Frequently Asked Questions
Pricing & Billing
What is your pricing structure?
We charge $60 per hour, billed in fifteen minute increments for all work. For new projects we provide an estimate of the total cost and guarantee that we will complete everything spelled out in the estimate for the price listed.
Do you bill on a regular schedule?
Since post-construction, many of our clients only engage us sporadically (they may be handling the bulk of the work themselves and only need our help occasionally or they may be a seasonal operation) we generally invoice a client when there account has at least 4.0 hours ($180) on it. During the construction of your new website we bill at the end of each month or the end of the project – whichever happens first.
What about work requested that is not in the original quote?
Do you adjust the billing should we decide not to complete all of the original quote?
Why don't you offer flat rate billing on web design?
The reality is that no matter how much time is spent in laying out a design document detailing the project, every client has changes they wish to make as the project evolves. Some changes are minor and involve very little additional time – others are so major as to completely alter the entire project. In a perfect world every client would know exactly what they want and we would be 100% accurate in every estimate we provide. Unfortunately this isn’t possible as every job is unique and the needs of every client evolve as they become more invested in making the best website possible. To ensure that the invoicing we provide our clients is as fair as possible to both Simply Ducky and the client, we follow the below rules:
- Our hourly rate is an exceptionally reasonable $60.
- We record all of our work accurately and bill in 15 minute increments.
- We provide free estimates and will spend one hour discussing the project with you.
- The estimate we provide is as accurate as possible given the information you have provided.
- We guarantee we will complete the work listed on the estimate for the amount quoted.
- Clients will be provided with an estimate of any extra costs for any work not covered in the original estimate.
- We have worked hard to build our reputation – references are available.
- Travel time to and from a clients workplace is billed at the standard rate.
- Work is invoiced at the end of the month or project, whichever comes first.
The rule of thumb is: If we are doing something which we wouldn’t do if it weren’t for your project, you get charged for it.
In the end we do not offer flat rates for web design because the only way for us to guarantee that Simply Ducky is able to receive a fair wage at the end of a potentially evolving job is to take the original estimate of what you need and pad it by at least 30% or more. This isn’t fair to those clients who are able to develop a detailed plan with us and stick to it. Neither is it fair to us when we have clients whose abuse of a reasonable flat rate fee ends up doubling or tripling the number of hours involved.
Do I pay for my project up front?
Depending on your industry, age of your business, or other potential factors you may be required to make a deposit of 25% of the total project cost before we begin work. Otherwise no, we only invoice at the end of each month or the end of the project – whichever comes first.
Not sure if you need to make a deposit to get started? Feel free to contact us and we would be happy to chat with you about your unique circumstances.
Hosting / Registration
Do you provide hosting services?
We are happy to help you find a reasonably priced hosting solution and will either handle the complete setup ourselves or hold your hand along the way.
Do you have recommendations for hosting services?
There are hosting companies that we routinely recommend for clients. Major hosting companies provide services that local companies often cannot – regular automated backups, on-site power generation in case of extended power outages, 24-hour technical support, redundant hardware in case of hardware failure, etc. Since major hosting companies generally jockey for market share, pricing can change on a month to month basis.
We prefer to look for the best deal for our clients at the time rather than simply recommend a single company. We only recommend companies that we feel we have had the chance to fully evaluate based on our working relationship with them. Although Simply Ducky Designs will work with the hosting company of your choice, we cannot take any responsibility for performance issues due to the capabilities of your preferred hosts system.
In whose name will the domains or hosting accounts be registered?
Will we have access to the hosting account and domain registration accounts?
Will we have full ownership of the hosting account / domain registration?
Will the site be mobile optimized or using responsive design for mobile devices / tablets?
Will the site incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Will we be able to maintain / add to the SEO after the project is completed?
Will the site be using a Content Management System (CMS)?
All clients have access to a PDF of a step-by-step WordPress user guide (complete with screenshots and visual guides) and can request a print copy for their reference.
Will staff be able to maintain and update the website themselves?
Will we be able to add or remove users from the site ourselves?
What is your process for engaging us on the initial design of the site?
Will the site be designed from scratch for us (custom design) or will it be a template?
What aspects of the design will we be able to change during the construction process?
By ensuring that everyone provides honest and timely feedback throughout the design process we can minimize the number of major changes needed and instead focus on the minor changes which, when combined, result in the perfect website for your organization.
What is your policy on feedback during the construction process?
Will we be able to make changes to the site to reflect new company branding?
Why does that website look like that?
Not so much a question as a comment we receive every once in a while. We don’t always agree with the design decisions that our clients may make, but ultimately we respect their wishes as long as doing so does not jeopardize the integrity of the website. This may mean we are asked to use a particularly ‘unique’ color combination or told to withhold information that would otherwise be an ideal addition to a site.
In other cases we have created the site, trained the staff and moved on to other tasks. The staff operating the site may choose to make changes in layout, color scheme or content that does not always represent their company in an accurate or aesthetically pleasing manner and becomes a significant departure from the original aesthetic of the site.
We do not take responsibility in any way for the content or appearance of a site that is maintained by either the site owner or a third party. It’s simply out of our hands unless Simply Ducky is brought in to make changes.
Help! Do you do site maintenance?
Yes, we certainly do. Unlike other web design companies, we do not charge a flat or monthly fee for website maintenance. We charge our usual rate of $40/hour and bill in 10 minute increments. If you would like to discuss regular check-ups for your site (checking for broken links, update to sit software, checking comments for spam, and more), please see our Maintenance Made Easy package.
A well designed and built site running on WordPress (as an example), would only need between 10-20 minutes of maintenance each month. A site that is updated rarely and does not allow for social interaction (no public posting or commenting) may only need to have its software whenever there is a new release of WordPress.
We do not charge a flat monthly fee for maintenance for much the same reasons as outlined above (see: Why don’t you offer flat rate billing on web design?).
What training do you provide during the construction process?
We offer several different options for training during the construction process. We can provide face to face training here at our offices in South Side Harbour, Nova Scotia or at your location depending on the distances involved. We can also engage your staff via Skype or over the phone.
What after-completion support do you offer for our staff?
We do check emails on the weekend but will reply on Monday morning with the exception of emergencies.