how to scope website development (non-CMS)

What goes into a website development (non-CMS) scope of work?

If you’re a freelance front-end developer who has asked yourself that question, here’s a breakdown of our web development (non-CMS) scope of work template so you know how to price your next freelance project!

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Freelancers have unlimited access to over 100 free scope of work templates and 1,000 services ranging from brand strategy to social media and design. Our scope of work tools streamline your proposal process so you can skip the freelance pricing mistakes and get to work.

Please note that our pricing recommendations are powered by tens of thousands of data points, all from real studios on our platform. If you have feedback on the pricing below, please let us know! We always want our system to become smarter with your help.

Website development (Non-CMS) scope of work template total: $18,100

Before we break down our top web development (non-CMS) scope of work template, let’s go over what exactly a non-CMS website is and who uses it. 

A CMS, or content management system, is a software or platform that helps manage website content without the need for technical coding expertise. Popular CMS platforms include WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Webflow.  

While CMS websites are easy to maintain and edit for those with non-technical experience, a non-CMS website is typically the preferred choice for front-end developers. 

A front-end developer builds the user-facing part of a non-CMS website from scratch using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

If you’re a freelance front-end developer, knowing what to charge for a web development project can be tricky, especially when you’re just getting started. What exactly goes into the scope? How can you pitch the benefits of a non-CMS website to a client? 

Our top web development (non-CMS) scope of work template breaks down the project into four phases: 

  • Discovery for $1,500
  • Development for $5,100
  • Advanced Feature Plugins (optional) for $9,300
  • Testing and Launch $2,200

This adds up to a total of over $18K. If you’re a front-end developer and you are charging less than this, here’s where you may be undercharging: 

Conducting a kick-off call

One of the common pricing mistakes freelancers make is not charging for services like meetings or kick-off calls. But these types of meetings are essential to kicking off a smooth and effective process, not to mention the time it takes to conduct background research and put together initial findings to present during the call. So it only makes sense to charge for this deliverable and put a value-based price on it.

Plug-in implementation

As you can see in this community-sourced web development (non-CMS) scope of work template, there’s an entire section dedicated to implementing advanced plug-ins. If you’re working on a non-CMS website, you may be starting from scratch or not have the client’s old website to reference. But if you’re using existing elements from the client’s current website, then you should add this valuable phase into your scope of work.

These deliverables make up a bulk of the scope because it takes a lot of time and energy to integrate existing CMS plugins to the new site. You may need to add or remove certain plugins for your specific project, but this editable template offers a great starting point for this type of work.

Testing and launching

You’re probably already testing and launching client websites, but are you charging for it? Conducting quality assurance tests is another commonly overlooked service, but it’s essential to the work you do — so it needs to have its own price to reflect that. 

Whether you’re thinking of offering freelance web development on the side, or have been a freelance front-end developer for a while, check out this scope of work template to see if your pricing is on the right track. 

Scope Smarter, Not Harder is a series from Wethos highlighting our services and scope of work templates from the Wethos Services Library.

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