Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Web Dude
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Disclaimer: I am a web dude. I offer web services, but this post is in no way an advertisement for my services.

I am biased towards working with a web professional because it's my job. However, I will always maintain that the best way to make business decisions is to be educated. This is my attempt to do so.

On to the meat.

The Cost of DIY vs Pro, and Why Pro is Actually Cheaper

I know, the heading sounds a little wonky. But I'd imagine that this point is just as valid in my line of work as it is in yours. Let's hope I shed a little light on the subject.


Some Notes

I regularly use this information to demonstrate to my clients how inexpensive a website actually is. I have estimated the billable hourly wage for a carpenter. If someone could give me a more solid number, I'll adjust the calculations.

For this example, I'm going to suggest that you are looking to build a pretty standard, 5-10 page website built on a CMS. Nothing too crazy, and it won't include anything but basic SEO.


The Example

You go to your friendly neighborhood web dude, and tell him you want a website. Not just any website you say, you want one that is going to be more than an online business card. You want it to work for you! You want it to make money instead of just sit there like a e-lump!

So after a conversation about your goals and what specifically you want your website to do for you, the web dude gives you a price.

$1700.

"$1700," you mouth to the web dude, "really? Really? Is there a hidden camera somewhere? Am I being punked?"

Then, in his best Lou Rawls voice, your web dude breaks it down for you, oh so smooth like.


First of all, it's an Investment

First and foremost, let's get that out of the way. Just like your trucks, your vans, your tools, your phones, your business cards, your website is an investment. Treat it as such.

Your website isn't suppose to be your online business card. It's often times the very first touch you have with a potential customer. So don't waste it.

I use the first impression analogy all the time. You can show up to meet someone in ripped , soiled clothes, with your fly hanging open, two cigs in your mouth, long greasy hair, completely unprepared and stomp your muddy boots all over the new carpet.

Or

You can pull up in a nice truck, with a good set of clothes and a shower under your belt, well prepared with information to educate and provide value. You smile, you joke, you build a relationship.

Who's going to win more business? So why blow the first impression with a dumpy website?

Cue music... "You'll never find….as long as you live….some other web dude…..who'll help you…….tenderrrrrrrrr…... like I do….."


Now Think of the Actual Price

Let's break that $1700 investment down.

Your website is going to be working for you 24/7, 365. Let's also say that your website has a lifespan of 3 years before the next major overhaul.

Your mileage may vary, but I've found 3 years to be a pretty good idea of when it's time for a fresh website overhaul.

Alright, so 365 days x 3 years = 1095 days

So if we break the one time price of $1700 down by how much it's going to cost you daily over it's lifespan you get $1.55 a day.

$1700 divided by 1095 days = 1.5525 a day.

Do you have a cup of coffee a day to invest in a tool that is going to bring you business?


By the Same Token, Let's Say You DIYed Your Site

Since the majority of you aren't HTML nerds like myself, I'm going with assumptions based on how long it took me to develop skills when I was just starting out oh so long ago.

Let's say that for 6 months, you spend 2 hours a day learning how to build a website. Take 2 more hours a day for 3 months to have it built completely.

For this example, I'm going to assume that your billable hourly wage is $70. We'll use $70 an hour as our benchmark.

So 8 months with two hours a day = 480 hours. (Just rounded to 30 days average for months)

480 hours multiplied by $70/hour = $33,600

$33,600 compared to $1700. Hmm.

That $33,600 spread out over the same 3 years? $30.68 a day. Pretty big difference, no?

Now I know that isn't actual money in your pocket.

But how much is your time worth? On a strictly financial basis your blowing a ton of money DIYing a site.

Your also not bringing the intangibles to the table.

I imagine that if I was to spend 8 months, with two hours a day every day learning to build a house, you fellers would laugh your ass off at me. How good would I be? How would my house turn out? Would it be to the same standard as if I hired a pro to do it? Would it get done quicker? Same is true for a website.

