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Why Does My Website Development Company Charge Hourly?

There are different pricing strategies for building a website, such as fixed fee solutions, development packages, hourly rates, or retainer models. However, to provide flexibility and a bespoke experience, many WordPress agencies prefer to charge their customers on a web development per hour rate. The amount of work is estimated based on the consulting fees of the development company, and the final amount is worth the time spent on building the solution.

5 Reasons Why Hourly Projects Are Better Than Fixed Price

Projects charged by the hour are easier to manage by the development agency. In the process of building the website, there are other activities that take time, such as:

  • Optimizing the website for speed, usability, and security.
  • Deploying the website or building the infrastructure.
  • Internal discussions within the website development team.
  • Building documentation or user guides.
  • Discussing project requirements via email.
  • Calls or chats with the product owner.
  • Testing and QA.

The time spent on the different activities cannot be measured precisely upfront. There are website features that may require more testing and refining. In addition, some of the deliverables from the customer may not be formatted or presented in a way that is usable for the website, and they need to be discussed and refined.

Furthermore, customers need to validate separate phases and send feedback that has to be implemented in the next iteration.

These additional interactions may slow down the working process and add up to unexpected charges for website development a fixed fee can not take into account. And this may put the customer into a position to choose between their budget and the required quality.

However, when the web development agency works on a per hour rate, can both the provider and the client can benefit.

5 Reasons Why Web Development Per Hour Rate Is Better Than Fixed Price

1. You Get a Better Project

When working on a per hour rate, you get a better project, because you have the freedom to make the best choices throughout the development process. In a fixed-price project, you usually have to make all your decisions upfront and base the price on them. However, at the start of the project is the time when you have the least information available.

2. Reduced Investment and Creative Risk

Hourly projects allow you the flexibility to better estimate future costs.

Furthermore, it’s easier to track the work in progress rather than just waiting to see the deliverables at each milestone. For the client, this means better control over the project and the ability to request timely adjustments, rather than potential expensive project redesigns.

3. Helps You in Prioritizing Your Work

The web development per hour model helps you better prioritize your work and focus on the tasks at hand. In a fixed price job the client wants you to spend quality time on the project, while the company or a freelancer wants to spend the minimum time working on it since everything has already been decided.

4. Allows You To Do Important Tasks First

In an hourly contract, it is easier for clients to ask for the completion of a particular part of the project first.

The agency can also advise on prioritizing certain tasks in order to make the overall development process clearer to the client, and faster.

5. Hourly Contracts Are Less Expensive

Hourly contracts are less expensive for the customer because they are flexible, and allow them to compare their spending with the budget in real-time. Also, the clients are able to consult with the development agency at any given point and decide on the most viable changes.

What Website Development Options Exist That Don’t Charge Per Hour?

There are several alternatives where the charges for website development are not focused on hourly pricing.

Estimated Project Cost

Fixed-fee projects can be estimated based on your budget range and the rough amount of work that needs to be put into the WordPress development process. Unlike the companies that rely on a web development per hour rate, the agency can bid a bit higher as a safety measure against additional time for communication or revisions.

However, if the development process takes longer than initially planned or other complications occur, the estimated project cost may no longer be applicable and both parties would have to reach a compromise.

This model is more risky and without enough planning at the initial stages of the project , this could lead to scope creep and the overall lower quality of the end product.

Minimum Viable Product

Building a minimal viable product (MVP) is a good way to outline the essential features for your project without getting into too many details that could go wrong. While the company may still estimate a total based on their hourly pricing, you can agree on a fixed cost for the minimum set of features.

Once the main framework is there, you can launch it and see what sort of traction it would get at first. Based on the results, you can discuss the next iterations on a fixed fee, per hour rate, or retainer model.

The good thing about MVPs is that they are smaller in scope and the heavy lifting can happen later on with the next phases of the project development. Another benefit is that your website will be in ongoing development. Google will appreciate the fact that you spend more time and update your property regularly, which would affect your rankings in a positive way. Furthermore, your customers will see that you care, grow, and add more features with time.

Retainer Model

Signing a WordPress retainer contract is a long-term commitment between you and your website development company. Agreeing on a number of hours, days or weeks when the team is dedicated entirely on your project is a healthy balance between a fixed fee and an hourly model.

For example, if your provider charges $120/h for website development, you can get a discount for the amount of time when the team is occupied with your website. Booking 2 days a week for building the project and business consulting will get you a small discount – say, $100/h. The company will receive a check for $6400 each month which helps their planning, and you can navigate the process by changing your requirements on the fly, and introduce essential features based on the progress of your competitors or the demands from your customers.

Bottom Line

The best pricing model for your website depends solely on your requirements for the project management and website development process and the internal workflow of the team. At DevriX we offer flexible services charging hourly or signing retainers, and we can agree on a fixed fee based on your specification and budget range.

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