Web designers: Do you charge a flat fee to update a clients site or by the hour?

Soldato
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Just had a client off the phone and email me. He wants some changes done to a site I did for him a few months back.

Most of it is changes to text, and he wants one entire page redone, retitled and the corresponding links to it all updated within the site of course.

When he paid for the site at the start, I charged a flat fee of £45 per year for any updates he wanted ( within reason, obviously a complete redesign of the site would be a different thing altogether :cool: )

However, I just wondered what the rest of you folks charged and how you implemented the charge for this sort of thing.

Flat fee to begin with or charge for your time on a "by the hour" basis for work done to update?.

Just curious as I have never really gave this much thought up until now. Took me about 30 mins to update his site, change the links between pages etc to reflect the new content.
 
Soldato
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Thanks.

For some clients, I was thinking of using Macromedia/Adobe Contribute so they could do any changes they needed to do "on the fly".

One of my customers has a kayaking website. They have a page with "Up and coming events" that gets updated every few weeks with info on new dates for meets etc.

Anyone else use Contribute for clients?.
 
Associate
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I tried using contribute with a client before. It....did not.....go well. If only because the code that Dreamweaver/Contribute produces doesn't (didn't) validate for a start but is also sloppy and includes loads of bulk that you don't really need.

I agree with Adz. Get your clients to fork out for a custom CMS and let them worry about updating the site.

HTH,
Freakish_05
 
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Small modifications are covered under an Annual Hosting and Maintenance contract. Large modifications are quoted for depending on how long it will take in hours to complete.
 
Soldato
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iCraig said:
Small modifications are covered under an Annual Hosting and Maintenance contract. Large modifications are quoted for depending on how long it will take in hours to complete.

Thats exactly what I was thinking. Any small work required would be covered under the hosting/maintenance fee of £45 p.a. , any larger scale redesigns would be quoted for in a different/seperate manner.
 
Associate
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definately charge by the hour.... maybe £10 an hour? £45 a year for updates is quite cheap annually. If he knew that, he probably expecting less per hour than what i wrote. Depends how much updates he wants...
 
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i assume he's freelancing? we charge a lot more than £10 per hour of course, but i only said that because he only charges £45 annually. You could always make it more flexible...
 
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IMO pricing things by the hour does not justify the overall value.

If the work you do brings an extra £2K per week to the client - and you get £70 for the 7 hours you worked on it - who's a winner here?
 
Soldato
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Yes, I'm freelancing. I have a full time career and I have started doing web design in my spare time.

I'm aimed at the small end of the market, personal sites and small mostly local businesses and so far I have been surprised by the amount of work I've been approached to do.

Some interesting trains of thought here on the thread subject matter, thanks for the replies. :cool:
 
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jdickerson said:
Not to be abrupt, but what would you say is better?


when you give people an hourly rate it's difficult to then increase that amount, "I need 5 hours to do that - so that's £50" - "That's good value. Thank you - get on with it". 3 months later when you want to ask for £14 an hour .. "Why has your hourly rate increased? I'm not paying you all that money! it was £10 an hour before". It locks you in.
 
Soldato
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I go for a fixed fee based on the amount of work I believe the project will need and how much I think it is worth. Not only does it mean both them and me know exactly how much it is going to be, but it also means as said above you can easily increase the amount you charge without them knowing or being a pain about it should they come back for more updates.

Plus the entire time issue gets troublesome. You can do a site much quicker than expected, if you charge by the hour that would mean you would not get what the site was worth. Yet other times it can take 5 times as long as expected and some clients might not be happy with the new price! Also, you have to keep track of how long it takes you to work on it. Sometimes I do quick edits in between other tasks, taking 10mins, 30mins, etc. Hard to keep track of all that!

I only have a few paying clients so far, all of them have payed a fixed fee. Some also have a deal with me in which I provide and manage their hosting and provide basic updates of no more than a hour or two worth of work per month. For this I charge from about £20 a month, though obviously it would increase should they need more bandwidth etc. If they needed bigger updates doing I would again give them a fixed fee.
 
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