Building great things online doesn't happen by accident.
How we quote work...
It starts with why we choose value based pricing model over the others. Trust is incredibly important in projects at this level. Great work is on the line, so spoiling it with an inappropriate pricing model for web design shouldn't be the starting point.
Value pricing begins with the end in mind. It seeks to answer the real questions...
What problem(s) need to be solved? What are the end users' pain points? Why aren't the end users using the client's services or products more? What is the end user's journey to the client's services or product?
The goal is never as simple as 'running an ad' or 'building a website' - that's thinking too small.
Going through a value pricing discovery meeting helps establish a fixed price from the value gained from fixing the problem. The price includes the value of our team, with our skills, partnering to complete something specific, new and amazing; with you and your team, to do something important & make it as effective and beautiful as possible.
Since this process of pricing is collaborative, you only pay for the project you helped define & expect to receive. The execution of that project to your expectations is our single dedicated focus, everything else is subordinate.
In our view, value pricing is also the most flexible. As your needs change, you dictate the value of the new idea as a higher or lower priority and together we adjust. Think of it as pivoting with purpose. There isn't a more fair and sustainable model for well executed, creative work.
Work quality, fit and finish are all factored into your valuation - whatever is important to you from a Science:Art ratio perspective; it's built into the plan. More on that below.
Science : Art
The Science to Art ratio. Both appear in every one of our projects, but, the balance is never the same from one to the next.
Let's be clear... A website that doesn't make money* is art. If it's done poorly, it's bad art. If done well, it's at least nice to look at. Some clients are asking for art & we're happy to accommodate.
Most of our clients need their site to do something more than look nice, that's where the science side of the ratio really finds it's stride.
Doing what's right
Our clients do great things. What we build MUST help not hinder their doing so.
Whether it's helping the homeless community in Boulder, Colorado get back on their feet or making sure kids in Kern, County California learn about nutrition & exercise. Our clients are making the world a better place.
Being fair with our pricing and accurate with our assessments of infrastructure need, helps keep our relationships strong and our clients equipped to achieve their goals.
Grade: A+ Best for Everyone
Value Pricing brings the buyer (client) and seller (Pixsym) to an understanding of value for time and skill, cooperatively generating a fair price for the perceived value of the finished product (website) with a certain goal of achieved quality. Therefore, instead of time being the focus, achievement of quality is made the metric of focus.
As a result, the buyer and seller benefit from the finished product. The client is proud to have a website worth more than they paid & the development team is proud to have another high quality site with their fingerprints in their portfolio.
Grade: C- Sounds good, but isn't.
Flat Rate Pricing encourages cutting of corners to get the project signed one day and delivered the next, unethical. Rushing to hit a deadline tells us the project started with a poor plan, or maybe none at all. Are there circumstances when some hustle is necessary, sure - but sacrificing quality is never the right answer. Holding back lower priority features for a future release date makes more sense.
If you prefer flat rate pricing, you probably like the stability in having a fixed price and no surprises. If that's your only reason for the preference, you'll love value pricing - you get a stable price in that model also.
Grade: D+ An illusion of quality
Hourly Pricing encourages a snail pace on the customer dime, unethical. It also suggests if the hourly rate is high, they must be worth it. All too often, high starting hourly rates are more of a negotiating tactic than truly representative of skill or quality.
If you prefer hourly pricing, you probably like to stay close to the project and keep tabs on progress and milestones. Keep in mind, being able to see progress isn't a great metric in web design. Someone can design something impressive on the surface, but underneath be comprised of sloppy code that won't last 6 months. It's sad anyone would do that, but by now, you've probably heard the stories from friends and colleagues. It happens.
Instead, why not try value pricing... where you're invited into the process from the beginning and will know the agreed upon quality standards from day one.
Getting a Quote
If you've made it this far, I've got good news... this next part gives you an idea of what different projects in the recent past have cost. AND, gives you an opportunity to start your own quote process.
If you have questions along the way, please feel free to get in touch by phone, email or the quick form below.
If you're a doctor, the cost of your education was no simple expense, it was an investment. If you're a seamstress, the sewing machine you use isn't money out the window, it's the tool paired with your skill that provides an income. If you're a carpenter, a cheap hammer and saw won't last a day - so you get one that does the job day in and day out. In each of those circumstances, those 'costs' continually provide value. Hopefully, they even increase in value over time as you learn to use them better. You use them to build a reputation, career and business. Your website is no different.
Needless to say, we don't suggest treating your website like a simple expense. In a world driven by how connected everything is to the internet, you stand to lose out on a huge opportunity if you cut corners when everyone else is investing.
While we can't give you a quote without knowing the details of your project, rest assured that we work hard with all of our clients to build affordable solutions that prove more and more valuable over time.
Website Project Personality Test
From Unhealthy to Healthy.