Not only that, but when you DIY, you don't bring the experience and knowledge to the game. I can look at a website and break it down to what works and what doesn't, where it needs work, what can get axed and what needs to be more prominent in a couple minutes. I imagine it's the same when a tradesman sees what a DIYer did to his place.

And we haven’t even begun to talk about SEO, Copywriting, how to convert visitors to sales, a whole junk load of stuff. All the things that are built into pro made sites.


What I'm Trying to Impart

What I want you guys to take away from this is toanalyze it the same way you would any other major purchase for your business. I don't blame any of you who have approached a web fella for work and said WOW at his number. I blame him for not helping you out so you know what the difference is.

Hopefully this helps you guys out.


The Final Kicker, I Promise

Even if that web pro's website flops and only brings you in 5 customers a year that wouldn't of contacted you for business otherwise, how much money is that worth?

In your guys line of work, 1 job almost always covers the entire cost of the website. Think about that.


I'd love to hear your feedback, unless its negative. In that case, can it! Haha Of course I'm joking, I'm pumped to discuss this.

Oh, and if you're a Yankee fan, expect a basic 5 page website to cost about $60,000. Be like Steinbrenner, and way over pay for quality :) You bahstads

 

·
Non-conformist
Joined
·
1,581 Posts
Great post, Justin, but I'm as biased as you are. I especially agree with your point that the fault for the client's reaction to the price of a web site is not the client's fault, but the web person who fails to explain the value. As long as you understand the value, and are sure you will be receiving that value, the choice is a no brainer. Like you pointed out, even one job should cover the cost of developing a basic site.

There seems to be a large number of people who don't believe investing in a professional web site is worth it. Many times they have tried and failed, so they end up believing the web will not work for them. Since Internet use and online sales are steadily rising, the problem is never the web. For any site that does not work, rest assured it's the site and not the Internet that's the problem.

I'll shut up now so others who have tried it both ways can testify to their experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
gr8

Great post, Justin, but I'm as biased as you are. I especially agree with your point that the fault for the client's reaction to the price of a web site is not the client's fault, but the web person who fails to explain the value. As long as you understand the value, and are sure you will be receiving that value, the choice is a no brainer. Like you pointed out, even one job should cover the cost of developing a basic site.

There seems to be a large number of people who don't believe investing in a professional web site is worth it. Many times they have tried and failed, so they end up believing the web will not work for them. Since Internet use and online sales are steadily rising, the problem is never the web. For any site that does not work, rest assured it's the site and not the Internet that's the problem.

I'll shut up now so others who have tried it both ways can testify to their experience.
yep me too a web dude. nicely put down your ideas.... by the way i couldnt read all coz its too long. but hey, it is all about SEO writing bunch of gossip and fool search engines to say you have important news. hmm is it the case really?
 

·
Web Dude
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
@ JF Not sure what could be busted or the trap you mention. What did you find about the post to be inaccurate or misleading?

@DarrenB

Not too sure how the mods would like it if I posted a link to my site, might seem a little self promotional.

However, for those adventurous enough, you might google Sullivan Web Development. The second and fourth links just might bring you what you seek. Or it may be quicker if you searched Sullivan Web Dev, that'd be the first, third and fourth spots. Or the first Google local and 7th organic one for web design hinsdale ma. I think that should be enough keywords to get you started?

Always love chatting with you gents, hope to hear some more feedback.
 

·
The Finisher
Joined
·
1,396 Posts
I'm one of those people that went the DIY route first, thinking I could save money. For the few years I had the site, it provided a few leads per month, but after I realized all the time invested, it was not worth it like you stated above.

That said I finally had a pro develop my site a few months back, and I've noticed the difference in the amount of leads, and the quality of the leads compared to my old site. It was definetly worth the $1,500 investment for me. Probably the best marketing investment I've made so far.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,431 Posts
No comparison for me, I know nothing of SEO, code, html so it was easy for me to use a professional and let me tell you 3 years later, it is the best decison I have ever made, my website blows all other combined marketing stuff out of the water.
 

