How do you support your ongoing clients with website updates/support? Do you use a retainer or charge hourly?
The kind of support our clients receive varies depending on their size, how long we have been doing business and how big the web/app in question actually is. We never just charge hourly as we always want the client to be fully aware of the cost associated with the work involved. Clients don’t like to get a shock when a big bill suddenly comes through the door and providing a quote for any work we do helps to avoid feature creep and allows us to make sure development stays within the studio work schedule.
It is rare for us to incorporate a retainer into a small web project. By and large the budgets on these projects and the final outcome will not necessitate ongoing pre arranged support. In these cases we will often provide free support for small queries or minor tweaks. Development or help that will be more time consuming will be quoted.
On larger projects, there is often the need for a monthly retainer, be it for a monthly newsletter, ad collateral or other media asset. In this case we will agree a fee to cover the predicted monthly requirement and anything else will be quoted separately.
We also have one or two clients where we operate a retainer and also a cost threshold on any requirements that come in. In this case the retainer covers the expected monthly work and then any extra requirements that come under the threshold, for example £100 is added to a tab to be invoiced at the end of the month. Any special requests that come in above the cost threshold will be quoted as normal.