A new contact reached out to us with a site they were having difficulty with. Their web designer set them up with a WordPress site and used a slightly unruly theme and then abandoned the project. If you've dealt with WordPress for any amount of time, this story seems to repeat itself regularly.
The true value in the project was mostly in unseen areas.
- Being able to update WordPress, theme and plugins with confidence was priority #1.
- A more secure future for the website as a whole (investing in an environment where this sort of thing wouldn't just keep happening) was a close #2.
So, that's what we did. We didn't spend any time redesigning, except for the instances along the way there wasn't any option. It was a ground up rebuild using our tools, using our preferred & vetted plugins, and correcting some of the usability errors that existed in the original. Other than that, it was more than the client needed and therefore, set aside for a later phase. Future phases as budget allows will pursue some things that will improve processes for the business. They'll be able to take new orders with greater efficiency in a more sustainable way. Right now, they're getting their internal processes ready to embrace such a change online.
So, a simple site rescue has now breathed some life and excitement that previously didn't exist. Before we did our thing, the business thought of their website with contempt, not of a source for a more productive and prosperous future. If you ever wonder why we do what we do. This one example explains a lot. We love building a new future for the businesses we help.
Cost: $10,000 +/-
Like in #1, this story features another poorly implemented WordPress site. This time however, the web developer on the scene was holding it hostage for insane hourly update rates. Imagine an event that happens once a year with different list of entertainers each year, making the site content almost entirely worthless from one year to the next.
This update process represented a gold mine in the mind of the web developer, so the site was setup in a fashion that made it unnecessarily difficult for the client to update on their own. Not only that, but for the content to change, the developer charged an insane 4-5x market rate for the changes to be performed.
After putting up with this for a few years, the event coordination team had enough and as they asked around for alternatives. Pixsym's name kept getting mentioned. This was the first step toward a great new friendship and partnership for this event website.
Unlike #1, the true value in the project was linked to areas that are seen.
- Being able to update website content with confidence was priority #1.
- A system that was both visually impressive to the audience but also easy enough for a laymen to manage was baked into the requirements & priority #1b.
- Equipping the website with some features that naturally support the seasonal phases of the event. So whatever effort that is invested for this year's pre-event phase can be retained and reused for next year's pre-event phase whenever possible. Priority #2
So, that's what we did. As you'd expect we started by getting property & assets into the right hands and in accounts owned by the client not the developer. If you're currently in this type of setup, please be sure to have well defined terms for what a separation looks like. Luckily, this client had a developer that was beginning to be disinterested in the project and was helpful as we took over. This isn't always the case.
In the plan for the new site, we made sure 'investment' was a guiding word for the build. Whatever we could do to take previous year energy and reuse it in following years, that needed to happen. A system of presets, templates (beyond 'theme'), and saving layouts for reuse later was set up. It's beautiful & intuitive. If I'm honest, it's value goes well beyond the price tag and really only limited by the creativity of the people involved. I'm not putting anyone down, I'm just saying, almost anything is possible using the tools we set up. That's a great feeling to be able to provide a client.
Cost: $30,000 +/-
Unlike any of the previous, this was a client of ours already. They've done various projects with us in the past and had another one. This time, they were merging 3 business sectors (what we'll call it here for anonymity) under one new roof. Nationally this sort of merge is normal given the type of business they're in. But for this business, they were a bit behind the trend of making this merge. What happened for similar businesses nation wide years ago, they were getting to now.
One of the biggest challenges in the mix was the processes present in the 3 business units that were different from one another and needed to become the same once the merge was complete. Or did it? We concluded - none of the processes were as good as they could be and each had something of value to teach the others. SO, instead of reinventing the wheel entirely, we celebrated the part each did well and encouraged them to teach the others how. In the end, all 3 were unified by what made each good and together they were made great. This new process was then woven into the technology we were building behind the scenes to help them continue and sustain this new direction, instead of encouraging any slippage into past habits.
On the technical side, there were plenty of hurdles. Little things, details, that couldn't be overlooked. But we found that when we brought everyone together on the same page, those details were overcome with a clear vision. Questions that arose from these details could be answered by the bigger vision. Should we do X? Does doing X align with Vision Y? If yes, yes. If no, no. It kept inconsequential things small, and gave the more substantial things their due place.
The true value in this project was bringing people together.
- It sounds like something outside the capability of a website, but I think you'll find the biggest projects you'll be part of reach well beyond the code & routinely get more involved with people. The bigger the project, the more careful you'll need to be with how you treat and respect the people involved. This was priority #1.
- Priority #2 was to organize. Organization of 3 independent entities into 1 with parts very much dependent on one another was a practice in managing people as much as managing code.
At the end of the project, we launched a website. More than that, we launched a future for a group of people that previously had no reason to work together, that now enjoy having each other's back and feel part of something bigger and more important.