A good goal to have as a web designer make the most amount of money with your time. Setting the right expectations with your client before you start and early in the web design processes means that you will get paid accurately for your work, save time for you and your client, and prevent a lot of headaches.

There are four things you can do to set the right expectations
  1. Explain to the client your skill set. The client will not ask you for something that you can not deliver.
  2. Ask your client a lot of questions. The more questions you ask, the more information you'll have to respond to any misunderstandings.
  3. Create a Plan If or when expectations are not met, you'll need to have a strategy. A plan will explain to your client additional charges or an alternate route.
  4. Get it in Writing. Having a written agreement will help enforce the expectations you've made. This is something you'll have as a last resort.


Set Expectations Earyly During Sales Process

The best time, and the easiest time to set expectations is before the project starts.

The size of the project is proportional to the time you should spend setting the right expectations.

To manage the right expectations I recommend that you be open about who you are as a company, what resources you have available to your clients, and what skill set your offer. That means, don't under sell or over sell who and what you do. In my experience this will always set you up to fail either by lost revenue or promising something that can't be delivered, in time or quality.

I imagine your conversation (sales cycle) goes like this.
1. You're introduced to your client (initial call or meeting).
2. You present proposal.
3. Client spends 1 to 2 weeks reviewing proposal.
4. You either win or loose the business.

That's very typical.

I'd like to make sure in this example your process is more refined. In step 1, you ask questions like: What is your timeline? or When do you plan on making a decision? Typically for smaller companies it's whenever they find what they are looking for. If you've met with the owner, chances are they can make a decision on the spot. Now the ball is in your court, you know better when the client is going to act. You can plan with that information.

If the answer is, "I'm looking at a few other proposals." Then you might have a timeline. You ask "When are you reviewing those proposals."

Yes, you can ask these types of questions to your client! It's easy.

If the answer is "I'm just doing my research." Then you can write that one off. Maybe they will call you maybe they won't in 2 to 3 months.

That's why it's good for you to make a plan with the right information. Typically a client is trying to get the best deal with the company that can get the work done correctly. That means you need to set the right expectations with the client. If you're limited resources, then tell the client that. They will know you're higher demand. If they value your service as a company they will have no problem accepting that you're worth more because you're forward thinking enough here to utilize your time well.


Managing Expectations During Web Design Process
The next most important time to set expectations is during the project. Mostly it's to keep your project in scope and to keep from doing something unexpected that your client didn't pay for. This means you will need to manage the expectations that you've put forth during the project. 

If you've done a good job in the sales process explaining your web design process (e.g. time for delivery) the less you will have to do managing.


Resetting Expectations During Web Design Process

Consider this scenario, you have the best intentions to complete the project on time, but the client is asking you for more and more changes. They have a big event on the first of the month and there's no way you can deliver on time.

Typically its frightening and you can be in a insecure place when you've promissed something that you can't deliver. Whether it's on a timeline that you've promissed, or a functionality that the client is asking for you can't deliver. This will most definitely happen during your web design carreer from time-to-time. The best you can do is plan for the unexpected. That's why setting expectations early on will always give your client the confidence to address issues with you as they come up in a professional manner.

In this scenario - Option 1, is you tell the client you can't deliver on time. But you know this will make them unhappy and cause more phone calls and more emails. or Option B, is you don't tell the client, and wait until the first of the month and delay the inevitable.

The answer here, is to reset the expectations by explaining what you can do by the timeline.

If you're wondering how much you should charge your client for a professionally designed website then look no further. The answer is 42. Oh wait, that's the meaning of life. Seriously, this guide will help you determine the best price for charging a client.  We will explore 4 key aspects (skill, experience, client expectations and project type) from which you can use to calculate a competitive price.

