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Welcome to Part 3 of 4 of our mini series Divi Website Design Pricing where we’re exploring effective Divi website price ranges and providing some actionable ideas on how to price your web design services.
Once you know what the average price range of web design services are in your area and you’ve decided how much you want to charge for your services, it’s time to solidify HOW you want to offer you pricing. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to how you offer your pricing and some ways are more common than others. As with many other topics in this series, it has to work well for you and it has to work well for your ideal clientele. This post will provide some popular pricing options for you whether you’re just starting out and are in need some direction or if you’re wanting to explore some new ways of pricing your services.
Alright, let’s see what works for you!
5 Pricing Model Options for Your Divi Web Design Business
I’m going to come right of the gate and say that I implement and have used a “Fixed Custom Price” model for my web design business that has been very effective to this point for nearly 7 years. Again, there’s no right or wrong strategy here but that’s what has worked well for me as a freelance web designer. Let’s look at some other pricing model options and go over some pros and cons as well.
1) Flat/Fixed Package Pricing
This is a very popular pricing method for web design freelancers and agencies alike. You’ll often see this in the form of 3 or 4 package options. Like bronze, silver and gold packages or level 1, level 2, etc.
- Level 1 (say $499) might be a 3-5 page site with a gallery, contact form and basic SEO optimization.
- Level 2 (say $1,499) might be a 5-10 page site with a staff page page, multiple galleries, blog, etc.
- Level 3 (say $2,499 +) might be 15+ pages with more advanced functionality, commerce integration, etc.
This is a good way to go particularly if you have a sales team and need a more standardized approach to quoting and estimates. It’s also good if you have numerous leads coming in on a daily basic and you can’t afford to spend time custom quoting each project. But this method also has some cons as well. Let’s take a look:
- Great for larger web companies handling numerous leads
- Speeds up the initial weeding out phase
- Faster quoting process
- Good way to measure price points and sales
- Scope creep can easily happen forcing clients into a higher package leading to potential conflict
- Clients wanting a more personalized service may look at packages as a template-like service
- You don’t have a chance to explain the value of your services to a client before they see a price
- Could limit your earning potential by offering lower price points than a client is willing to pay
So there you have it, there are some really nice pros to having a package style pricing model and having your pricing out in the open but there are also some very valid drawbacks. I’d venture to say that if I employed this model, I wouldn’t have had the chance to explain the value of my services and wouldn’t have sold some of my most expensive projects to date. But again, for a team and business handling several leads daily or weekly, this is a solid option.
2) Custom Pricing
A custom pricing model means that you have some wiggle room with your pricing and you can cater it your clientele; sometimes lower, sometimes higher. As stated above, this is my preferred method and is what I’ve used to create a successful Divi Web Design business for nearly 7 years. One major value I see in this method is that you get a chance to get to know the client, their industry and the scope of the project before deciding on the total investment. And more importantly, they get to know you and can be persuaded to see the value in your services before they see a number. I generally follow the small, medium and large scale project scope that I mentioned in part 1 of this series which helps me quickly estimate projects and to know where the scope of a new project might land.
Sometimes, I give clients general estimates like: “Projects around this size usually fall between the $1,500-$3,000 range, but I’m usually hesitant to throw numbers out before I’ve had a chance to feel out my new lead. I’ve had clients who obviously had a smaller number in their head upon requesting a quote, then after meeting with me were open to investing much more because they understood the value in my services and felt comfortable in working with me. But, there are cons to custom pricing as well.
- You can adjust your pricing according to the client and their budget either lower or higher
- You can “sell” your lead on your services and potentially get them to invest much more than they were willing to spend initially
- You can add functionality and custom additions in with the original quote without making the client feel like they’re being up-charged or nickel and dimed
- It’s easier to raise your rates since your price point is never set in stone
- You can spend much more time weeding out cheap or unfit clientele
- If clients find out you charged them $5,000 but did the exact same work for a similar client for half the cost, it can potentially lead to conflict
- The custom proposal process is often more time consuming than if you had a package style plan
So as you see, there are some really good pros to this method but again, valid drawbacks as well. I’d venture to say this method is best suited for a one man shop freelancer or small team that has more time to spend in the initial “get to the know the client” phase. Personally, I love being able to adjust my pricing according to the client/project scope instead of being tied down to a set price and without the opportunity to explain my value before a client sees the quote. But for an agency or large team, having a flexible, custom pricing model like this can be very complicated.
3) Hourly Pricing
This method is still widely used by web designers, particularly in the freelance world and for white label work. For newer designers, white label work refers to a situation where a company is working directly with the client but they’re hiring you or your company to do that actual design and development. So you’d bill the company working with the client, not the client themselves. I know of many developers who make a good living and do massive web projects strictly by their hourly rate.
