Pay As You Go Pricing for WordPress Maintenance

Pay-As-You-Go Pricing for WordPress Maintenance and Support

Michael Kaulkin WordPress Leave a Comment

One of the great struggles of getting the WordPress maintenance and support side of our business off the ground has been figuring out a good solution for pricing and payment.  The nature of the business is that we need to be able to react quickly to take care of problems of all sizes for clients, including sometimes very small ones.

Under the traditional invoice-after-the-fact model it would be very inefficient and impractical to be available for small tasks on a regular basis and on a large scale.  Businesses that do this usually set unreasonable minimums on hourly rates in order to offset the overhead involved in taking on very small tasks or projects. For example, you would have to pay a full hour’s rate for a task that might take only 15 minutes.

A Time-Saving, Money-Saving Pricing Model

We have figured out a way to approach this that has worked well for us and that clients have been happy with.  It’s a “pay as you go” model that we’re all familiar with from our consumer lives.  If you live in an area where there’s a subway, then maybe you’ve purchased a farecard for, say, $50 to draw down on over time, to save you the hassle every time you use the subway.  Of if you have one of those bridge toll transponders, then you’re familiar with paying in advance for the service in increments of your choosing, and topping up as needed, based on how frequently you use the service. Come to think of it, it’s no different than the model behind the use of plain old postage stamps.

Our pricing and payments now work according to this same principle: You purchase some number of hours, based on your anticipated needs. As you call on us to perform whatever tasks are needed, the time is deducted from that amount, and make another payment only when that has run out, and only if you anticipate the need for our services.

The hourly rates are tiered downward according to the number of hours purchased at a time. So, if you have a large project, or anticipate the need for frequent help, then you can save money by booking more hours in advance.

Our Current Rates

  • 1 – 5 hours
    $90/hour

  • 5 – 10 hours
    $81/hour

  • 10 – 15 hours
    $76/hour

  • 15 – 20 hours
    $72/hour

Hours are purchased in the form of credits worth 15 minutes each.
View the payment form to see how that works.

The Advantages

No Unfair Retainer Fees

For ongoing maintenance with a steady flow of projects and tasks to turn around, some companies charge flat monthly or quarterly retainer fees. Of course this is risky for both parties. The client may often be paying for services they don’t need and are not receiving. Under our model, the client bases their payments on anticipated needs, and we are compensated only for work that is performed.

No Burdensome Down Payments for Larger Projects

For large web development projects a typical practice is to require a 50% downpayment, based on the estimated final cost. No need for that here. Just make payments in increments that you can afford. Your payments are more directly tied to when and how much work is being done during the course of the project.

No Unfair Minimums for Small Tasks

Given that we’re already paid for services, it is very easy for us to react quickly to small things that come up. If a pre-payment is in place, there is no reason to impose a minimum per project or task. (There is a minimum of one hour for pre-payments or one-off tasks.)

No Fussy Invoices for Every Job

We’ll report to you on time used upon request, and let you know if/when it’s time to top up. It is not necessary for us to invoice you every time you call us for help, so you can feel confident that we’re “on call” any time.

Give It a Try

If you need help with a WordPress site, whether you’re contemplating a new one, or just need help keeping up with your existing one, get in touch, and let us know how we can help.

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Michael Kaulkin
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Michael Kaulkin has been building, managing and maintaining web sites since 1998, with a focus on WordPress since 2005. He founded Oakland, California-based Cantus Firmus LLC in 2010 to provide WordPress web development and consulting services to businesses and non-profits of all sizes.