Project Type:
Here are a few ranges based on project type you can start with.
  • Template Web Design $1,000 and under.
  • Custom Web Design $5,000 and under.
  • Template eCommerce Website between $5K - $10K
  • Custom eCommerce Website between $10K-$20K to start
  • Custom Web Application $20,000 and above.
Skill, Experience, Portfolio and Other Factors:
It's essential you understand what you're selling. Most web designers will make the mistake of basing their price solely on the project type and disregarding the talent and client expectations. Your skill and experience should account for the bulk of what you charge your client.
  • Individual Web Master ($25-$35/hour)
  • Individual Web Designer ($45-$75/hour)
  • Individual Web Programmer ($85-$120/hour)
  • Professional Web Team ($120-$200/hour)
To determine what category you belong to you should honestly answer yourself a few questions
  • What is your skill set? Are you good with installing templates into Joomla or coding them? Are you programming your own extensions?
  • What is your experience? Reality is being a web designer is easy to get into, but in my opinion the industry is structured with a steep learning curve.
  • What is your proficiencies at these skills? The more sites you've developed the more skilled you are. If you managing a 2,000 product catalog and your client gives you 2000 pixel product images how are you going to resize them?
  • Do you have a portfolio? This is along the same lines as if you have any experience. However, if you have just done websites for your friend's quilting business (nothing wrong with quilting) then you're going to have a hard time convincing the CEO of a restaurant chain that you've got what it takes. Even if you really do.
  • Where do you live? Geography can have big impact especially when it depends on the client your targeting. If you've setup shop in Kentucky changes are you can't charge as much as you can in Silicon Valley for Web Design or Development.
  • What is your time commitment? If you're working as a web developer part time chances are you can't answer a phone call in the middle of the day. You will be less value to a client than a web developer working full time that can recover
Client Expectations:
And most importantly, you want to charge the right amount for the appropriate client. One of the most common mistake beginning web developers make is not understanding the client expectations. This comes with having done multiple projects. Until you have completed a few projects this may be hard to figure out. For this tutorial it's important that you understand client expectations can change the amount of work for the same type of project.

If you don't have the experience of a few projects, then it's essential that you set the right expectations.

I estimate client expectations can change the price as much as 50 percent of the perceived total cost. The reason why is some clients will have greater needs than others. For this reason you need to charge what is appropriate. You are selling a service above selling a website.  For example, the client that is using this website as part of their core business (e.g. an eCommerce Website) is going to require extra attention both in setup and maintenance. Whereas the typical brochure site won't be as critical to the day-to-day business function of your client's business. So if the website goes down for an hour, you won't be getting 100 phone messages about your clients site.

Summary:
Price you quote your client can change from project-to-project. Just because you've charged it once, doesn't mean you need to charge the same amount for your next project.  Your price is a combination of skill, experience, client expectations and the type of project.

If you're missing the image in your front page slide show, it's a simple fix. Just follow these three simple steps to display images inside your slide show.

1. Open 'mod_fpss.php' in a text editor for editing..

2. Find and replace:

preg_replace("/<img.+?>/", "", $image->ctext);

to

preg_replace("/a/", "a", $image->ctext);

3. On line 470 change, this:

if ($striptags) {$introtext = strip_tags($introtext, $allowed_tags);}

to:

//  if ($striptags) {$introtext = strip_tags($introtext, $allowed_tags);}

When Steve Jobs died, so did flash. A month after Jobs died Apple announced they would be suspending all future development of their Flash for Mobile. But that doesn't mean that there won't be need to tell a story on a website and it doesn't mean the end of flash as we know it. So whatever your story making desires require of you, you'll still need to follow the basic principals of creating a storyboard.

Here's a few things you'll need to get started.
Skill Set?
How Much Should you Charge?

Here are a few Joomla extensions that you might find useful. These are free and available for non-commercial use. If you're a large company, you need to pay for these modules.

 

Movie Time Module [Download]

This module was designed for people wanting to know movie times. This was designed after I searched high and low for a way to display movie show times. If you would like to see this in action please see aptos theater movie times example.

How to use Movie Times? It's very straight forward module, no special installation required. However, once you've installed you must:

  1. Go to MrMovieTimes.com and search for your theater.
  2. Copy & Paste MrMovieTimes theater URL into your the Movie Times Module.

 

Mini-Me for JomSocial