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Travis E
07-22-2009, 07:52 PM
Ok I know that I'm going to hear a bunch of different ranges but I've been trying to look into finding someone to do a website for me and the hosting. What is expected to budget for a website design and hosting each year? I know every website is different, just a ballpark range is what I'm looking for. Thanks!

mikey.hill
07-23-2009, 12:11 AM
Ok I know that I'm going to hear a bunch of different ranges but I've been trying to look into finding someone to do a website for me and the hosting. What is expected to budget for a website design and hosting each year? I know every website is different, just a ballpark range is what I'm looking for. Thanks!

Depends largely on what area your in and the risk your willing to take on someone. This is a frequently debated topic on this site so I'll just give you my opinion as a programmer/developer who started out as a freelance designer/programmer ~7 years ago and I now work for a large national firm.

Web designers and programmers/developers are different breeds. Very rarely do you find a designer that also programs and if you do it's even more rare that you find one that is qualified, good and experienced in both. This however is mostly irrelevant for the type of site I'm assuming you want built since taking a design and simply putting it on the web is a fairly simple task - even for a designer. Problem though is many times you find a designer that only knows how to make things look good. They don't take into account things like SEO optimization, web standards for cross OS/browser compatibility and general usability. These designers usually are more than willing to give you a 'website' for very cheap but often you end up with a great looking but completely unusable site.

On the flip side, a really good programmer will have all the features that the designer didn't take into account plus great things like CMS's which allow you to make changes to your site and other goodies, but you might be missing out on the design aspect.

We'll how do you solve this problem?

So the first solution is to use a firm. However with a firm the costs increase exponentially but you get the best of both worlds as a firm will have dedicated designers/programmers/strategy teams and project managers to oversee your project.

Second solution, do it yourself. I've seen people recommend this on this site I really think it's a bad idea unless your totally committed and you see a reason to spend the next 2,3,4 months of your life learning the trade - often resulting in a site with major problems anyways.

Third solution, get on craigslist and post in the 'web design' or 'internet engineers' sections. You'll get alot of crap from oversees and some obviously unqualified applicants but sometimes you find a great designer/developer in between jobs, moonlighting or just someone who does good work as a hobby. I won't go into much detail here but if you want I'll make a seperate post outlining some things you should look out for in qualified applicants.

Fourth solution, pay a friend or relative 'who knows how to build websites'. This is usually a bad situation - think of it like if you were building a brick and mortar. You wouldn't want someone unqualified doing that so why would want someone unqualified building your virtual home. Not saying we all don't know someone who's qualified but tons of my work comes from business' who have fallen into this situation.

Fifth solution, find a template site where you plugin some content, pics, email addy's etc... and it spits out a template site. There are several problems w/ this and I wouldn't really recommend it although it's cheap, fast and fairly easy to setup.

If you have the cash a firm is the way to go. Do your research, look at the firms history, developed sites and google them to make sure they're legit. If this isn't a possiblity I'd suggest craigslist. It'll require some initial work finding a good person and there is some risk involved since your not able to walk in and have a face to face w/ the person you'll be doing business with.

Some general pricing for design/development:
Firms: anywhere from 40 - 200/hr.

Freelancers: 20 - 75/hr. Beware of people offering to do it for 10 or 15/hr. If they don't know the value of there work they generally don't know how to do it properly.

Template sites: not to sure about price ranges as I've never used one - but there are def. free one's out there.

Hosting:
You can find really good hosting tons of places but don't be fooled by things like unlimited bandwidth and storage. Those are pointless terms for small sites since the actual storage of a small site is .. very small(I have one that's a 10-12 pager ... takes up about +-40MB). I run my own servers each having a total bandwidth transfer of around 100Gigs ... I have about 20 sites hosted on each and I have only reached about 75 gigs in a month. I would def. suggest linux hosting, it's way more stable and secure and is way more efficient than windows hosting environments. Lunarpages.com and bluehost.com are really good ones but really just stay away from godaddy hosting. I've had to pull clients off of their hosting left and right because it is insecure, overloaded and just flat crappy.

Idea of hosting fees:
1. Dedicated virtual server - The exact same plan that costs 50/month at lunarpages costs ~8.00 with the company I go through(actually mines better).
2. Small instance at lunarpages is about 8.00/month ... cheaper i think if you prepay. For clients that don't decide to host w/ me I recommend this place. Great customer service, quality servers etc...

Other fees to be aware of:
1. Domain registration fee for yourcompany.com ... godaddy or google does it for ~10 bucks a year.
2. Hosting setup. Some companies do this, some don't.
3. Usually a designer/developer/firm will request a deposit up front. This can range from 1/3 to 1/2 of the total cost of the project. Pretty common.

Az Gardener
07-23-2009, 01:07 AM
Unfortunately everything you said sounds reasonable. This means I have a problem. How many hours does a simple site take you know "ballpark"?

I was contacted by someone who saw my truck and wanted some consulting help from me, he offered to do my site in return. Sounded good so now 10 weeks later he has a homepage up with a few of my clients homes on a slide show. Some of the pictures are "chunky" and nothing else works yet.

I am wondering if his start can be repaired or completed or if I will need to start over. He has not impressed me yet but then again you get what you pay for. I have just had to spend a couple of hours answering questions and giving him some plant suggestions for his yard. Seems like a good guy just not great in the artistic/design arena.

mikey.hill
07-23-2009, 01:46 AM
Unfortunately everything you said sounds reasonable. This means I have a problem. How many hours does a simple site take you know "ballpark"?

