5 Pricing Model Options for Your Divi Web Design Business

Posted on July 19, 2017 by in Divi Resources | 25 comments

5 Pricing Model Options for Your Divi Web Design Business

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:

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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:

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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:

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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 🙂

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

In Closing

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!

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25 Comments

  1. #6: Consignment and Referral. I do this for two of my clients who have e-commerce sites. For example on one site, I get 10% of every sale processed through the site. It took a few months of sales to earn my typical design and setup fee. But the ongoing monthly income now is well above what I would normally charge for an ongoing maintenance contract. They got a “free” website and I get additional monthly income, win-win.

    • Josh Hall

      That is a great strategy, Joe! #6 indeed 🙂

  2. Hi Josh, I’m starting with divi, I have a question, what would be the price for a web site like this otlica.com is my first web and I would like to know if you have an observation, regards.

    • Josh Hall

      Hi Arturo, it’s hard to say without knowing the full scope of the project. There are so many variables that contribute to what a site around that size will cost. Things like; copywriting, SEO, etc. I’d recommend referring back to part 1 of this series! Just off a quick look, I’d view this as a “Medium Divi Site Range.”

      Hope that helps!

        • By the way Josh, I would like to post this information in my web site but in spanish, could I?

          • Josh Hall

            There are some WordPress translation plugins if that’s what you mean, Arturo. You’re free to link back to this article but I need to recommend that you not copy and paste any of this content as everything on the blog is property of ET. Hope that helps!

  3. Thanks for sharing this pricing info
    Let decide best deals for my blogs soon

    • Josh Hall

      Great to hear. Thanks for the feedback!

  4. Hello Josh,
    Thanks again for the interesting article.
    I’m also working with fixed price projects with a custom price dependent on project and client.
    I’m wondering how proposals of other webdesigners look like.
    Of course a proposal must persuade a potential client to agree with it but at the other hand I don’t want to spend too much time on it.
    Maybe something for you to share in a blog post? 🙂

    • Josh Hall

      I just put that on my “Blog Idea” list! Honestly, my proposal template is very basic. It’s just a PDF that has my logo and my branding along with the project details.

      In short, my layout is:

      • Projects Goals
      Usually 3-5 primary goals of the site.

      • Website Design Details
      Usually 15-20 bullet points of my design process to help guide the client on what’s involved.

      • Total Investment
      I say “investment” instead of “cost” to help reaffirm that the client isn’t just spending or blowing money, but that they’re investing in their business.

      • We Also Provide
      Then I have a few bullet points explaining what I provide in my “Moving Forward” page. Things like marketing strategies on what to do with their new site, training, etc.

      • In the footer

      “Projects are typically handled with a 50% up front, 50% upon completion policy. 30%, 30%, 40% option may be available on a time sensitive scheduled agreement. And remember, a website design is an asset for your business and is tax-deductible :)”

      And that’s it! That generally fits on one page. I’m sure there are more elegant ways to put one together, but this has worked well for me. It’s short, sweet and to the point. I try my best not to overwhelm my clients.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Thank you Josh for valuable information.
    I propose to charge for complex of Services: for example – starting with Web Design, than – providing Marketing (SEO) services and in the same time – designing Brochures (other representative material).
    It also works pretty well.

    • Josh Hall

      That’s definitely a great way to go, Valeria! I’m right there with you. I’ll often bill those services separately or loop them in with the main proposal. Depending on the client/situation.

      Thanks for your feedback!

  6. This is a great mini series! Thank you for sharing these pricing options Josh

    • Josh Hall

      Thanks, Dee! No problemo. Hope they help 🙂

  7. Thanks so much for this series Josh. It’s really helpful. I currently use a custom pricing model, but as I am starting out I find myself with much of the same type of clients. So I am thinking of employing a combined approach. That is having flat rate packaged prices with custom rate addons that is explained in a custom proposal for those clients with more custom needs. So for example I could say a basic package ranges between x and y and includes … and then say for additional features and functionality custom quote will be required. What do you think? Now I just need to figure out what the Rand value equivalent is to your suggested price points. Although the USD/ZAR is currently sitting at 1/14 the actual values is far less in terms of cost of living. I’m thinking its roughly around 1/5 so your $1000 project should cost about R5000 here 🤔

    • Josh Hall

      I think that’s a great idea, Tasneem and potentially a win-win for you and the client all around. I may even consider doing that as well as my business continues to scale 🙂 Thanks for your comment and your feedback!

  8. cool

  9. Very informative article and thanking you for sharing your post with us and very useful for all professional.

  10. Hi Josh,
    I like your interesting and helpful articles, and your friendly responsiveness on this blog is second to none, I have to say! I am sure this is an asset your clients do appreciate a lot when dealing with you. “Responsive” design alone is only half the story. 🙂
    Keep up the good work!
    Kris

    • Josh Hall

      Thanks so much for your encouragement and awesome comment, Kris! The way I see it, if someone is going to take the time to comment, I’ll most certainly take the time to thank them for reading and responding! And you’re right, clients value “responsiveness” when it comes to customer service almost more than anything else these days. It is crucially important for web designers to get back to their clients quickly.

      Thanks again!

  11. Price per page model is very simple for the client but not the developer in most cases. Hourly pricing is best for the developer but most clients won’t like to pay based on hourly model. The other two models the best.

  12. I’ve usually custom price projects and charged hourly for editing completed projects, but I’m actually going to try to experiment (as a different company) for monthly set-up/retainers. This is perfect for targeting those who don’t want to pay a big chunk up front. I look forward to the experiment!

    • Josh Hall

      That’s awesome to hear, Sinoun! So glad this article helped you how with trying this new method. Hope it works out well! Thanks for your feedback.

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