LebGeeks

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#1 December 28 2012

Nabs
Member

Website Redesign Dilemma

I got contacted by someone yesterday who said he had a website that needs remodeling. So, I went to this guy, took a look at the website, saw it was really retro. The guy said he just wanted a new design, nothing more, and asked about the cost. I tried to explain to the guy that redesigning the site and coding it is pretty much the same as creating a new website. Seeing that the site only has 4 pages and a contact form, I asked for 300$, and the guy said I was ripping him off. How much would you guys charge for this?

Mind you though, that I felt that this guy wanted to pay very little, and I thought a 4-page static site is easy and fast money, so what the heck? Instead of asking for 500, I went for 3. Comments please? Any standard rates nowadays?

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#2 December 28 2012

Kassem
Member

Re: Website Redesign Dilemma

The guy is too cheap. Don't waste your time.

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#3 December 29 2012

samer
Administrator

Re: Website Redesign Dilemma

Don't waste your time on pathological customers. If you are providing a valuable service, charge more. That way, the customers who respect what you do, and understand that you are providing them something of value would self-select.

Another important thing is that web development is a recent industry. People do not seem to have the same sensibilities as with other industries. If a doctor charges you LBP 15,000 instead of LBP 50,000 for a standard consultation, you would raise an eyebrow and feel that the doctor is probably unqualified to treat you. That does not seem to apply for more recent, tech-related industries.

It is then our job, as developers and designers not to cut ourselves short and underprice our services. This is crucial for the upbringing of the industry in Lebanon and the region.

The whole is bigger than the sum of its parts, our collective action here is critical. We create value for these people, don't let them treat you that way. You would be doing a disservice for yourself and your fellow coders.

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#4 December 29 2012

Nabs
Member

Re: Website Redesign Dilemma

What is the standard price for a static website like that? I remember a few years ago, it was 400$, asked recently, found out that people who make good designs and well organized layouts and valid CSS for html5 ask for around 600$.

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#5 December 29 2012

Ayman
Member

Re: Website Redesign Dilemma

I like this topic, faced this several times actually. I think the problem is because of several reasons first of all as mentioned the lack of well informed customers about the industry and type of work involved and how much it would take. Many people consider non physical products(software) as cheap things no matter what they are whether its a simple website or an operating system that they can by for 1000L.L. from the store next door.

Many other factors are contributing to this and one of them is the huge exploit of popular(and mostly crappy) PHP based CMSs like wordpress and their premium themes that are most of the time obtained through warez. So today, anyone who knows how to google can build you a website with a couple of clicks, obtains a premium well designed theme from a warez site, installs it writes some information and presto you have your site all for $50 with hosting. No custom designed involved, no serious code or customization. But the result is something cheap not to be really proud of as a developer.

The other day someone contacted me for a real estate website for posting and searching for houses apartments etc... in Lebanon. I had in mind that the guy is serious about it and he had a real idea to differentiate himself from all the real estate sites out there with something unique and professional. I said it would cost him around 1500$ in total for a month of work on it with a designer too(how cheaper can this get)? His feedback was that "everyone is doing such stuff for $200 and less", and later ended up with someone installing for him a wordpress theme for 200$ right as it is.

And in reality the people who build all that cheap stuff are making a lot of profit. A premium theme obtained for free, shared hosting with unlimited domain names costs around $5 a month, a domain name $10 a year, and all in all it would take an average of 2 or 3 hours(actually even less). The rest is purely profit, get 10 such clients a month that's around 2000$ per month in revenue and the profit is very near that number.

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#6 December 29 2012

Nabs
Member

Re: Website Redesign Dilemma

@AymanFarhat, you're totally right. It's pretty much like those who design logos and business cards - underrated. I got contacted once by a guy who's launching a new perfume brand in Lebanon. He paid a load sum of money on campaigns and publicity. The designer he got for the package was his nephew, someone who just happens to know Photoshop. The results was horrible, and people were afraid to buy the package. I gave him 3 alternative designs, he picked one and went with it. It worked and made a difference. He wouldn't pay more than 50,000L.L. for it.

As you said, you'd think that those better-looking potential new clients could know the difference, but no, graphics are treated cheap, ideas aren't considered hard work, and researching and trial and error aren't considered time.

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#7 January 13 2013

rolf
Member

Re: Website Redesign Dilemma

I wouldnt code a static 4 page website for $300, especially for someone with such an attitude. And I consider myself cheap. We haven't spoken about graphic design yet.
If you feel like doing some free work / charity, go for it. But with such an ungrateful attitude I wouldnt dare, it sounds like masochism.

PS: Maybe slap his logo on a template, and charge him $250... that sounds about the only way to have a decent outcome. But are you willing to go down that road?

Otherwise he can find cheap overseas labour on sites such as elance.com
But even then I'm not sure he'll find for that price.

I get pissed off when I hear of such people, I've had my share of them. One customer did not pay more then 25% of her bill, did not pay hosting. When she noticed I had brought her website down, she called me and went bonkers, and yelled that my work was crap, and was fully expecting me to bring her website back online. Earlier, when I had started work, she mentioned that "there are a lot of freelancers and she can find for cheaper". Since then I have had little trust with cutsomers who show such early signs. Chances are they'll make you run in circles and get whatever they can for free - they'll even turn you into a punching ball or whatever they can make you do to take advantage of you, so get your money upfront too. You can't really tell when you'll be paid or not, but i've never (yet?) been betrayed by a customer who seemed very happy with my work and costs.

Last edited by rolf (January 13 2013)

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#8 January 14 2013

rtwo2008
Member

Re: Website Redesign Dilemma

I disagree with some of the stuff that is being said here.

In Lebanon :

1- People's time is valued by themselves. In modern countries there is a minimum charge/hour of work, but here I don't know and I don't think there is one. A person could be just starting out and wants to build a portfolio, heck he'll even do it for free and consider it an investment for the future. Or a person could do a really shitty job for really cheap, but it so happens that this is the quality level that the customer was expecting anyway...

2- Forget any concept of copyright, proprietary, or synonyms to that, if your client is a Lebanese business. Copyrighted stock photos are snatched off the net without remorse, templates downloaded from pirated sites, etc... Do not factor those in your bill or you will look ridiculous (I don't agree with this, but that's the reality). Even if there is a risk that the template owners (or stock photo owners) could find out and try to get your site closed (if they even do that, I dunno to be honest), people are bad at avoiding problems, they prefer to take a risk (steal) and deal with them (somehow) when they arrive. Only factor stuff (along with your time) like hosting cost / domain registration cost.

3- People are notorious at negotiations, no remorse and no guilt even if you expose them as liars or frauds. This reminds of those foreign highway sellers: Seller: "This razor costs 50,000 LL", Buyer: "I'll give you 2,000 LL" ... It's a technique to get to around 12,000 LL. (the seller is "3am yetzeka" and the buyer answered accordingly). It is even being done in higher level business and that could have happened with you. So don't really feel offended when they give these prices, this is the type of negotiations they got used to with most people here (loads of them at elmazad.com, some even want to trade your iPad for a Sony Walkman and a newborn Caniche dog); how the heck do you expect them to know you are a man of principle?

Either take whatever you can get and make a portfolio then somehow adopt some principles (is it even possible after you get used to the shit of the bottomfeeders? I dunno), or just be a man of principle from the beginning.

Been there dude, I chose the High Road.

EDIT: This happens everywhere in the world, but the problem is that it happens more often here in Leb, to the extent that it has become the rule instead of the exception. Just like people jumping red lights, it is everywhere, but it is usually 0.01% of the population vs 20% in Leb...

Last edited by rtwo2008 (January 14 2013)

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