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Why Does My Website Development Company Charge Hourly?

There are different pricing strategies for building a WordPress solution. Some website development companies charge hourly – the amount of work is estimated based on the consulting fees that the development company charges by, and the final amount is worth the time spent on building the solution.

Different forms exist as well – such as building fixed fee solutions, or retainer models.

5 Reasons Why Hourly Projects Are Better Than Fixed Price

1- You Get a Better Project by making the best decisions throughout the project. In a fixed price project, you are usually making all your decisions at the start of the project – that’s the time when you have the least information available.

2- Reduces Risk in 2 ways. First, hourly projects allows flexibility so that you can better estimate future cost and secondly it’s easier to track the work in progress rather just waiting to see the deliverables at each milestone.

3- Helps You in Prioritizing Your Work because in a fixed price job the client wants you to spend quality time on the project while the company or a freelancer wants to spent the minimum time on the project since everything has already been decided.

4- Allows You To Do Important Things First. In an hourly contract, it is easier for clients to ask for the completion of a particular part of the project first.

5- Hourly Contracts Are Cheaper because they are flexible, allowing clients to compare their spending with the budget.

Charge Hourly for Website Development

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

  • building documentation or user guides
  • discussing project requirements via email
  • phone calls or video chats with the product owner
  • internal discussions within the website development team
  • testing and QA
  • deploying the website or building the infrastructure
  • optimizing the website for speed, usability or security

The amount of time spent on the different activities cannot be measured upfront. There are website features that may require more testing and refining. Some customers need to validate separate phases and send feedback that has to be implemented in the next iteration. Some of the deliverables from the customer are not formatted or presented in a way that is usable for the website, and they need to be refined after a long discussing with both parties.

What Website Development Options Exist That Don’t Charge Hourly?

There are several alternatives for website development services that 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 charge hourly, the agency can bid a bit higher as a safety measure against additional time for communication or revisions. If the development process takes longer then initially planned, the estimated project cost may no longer be applicable here and both parties have to reach to a compromise that ends up with delivering the website one way or the other.

This model is more risky and without enough planning and process brainstorming at first, this could lead to scope creep and lower website quality at the end.

Minimum Viable Product

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

Once the main framework is there and you can launch it and see what sort of traction would it get at first, you can discuss the next iterations on a fixed fee, hourly or retainer models. 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 of building an MVP is that your website will be in ongoing development – Google will appreciate the fact that you spend more time and update your website regularly (which would affect your rankings in a positive way), and your customers will see that you care and add more features with time.

Retainer Model

Signing a 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 company charges $120/h, you can get a discount for a the amount of time when the team is occupied with your website. Booking 2 days a week for project development 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, introduce essential features based on the progress of your competitors or the demands from your customers.

The best model 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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