You can do this practically by issuing a retainer for a certain amount of hours and having a list of “deliverables” or plan of action as to what will be done in that time. But this method can get hairy pretty quick when it comes to scope creep, revisions and client budgets. Particularly for most freelance web designers and small to medium size businesses. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons here:
- More security and predictability in retainer hourly work
- Easier and often quicker to estimate projects with hourly retainers
- Ideal for white label work
- Ongoing hourly work is sometimes more feasible for companies over months than a very large custom investment all at once
- Many clients will not want to pay for a retainer of hours unless they know for sure their site will be completed
- For the client, scope creep and hours adding up can potentially lead to a project being 2 or 3 times more expensive
- For the designer, you’re locked into an hourly rate and have no chance or making more than that rate on a project per hour
Personally, I’ve found that most small to medium size businesses prefer to see a general price range or custom quote as opposed to hourly work that again, could potentially be much more expensive. And to be transparent, in my web design experience, I’ve had projects on a fixed budget that I’ve only made $20/hr on but I’ve also had projects where I made $300/hr. The more experienced I get and quicker I get with Divi and the tools I use, I can make 3 or 4 times what I might make an hour as opposed to charging a flat hourly rate.
So again, there are pros and cons with this method but it may very well work for you depending on your situation!
4) Per Page Pricing
This method is a bit dated and isn’t as common in web design anymore, especially with Divi and WordPress because it’s so easy to add pages, save templates and design larger sites, faster. In the days of custom HTML sites, page/template creation looked much different than it does now but it is still used and can be very effective, particular when offering packages. For example, you might have a 15 page package website for $1,499 and offer $100 per page add-on or 5 new pages for $300, etc. Let’s look at some pros and cons of this method:
- Easier to create package based pricing
- More stability and project control billing one page at a time
- Prevent scope creep and clients from wanting to add multiple new pages after a project price is agreed upon
- Many clients want to be able to add pages without feeling nickel and dimed
- If clients edit their own site and see how potentially easy it is to create a new page, it can lead to conflict
- A home page for example will generally be much more robust than an FAQ page which can undervalue the work on that page if it’s the same price as the others
So though this pricing model isn’t as widely used as it was a decade ago, it can still be beneficial in many situations. Particular for ongoing work or site add ons. Personally, I have sites where clients want a few extra pages added and it doesn’t take me much time at all. If I keep that work within the original proposal without charging extra, the client often feels very grateful and impressed which leads to more ongoing work and better client relationships. But again, you may consider this model if you think it’ll work for you!
5) Initial Setup & Monthly Retainer Pricing
Finally, we’re going to explore a unique and somewhat unorthodox approach to pricing. That is to have a standard set up fee and a larger monthly retainer for site updates, additions, etc.
For example, you may charge $499 for the initial website build and charge $99 a month for a contract of 1 or 2 years. Instead of the client having to drop 3K all at once, they have a more affordable option throughout the year. You can then offer to redesign the site after a few years or when needed, or continue to make updates/edits when needed. And you as the developer can have some security knowing that you’ll have a steady stream of decent size payments coming in. Now you know what’s next…some pros and cons 🙂
- For clients, smaller down payment and investment spread over multiple months instead of all at once
- For the designer, more stability and security with multiple, decent size month to month payments
- Keep in touch with clients for months and potentially years as opposed to them disappearing after a site is complete
- Less big paydays for designers
- More support and ongoing emails from all clients month to month
- More potential hassle with billing, admin duties and credit cards being declined, etc
- Many clients, especially from a tax standpoint, like to spend their advertising budget before their fiscal year is up and will likely prefer one or 2 payments, as opposed to a monthly payment spread over a year or two
Overall, this is a pretty solid option and for clients on a tighter budget, can work pretty well. Some clients may be much more open to spending, say $2,000 over the course of a year instead of in a short timeframe. If you do employ this method however, I’d be sure to be very clear as to what’s involved in your monthly retainer. Set a certain number of hours that the client can use and what’s acceptable or you cold easily be taken advantage of and find yourself working for very little.
Well I hope these pricing models have given you a lot to think about when it comes to what options you provide for your Divi Web Design business! Again, I’m a big fan of the custom fixed pricing but after researching and diving into these options, I’m not opposed to trying out some new methods 🙂
If these options have sparked an idea for your business or if you have some other methods that work for you, let us know in the comments below!
Tomorrow – How and When to Talk About Pricing with your Divi Web Design Clients
In our final post of this series, we’ll be discussing a very important and sensitive topic; how and when to bring up pricing. Some clients want to know pricing right away, some want to know the value of your services and if they’ll like working with you before pulling the trigger. We’ll go over some thoughts and ideas on when the best time to bring up pricing is and how to go about letting clients know. Till then!