For years I've witnessed many that seem to enter a state of shock by the proposed costs of design and development services, and to this day I'm still questioning why? Maybe it's because of these try to Do It Yourself (DIY) online services that are popping up all over the place that cost just a few quid a month. Or maybe it's just that they think the solution being provided is a piece of cake and doesn't require any technical thinking or skill. It's not like we are providing a unique professional solution built from the ground up that can assist in your success, right?
I am an independent provider of bespoke solutions. Solutions involving design and code aspects for web and mobile. I quote “bespoke” with pride and passion, because I’ve seen many providers lately claiming to provide bespoke solutions - which you can see within their portfolio of work they clearly use templates. As you can imagine, this is very frustrating for myself and other similar folk. With that aside, let’s get back on subject by jumping straight off and put things into perspective.
The reported average salary in the United Kingdom is £37,000. That's £3,083.33 per month or £770.75 per week before tax deduction. Give 20% of that to the much loved Tax man and another chunk for National Insurance (NI), and you're going home with around £28,327.20 in your back pocket.
With that in mind, the average quality bespoke website design and development solution can take around 2 to 8 (+/-) months to complete, that's from first client introduction through to the big public launch. That's 8+ weeks or around 40 working days. That works out, using the average salary, we’d expect the solution to cost between £6,166.66 and £9,249.99.
But get this… *queue drum roll* a massive percentage of designer and developers do you a favour and WON’T price projects on how long they take, but on a per project bases instead - which you benefit from!
During the pricing of a project, there are multiple areas on which effects the project costs. For example, maybe you need something to sell online with, such as an eCommerce. Or maybe you're an innovative startup that requires an ‘all singing and dancing’ solution. At the end of the day, everything from the purpose; quality, time frame and features, will all have an impact on the costs for the solution being provided.
As an attempt to shed some light, I want to try to making it clearer on why design and development solutions shouldn't shock clients, but instead reassure them. Let’s briefly go over the questions that projects are commonly priced on;
Solve the Problem
What is the problem that needs to be solved because for every problem, there is a solution. This is what solutions and services are based around. If there were no problems, there would be no need for solutions - simple.
Features & Functionality
There is never a list of features or functionality set in stone. The needs and requirements are likely to change with every project, which is why 99.9% of projects are tailored to solve your problem. It doesn’t matter if it’s the source code for an iOS App or just raw design files, the chances of your project being exactly the same as another i’ve just completed is very slim.
Deadline or Time frame
If you require your solution to be in place by a specific date, it’s going to have an impact on costs. For example; you need an eCommerce solution designed, developed and launched before next Friday, then I’ve got a challenge on my hands. I won’t be sleeping for a week, and that’s going to take a heavy impact on overall costs (as well as my heath).
Quality & Care
I try to avoid repeating myself to everyone, but it’s true. I’ll also live by the phrase - “quality over quantity”, which is what I carry thought into all the solutions I provide. Would you rather pay for something that you know is going to work well and effectively, or would you prefer to pay quarter of the costs but be back at square one in 12 months time? Buy less, choose well.
After Sales Support
The continuation of support and advice after implementation of a solution can sometimes not be required, but will be appreciated. What if a minor tweak needed to be made three weeks or four months after implementation, that’s when the after sales continuation truly matters and stands proud.
Is that what you expected to be accountable with the overall costings? Maybe, maybe not - but everything in life has a value, whether this is for the manufacturing or labour, it still holds value.
Conclusion of Costs
OK, so why are others offering websites for £395?
This is the type of question I’ve been asked more often than I should of. My answer always highlights that even a bespoke designed website towards the lower end of the scale can average from £1,000+ - without questioning!
Ask yourself what the costs of buying a car today would be? You’ll hesitate because there is no straight answer. Questions like this open up the flood gates to many more questions like; what make, model, body type, colour, engine size, fuel type, number of doors, new or used, mileage and all the other extras available. What about the cost of your time to source the car, order the car with a possible waiting list, or maybe even reach out to a broker. Then after you do finally get your hands on a car, you’re going to need to run it - fuel costs, road tax, regular services, MOT tests, insurances and finally maintaining your car… yes *and breath*!
When it comes to any unique and bespoke solution, it comes down to one simple fact, you’re receiving a professional, detailed and time / labour involved solution. It’s certainly NOT a replicated and automated robot process like a £395 website. You’re a client we truly car about, not a number. Maybe look at it from another angle, you'd like a brand new bespoke built-in wardrobe for your bedroom, both deigned and fitted - you can see where this is going.
Bespoke design services need to be discussed, understood, analysed, planned and THEN priced through a formal project proposal and quotation with all the above in mind. If you’re reaching to an actual person to provide you with a design and development solution, then just remember you will be receiving a one-to-one bespoke service, to resolve your problem with their solution - so please, please expect costs for that particular solution to be of real life value. Not costs like a £395 automated service. If not, then you’re likely looking for the wrong solution and shouldn’t waste anybody else time.