EP4 – “Billing for site maintenance” – WPwatercooler – October 15 2012

Today we are discussing “Billing for site maintenance” for our WordPress clients with Suzette Franck, Lucy Beer, Steve Zehngut, Dave Jesch, Andrew Behla, Chris Lema, Gregg Franklin, Oscar Gonzalez, and our host Jason Tucker.

** Billing for site maintenance

Maintenance defined: Clients that are already launched a phase 1 of a project and now we are moving into scope increase and changes. Any hours that we are going to be spending time on.

Oscar does web development and includes a support contract.

Steve is talking about scope increases and feature changes.

Steve does not write maintenance into their original contract. As he approaches launch he determines how much maintenance is needed for the project. Hourly, monthly & retainer.

Chris upfront during the quote he quotes different rates if they want to post delivery in video format. If the customer is getting all that they need from the videos then the price will go down. If they need handholding then the development cost goes up. Handholding costs more.

Steve says that he like to set the expectation up front so there are no surprises.

Andrew sees this as a challenge and had some examples to share

Steve explains some of his warranty on his contracts.

Gregg talks about a few solutions hes looking at: Backup, Protection against malware, upgrades to core and plugins. Hes using WordFence, WPmanage, InfiniteWP, Warpit.. lots out there.

Chris like being upfront with a letter. Part of his includes hosting, $8 hosting or sends them to Jason Tucker or if they want to spending $30 a month with WPEngine. WPEngine includes a lot of what Gregg was talking about.

Andrew talks about how clients just don’t understand how all this works and Steve talks about setting expectations.

Oscar talks about multi tiered warranty plans he offers his customers. Oscar sends an email to his customers telling them about new features in a plugin or such so they can assist them in doing upgrades using his services vs dealing with it themselves.

Steve talks about issues that happen at 3am and the customer doesn’t have a support contract with them.

** Pricing

Oscar charges $650 – $950 a year or a custom price
Their mid-price $3000 which includes 1 year of basic support, maintenance and backups for 1 year.
Oscar uses host gator with dedicated servers.

Chris Lema talks about the Advance WordPress group. He talks about a hack repair site that provides solutions for this we haven’t used it yet. hackrepair.com

Google Apps – Oscar provides this service doing setup and such as well as

Steve talks more about pricing, they use a sliding scale. Their hourly rates are $150 for dev, $200 for project management and less for QA. Once the site is launched they can predict what the ongoing cost will be. If there is too much of this then they go about setting up a Phase 2.

Chris tries to do away with maintenance and he talks about his method.

Steve says that its hard to make money doing maintenance and unpredictable.

Jason talks about it being a hard sell for smaller websites.

Steve itemized out his billings.

Chris has a funny one, for the next 7 days he will change whatever they want for free. After 7 days it will be $1000 per item. The trick is that he wants to build an advocate in the clients end.

Oscar talks about perceived value in Chris’ statement.

Jason wraps up the meeting, OCWP meeting tonight http://ocwp.org at 7pm streaming live.



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One response to “EP4 – “Billing for site maintenance” – WPwatercooler – October 15 2012”

  1. bobWP Avatar

    This was a great conversation to hear. Back when I was doing design I also incorporated maintenance, then when I chose to stop designing, it was more maintenance, support and training, which I billed through retainers. That worked fine, but at a point I felt like a glorified IT person or VA. Now I’m just doing training which is much more enjoyable : ) Loved hearing how everyone handled it themselves, and Chris with his beyond 7-day fee ….

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