyk -dot- 2 -at- ND -dot- EDU>
> Subject: Web site consulting
> My question deals with how we should go about estimating the Web site
> project. This small business has gotten estimates from a few other sources
> but balked at the high price (several thousand dollars). I have done some
> consulting over the years as a technical writer and have a good idea of what
> to charge for those services. However, I am not sure how to estimate a Web
> site development job. I don't want to low-ball just for the sake of getting
> the job, but our potential client understands that this would be a maiden
> project for us and I'm sure they are expecting us to take that into account
> when we estimate for services.

I've been designing and programming web sites for companies and
organizations in the Saratoga Springs, NY (near Albany) area for about 1
year. My bids tend to be lower than others because I have low overhead
(work out of my home, do all the work--HTML, perl, graphics, etc--myself,

This area supports between $35 and $50 per hour for consulting web
designers. Some are much higher, some are a little lower, the bulk will
quote in that range.

To determine the quote, meet with the client and lay out exactly what they
want to put on the web and break that into pages. Determine what kind of
graphic support you need to provide (scan images, create images, etc.).
Now, figure out how long it will take to complete each page (average--some
will be more, some less) and multiply that by your set hourly rate. The
same things for graphics. Then outline on your quote what you will
provide for the money you are charging (i.e. 1 home page, 3 "category 1"
pages, 2 "category 2" pages, 20 scanned images, 4 new images, etc.). BE
SPECIFIC!!! All my clients sign this quote. If changes are required,
those are put in writing as well. When the project is done, all my
clients sign a "Completion of Services" agreement basically saying that
the web site is done to their satisfaction and that they understand that
any additional work will be billed at my hourly rate.

> At this point, I don't think they have an Internet service provider, so I'm
> sure we will be expected to handle that end of the project as well. Then
> there is the question of maintenance. Should we write that in to the
> original contract?

Don't get into the ISP question, if you can avoid it. I provide my
clients with a list of ISPs in the area as well as their advertised costs
for specific services. Each ISP in this area has its own personality. I
ask clients to speak with ISPs directly so that they choose the one they
are most comfortable with. If you choose the ISP and there are problems,
you will be expected to solve them. Even now, I have clients come to me
with ISP problems--I'll answer the question if I can, otherwise I simply
say that is something they need to take up with their ISP directly.

Regarding maintenance--I would write that into a separate contract that is
reviewed periodically. My maintenance clients each have annual reviews,
at which time we review how everything is going and then ask to have a new
contract signed. I have other clients who contact me periodically for
updates, for which I simply quote a new job.

Good luck. If you have any more questions, please feel free to e-mail me


Beth Weise Moeller, Owner
Interactive Media Consulting
World Wide Web Design & Internet Training
bmoeller -at- global2000 -dot- net

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