It’s been over three years since we last reviewed our hourly work rates. Unlike other web design and development agencies, who often increase their prices every year, we’ve tried to hold off doing this for as long as possible. In fact we’ve only increased our prices once in the past nine years!
Our Primary Image rates are also much lower than the market rates. The average agency hourly rate, according to the latest BenchPress report, is £80 per hour.
And since our last price increase, inflation has increased 9.7%, which equates to almost £5 alone.
From January 2020, our new hourly rate is now £60 per hour, which is an increase of £12 on our old 2017 rates (or, minus inflation, about £7). It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly, but we know this is still a highly competitive rate in the market.
And customers who choose Primary Image benefit from being supported by an agency that has had a proven track record in the internet’s most-used website software – called WordPress – for almost a decade, unlike many other agencies who have only made the switch in more recent times, so our expertise puts us well ahead of many other companies.
We know there’s of course cheaper competitors in the market, but we’ve also heard horror stories from clients who’ve tried budget web designers and web hosts, and they’ve been pleased to find a long-term and stable partner with Primary Image. We recently found a list of other web design companies operating in our area of Essex, from when we started in 2010, and unbelievably more than two thirds of those businesses have closed. So by choosing Primary Image, you have the confidence of working with a reliable and trustworthy supplier.
In the past year, we’ve invested in a new office in the centre of Southend-on-Sea, in Essex, and we are planning to expand our team in 2020.
Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that hourly rates shouldn’t be your only consideration too. We’re proud of our efficiency and expertise. Another web designer may charge a lower hourly rate, but it might take them twice as long to do a task, so this can be a false economy! With our rates, you get direct access to a professional designer or developer, along with our strong experience, skills and after-care.
There’s a few other changes we’re introducing too:
Updating our invoicing terms:
The world has moved on, with same-day online bank transfers becoming the norm, and we introduced a debit/credit card form on our website three years ago. Therefore, our standard payment terms will now be fourteen days, not 30 days.
According to accounting giant Xero, 75% of invoices ask for payment within two weeks nowadays, showing a shift in recent times.
Although where your business’s procurement policies may restrict this, we’re of course happy to discuss a bespoke arrangement.
Discounts for regular work:
We’re changing the way we offer discounts. In the past, we’ve offered discounts for pre-paying a set number of hours in advance. This was originally intended to make it easier for our customers who ask us to do small edits on their websites on a very regular basis, and reward these customers with cheaper rates. Generally, our customers that fall into this category ask us to do work on their websites every single month, and when their package expires, they top-up their hours.
We want to say thank you to our customers who we work with very regularly, so we are introducing a brand-new discount scheme, which will offer a lower rate for customers who commit to a certain number of hours working with us per month. We know for many of our customers, some of which we have contact with every single week, this will be a more cost-effective and improved way of working. It’s also how a lot, or probably most other web agencies work too. More details will be published on our Pricing page soon.
Minimum billing time:
We’re setting our minimum billing time to one hour (£60) for customers that host their websites with us, and two hours (£120) for any external customers, which is still extremely competitive in the market, where many agencies have much higher thresholds. This reflects the time involved in communication before and after tasks, invoicing, and other administrative overheads.
We have had to increase our domain name registration and renewal fees by a small amount, which reflects the higher wholesale costs that we have incurred in recent years.
Web design focus:
Since our beginning, we offered a range of marketing services to our customers, including print production. Nowadays, the vast proportion of our work is in website design and WordPress development, so it makes complete sense that we focus on this. We’ll no longer advertise some rarely used services, such as a lot of our printed products. There’s other suppliers in the market that may be more suited to this sort of work. Our website will soon reflect our shift in focus.
Over the past few years, we’ve worked hard to maintain a competitive cost to you, and continued to improve our services, building award-winning websites, keeping our skills razor-sharp by attending regular web conferences, offering industry-leading uptime and reliability, and offering our personal level of support.
We know price changes are never welcome, but we hope our customers appreciate that this is a necessity to continue and improve what we proudly offer. We thank you for your business, and we appreciate the opportunity to continue to provide you with the highest quality service and support.
Mike is the founding director of Primary Image. He specialises in the WordPress website platform and speaks regularly at national web design conferences. Mike became a member (MCIPR) of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in 2015. Outside of work, his interests include photography and politics.