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Pricing for changes on your website

1. Price changes on bug fixes or customisation

If it is a bug, you will not be asked to pay for any of the work involved to fix things.
If it is a preference and not a bug, our team can help by making those changes for you, which will have a cost. We will provide you with an estimate based on your individual preferences so you can decide what to do.
If there is a bug within your customisation on your site, the custom developers will need budget to fix this. We will give you an estimate, you can choose to go ahead with this, or not. If you choose to go ahead with the fix, we will log it to the developers to begin the task.

2. Requests for a feature to be added on the base system: Is there a charge?

We need to charge for all the work we do. Even if a feature would be desirable in the base system, we may not be able to build it in such a way that it is general enough or easy enough to use. It takes considerably more time (maybe up to 10 times more even in the short-term, and much more long-term) to build a piece of functionality into the base system as opposed to building it into just one site.
Should we decide to build your functionality into the base system, we will take on considerable extra costs ourselves in order to make the functionality superior to what was purchased – this has considerable benefits to you in most cases. You won’t receive a discount or refund for this as this process is already built into our pricing. You also receive the benefits of this when other clients request work that we decide to build as R&D.

3. Our website service fees may not cover certain R&D feature requests

Our R&D team has a very high rate of output, making a product release every few days. Zeald’s R&D expenditure is higher than most other organisations (especially most of our competitors, who simply license an off-the-shelf product from overseas and have no R&D), however it is still limited. We prioritise our R&D towards:

    1. Fixing any faults
    2. Providing functionality that works well for as many of our clients as possible

Many features our clients request do not fix faults, or work well for clients other than themselves. These features will be given very low priority and usually will not get built as R&D.  Whatever the priority of R&D, we only have limited resource and a near-infinite number of potential features that we might choose to work on. R&D is not usually a viable substitute for custom development if you have a pressing need.

4. You won’t be billed without us getting your consent

People acting in good faith trying to help you sometimes make mistakes. Our staff are encouraged to try to help our clients, they may often say “I will try and see what I can do to make this work”, go off and discover that in fact developer effort is required. Should this happen, we will come back to you to tell you that in fact there will be a cost, or that the cost will be greater than we said previously. We will never bill you without getting your agreement, you always have the option of not purchasing the change or product.
One obvious exception to this rule is a case where ethics rather than simple mistakes are involved – where during a sales process you clearly explain your requirements to us in writing, we were given suitable opportunity to analyse these requirements, and communicated to you a way that the system could meet them (usually this will be in the format of a formal quote). Then, of course we will undertake to meet our obligations.

5. We are upfront with our service charges

Zeald’s contracts and terms of reference are designed to be very clear as regards to pricing. Both up-front pricing and monthly pricing are outlined in these contracts.

6. When do we start getting charged?

The process of putting a website live usually involves the client loading content and then pointing a domain name at it. There is no technical difference however between a website that is loading and one that is live, and they both take up equal space on servers, incur support costs etc.
Therefore our service charges begin typically one month after development is complete and the client is presented with the product (to give a fair time for the client to load and configure the product).

7. Why are the prices for development so high?

Our hourly prices for development are in the middle of the market range for software development. Accurately estimating time for custom software development is a notoriously difficult task, however our pricing calculations are as accurate as we can make them (they are based on feedback from recorded time and a mathematical model of customisation complexity), and we then price this time at our standard development rate (which is in turn based on our internal costs + a small margin).

We understand that most people are surprised at how much contracting custom software development can cost. The pricing for custom software development is on-par or below that for other professional services (engineers, lawyers, doctors) but it is nonetheless skilled work requiring considerable qualifications and experience.

8. Agreement on third party services, platforms and applications

You can upload third-party applications written in javascript or flash to a Zeald hosted website, link to third-party web based applications, embed them in frames, and use the Zeald Developer API to read/write anything in your website database.
Our integration partner Flow can also quote to integrate your website with a variety of accounts and CRM systems via the use of the Developer API.  Of course, we cannot provide technical support for other peoples software or third-party developers (except for an additional fee), but we welcome and encourage anyone making use of our system in this way if it provides extra services to our clients.


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