Charge per hour? By project? What do I include in the costs? This guide will help you consider the best way to charge for a WordPress website.
Charge per hour or project
To start, you can base yourself on what is usually charged in your country or in the country where you are going to work. Personally, the model I like the most is hourly, although it is usually tricky, especially if they are new clients, to convince them of this model.
What I like about charging by the hour is the luxury of working as projects progress without stressing out so much about a deadline. Of course, it is an art to accommodate the gaps in the agenda, and working on one project at a time will always be more optimal. But the latter is unrealistic.
Some clients know what they want, while others experiment with your time.
What is certain is that many customers want a final price as a product, not a service. How much does a website like this cost? They seek the certainty of tying you to a budget.
These are some project types: Landing page, Online store, and Page with several sections. Different sizes, but that’s not everything there is to consider.
How much they cost depends on how generic you will deliver the work or how personalized it is. If you team up with people who already know how to design on the web or for a particular platform, you can calculate easier and have more certainty.
Regardless of the charging model, charge extra since there are non-billable hours, such as meetings or research.
Those hours, as well as other expenses such as depreciation of your equipment or training, can be included directly in your cost per hour.
Registering everything included in your proposal and what is not helps make it increasingly more accessible for you to quote a specific type of project since, many times, some details get out of hand.
Standardize your processes
If you always use the same plugins and website builders, you become a specialist; you deliver faster and better. You are also more aware of the costs of the licenses that a type of project uses.
As far as possible, use technologies already integrated with WordPress to avoid plugins that complicate and slow down the system.
As for plugins, I’ll give you two examples: Contact Form 7 and Flamingo are a couple of free plugins that do their respective jobs well. Although they are not so friendly to the end user, they are very stable, and a vast community supports them.
I recommend Gutenberg / the WordPress Site Editor, as a website builder. You may have to learn CSS at first for granular details, but there is nothing to lose with this type of technology.
Consider donating to open-source software as part of your costs. There are ways to contribute, such as helping with language translations, reporting bugs, making suggestions for improvement, leaving a review, or providing support in the help forums.
Include extra costs
The taxes and commission of the tool you use to receive your payments, especially from abroad, can cause your accounts not to turn out well.
Make it clear what things you are charging for so you can negotiate unforeseen expenses and not have to absorb them.
I’m not a big fan of giving discounts. Chris Lema recommends asking your customer for a list of what the project competition includes. Being a professional, you know how to charge and include what the client asks of you and what you know their project will need. You will surely do more work than the competition and be chosen. If not, it’s not worth the customer.
What makes you different from others? The more competition there is, the more we can become more replaceable.
Competing on price is very complex unless we compete with a market with a more developed economy than our country.
Having fewer quality clients rather than working in volume is the way to go. The most straightforward and repetitive projects can be delegated to a work team to focus on building a good portfolio.
Maintenance and hosting
They are for a later stage of development, but if taken into account from the beginning, they can generate a continuous income. The hosting platform is essential because its learning curve can lengthen your work hours inefficiently if you don’t know it.
No one better to maintain a site than the person who developed it. I still think it is best to charge by the hour to attend to the project according to its specific needs, remembering that a website is a living thing. Still, these activities are sold more efficiently by a package of hours.
Optimizations, backups, and audits are some of the post-sales activities you can offer your clients, sometimes achieving a continuous income.
How much to charge?
It depends on the complexity of the project, your market, trajectory, the delivery time, and the costs generated.
The question should be when to charge. Get paid as soon as possible and always in advance. I heard somewhere that a reasonable advance payment should be enough to finish the project and be satisfied even if you do not receive the final payment.