Traditionally, agencies start by asking clients for a large retainer, then once its exhausted, ask for and bill additional hours as needed per contracted project budget. Maintenance after development is not included, nor is hosting, updates or backups. Those are covered after post-project. We do things a bit differently. While some clients prefer the traditional approach and we certainly can work with that - we have found that the majority of our clients prefer one of our monthly plans below. In addition to spreading out the development costs , a monthly plan provides for maintenance, updates and search engine work after the site has gone live. This assures your site stays relevant and traffic continues to grow over time. Additionally, our monthly plans give you access to hourly rates much lower than our standard contract rates so in most cases the costs over time are actually less!
We try to make things as pain free as we can for our clients - monthly development plans do not require a retainer and include all development costs, content placement, backups and ongoing maintenance. Non-commerce or CMS sites even including hosting ! You determine how long the contract runs! You can even increase or decrease service levels at any time. Most of our clients choose to stay on a plan indefinitely as we do a lot of work once a site goes live. In addition to updates & backups, we perform extensive inline optimization and guarantee all maintained websites are Google SEO compatible over the long haul - even if that means replacing the website in place if technology changes! Choose a plan based on the level of work you need completed and the complexity of your site and the timeframe you need it - or contact us today for a quote.
You Own Your Site Unlike most agencies, we do not hold your site hostage on our servers or make you jump through hoops should you decided to change your mind and leave us. All sites we develop whether on monthly plans or otherwise are set up in your name. Logins, analytics accounts, management tools, email , and SEO - they are yours. If we have to pay for 3rd party tools (like licenses for data forms, plug-ins or apps ) those are purchased and registered in your name as well. Of course we assume once you see what we can do for you, you won't want to leave us, but we understand business changes or sometimes companies want to take over admin internally, etc. We make that process simple - we'd rather spend our energy on keeping you as a client - not making it difficult for you to leave us!
Finally, as we have mentioned before, we know you have virtually unlimited choices when it comes to website development - seems everyone is a web developer these days. Unfortunately for clients, all developers are not created equal. Pure creative types usually have no business sense and we see that a lot. First and foremost, we are marketing and business professionals. Couple that with great developers and we think that differentiates us substantially from our competitors. We used to say to our clients you get what you pay for - but we've encountered horrible big agency work lately so that does not even hold true any more. It really is Caveat Emptor - buyer beware - do your homework and understand who you are doing business with. More than half our work comes from clients who hired other developers - developers who took their money and either performed poorly, or not at all. While unfortunate, we can assure you when we work on a project it will be completed to expectations and you will only pay for it once.
Websites are not a "set it and forget it" entity - to keep them producing they need to be maintained. Search engines need to continually be fed your index data to keep your site current. CMS sites need updates and security patches often.
Our monthly plans make affordable hours available to keep your site producing results, growing traffic and up to date. Use the hours to freshen content, add pages, or even change the look. Hours not used by you will automatically be applied to search engine work though indexing, keyword analysis, portal listings and back links. We never rest - our mission is to continue to grow traffic and we do that consistently for our clients.
An auto shop business was looking for a new brand and look after severing ties with a franchise. After discussing budget, we put together a makeover plan - furnishing a new identity and logo, then built the brand around it. The website was a step up from the existing site (a generic franchise type arrangement). An accelerated plan was requested because we had to hit a certain cutover date - so they paid the initial development costs up front, and opted to pay for marketing for a few extra months then maintain the site themselves going forward. Included in the package - we designed a branded mail marketing campaign to announce the new business & business cards. We also took care of all IT work - domain procurement, hosting setup, email setup, etc.
Cost : $2000 retainer, $250/mo for 4 months. $0/mo maintenance
The client came to us after using another agency. They were being charged $1200 per month but unhappy with the results. After a detailed analysis we were sure we could do the same thing, or better for 60% less. We replaced their website with a more comprehensive mobile compliant design, added content and keywords, retooled their look, provided commercial photography and spent a lot of time correcting SEO errors from the previous agency. Traffic increased 30% in 3 months and costs are down more than 50%. Traffic continues to grow as we build back links, adjust content monthly and index the site to business and search portals.
Approximate Cost : $2500 retainer, $500/mo ongoing maintenance & marketing
A medical practice came to us with a fixed budget - they had a new doctor come on board and they wanted to replace their website and market her specifically to the area for 6 months. We built a sector-leading website, took staff photos, created content, identity and brand. We revised their entire suite of collateral to include the new brand and coordinated printing services for office stationary, business cards, schedule sheets, etc. For the website, we performed extensive SEO and index work, petitioned every medical portal the practice was part of to add the new doctor, and set up a Google Adwords campaign to announce the addition.
