We have changed and refined our processes a lot since we started Wicky Design in 2013. Through all of our changes, one thing has always remained the same; per project pricing for brand and web design.
We know that every design business is a little different, so today we thought we’d share more about our philosophy and why we charge per project vs. on an hourly or monthly basis.
The Difference Between Charging Per Hour vs. Per Project for Branding and Web Design
There seem to be two types of web designers out there. People that charge per web design project and people that charge hourly for their services. What’s the difference?
Charging per project
When you hire a designer to charge per project, you hire them to complete the specific task of designing you a brand or website design. The per project designer will generally have a consultation with you to figure out the scope of the project. He/she will then provide you with an estimate based on the amount of work that will be needed to complete the project. The number in the estimate is usually the total amount that you would pay to have your project completed. The scope of work should be laid out in your proposal, along with the time it will take to complete the work, so you know exactly what you will be getting and when you’ll get it.
Charging per hour
When web designers charge you per hour, it’s more like hiring a part-time employee. You’ll tell your designer what it is you want to be done, he/she will complete the work, then invoice you for the time it took them to complete it. If you’re working with a web designer that charges on an hourly basis, you’ll likely be working with them for a longer period of time. It’s likely the designer manages your website, so you’ll get in touch with him/her whenever you need something updated.
Before Hiring A Designer, Do Your Research
It’s important to research branding and web design companies before you make the decision of who to hire. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We are here to help! Here are some things to consider:
Before working with a designer, you should have answers to these questions.
- What are you getting for the price?
- How many pages will the website be? Is there a charge if I need additional pages?
- Is ongoing maintenance included in the price?
- Is website hosting included in the price or does that need to be purchased separately?
- Do I need to provide content and images? (Some designers offer copywriting and photography)
- Can I make updates to my website myself? If yes, do you provide training?
Is there a contract?
If there is a contract associated with the company or designer you work with, here are important things to ask:
- What happens if I want to cancel my contract?
- Will I have full access to my website layout and content if I cancel?
Hourly or monthly retainers
- What types of updates are included with my hourly or monthly retainer?
- What is the charge if I need additional updates outside of my retainer?
Why We Charge Per Project
Both Mark and I have previous experience working for companies that charged per project and charged hourly. When we decided to start our business, charging per project made more sense to us. The type of web designer you hire will greatly depend on what your needs are, but this is why we charge per project.
We believe you should have control
For us, this is the biggest reason why we charge on a per-project basis. From day one, our philosophy has always been that business owners should be able to do whatever they want with their websites, whenever they want, without having to rely on a designer, developer or server admin. We don’t believe in contracts for websites and do our work on platforms that allow full control over layouts and content.
Your website is a huge part of your business and we don’t like the idea of giving a company control over it. This is why we build our websites on WordPress (an open source platform) and provide all of our clients with customized training videos that teach them exactly how to make updates and changes to their sites.
We are a two person team
Since we are just a two-person team, there is only so much work that we can take on per month before it gets overwhelming. Working on a per project basis allows us to schedule out our days more efficiently. We know how long a project will take from start to finish and how much we can realistically handle at one time. Working hourly, we could get multiple requests from multiple clients daily, which would be harder to keep up with. By working per project, we know what we will be working on each day and what we have scheduled down the road.
We want you up and running quickly
Hourly projects tend to go for a longer amount of time. We want to give you quality work quickly, so you can start making money with your brand and website! We have refined our processes so that we can get you up in running in just a few weeks, rather than months. We create timelines for each project, so you know exactly what it is we are working on currently and what we plan to do next.
You’re hiring experts
When you hire us to design your brand or website, you’re hiring experts that have over 20 years of experience in the industry. We will have in-depth conversations about your project, your needs and your business goals. We believe that projects turn out best when we can collaborate with our clients and bounce ideas off of each other.
When we worked for companies that charged hourly, we did whatever it was that the client wanted because that was what they were paying for. It didn’t matter if we didn’t agree with what they wanted to do. We essentially were the client’s employee and did what they said.
As designers, we feel obligated to give you our opinions on what we think will work best for your business. If we think we can accomplish your goal in a better way, we will offer our suggestions. At the end of the day, we want you to succeed.
Should you pay per project or per hour for branding and web design?
When choosing a designer for your brand or website, it’s important to consider whether or not the designer charges hourly or per project. The type of designer you choose should be based on your needs and the goals of your business. If you want to get your brand and website up and running quickly, choosing a per project designer might be the best choice for you. If you want someone you can count on to manage every aspect of your website for a long period of time, hiring an hourly designer is probably a better solution. It’s important to research the company or person you are working with to make sure they can accommodate the specific needs of your business.