How Much Should I Pay?

By | April 6, 2008

Randy asks

Hi, I want to have a nice looking website, I don’t know how much I should pay for a nice design. I have 3 quotes for a design ranging from $99 ! to over $1000 – for much the same thing. Any advice would be great.

Randy, what you are asking is “how long is a piece of string”. As an example, you could buy a template from the likes of Template Monster, then ask 20 different designers to quote for integration to osCommerce – and I guarantee that those quotes will be entirely different.

My advice is as follows;

add up the total of your quotes, then divide by the number of quotes you have. This will give you your median quote figure. Go for the quote which is nearest to that median figure.

This *should* give you the best of the designers ability and the price point. It’s not an exact science though! Ask to see the designers previous work with osCommerce. He should be happy to show you at least a few stores!

Let’s look at some pricing;

Stylesheet Changes – getting someone to install osCommerce and make a few stylesheet changes – this is no more than 1 or 2 hours of work, so you should be looking at paying no more than £50 – £100 (about $100 to $200). Maybe even less. A good developer who knows osCommerce should be able to do this in less than 15 minutes – but I expect he or she would charge for at least 30 minutes of work.

HTML Template Integration – getting a developer to integrate a “Template Monster” – this should cost between £200 and £400 – about $400 to $800. Depending upon the complexity of the design the price will be towards the higher end of the scale. If you need extra coded bits to suit the design, expect to pay more.

CAVEAT: Watch out for the “osCommerce Templates” from the likes of Template Monster – they are usually coded very poorly and they have non-existant support – hence the high number of “I’ve bought a Template Monster and it doesn’t work” threads in the official osCommerce Forum.

Bespoke Design – getting a developer/designer to make a design just for you – the best way to get a one-off look to your store. Expect to pay at least £750 (to £2000) for the design and another £300 for the integration. The good thing is that most osCommerce developers will know what osCommerce is capable of and will adjust their design accordingly.

osCommerce Template – buying an “off the shelf” template for osCommerce – possibly the easiest way to get a good look and pay only a tiny amount for it. This is NOT the same as buying an osCommerce template from the likes of Template Monster. You would be dealing with an osCommerce expert, not a bunch of no-marks. A decent osCommerce template bought from an expert will cost you between £50 and £100 ($100 to $200) usually. You get support within the price!

My advice;

If you have the cash, go for a bespoke design, made by a true osCommerce developer/designer. I can list some names of such people (there are not many) if this would help.

If you don’t have the cash, go for an osCommerce Template from someone who knows osCommerce inside out. This would be a good base for making further changes to make the site your own.

In other words, deal with osCommerce experts and you won’t go far wrong.

Any help to you?

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