I've put together a few questions and answers with some high level information about me and my services. If you have a question that I haven't covered here, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
I have been working as a freelancer since October 2019, but before this I worked at a leading Norwich agency for 8 and a half years.
My aim now is to offer you agency quality development services for freelance rates, backed by 8 and a half years of working to agency methodologies and standards on large projects for high profile clients. You’ll be in good hands!
The short answer to this is my representative hourly rate for projects would work out at between £30-40/hr, and anything that is billed hourly will be charged at £40/hr.
However, I don't tend to bill hourly, especially for full projects, and prefer fixed-price quotes, for a number of reasons.
Billing by the hour means having to estimate each feature or piece of work, and generally speaking, estimates are usually wrong. I can judge whether a task should take 2 days instead of 2 weeks, but with an estimate of 2 days, could it conceivably take 3? Possibly. Could a task estimated at 12 hours end up taking 15? More than likely. This is why straight time-based estimates never work. In fact, granular estimates on work can actually hinder productivity, and that has certainly been my personal experience from working for agencies.
It also means I would need to track time to compare it to my estimates, and ask for additional payment when additional time needed to be spent. The more time I spend dealing with timesheets and whether a task went over an estimate, the less time I'm spending actually working on your project. From my point of view, I'm not concerned if a task I estimated to take 2 days ends up taking 4 days, so long as I have the product completed on time and to the standard you expect; I can do better work for you if I haven't got to keep one eye on the clock the whole time.
So, instead of adding up time estimates and multiplying that by an hourly rate to give you a quote, I start with a high-level estimate of time (in weeks, not hours), and then assess the various requirements and complexities of your project, what skills and experience I can draw upon, and the value I can bring to you, to come up with a fair, fixed cost for your project.
I specialise in bespoke, functional applications and platforms, such as booking and events systems, when off-the-shelf software can't cut it.
I have worked on numerous projects that have spanned several months, and am comfortable working on projects of that sort of size.
I also like working on advanced brochure and marketing websites.
Typically, if you're looking for a large bespoke build, your first thought would be to hire an agency. Agencies bring with them a whole team of experience and knowledge, often with a team of developers, as well as designers, search marketers, and account managers. For many projects, it is far more beneficial to go with an agency than an independent freelancer.
However, in my 8 and a half years working for an agency, I worked on several large bespoke builds spanning several months, even as long as a year, costing anywhere from £20,000 to £50,000, often as the sole developer on the project. Larger builds come naturally to me, are what I enjoy working on the most, and is the sort of work I've done for several years of my career.
My aim now is to help you build projects that are large enough to be taken on by an agency, where perhaps the budget wasn't enough for them to be able to take it on. I may not have the full team of an agency behind me, but you'll be working directly with the developer building your project instead of going through an account manager, and I will build the project to the same quality as if I were sat at a desk in an agency's office, except it'll come at as much as a quarter of cost.
When it comes to taking on a large bespoke build, there are 3 criteria I will need to satisfy:
If the answer to all 3 of these is yes, then the size of the project is no obstacle; in fact, the bigger the better!
Unlike some developers and agencies, my priority is to do the best job I can, rather than just trying to make every project as profitable as possible. I take care and pride in everything I do, and don't consider something to be finished until it is the best I can make it. I treat projects as if they were my own, and add little nice touches and features that I think would improve it, even if they haven't been specifically asked for. I have no concept of "that'll do", and I don't simply build a project to meet the black-and-white requirements of the scope, instead I always going above and beyond the bare minimum to create something I can be proud of. After several years of agency experience, I'm hard-wired to complete everything I do to the highest standard I am capable of.
More information about this can be found on my services page.
More information about this can be found on my website development service page.
Yes. Retainers work on the basis of a fixed cost a month for a fixed amount of work, which is useful for ongoing maintenance and the addition of new features. Usually retainers are use-it-or-lose-it, but I offer to carry over up to 25% of your monthly retainer budget to the next month if you haven't quite managed to use it all up.
Yes. It is your code and your project, I won't own or have any rights to any of it.
Yes. If anything breaks for the first 6 months, I'll fix it free of charge. However, this doesn't include things outside of my control, such as new browser versions, or changes to 3rd party APIs and integrations that necessitate work being carried out on the site.
I am not a designer by trade and will never claim to be, but I have come up with designs for previous projects where suitable. For a fixed cost, I can produce some mockups of a design direction I see for your project, and if you like what I come up with, we can continue with it. In any case, you will be more than welcome to have design work done separately, however I would recommend that I am able to liaise with the designer to ensure any technical limitations or requirements are accounted for and the design is feasible to build, and I would need to sign off on them before I agree to build them.
I will be able to help with the basics, such as Google Analytics/Tag Manager setup, event and goal tracking, and PPC setup, however if SEO and marketing is a key aspect of your project, I would recommend seeking a dedicated professional or agency for this (I’m not one to try and sell you a service I can’t fully deliver on, especially one as important as this).
No. Aside from 3rd party frameworks, libraries, and integrations I use as part of the project, the entire codebase will be developed by me.
For long-term development work, unfortunately no. However, I may be able to work on-site on a consultancy basis, dependant on location.