I do a thorough job setting up new websites from the initial interview to following the designer's vision. Below is a general outline from start to finish of the process of setting up a website. Once the first 3 steps are completed, it typically takes a month or less for smaller sites, and 2-4 months for ecommerce sites.
The initial cost varies depending on the extent of your project. A smaller 5-10 page site (such as a restaurant site) generally costs around $2-3k to program and thoroughly set up (see above). Depending on the extent of the graphic designer's involvement and rates, I'd budget an additional $500-$2000 for her/his time. A fully functioning ecommerce site (including design) has many more moving parts and variables and requires a custom quote. Additional custom programming needed in rare cases can double the overall cost. I do a thorough interview and site outline before quoting new projects so there are no surprises.
Setup Cost — I prefer to spread the initial cost over the duration of the project setup (1-4 months). For select ecommerce clients, I’m also willing to set up a percent spend based on your sales so your website maintenance and marketing is a consistent percentage of your website’s revenue, or a combination of lower hourly billing with sales commission incentives and/or equity. This is a good plan for growing a business or for a business that does not want to spend too much upfront. When I have an ongoing interest invested in a client, you can rest assured I’ll always be working on new ideas for your site to increase revenue (almost annoyingly so).
Updates & Maintenance — Clients are conditioned to submit one concise document or email with updates. Whether a client wants do as much as possible on their own (I advise against doing too much in house), or needs something more 'full service' I'll accomodate your needs. If an update takes 10 minutes, I bill you for 10 minutes. Unlike a lot of web firms, my turnaround time is fast and I don't disappear after your site is live. Smaller updates (less than an hour) are 1-2 business days. If you require regular maintenance, we can block weekly hours to guarantee that any last minute work gets done. Larger updates or projects that require subcontracted custom programming, graphic design, or marketing are quoted by project.