Fixed-Price Web Development

Are you hesitant to agree to an open-ended contract? I am.

That’s why fixed price web development is better for the customer in the majority of situations.  This is a large debate among my colleagues, but hopefully after reading the rest of this post you’ll agree with me.

Chances are, before you agree to buy a product or service, you like to know how much you’re going to spend and when it will be delivered to you.

Why should your relationship with your web developer be any different?

In my mind, fixed-price web development is the only way to go. In fact, if you work with me; fixed-price is the default. The rest of this post explains why.

If you’re short on time, here’s the gist of it. Fixed-price web development:

  • Gives a much better idea of the total cost of a project
  • Forces the client and the developer to determine clear outcomes
  • Focuses on results, not effort

Know the cost before you start

By definition, with fixed-price web development you’ll have a much better idea of the total cost of a project. You define an outcome, and the developer quotes you a price. It’s simple and explicit pricing.

Let’s compare this to hourly contracts. You’ll ask “what’s your hourly rate?” The developer will respond, and you’re likely to follow up with “…and how many hours is it going to take?”

With some math, it’s easy to deduce a total price from those two numbers. True. However, you have a much weaker form of guarantee in this case: you have an implicit price.

I’ll take explicit over implicit every time.

Establish outcomes from the start

Agreeing to a fixed-price contract helps you to clearly define requirements. Fixed-price means you need to have a clearly defined set of requirements; whereas in most hourly projects the tendency is to jump right in and figure it out as you go.

With a solid fixed-price contract, you’ll do up-front work to rigorously define what the deliverables are.

However, this does not mean that you are limited to your initial ideas. It’s very easy to write an addendum and redefine requirements and add to a fixed-price job.

Focus on results; not on effort

Fixed-price development requires a focus on successful outcomes. Conversely, hourly pricing tends to focus on the amount of time spent (effort). What would you rather pay for?

This focus on results encourages efficiency on the part of the developer. If I know I am getting a certain amount of compensation to deliver a certain set of results, then those results are where I will focus.

Similarly, focusing on outcomes incentivizes a developer to deliver quickly, since final payment will be tied to those results.

In conclusion

Fixed-price web development is the best way to work with a developer.  You should demand it from your developer; if they won’t oblige, fill out the form below to get in touch.

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