How Does it all Work?Hopefully, that's exactly the question you're asking yourself right now. A majority of my clients are located nowhere near San Francisco or Minneapolis, my current homes. If you're reading this now, you've already got Web access, so that, (and Email, of course) is how we'll conduct most of our business. It's usually quite common to conduct frequent consultations on the telephone, electronic communication is nice, but sometimes you need to hear a real-life human voice. (Yes, I am a real-life human. Don't listen to any of those nasty rumours;) My phone number is (612) 374-5880. Yes, I tend to work nights, like a true computer geek. Call any time, if I'm not there, you'll contact my voice mail.
Here's how it works. I *base* all of my rates on an hourly fee of $60/hour. I then quote flat rates based on my anticipated working time. For example, a header graphic/logo will usually take between 2-6 hours, with an average cost of $300. Smaller variations of the same logo, for sub-pages, will take an additional hour, or $60. Custom backgrounds can take between 30 minutes and 2 hours, based on complexity. I create new ones whenever I get bored, so I have a huge library of backgrounds that have never seen the 'net. I'll sell these at a flat rate of $60. Directory buttons are one of my most frequently requested items, and I've worked out a pretty firm time estimate for them. The first iteration of a button will cost $120, and variations of the same piece will cost $36. A set of bullets and bars in the same style will cost another $60.
Perhaps the easiest way to get a feel for costs is to check out an example. Here's two sample pages I've created. They're very simple, but demonstrate some of the things you'll want to keep in mind.
Depending on your needs, a full site can run from a low end of perhaps $360, up to a several thousand dollars. If you are working on a budget, we can design around your specifications. A fully dressed, basic informational site, with 4-6 nodes can run between $600-800. The same site, with all the bells and whistles turned on, can cost 4 times that amount. Regardless of which price range you're in, each site will be treated as an individual work of art, something for us to brag about to our colleagues. Every site is, and should be, unique, and we treat them all that way. We offer no generic "specials". As far as we're concerned, there are no "generic" sites. (At least none that *we* visit!)
GIF89a Animations are a popular item right now. The time (and cost) on these is based on the complexity of the images. Bear in mind that every frame has to be created individually. You probably wouldn't want anything more than an 8-10 frame animation anyway, remember the bandwidth! Expect animated pieces to cost approximately double their static counterparts. If you have an animation in another format like Quicktime, AVI, or MPEG, they can be translated into AnimatedGIF format in about 1.5-2 hours, or $90-120. Please note that file size will not alter that much. A 500k movie will still be a 500k GIF. For pieces of this nature it's best to select just a portion of the video to loop, otherwise such a huge file may scare off your viewers! There are tricks to get around this, most video clips will be saved at 15 frames/second, you can frequently get by with much less than that.
We'll be adding Shockwave applets to our capabilities soon, it should be quite obvious when we're ready, I'll arrange things so that you can't miss it, honestly! As usual, bandwidth will be a prime concern to us. Expect small, animated flourishes, rather than full-screen extravaganzas.
HTML for your pages will be quoted on a case-by-case basis, but is really rather reasonable. As long as you can supply us with your copy in some sort of electronic format, the time, (and the cost), should be minimal. Much of the work we do is for clients who provide their own HTML writing, for which we supply the graphics. If you'll be looking at adding additional pages later, we always provide template pages to make this work as easy as possible. Of course, if you don't want to get involved with the nuts & bolts of your site, we can also provide full maintainance for you.