Friday, July 9, 2004 at 1:59 pm | Comments off
For those of you who do web design professionally, how do you charge clients for work that you do after the site has been completed and you've already been paid, especially minor updates? Remember, I'm just talking about minor things that come up, such as adding a link, changing a bit of text or a picture, etc.
I've found that often times, I will end up doing these small changes for free, even 3, 6 or 9 months down the road. I realize that this probably isn't the best idea, because even though the actual changes may only take a few minutes, the overall time it takes me away from other work is going to be substantially longer. I need to read their email to figure out what it is they want, open up the page(s) they need changed, make the requested changes, FTP the updated file to the server, email them to let them know the changes have been made, etc. By the time it's all said and done, I've probably spent enough time on it to make it worth billing them.
Additionally, I really hate doing work for paying clients for free, even if it is just a minor change. I think it probably lends to the attitude that many people seem to have in thinking that they should be able to get a $3,000 site for $300. I'm sure we've all run across that mindset and been frustrated by it.
I'm thinking about starting to offer a maintenance plan to my clients, which would allow minor changes to be made each month. I'm to the point where I'm tired of doing work for free and will probably begin billing my clients even for minor changes, at my minimum rate of 1/2 hour. I don't know how well a maintenance plan would go over, but perhaps when I point out that any changes that they request I make will result in their being billed, some will decide to go that route. Those who don't will have been forewarned, and should be expecting a bill when they request changes.
So, how do you handle it? Do you find yourself doing work for free, or do you bill clients for any and all work?
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