Setup fees or no set up fees, that is the question for whether it is better to face the DIY approach or face the needs of working with a web designer…
Our ode to Shakespeare may not be up to much, but our web design skills certainly are. So our question has been, how do we price in a way that reflects our skills and value added whilst making web design truly affordable?
We know that setup fees suck. We don’t expect setup fees for when a bank opens an account for us (even if they think they should charge!) or we create an insurance policy, so why should setup fees exist for web design? Setup fees is something we spent a lot of time considering when we set up DIGICO. Heck we aren’t even sure that we’ve got it right now but we want to share with you our current thinking with regards to setup fees.
First of all we are open to listening and hearing back from our clients – we know as we seek to change web design across New Zealand and indeed the UK we can only do this with the support of our clients.
No Setup Fees
so many industries have no setup fees – Is it really possible for web design to go down the same route? well clearly it must be possible with the big names in web design; Wix Squarespace Webly and Shopify having no setup fees. let’s face it as a customer why should we pay a fee if we don’t need too?
Traditional web design agencies charge a setup fee. Even the afore mentioned large web design companies through partners offer a ‘setup’ service, where you can pay for a company to setup your website for you, whilst it remains on one of these big player platforms.
In essence you’re paying for is someone’s skills and time. We all expect our time as business professionals to be valued.
So what does the setup fee go towards?
Traditionally the setup fee would go towards client meetings, development of the site customisation, loading the content, loading images, testing, optimization and putting the website live. Of course every company has a different approach to all those things, as well as a different charging structures.
Our difficult decision about setup fees
We toyed with the idea of having no setup fees and in the early days even offered this option. What it resulted in was a higher monthly fee to recoup this cost or a more traditional DIY solution where customers loaded their images and content. We here at DIGICO still customised the look and feel of the site as well as optimised it prior to launch and submitted the site to Google (and set up email accounts). Whilst the above takes time we felt there was a way we could offer this without a setup fee. We quickly learned that we were perhaps wrong.
The outcome was the client sites were simply not of the quality and standard that they could be. Images were sized wrongly, wording content wasn’t suitable – all in all we weren’t happy with the results. The team at DIGICO, being the perfectionists we are would go in tweak elements, redesign sections, propose alternative images and include keywords to help our clients. We wanted websites our clients could be proud of and we were proud to put our name too.
It’s at this point that we realised that the setup fee was more than just actioning steps on a to-do list, it was about applying our knowledge, experience and know-how to client websites so that they had the best possible chance of ranking and outperforming their competitors.
Traditional DIY websites have lost site of this. We didn’t want to follow suit. We believe in affordable web design, but not at the cost of everything else.
A semi professional website, or dare we say it, down right terrible website doesn’t do your business any favours. We want to ensure all websites we build:
- Are Affordable
- Optimised for Search
- Showcase the client as professionally online as possible
- Increase sales / brand trust / enquiries for our clients
We look forward to working with you, and ensuring your website delivers against your goals, not just in its setup costs.