Our approach is different from most Web designers, perhaps because we come at it from a journalistic perspective. Charlie and Pamela Bowen both spent decades in the newspaper business as writers and editors and tend to look at web sites as publications that need to be current, up-to-date, relevant and concise.
When we got started in this line of work in 2001, we realized a problem for many Web sites was that they weren't regularly maintained. Designers did their work, got paid several thousand dollars and went on their way, leaving the site to be maintained by the client. Often this didn't serve the client at all well and the site fell farther and farther behind, plagued by missing links, broken graphics and especially outdated information. We decided that, capitalizing on decades of journalism background, we would offer not only design but also site maintenance.
This makes our approach to billing different as well. While we will do the more traditional approach that other designers take (agree to a design fee, create the site, collect the pay, turn over the site and walk away), we really prefer to create a long-term relationship with our clients. After all, we're in this for the long term ourslves, so cash flow is important to us. For most of our clients, instead of charging a large out-front fee for a design, we bill them a small, one-time startup charge and then, after new site is up and running, we send them a monthly invoice that covers a portion of the design and the regular updates, all in one bill.