Could someone point me to the correct posting

I'm really sorry guys. I swear I've been through about 8 pages of posts and did a search and I still can't find the one where our Forum Editor was talking about how much he thought was reasonable for charging a client for a website.
Anyone point to this post?

Cheers!

  Forum Editor 20:39 20 Dec 03
  Taran 20:44 20 Dec 03

No idea where it is.

I seem to remember (very vaguely) contibuting to that thread myself.

I'll take a look through my postings and see if it pops up, but a lot of older threads were ditched a short while ago, so it may no longer be accessible.

In the meantime, what were you wanting to know ?

Costs for static pages, graphics work, design, dynamic content, databases ?

In the event that we can't find that old thread, start a new one.

;o)

  Taran 20:46 20 Dec 03

Well spotted that man.

And it wasn't the one I was thinking of either.

My failing memory is a sure sign of premature senilty...

(sigh)

  PurplePenny 20:56 20 Dec 03

No, no, no .... you've missed out on a buzz-phrase. We now suffer from "information overload" not failing memory.

So we are running out of HDD space and what there is has got really jumbled up .... anyone for a defrag?

Penny

PS That really has been put forward as a reason for memory loss because a lot of young people are also suffering with impaired memory.

FE you're a star! And just how could I miss something with a title like that? I spent well over an hour looking for it (blush)

Hi Taran. Yeah I was just wondering how much someone would charge a client when designing a very simple website with just a few pages. Would you think it a good idea to maybe do a few free ones first, just to obtain some experience? Perhaps having a favour or two done in return. I guess that way would be a good way to avoid the taxman as Sir Radfordin mentioned in his post.

Cheers

James

  Forum Editor 23:36 20 Dec 03

to design a couple of sample sites, so you can show them to prospective clients. If this is your first venture into web design as a commercial activity you're not likely to have any 'real' clients' sites to show. You can put your samples on a CD and send them to prospects, or take them with you if you're paying a visit.

Once you have a client interested in your ideas you can offer to put up a site proposal for nothing, on the basis that the client doesn't pay unless he/she likes it.

The important thing, when working out what to charge, is not to undersell yourself - it can come home to roost. It's all very well charging a nominal £150 or so for a 5 page site, but when your client tells all his/her friends about it you might find that you've made a rod for your own back.

Charge a reasonable fee - say around £50 a page - when you first start designing, and increase the figure as you gain in experience and expertise. Later you'll get into designing data driven sites, or those that have login scripts and so on, and you'll be charging a lot more - especially for big corporate sites. By then you'll have a feel for fee levels, and you'll know what the market will expect.

Don't underestimate the amount of work you'll have to do. Clients will repeatedly ask for tweaks and changes, and they'll delay you by not providing images and/or text on time, or in the right format. All these things can involve you in extra time, so make it clear from the start as to what's included and what's not. Set things out in writing, so there can be no confusion. Explain that you'll design to the client's brief, and that when you show the finished site there will be a limited window of opportunity for changes. You don't want to find that you're still making minor adjustments weeks after the site is published to the server - at least not unless you're paid for it.

Designing a web site is a bit like painting a picture to a formula set out by the client - you may both have entirely different ideas about what the finished article will look like. That's why I always involve the client at an early stage. When I'm ready I show my clients an unfinished product on a private space on my server. I invite comments before I get too far into the design process, so I can change things at an early stage. I repeat this exercise a few times as the design progresses - always by invitation, I don't allow clients to have unrestricted access to the build process. This ensures that by the time I have the whole thing ready for publication most of the tweaking has been done. It might sound like a laborious process, but over the years I have found that it works really well, and speeds up the concept to completion cycle.

We're all different, and you'll find a methodology that suits you - just remember to be realistic when forecasting a completion date.

Hello FE. I love the idea of a cd with sample designs and showing them to potential customers. I'm sure there's quite a few small businesses in my area that don't have a presence on the web yet so I think this would be a good route to take.

My HTML skills are still very basic at the moment though, so I guess I'm going to have to be very careful with my sample cd and vary the styles greatly. I'm actually in no rush and have lots of free time over Christmas.

I'm looking forward to this challenge!

Thank you so much for all your advice.

James

  Taran 23:46 21 Dec 03

"lots of free time over Christmas"

Famous last words.

I'll remember you said them when you come back in 2004 with your sites planned out and coded up.

;o)

On a serious note though, good luck with your venture. If you are starting out, don't give in to the temptation to add bells and whistles because you think they impress. Stay away from sound effects, leave animations alone for now until you are comfortable designing them and can incorporate them in a way that actually adds something useful to the site, and do't be tempted to go dizzy over fonts and coloured backgrounds.

White backgrounds, black text (Verdana is my favourite) crisp, relevant images and clean designs that load quickly and look professional speak volumes about you and what you do.

Garish colours, half a dozen different fonts on one page and blurred images also shout out loud, but not in a very complimentary manner !

You could also create several sites and run them as subwebs (a site within a site) by loading each wen into its own folder within your site root directory. It can be useful when you start out to be able to demonstrate your output online to potential clients and running subwebs allows you the luxury of demonstrating several possible site designs from one domain.

You always know where to come if and when you get stuck.

Good luck with your projects and let us see some of your work as and when you get yourself up and running.

Regards

Taran

  Forum Editor 23:49 21 Dec 03

and let us know if you need more help.

The idea of putting web sites on CDs can be utilised in many ways. I once created a web site for a client in the wholesale business who wanted to send his customers an interactive catalogue. Instead of publishing the site to a server I wrote it to dozens of CDs which were mailed to customers. They could browse the site on their own computers and place an order by email using a form which we also put on the CD. It went down very well with the customers - so well in fact that we have done it every year since - we just update the site with new items and images, apply a new theme In Microsoft FrontPage, and the whle thing is ready to roll, looking fresh and interesting. It's saved my client a fortune in colour catalogue print fees, and his customers like having a 200 page catalogue on a CD they can slip in a pocket.

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