Cost of a typical 5-10 page website

Take a look at this site, YourPie.com . To me, it is a model small website.  It has 5 to 10 pages of content, a nice shared header among them, and technically the hardest thing is a contact forum (which is not that hard). The site was probably put together in Dreamweaver (maybe Frontpage), so it is mostly a layout job combining text and images together. There’s really no need for Flash animation in this site, the content doesn’t warrant it, but if the developer wanted to add a little extra pizazz, the header could have been done in Flash with some subtle animated elements (maybe some doe dust blowing in the wind).

So what’s the cost? I don’t know for sure what Your Pie paid for it, but I’ll take a guess. Reasonably, in the 2 to 3 thousand dollar range. And of course any site can be made for drastically more or less, but I think its always important when both parties feel they got a good deal. Is so, than most likely neither the client or the developer will go nuclear midway through. And I’ve heard of many developers burning out on a project that they didn’t price well enough. And vice versa. 

Suppose that site sold for 3k.  The project is easily 2 weeks of work, from start to finish if the developer was putting in normal 4 hour days. Yeah, 4 not 8. I don’t know of any freelance developer that would work on a project for 8 hours a day. Realistically, 4 hours a day is about right for actual work-time. I’m not including desk-time.  Desk-time is not work-time. Desk-time includes email, IM, browsing, petting the cat, looking out the window, eating, etc… so 2 weeks (not including weekends) of 4 hour days would be 40 hours. Divide $3000 by 40, and wah-la!…  $75 an hour. After taxes,  $50.  Which is about right for what we do. 

Things to be careful of… If the client says, “oh I only need like 5 pages”, be sure that one of those pages isn’t something absurd like a forum. Or some interactive kids play land. Lock down what the page content will be with the client beforehand. Don’t leave it vague or that could be trouble.

And be sure the client doesn’t think you will be writing the text on those pages. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve heard of many clients that think by hiring a web developer they have also hired a PR firm, as in “I’m paying you for everything, I don’t want to have to think about”. These clients don’t realize that for most of us web developers and artists, the required English classes in college were the ones we were stoned in. We can’t write. Notice, this paragraph started with “And”.

Also don’t be afraid to tell the client that certain things like a mailing list will be something he or she needs to pay for separately and from some other company. There are many laws here in the US governing spam, so the last thing you want to do is be responsible for someone else’s mailing list if they don’t know what can and can’t be written in a mass mailing. I’d refer them to a company like ConstantContact.com who are notoriously grumpy about following the rules, but thats a good thing. And I use them myself for the CartoonSmart newsletter.

Want some say… Comment below or get crazy and post more at this topic in the forum

 

Oh, and I forgot to put my salesman hat on. If you are ever tasked with making a contact form, here’s a Flash tutorial on making one. And for a non-Flash contact form, and about 7 more hours of lessons on Dreamweaver, check out this tutorial. That one course would cover everything involved in making a standard site. 

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6 thoughts on “Cost of a typical 5-10 page website

  1. Andriy Drozdenko says:

    Good article… its a simple calculation but very usefull there are a lot of folks out there talking about how to charge for hybryds. But surely I prefer to stick by what my Flash Guru said 🙂

  2. Hi webmaster, commenters and everybody else – The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need – Keep ’em coming… you all do such a great job at such Concepts… can’t tell you how much I, for one appreciate all you do!

  3. Hello sweetie, nice site! I really treasure this article.. I was curious about this for a long time now. This cleared a lot up for me! Do you have a rss feed that I can add?

  4. Tammy Kramer says:

    Hi:
    Just a quick question, I am relatively new to the web design world, but… I went to the YOUR PIE website and it seemed like it had 20 some odd pages to me??? Am I wrong? Does each linked page equal a page? Could you clarify for me because I think this is a fairly large albeit basic website it still seems alot more that 5-10 pages. Maybe the original website changed since you did this article and if so perhaps you could clarify for me. Thanks for your response!

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