I was contacted by someone who saw my truck and wanted some consulting help from me, he offered to do my site in return. Sounded good so now 10 weeks later he has a homepage up with a few of my clients homes on a slide show. Some of the pictures are "chunky" and nothing else works yet.

I am wondering if his start can be repaired or completed or if I will need to start over. He has not impressed me yet but then again you get what you pay for. I have just had to spend a couple of hours answering questions and giving him some plant suggestions for his yard. Seems like a good guy just not great in the artistic/design arena.

Sounds to me like he's familiar w/ web development but not really experienced or qualified. As far as taking what's there and using it, that really depends on the quality of work that's done. For a small site it's usually best to start from scratch esp. since it sounds like he hasn't done much to begin with. Hourly a decent design takes anywhere from 3 - 5 hours. The actually building of a site consists of taking that design and pulling out all the elements and basically putting them all back together like a puzzle. For a basic site that takes around 5-7 hours. Last is content which really only takes a couple of hours, maybe a bit more depending. So total I would say 15 -20 hours is reasonable. If this guys moonlighting or whatever I would say 2 weeks is good timeframe to have the site completed.

Josh.S
08-11-2009, 12:08 AM
mikey.hill,

I want to have a website made like this : www.weed-pro.com

Who can build a website like this and how much do you think it will cost? It has tons of pages.

I know it will cost some $$$ but I can't find anybody that I feel is qualified.

These guys seem to know there stuff www.landscapermarketing.com, but they are $135 per hour so it looks like $4500 for 7-10 pages. I don't have a problem paying $4500 but I want value for my money.

Here is their price sheat: http://www.landscapermarketing.com/designpackages_prices.htm

Josh.S
08-11-2009, 12:35 AM
typo* sheet

P.Services
08-11-2009, 12:43 AM
wow $1500 for a logo!! what a deal. :bent over spelling r..u..n out loud:

mikey.hill
08-11-2009, 03:46 AM
mikey.hill,

I want to have a website made like this : www.weed-pro.com

Who can build a website like this and how much do you think it will cost? It has tons of pages.

I know it will cost some $$$ but I can't find anybody that I feel is qualified.

These guys seem to know there stuff www.landscapermarketing.com, but they are $135 per hour so it looks like $4500 for 7-10 pages. I don't have a problem paying $4500 but I want value for my money.

Here is their price sheat: http://www.landscapermarketing.com/designpackages_prices.htm

Wowzers, for what they're doing 135/hour is over the top. I do some freelancing for a top national firm that works w/ disney, WB, Sony and they only charge 125/hr for high end stuff. The only way to justify that is if your working w/ a national client on a major campaign, not for a regional LCO. Their site is nice though so they've got that going for them. Anywho, that website you listed (weed-pro) is a really simple site in terms of design/development. The only single aspect that would really require some talent is that bug illustration(and what looks to be some guy taking a wiz in the bushes). But all in all, I think their site is iffy. It looks a little dated and too busy. There's just too much info on that first page to get anything good out of it.

By tons of pages what do you mean? Tons as in 100+ or just 10-20? Are you wanting to be able to edit the content yourself or are you going to pay someone to do that for you? Do you already have a logo or branding of any kind? Also, is this an application or more of an informational website?

MiguelTX
08-11-2009, 06:38 AM
mikey.hill,

I want to have a website made like this : www.weed-pro.com
Man, that looks like one of those templates over at TemplateMonster.com! You should check them out, easy to buy and all you have to do is edit them.

Josh.S
08-11-2009, 07:52 AM
Wowzers, for what they're doing 135/hour is over the top.
I thought that seemed pretty steep for a website design.

By tons of pages what do you mean?
Probably like 50. A lot of them are simple though. Like if you go on there there is a "service alert" section where the customer can look up codes that you've put on their invoices, there are probably 20 pages of just that but they are all the same template basically.

Are you wanting to be able to edit the content yourself or are you going to pay someone to do that for you?
I would like to be able to edit it myself. I have some very basic knowledge of HTML. But I forgot most of it but font styles, line breaks, ect. Probably if I refreshed it a little bit I could edit the website my self pretty easily.

Do you already have a logo or branding of any kind?
Not yet, still working on it. Just changed the business name this spring so it's turning into a long process. I've paid three "designers" to make a logo. One quit half way through because she was in-law family and got another job, didn't care. The other two looked like crap, nothing like their example work.

Also, is this an application or more of an informational website?
Just an informational website. I want to have pages on there like the "lawn academy" on weed-pro.com and something similar to their service code section. The application (customer login) side of the website will really be another website all together that looks similar. My software company, real green, will be setting that up in the future.

Man, that looks like one of those templates over at TemplateMonster.com! You should check them out, easy to buy and all you have to do is edit them.

I guess it kind of does. I want something that is designed/taylored to my business and brand though. I will go on there and check them out though.

Here is another couple nice lawn care website: http://www.buckeyeecocare.com/ is a guy in my area.

http://turfplusutah.com/ is a guy from on here.

Travis E
08-11-2009, 08:23 AM
Josh, who have you gone through for logos? If you need someone that is willing to work and relativly inexpensive come over to Delphos.

Inspira
08-11-2009, 11:50 AM
I've never had success charging clients per hour for a website. I price by the job. I know roundabout how long something takes me, and I have a ballpark number I try to hit (nowhere near 135/hr though lol).

Shop around. Around here (metro nyc area) 5K sounds about right though for a site that size.