Cost : $2500 retainer, $500/mo for 6 months, $1000 Google Adwords Campaign, $150/mo to maintain
A duo of doctors already had a website but it was weak. They came to us to revamp their look and give their patients a better place to visit for information. Their existing site was a wordpress template, we replaced it with a better looking and more functional HTML5 design. They did not like the idea of a retainer so we put together a strategy to replace the site immediately, adding critical critical marketing and search engine work to the site. Their original staff photos were not compelling so we furnished new photos for the office and staff as well. After 6 months client decided to up the budget to $500 per month as traffic growth was exceptional and they wanted to add some additional marketing elements to their website.
Cost : $0 retainer, $250/mo for 6 months, $500 per month ongoing.
A retailer had an aging and buggy ZenCart installation running their storefront. They came to us looking to work the bugs out and help it run better. It was riddled with security holes and had not been updated in years. We decided it was more cost effective to replace it with a Magento store and port the products over. Since they have a retail and wholesale side, we built two identical stores saving them more than 50% on the second store. Since both installations are on the same server and are essentially the same store - we only charge them maintenance on one store even though there are two. We also built a website front end to run their retail division.
Cost : $2500 retainer, $750 to transfer all products, $250/mo ongoing.
On occasion we get musicians who want a simple splash page so their followers can look up their latest gigs and get information about their performances, listing to music clips, watch videos, etc. Our client came to us because they saw one of our websites online and loved the look. His budget was minuscule, but we are always willing to invest in someone we feel works hard and is struggling to make a name for themselves - especially artists - so in this case, we help them put up a low budget single page site that integrates Google Calendar, YouTube and Itunes in a simple, easy to view page.
Approximate Cost : $250 one time fee, no SEO, no maintenance.
Photographers have few choices when it comes to affordable proofing and sales sites. Either use one of the online template sites like Zenfolio which are pretty cheap monthly - but take steep commissions on every sale - or spend thousands on a custom proofing site. A budding professional photographer came to us after she found one of our galleries online and thought that would a good look for her business. We use Sytist, a very unique and comprehensive CMS commerce platform for photographers. A photography shopping cart. We provided setup, customization and optimization for her business and tailored it to her brand. We set up custom pricing lists and invoices as well as areas her clients can visit for proofing images and purchasing. She runs her now successful photography business from it and maintains it herself. The site paid for itself the first month it was running.
Cost : $500 setup fee, $250/mo for 3 months, $0 ongoing
A medium sized business client fired their previous design company for giving them the run-around, nickel and diming them on every request and overall poorly handing the relationship. The site was a large highly customized (and messy) Drupal CMS site. We dug into the code and decide we could take it over so the client gave us the go ahead. We optimized the site to make it run faster (it was VERY slow due to large images and inefficient code), changed a lot of the SEO and removed modules that were not required. Over time, we are replacing the core template code with a more stable and user friendly design - one that is more standard to the Drupal code base (i.e. less kludgy modifications). In addition to administering the site, we applied critical security updates and fixed a host of bugs that were plaguing the install.
Cost : $1000 retainer $75/hr discounted contract rate al a carte, as required
Occasionaly a client we have not worked with has an emergency and their site or commerce / CMS platform needs immediate attention - we offer priority "drop what we are doing" service at any hour 24/7 at full rate. Recently, a client had a problem with a Wordpress website that had been hacked - it was de-listed from Google as a result. That is a pretty common scenario, unfortunately - one of many reasons we do not recommend Wordpress for websites. We were hired to restore it as the site was also being used as a shopping cart and they could no longer take orders. We worked with the server company to revert to a backed up version but it too was infected, so we went through the core code, identified and removed the offending content. We updated the WP install to include the latest security patches and the site was restored. Finally, we petitioned Google to remove the black flag and the site was able to take orders again later that same day.
Cost : 6 hours @ $150/hr
Some clients simply do not want monthly payments or just want spot work done on occasion - we get that. To accommodate them, we offer a discount retained contract option. This gives clients access to discounted hourly rates and priority service. We typically get these requests from clients than want marketing or maintenance support on existing sites, particularly Magento or CMS sites like Drupal, but don't want extensive work performed - just when needed. Our non-contract hourly rate is $150 per hour, but purchasing a block of hours up front gives clients access to our discounted contract rate of $75 per hour. Hours are non-refundable but never expire and can be used for any of our services.
Cost $1000 retainer, burn rate $75/hr
Results. Accuracy. Effeciency.
Our clients like us because we say what we do and do what we say. No surprises. We can do the same work in half the time as most developers - we don't bill excess hours, and we work within your timeframe and budget. We also listen - our marketing and development work is hand crafted to your business and that is the way it should be.
We are business people too. Successful ones. Our foundation is based on a fusion of Fortune 100 corporate marketing and dynamic, effective business growth. Our success depends wholly on the success of our clients and it is always in our best interest to run that extra mile to help our clients succeed.
"Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future, it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight."