Controversy is good!

Bow to your peopleThe towns people are angry!

Apparently my ever controversial blog post What does a website cost? has the web design community stirring… for various reasons.

I encourage the voice of the web people. And I thoroughly believe that despite the negativity, sarcasm, etc that this ultimately is good for business.  smile

Read on my friends as it gets better and better as more and more posts came in.

Keep in mind that ‘Scott Clark’ is me in response to the other blog comments posted.

Comments»

1. victor- April 16, 2008[Edit]
yea your right. I am actually guilty of charging only $2k for wordpress modifications. I guess I should be charging a lot more.

2. Scott Clark – April 16, 2008[Edit]
Thanks for the comment Victor. I appreciate you stopping by.
You should be charging what you feel is appropriate for the time you will spend on a given project. Consider the complexity of the work being rendered times the number of hours of the service. This should be a fair and honest way to estimate a project. Other factors may include: your level of expertise, your availability and projected completion date.
Here at Atilus, we charge $120/hour for WordPress modifications, but the total estimate depends on the intensity of the modification.
I hope my article has helped you. Please feel free to email me at Scott@atilus.com should you have any other questions.

3. devin – April 16, 2008[Edit]
I agree with Scott on this one. Another note to take with you is that the hourly charge also reflects how many professionals are on the project. At a company like Atilus, you get a graphics professional for the design, dynamic language pro that can make just about any fancy things you request come to life, a marketing guy that can tell you how you’re site is going to make money, and not to mention a client rep that to channel all of this to the client.

4. Scott L. Clark – April 16, 2008[Edit]

Excellent point Devin!
The costs of developing a website and its subsequent marketing are not arbitrary and are affected by many factors that Devin was so kind to list for us.
A team of experts will most certainly cost more than a one man show. You have a collective effort of many talented individuals versus the limited talents and abilities of one, who cannot be expected to be an expert in all arenas of web development and internet marketing.
Not to mention, what if your web ‘guy’ dies?

5. Rick Jamerson – May 13, 2008[Edit]
I can’t believe that it would take a company apparently as professional as yours upwards of 12,000 to make a blog. Either you’re ripping customers off or you’re incompetant. One framework could be re-used thousands of times, saving you time and your customers money. Yes, each site needs its own modifications, but if you build a solid framework you can run pretty much anything off it.
6. Scott L. Clark – May 13, 2008[Edit]
Thank you for the comment Rick, but I don’t believe you thoroughly read my post, or you discontinued reading upon finding something that dissatisfied you. I will offer additional insight
You’re right in saying that a blog should not cost $12,000. However, in our experience, we have noticed that most clients who desire blogging functionality also desire the ability to manage and manipulate their site, its contents and inventory if applicable (CMS- Content management System and shopping cart management- product import/export, shipping management, etc)). Furthermore, I never said that a blog alone would cost in excess of $12k, as I stated many features collectively would total that amount. A blog is an excellent feature and should be present in a site of such high caliber.
Additionally, we custom design our sites to suit the unique business needs of our clients, and all too often clients that understand the important benefits of and desire blogging functionality also desire far more intensive design elements than your template, sell by the dozen, approach could satisfy. Therefore they are provided with beautiful design that surpasses the designs you are suggesting.
You have to remember that the purpose of this post was merely to inform our audience of the approximate pricing structures of web sites and web applications. These numbers are not exact and are contingent upon and affected by many factors. These factors include but are not limited to needs, goals, time line, design, and functionality. Certainly you can find a blog online that is free, but that is all you will get- a skinned, lower level functioning blog without any additional features. These blogs are pluggable and flexible and that is where we as designers step in and make them so much more regarding both aesthetics and functionality to help companies service their clients in a unique way- as I don’t know of many ‘template’ companies so why use a template site to showcase your products, services and related opinions via blog.

7. James – May 13, 2008[Edit]

Interesting read to say the least. I guess I should be charging more! Have passed this on to a few friends of mine.

8. Scott Clark – May 13, 2008[Edit]

Thank you very much James. I always appreciate the opinions of fellow web professionals.
This blog post has certainly created some controversial buzz, so if you or your fellow colleagues have any questions please feel free to ask, as I am always willing to provide additional information.
9. Lindsey – May 13, 2008[Edit]
Haha, are you guys hiring? Because apparently I’m ripping myself off with what I charge clients .
Also, your last comment was really snarky, “Sure you can, but it will not display and operate like a professionally designed website will and it will be as ineffective and unsuccessful as the individual who designed it.”
Many professional designers don’t charge what you are charging and are able to create beautiful, rich and interactive websites and are anything but unsuccessful.

10. Brady – May 13, 2008[Edit]
with so many designers saying that they are under charging, i’m fourced to wonder, how do you set your prices?

11. Scott Clark – May 13, 2008[Edit]
I am noticing that a majority of those commenting on this blog post are fellow web professionals, so I will address you all collectively.
Our prices, as previously mentioned, are dictated by many elements ranging from time line constrictions to level of desired functionality and design.
But perhaps what is affecting our prices compared to your own is that we are a design firm that has a very diversified and extensive portfolio showcasing expertness in design, web based application development, database development, SEO, PPC and so much more. We have professionals that only build databases, professionals who only create flash design, professionals who only manage Pay per Click marketing campaigns, and so on and so forth.
Unfortunately, as creative and talented as you may be, you can not deliver the products that we deliver as a one or two man shop. One or two individuals cannot have and maintain the level of expertise that is provided through a team of professionals.
Furthermore, I am noticing that many of you whom have commented are doing so from the UK.
Does anyone take into account the varying value of the dollar, especially versus the Euro?

12. Zach Katkin – May 13, 2008[Edit]
We’re paying like $15 for a loaf of bread.

13. anon – May 13, 2008[Edit]
Ha ha ha Im using the Dollar!

Zach Katkin
Zach Katkin
Zach Katkin is the co-founder & CEO of Atilus. He is a Certified Google Professional, author, and lover of technology. He helps Atilus stay out ahead of online marketing trends and loves driving results for Atilus' clients.

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