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  • Website Maintenance/Training Pricing Suggestions Needed

    Sorry for the longer than usual post, but I'm really needing some help here

    Hello All,

    This past weekend I met with a local client and discussed setting up a website and online store. A little background information about this company is: They make hand crafted pens, bowls, desks, dressers, etc from all kinds of wood (oak, hickory, cedar) and even exotic wood that they have shipped in from New Zealand, Africa, and all over the world. They also make pens from other items including a pen that they gave me made from acorns (see picture attached). They currently sell these pens, and bowls at local shops where the employer almost doubles the price on them. Therefore they are not selling as many as they could if they were selling direct. This is where the website idea came into mind for them. There are technically 2 owners (father and son) of the company. They both make the products. The son's wife (lets call her Mary) is the one who will be updating the website, and store after I get it up and running for them. Now that you have a little background information about the company, here comes my questions:

    1. Upon setting up the website, they will have a website with roughly 6 main pages (Home, About Us, Services, Portfolio, Contact Us, and Online Store). Under About Us, there will be a sub-page for a "How we do it" with a video; Under Contact Us, there will be a sub-page for Requesting a Quote on a Project. For the main pages of the website they have chosen to use a website builder. I will walk Mary through this, and from there she will finish setting everything up, implementing content, and etc. She may have basic questions, but I feel this will fall under normal support through the client portal. They wanted to go with a website builder for a couple different reasons. Those reasons being cost effectiveness, and easier to make the website responsive. I informed them that we could do a custom design, or even purchase a template (and this may be something they consider as well), but Mary has almost no html or php knowledge for editing.

    2. Now for the store side of things - I will have to do a lot of the work initially. We will use a program (not sure which yet, open for suggestions) that will have the different items that they currently have for sale. There will be different categories on the site also (See example below for some of the categories that will be used). I will help setup the different categories for Mary, and show her how to implement the different products. Since these items are unique, they will only be 1 available of each kind. Therefore after the item is sold, we would like it to show like a red banner across the image that states "Sold". Payment methods will be preferred by PayPal (debit, credit) or mail in payments (money order, certified check). Under each item in the store, we would like a couple different pictures of the item, a brief description of the item, and of course the price. There will not be any desks, or anything else like this under the store because these will be custom made to order only. There will however be pictures of previous work under the portfolio section for customers to look at.

    Pens
    <Wood
    <<Exotic Wood
    <Acrylic

    Bowls
    <Wood <<Exoctic Wood
    They will be purchasing a domain name through us, and a monthly web hosting plan. Therefore there will be monthly revenue coming in for the hosting. It's been described to them how much the monthly hosting costs are, and what all the web hosting includes for this price. I told them that their web hosting plans includes basic web hosting support, a free website builder, an SSL certificate to help with the safety of purchases, email accounts, etc. They do know that me helping setup the store, and website is not part of basic web hosting support. I told them on Saturday morning at our meeting that I would do some calculations and such, and would get back to them with a quote for this added support part. They contacted me yesterday and informed me that they have decided to go with me (even though I still haven't gave them a quote on the extensive support). They are a family oriented company, the father is retired (and does this as a hobby), the son works a full time job and also does this as a hobby and extra way to bring in income for his growing family, and Mary works part time to support her family.

    Now my questions for WHT are:

    1. With the shopping cart feature for processing payments, what shopping cart (preferably free & easy to use) would you recommend using for something like this kind of business? Keep in mind it needs to be able to accept PayPal, and mail in payments for purchases. Would also like it, that after the item is sold, for it to either remove from the list, or put a "Sold" tab across the image.

    2. How much should I charge (would you charge) the client for website management? This includes setting up the shopping cart, and implementing the different products for them to sell? Also for setting up the website builder, and walking Mary through on how to use it? Setting up and helping to familarize Mary with the portfolio script, helping implement the "How we do it" video, along with I'm sure a LOT of other things.

    3. What kind of specs do you think a website like this would require? The main pages will be basic HTML with images, the portfolio page will have a LOT of pictures for people to look at, the "How we do it" page will be a video of the process (possibly hosted on server, or on YouTube and visible from their site), and the shopping cart script (with probably around 50-100) items at all times. They will have approximately 4 emails, and non of them will use up hardly any space. At first we don't expect a ton of visitors, but in the near future they will be doing some local and Facebook advertising.

    Also they do not have a logo design yet. I will be getting someone that I have prior experience with to design a logo for their business and some business cards for them to hand out. This price will not be included into the web hosting, domain registration, or website management costs but instead will be agreed and paid separately by them.

    I hate to ask for recommendations on what to charge for services, but I'm at a little bit of a loss here. I've never done a job like this where I would basically be setting up a business website from scratch (especially an online store), and having to teach someone how to do it so they can manage it on a day to day operation. I don't want to over charge them and lose them as a client, because as many of you know "Word of mouth, can make, or break a business", and the number of small businesses in my area (especially the ones they know personally)... well lets just say that I have a great opportunity to grow my business. At the same time though, I don't want to charge a small amount, and have to end up putting in a LOT of hours worked to not be compensated for my time.

    *I really need some help on the questions that I asked above. In addition, If I'm missing anything from my calculations, or you have ideas that could/would help this kind of website please feel free to share.

    Thank you all for the assistance!

    Much appreciated!


    FHCL likes this.
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  • #2
    In short, I would just charge a set price for hosting/domain and then charge $20-30 per hour for custom work.
    Forums.Hosting - A Web Hosting Forum for consumers and Web Hosting related businesses

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    • #3
      I would charge let's say 900€ for the initial site and stationary, and then as FHCL said about 20/30€ hour for any changes that might be necessary.
      I think it's a *fair* price for both imo.
      FHCL likes this.

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      • #4
        Early on, when I just started out I would give local customers really good deals. This helped me big time, as they would pass my name onto other potential clients. It may be worth just giving your first few clients a great discount just so it helps with the word of mouth. Remember, you give them something and in return they are much more likely to stay loyal to your business, building a stable client portfolio early on is very important.

        Regardless, some of the suggestions people have already state, I would say are very fair. Best of luckwith everything.
        FHCL likes this.
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