I design all client websites with Webflow (if you haven't got an account yet, you can get one here). Webflow allows you to keep your client's site on your own account and charge him for hosting via "client billing". Alternatively you can transfer the finished web project to your client's own Webflow account and he can set up hosting from there. What are the pros and cons for both methods and which one should you choose? That's what I'll explain in this article. But first things first...
What is "client billing"?
Let's say you've finished working on your client's new website and you're ready to host with Webflow and publish it using the client's domain (www.ourcooolsite.com). You can simply leave the site on your own Webflow account, set up client billing – you can find out how to do this in this article - which means the client pays for his own hosting and you are able to add on a separate, reoccurring maintenance fee if you want. By using client billing you can start developing the site on a free Webflow account as hosted sites don't count towards your 2 project limit.
What's the alternative?
You can also transfer your client project over to your client's individual account and he can then connect his custom domain himself (or give you his account details and you can do this for him). Obviously this way you are not able to charge any additional maintenance fees via Webflow.
The pros and cons of "Client Billing"
- You can add on an additional fee to the hosting costs which might provide further income to you
- You can easily access your client's site at any time to make changes, update content or add features
- You can theoretically start building the site on a free account, add hosting with client billing and then add additional pages to the site if necessary. You can then add additional projects to your free account, as hosted projects don't count towards the 2 project limit
- Oftentimes it might be hard to communicate to your client that there's going to be an ongoing maintenance fee in addition to Webflow's hosting costs, especially if there's not much maintenance to be done and the client is updating the site himself
- Setting up client billing is an additional step for you
The pros and cons of transferring your project
- You are in no way connected to your client's project anymore and have a clean cut between working on the project and completion and payment
- You will need at least need the (paid) Lite Account plan if you want to transfer a project to your client
- You have no control over the project after you've transferred it and will need your client's account details to log in and make changes if necessary. Be sure to make a copy of the project in your own account in case anything goes wrong during transfer and only transfer the site after you've paid in full
- The client is not relying on you to keep his site up and running, as it is located in his own account – so even if you decide to close your business tomorrow he doesn't have to worry
- If you end up doing maintenance work on your client's site (content updates, implementation of new features etc.) after the transfer, you will need your client's Webflow account details in order to access his site. Alternatively your client can establish a Team Account (you can read more about team accounts in a previous blog post) and invite you as a team member.
So, what do I usually do? I transfer the site over to my client's Webflow account and connect it to his custom domain. Especially if I am not doing any ongoing maintenance work – and remember, there are no plugins or security updates to perform as with Wordpress – I don't really see an additional fee as being justified. I also like having a clear cut when a project is completed and all my work is done and think the client should own his own site on his own account, not relying on me indefinitely. Also, for some projects my clients have already set up a site on their own Webflow site anyway, so I usually log in and to the required changes directly in their account.
Hope this has clarified some of the questions you have about client billing and project transfers. If you think I've missed something or if you have further questions, get in touch!