DC2009:What Should a Web Site Cost?

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One of the most vexing questions in any project is “what are appropriate costs for technology and labor?” This session will utilize anecdotal data and participant input to explore costing for different types of web sites, from simple “brochure-ware” sites to custom, database-backed applications and points in between.

Session Notes

Gunner has seen four regular price points in past sessions. Brochure wear: static website, very simple layout, no interactivity

Todd: $6 million for landscope.org, but not sure if all of that went to design and development Elisabeth: $10,000 for design. 20 different design schemes per project area. Need to either re-do or update site, and proposals are within the $10-$20,000 range.

  • Database of publications, membership sign-up, email listservs
  • Proposal is inflated
  • Stay away from Free Range, Citi has reasonable rates
  • $100/hr is average rate. Excellent support for Drupal, Joomla!, Wordpress projects
  • NEVER work with an independent consultant on a webproject, go with a house
  • Compare original bid and final costs of previous projects

Ernesto-bills at $100/hr for non-profits.

  • Wordpress sites between $5,000 and $10,000
  • Different data sets increase costs to up to $20,000
  • No justification for any more costs
  • Tack on 20% for maintenance and incidentals to any proposal

Karen: Redesigning website, using same design team, and have a proprietary CMS bid for $60,000

  • Current developer is $14,000 for a Wordpress site, but has complexity
  • Merchant account costs around $1,000

Erik-$2,000 for Wordpress microsite

  • Custom php website, development $18,000 and front-end separate costs because it was being done in-house
  • Back-end will have several different front-end themes based on project—want to have one CMS to prevent redundancy

Noelle: $15,000 for annual hosting and maintenance plus CapWiz

  • Possibly over $90,000 for original design and development five years ago

Five years ago Drupal, Joomla!, Wordpress, CMS didn’t barely exist, so it was all proprietary and costly. Now there is a reverse cost trend. Phil: $150/hr for most senior designer.

  • Drupal as a major commitment
  • Drupal and Joomla have Wordpress import methods

Website maintenance costs

  • $100/hr can translate to a monthly rate, plus hosting costs
  • With a bigger site, i.e. Drupal with many modules installed, the annual update will take more time and be more costly

Keep data away from the code

  • Customizations and upgrades only effect the code of CMS
  • PHP as a security nightmare

Gunner: $75-$150 is range for consultant. Sysadmin should be billed at $75+.

  • Website costing split between three phases:

1. What should be on the website (identify audiences, user stories, organizational development)—Non-profits should have this already, will save $1,000s. Don’t need a facilitator, the org. should know this already

2/3. Tech phase: Graphic design & Implementation/ development, keep these costs separate. But, if there is not any major re-design, can receive a cheap site for $2,000-$2,500 or use an existing Drupal/Wordpress template. Design average at $3,000. DesignAction, West Cost shop.

  • If quote is over $10,000 get a second or third quote!
  • Membership areas with features like chat, discussion board, community, will be in the $20,000 range.
  • Conversations should happen with new consultant:

1. What happens when we out-grow our current system? 2. What happens when you are no longer our optimal web provider? Ask a lot of questions! Hosts:

  • Rochen host, platform diagnostics, has a time-machine process. Great host for Drupal

Need to have a C-Panel account, where there is an admin part of the site that is accessible from i.e. www.fulbright.org/admin (C-Panel and Plesk sp?)-allows for control of website and email accounts.