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That’s a lot of pancakes

I’m curious what you all think of this guys post about building web sites. He argues that $10,000 per page is about right for building a great web site. I wish he had provided some examples.

By Chris Tingom

Principal of Tornado Design, a Phoenix, AZ based web consultancy

8 replies on “That’s a lot of pancakes”

I’d be happy with 5,000 a page…
I get his point about not scrimping, but to be honest, for our clients at least, no website could offer them 100,000 of business in a short enough timeframe to warrent buying a 10 page website… Yes, there is a difference between ‘a website and a website’ but theres also a difference between a website and a ripoff. Maybe this works for the big guys.

His argument is that the true cost of a site (after employee meetings, RFP development, vendor search, disruptions, management of all involved, dealing with all the stakeholders…) PLUS the costs of online brand development, needs assessment, IA, wireframes, design comps, changes, development, implementation, maintenance…equates to about $10G a page.

If you look at this from a corporation dealing with an agency, then I think this dude’s numbers are pretty much on track. Remember he’s talking about costs NOT charges. It’s a great argument for the idea of “getting real with less”, as any agency or freelancer that can cut out even a small fraction of the typical costs (by cutting out / reducing the need for meetings, and / or some of the documentation) will reduce the costs associated.

Like Mark said above, his “true” cost scenario of things with meetings, development, research, management, etc etc probably would equal to around $10k per page. But I think what is significant here is that we’re seeing more corporations sending their work to the “little” guys. The 1, 3, and 5 person firms who’ve got very specific talents and are extremely good at what they do. These smaller firms are frequently able to pull off more than what the big firm could do and in half the time…all with higher quality work because there aren’t really any internal politics to deal with.

I think Mark is basically on track with his analysis of this posting. Although, one must assume that this is strictly for the corporate world. If you were to walk up to a small-to-medium sized business, or a non-profit organization, with the idea of $10,000 per page in your head, you’d get shot down pretty quickly.

I think as a professional, you must learn to charge dynamically per the project’s specifications.

The way I do it? If you’re dealing with a small business, think about how long it would take you to build one page, multiply that by your rate for that size business (have two to three different hourly rates per business size) and then charge 10-15% overhead, and quote that to the client. Make sure they understand it’s just a quote, because scope creep has been factored in, etc.

Oh wow, these are some good comments. Thanks everyone. I think Mark has hit on the main point and maybe this goes back to my Chief Web Officer position. This 10k figure is counting all of the time and effort involved even in just a decision and problem resolution, design reviews, etc.

I can attest from my story the other day. The entire upper management staff from people in the IT dept to marketing to the CEO have been involved with making a web site for over 1 year. I can’t imagine the waste of time and money that happened.

Yeh, when you think of a what a typical Fortune 500 CEO salary is, think of all the money it is costing a company to have just him sit through an hour of a website design meeting.

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