Let me tell you a story
The story goes that Picasso was once sitting in a Paris café when an admirer approached and politely asked if he could do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso agreed, swiftly executed the work, and handed back the napkin — but not before asking for a rather significant amount of money for it.
The admirer was shocked: “How can you ask for so much? It only took you a minute to draw this!”
“No,” Picasso replied, “It took me forty years.”
What you're actually paying for
As a client you're not paying for “just a website” — you're paying for the countless months and years of research, knowledge, experience, expertise and talent that it took to finally create that website.
Many of us design professionals spend countless hours refining our skills and keeping our knowledge up to date, constantly learning, challenging ourselves to improve in all aspects of design, development and business, in order to ultimately provide a better quality of services to our clients.
A quick comparison
A mechanic can charge from $50-85 per hour, a dentist can charge from $60-120 per hour. A lawyer can cost upwards of $250 per hour. Our rates start at just $50 per hour — very competitive, especially once you factor in our expertise and quality of service.
To put it another way: A friend once balked at surgery costs. They were reminded that they were paying to not be that surgeon's first patient — they were paying for the best service available, and to avoid the risks of rookie mistakes.
“ Can't you do this cheaper for me? ”
Go ask your lawyer or doctor this, and see how that goes.
“ Can you make me a website for free? ”
Client: It would look good in your portfolio. You can put a link at the bottom too; just think of the exposure. If anyone asks me who made my site I'll tell them it was you. You'll get loads of new work and you'll be rich. How does that sound?
Us: What is it that you do?
Client: I'm a car salesman.
Us: Ok. How about you give me a car for free. I'll drive it and tell everyone how good it is; I'll even put a sticker with your name on the bumper. Think of the exposure. You will get loads of new customers, and then you will be rich. How does that sound?
“ This doesn't really cost you anything though does it? ”
Actually, all professional designers have a wealth of overheads we need to cover.
Some of these things include the hardware (computer, monitors, accessories), the software (creative suite and development tools), office equipments, fonts, stationary, broadband internet connection, web hosting, email marketing, external backup, advertising, insurance, tax, travel expenses, salaries and healthcare plans… you get the picture.
Professional designers are serious and run a credible business. Local kids you know can do it cheaply because they have no overheads — its just a little hobby they do.
“ I know someone who can do this for $50! ”
Great. Awesome. If your nephew/best friend/cousin is offering to build you a website super cheap, then by all means go for it.
Just be aware that they're not a professional. It doesn't matter how good they say they are or how much they can dazzle you. They're a hobbyist, and if you choose to go with them then be aware that your website will reflect your business philosophy: cheap.
If you go with them and later come back to us to get the terrible website fixed, then yes we'll happy to get everything up to standard — but we'll charge you more because we'll need to deal with the awful design and code, which would take us longer (and therefore cost you more) than if you had just gone with us in the first place!