I wanted to outline how I quote work for those coming to me seeking WordPress websites. I’m super transparent about this, and I also include things for you to think about before you commission anyone to build you something.
If you’re reading this, you’ll also be best to read the following posts also;
So if you’ve read through all the above, and armed yourself with a bit of knowledge, here’s some things to think about as I detail the process I go through when building you a website.
In almost all cases, your initial ambition will exceed your intellectual, technical or financial capability. Think someone who says in their opening statement …’I want it to feel like Facebook’ but I only have £200 to spend’ or ‘my project is going to be bigger than Amazon’. You get the idea. That’s not me being offensive, that’s just fact. Your business idea, your home MLM network, your Video streaming service, no matter what it is, will almost assuredly fail. Subsequently I’ll remind you of the economic swing and whether you actually need a website at this point, and consider that during this conversation I’m trying to gauge how serious & committed you are.
I have to spend time in our first few meetings distilling what you *think* you want from what you *actually* want, and it’s only then I can start to think about how to develop your project.
One of the things I have noted in the twenty years I’ve been doing this so far, and the almost very one thing which separates the people I want to work with from the people I don’t is the over-use of the term ‘can you just’. ‘Can you just create a five page site’ or ‘can you just make it so a user can upload ten images instead of one’ or ‘can you just back the site up for me’. I’ve learnt that if you use the term ‘can you just’ what you’re actually trying to do is de-value what you are asking for, in an effort to make what you’re asking for free. I immediately turn this round on people and ask what they do for a living. A lawyer? Great. ‘Can you just give me a day of your time, it’s just a day?’. You’re a Window Cleaner? ‘Can you just clean the windows on my 7 bedroom house for a week’. You get the picture. By assuming what you are asking for is simple, without having any understanding of what you are asking for, you’ll certainly ensure an abrasive relationship with any technical person.
I will work in the initial few hours of being with you to understand your budget. I’ll then usually demonstrate what that budget allows for. I don’t take short cuts and I always ensure you have budgeted for the things you’ll have never even thought about. So you may have £500 for a website that you deem ‘simple’ and think that’s adequate. But once I’ve added in;
- Marketing & SEO
- Monthly Maintenance (now needed on WordPress more than ever)
- Disaster Recovery (planned in direct correlation to your risk appetite and your perceived commercial value of your project)
Your budget starts to feel a little tight. I also ask you here about your approach to responsibility. Who is responsible for your site? You or me? If it’s me, and you are asking me to take responsibility on, then you’ll pay for that. You can cut your costs by taking on WordPress maintenance and updates yourself, but even though everyone says they will do that, they ultimately done. Especially when their idea fizzles out after the first six months.
There’s no such thing as a ballpark
It is almost impossible to provide a ball park figure on any web project. This is due to the varied complexity of every aspect of technology. Yes I’m aware you’ll have seen a TV-Ad promising websites from £9.99 with a free domain or heard on the Radio you can ‘build your dream online business’ for £1.99 but if you’ve read and listened to anything I’ve previously said these aren’t reality. Give me all the details, don’t try & hide anything from me in terms of feature wish or long-term plan and you can be sure you’ll get an accurate estimate.
Race to the Bottom
I’ll ask you a very straight question once we get going – that is whether you are (or will) seek an estimate from anyone else. I’ll also raise alarm bells if you bring a previous quote to me and ask me to better it. Like every trade, with access to free information and learning, bringing the barrier of entry down – web design has been heavily democratized over the last decade. However, the lack of quality & craftmanship means people do come back to ‘professionals’ and no good Technology person will offer you money off because the guy down the street was £300 more expensive.
The behind the curtain view.
Whilst I don’t expect you to know all the technical aspects, here’s the things I do with every website build regardless of your budget
Your site is auto-scanned using Securi and Quterra both for inside and outside vulnerabilities across your site. I get weekly reports and any alerts on suspicious or malicious files or attacks are remedied in real-time usually by myself, personally.
Your site is also both locally cloned using WP Clone and then backed up to Amazon AWS using WP Migrator every few days and to a schedule. If anything goes wrong, I can quickly pull a backup. The size of the site will determine the frequency & type of the backups.
Every other week, those backups will be collected with the latest kept in long term Glacier storage from Amazon before the rest being junked ready for the next lot of backups. These backup files will be shared with you periodically so you have your own local copies.
WordPress’s integrity will be audited, the core updated and security patches applied. Complex passwords will be rotated & SQL databases backed up separately and these, along with a bandwidth and basic access report will be kept available on line to send to you by email if you are so interested.
Documentation is also updated. I work on the basis at any point, you’ll want to move your site somewhere else so we’re always ready to migrate your site anywhere, at any time, with full turnkey documentation to pass onto another tech. Passwords, access, copies of databases, fonts, files, everything. I’m not here to make your life difficult.
I’ll make recommendations based on your site, further work you may want to consider or paid upgrades to enhance your features or pivot your ideas.
There’s so much more to think about than ‘it’s just a website’ or ‘can you just build me something’ so think about all the above, before coming to me for an estimate.