·
Non-conformist
Joined
·
1,581 Posts
I think Yellow Pages provides a good example too. It's not at all difficult to spend $500 a month on YP, and that's $3 grand a year (usually with pathetic ROI). It baffles me when someone says a professional web site is expensive. Like lawndart's post illustrates, you don't always need to go all out because a $1500 web site might be enough to meet your needs. Had he gone with one of those $500 specials, his testimony would most likely be a lot different.
 

·
Kerdi & Ditra Specialist
Joined
·
75 Posts
You guys are full of crap! I do my own website and it is my major source of leads.


Just kidding. :laughing: (About the crap part, not about my website)

Although I did create and do maintain my website(s) everything Justin and CBS pointed out are all true. I have spent the last eight (!) years learning how to do that and I'm sure I still don't have everything set up as I need it to fully utilize the power of a good website.

When I started doing that I was, as most probably are, under the impression that I will spend a bit of time to learn what I need, create it, then forget it and rake in the cash. :laughing: The reason I still do it is a cross between knowing how (for what I need, anyway) and the stupid, stubborn, prideful little bastard in my brain whispering "you've put too much into it to let it go now", you know, control freak stuff.

If you don't have the time (I work on my sites a minimum of an hour a night!) or the knowledge to commit to that aspect of your business then let a professional do it. That's all they do. I would never tell a possible customer "yeah, you can save money building your own shower from scratch" I don't think you guys would do that with your business either.

I do my own site and I'm tellin' you - hire a pro. They are professionals for a reason as we are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
I think Yellow Pages provides a good example too. It's not at all difficult to spend $500 a month on YP, and that's $3 grand a year (usually with pathetic ROI). It baffles me when someone says a professional web site is expensive. Like lawndart's post illustrates, you don't always need to go all out because a $1500 web site might be enough to meet your needs. Had he gone with one of those $500 specials, his testimony would most likely be a lot different.

By my math, $500 per month x 12 months is $6000. not $3000. Do I get a commission for making your point seem even more valid?:thumbsup:
 

·
Non-conformist
Joined
·
1,581 Posts
By my math, $500 per month x 12 months is $6000. not $3000. Do I get a commission for making your point seem even more valid?:thumbsup:
Oops! Thanks. Did I mention yet how much I hate math? I'm normally good at the basics and don't usually make such obvious blunders like that, but I would rather have toothpicks shoved under my fingernails than fill out tax forms. I'm glad there are people who love math. I'd be even more glad to see the IRS put into the grave it deserves.

For the record, I am a FairTax supporter. I started out skeptical, but getting educated took care of that (no more tax forms, Yay!). But I don't want to derail this thread going there.

Commission? Hmmm.
 

·
The Finisher
Joined
·
1,396 Posts
@ JF Not sure what could be busted or the trap you mention. What did you find about the post to be inaccurate or misleading?

@DarrenB

Not too sure how the mods would like it if I posted a link to my site, might seem a little self promotional.

However, for those adventurous enough, you might google Sullivan Web Development. The second and fourth links just might bring you what you seek. Or it may be quicker if you searched Sullivan Web Dev, that'd be the first, third and fourth spots. Or the first Google local and 7th organic one for web design hinsdale ma. I think that should be enough keywords to get you started?

Always love chatting with you gents, hope to hear some more feedback.
Just looked at your website. Have you noticed your contact link in the top navigation bar is spelled incorrectly?
 

·
Web Dude
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hadn't noticed haha :bangin: Slipped right past me haha

Thanks for pointing it out, you'll find it's been fixed up just this very minute
 

·
Web Dude
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
hahaha I usually live in the land of typos. I get so excited when I write that I usually pump out a storm of them. You'll find the majority of my posts say Edit Reason: Grammar :)
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top