7 Good Reasons NOT to Pay Hourly for the Cost of Good Website Design

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This is the last installment in a five part series dedicated to answering the question “how much will it cost me to build a website?”

  1. How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website?
  2. The Down and Dirty Cost of Creating a Website for a Business
  3. How Much Does a 10 Page Website Cost?
  4. Prices for Web Design and Development Depend On Value

Now that we’ve covered the the cost for building a website, imagine that you’re having a heart attack…In desperate need of help would you ask “where is the cheapest hospital?” or would you ask “where is the closest hospital?” Of course it’s unlikely that you’d be taking the time to grab a phone book and start shopping around for a good deal on life-saving medical professionals. The reason is simple, you care more about the value than the cost.

It’s the same way with everything else you buy, and buying a website is no exception. If you pay for your website on an hourly basis you might not get the value you had hoped for. Here are 7 reasons NOT to pay hourly for a website.

  1. You know exactly how much you’ll be paying right from the start. When you pay hourly there’s no telling how much you’ll end up paying, especially with technology.
  2. You don’t have to worry about whether your developer is “on the clock.” Email, phone calls, and office visits are part of the package so you won’t have to think twice before you get in touch.
  3. It’s not fair for you to reconsider your investment every time you need something. It’s hard enough to calculate your ROI (Return on Investment) once, why do it more than you have to?
  4. You’re free to build a solid working relationship with your developer. You don’t have to wonder whether he’s milking his time on a project to make more money. This kind of doubt seriously undermines healthy relationships.
  5. Surprises (namely bugs and complicated 3rd party systems) can be resolved without adding to the project’s overall cost. It’s very common for complicated web design projects to have a few unexpected curve balls.
  6. You won’t be billed for additional resources if they are needed. If there’s a tight deadline it could be helpful for the developer to hire some additional help, you’d be paying double if it were hourly.
  7. You’ll save yourself the headaches when it comes to determining what time is billable. Do you pay for the time it takes for your developer to drive to your office for a meeting? What about when the developer stops to get some lunch on the way there?

While I’m at it, I may as well give you a couple more. Value based fees also:

  • Put the focus the GOALS, not the deliverables, time, and cost. Do you want to increase revenue, or do you want to roll out 10 new website toys? What if I could increase revenue with only 1 website widget?
  • Motivate the developer to get the job done the right way, the first time, on time. Any extra time spent fixing things is lost money.

Adapted from Getting Started in Consulting, by Alan Weiss, PhD.