A very common question is Why can’t I get a fixed price website quote for my web design & SEO ?
We know how much a car brake job is going to cost before we buy it, and we know how much a car is going to cost before we purchase it. Makes sense.
However, we don’t know the total attorney or medical fees we’ll need to pay in advance. Certain types of work are much easier to estimate.
Work in areas that involve a number of constantly changing, unknown, variables, such as technology, is impossible to know the time needed for a project in advance.
In web design, web development and SEO, there are five challenges to estimating time in advance.
Why can’t I get a fixed price website quote | 5 Top Reasons
- Not enough details
For example, a home builder needs a high quality architectural drawing for a fixed quote. If a professional doesn’t do a discovery, and then prepare a detailed, expensive, time consuming, drawing/mock-up, there are unpredictable communication barriers.
- Technology changes too rapidly
For example, perhaps since the last time I performed a similar task, the theme, plugin software, and WordPress core code has been updated and changed. These code changes are monthly occurrences which pose new problems which require new solutions.
- Estimate Inaccuracy Issues
If the estimate is too high you get hurt. If the estimate is too low I get hurt. If we take it in bite-size chunks, such as one day at a time, and an accounting of work done is provided as we progress, it’s fair and manageable for both parties.
- Scope Creep
Estimates and Agreements are often fraught with misunderstanding. For example, the word “Finished” is a misnomer. One person’s definition of ‘Finished’ is another’s ‘Incomplete’. In reality, websites and SEO are always a work in progress. Never a day goes by that I can’t think of a new website improvement that I would like to make.
- Site Analysis Needed
If I need to work on your existing website, I have no idea what’s going on until I login and spend time analyzing the architecture, theme, plugins, code, HTML, CSS, deferred maintenance, issues etc..
For moderately priced websites, small web and SEO jobs, most businesses want to keep their upfront cost low, and choose not to invest in a discovery and professional drawing/mock-up. Instead they prefer a pay-as-you-go daily rate.
Of course, for very large and expensive web projects, a substantial investment is made in discovery and mock-up upfront.
In addition, time estimates are substantially padded to account for potential under-estimation errors. There is always an hourly component to aspects of the project as well.