Q&A: Why Small Changes to My Website Are So Expensive?


January 23, 2012

By: Drew Meyers

Posted in: Website Q&A

If you’ve had a website for at least a few years, chances are good you’ve asked someone to make a change or two for you. And it’s equally likely that you were shocked at the cost to make such a small change. Usually, it’s in the $100-$200 per hour range for development time. Short of having a very good friend who handles your website for free, small changes are not as cheap as you’d like them to be. Bummer.

Want to know why?

In most cases, it’s not because the developer is trying to rip you off. It’s not because they’re mean. It’s not because they are lazy.

Think about it from a developer’s perspective. They have other clients and projects. Each and every client and project require overhead (read: time). Emails and phone calls need to be exchanged to understand the task at hand. Invoices need to be created and sent, and collected. FTP accounts need to be setup. Code needs to be learned. Clients needs to get to know, and trust, them.

Is it so hard to understand why a developer would rather be given one task/project from ONE client that consumes a day, week, or month of his time rather than spend the same admin time making the same amount of total money from 20 different clients, each of which needs 2-3 hours of work? Of course a consultant would rather work with 1 client than 20 clients — so they charge high hourly rates for small tasks to compensate for the overhead required to deal with those types of projects.

Makes perfect sense if you ask me.


About the Author

Drew is founder of ESM Exec Designs and is a travel addict running Oh Hey World. In his free time, Drew enjoys reading, traveling the world, spending time with passionate people, and is active member of the microfinance community.