I'm trying to give a reality check for my friend about the cost of Web Design, web maintenance, Internet research and other services. In a sense I'm out of touch with the current trends myself.
How much do you / would you charge per hour for:
1) Internet Research: Using Google and other resources to find information and report back.
2) Internet Sales: You're asked to help sell some things. Posting vehicles (uploading pictures, text, stats, etc.) and other items on classified sites and forums and also entering the info in relentless posts in blogs. (Power houses like eBay and other paid classified sites which would give HUGE visibility are off the table.) Would you consider spending hundreds of hours doing it for commissions only w/no guarantee of a sale? If not how much per hour?
3) Web Site Maintenance: Changing / adding / deleting content on an existing site?
4) Web Site Conversion: How much would you charge to do a conversion based upon the information below?
Website conversion project.
The old site had many authors over the years; was not SEO friendly; was written in antiquated (gobbledygook) HTML style with no CSS. Pictures and other site files were erratically named and the site had little organization in the directory / folder structure.
Screenshots of the old site are located here. (at the bottom page are some other relevant bits of information)
Now that you've seen the old site, a quick recap of what I did.
Originally I wanted to do a Toy Story type 3D representation of the Ranch. Within a few days, I learned that my skills in Maya were not up to that challenge. Then I remembered a free 3D Mustang for Maya, by Ralph Manis (infinite-designs) that could be imported and I thought I could use that with some 3D letters for the Logo. It is located here: http://www.infinitee-designs.com/1970-Mach-1.htm His version looks a lot better than mine.
When (after many, many hours of frustration) I was finally able to import it into the correct version of Maya. Unfortunately, none of the wonderful textures came along with it. So textured it using Blinn and lit up the headlights and other lights.
Spent a couple of days looking at fonts and then used CINEMA 4D (way better than Maya for text) to create the Muscle Car Ranch section.
I imported that into Maya, added the shiny floor and the other text, played with lighting for a long time and rendered what you see. The Logo took me about 3 weeks to get it the way I wanted it to look. Lots of tweaking and rendering in that process. My machine was way too underpowered to manipulate things quickly.
The rest of the site is what it is. I used PHP for Navigation for the side menus, inline menus and Gallery displays. I used CSS for formatting. New Version:
Pages NOT in the Navigation anymore because the items are no longer available.
The bulk of the work was getting the old content and wrangling it into the new design. I added some new content: History of Muscle Cars, expanded several sections, renamed 98% of the image files.
I inspected each image. In many instances I did image processing: I cropped them or resized them or enhanced them or replaced them with better versions or any combination of that.
I tried to create a more SEO friendly site with the PHP (generated HTML)
The website validates without the third party Weather insert.
The folder that contains the site files has: (18 folders, 27 PHP files, 18 CSS, 3 HTML, 580 JPG and one animated Flash File.)
The parent folder has 25 folders w/more than 5,000 files: proof of concept, CSS menu variations, Logo Work, Image work, Design variations, Gallery work, etc.
Again, (pretend you like the design) because this question is only about what you think your price would have been to convert this site.
Just looking for a ball park figure.
It's a question that encompasses not only the time it takes to build or convert a site but also to learn the craft, how to use the tools (graphic, languages, editors, Flash editors, and other applications) that are involved.
My good friend tends to think that website design is not real work. He tends to think that creating a site is not much more difficult than what he's doing when he's updating his Facebook page because it is done sitting in front of a computer and not outside building an amphitheater.
Thanks very much.