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    Hi there!

    Last summer I charged a small charity (it was an orchestra) £400 for a new website, where I created the site from a basic responsive design structure template. I added text and image content, aesthetics and spent time implementing and modifying features such as custom javascript buttons and plugin implementation. I developed the site in WordPress as a CMS.

    I am now planning to pitch to an interested, local tennis club, who have a reasonable amount of funds available. Their current site is clunky, text based, and has its navigation bar made out of pure Flash…ouch! I am looking to build a marginally more complex site for them compared to my previous site, which is here:

    I would really love to know your opinion on how much to charge, as they have asked for a cost. My current thinking is £1000 for the full site development.
    I also am not sure if to push the ability to edit themselves with the CMS, or to just charge for anything but minor future edits.

    Many thanks for your time,

    Max, 17 yrs old, UK.


    I know when you’re starting out this is going to be the hardest part. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes no matter what people say, and that’s OK.

    The question isn’t: “should you charge X for Y?”, it’s: is Y possible with X given the time you’re going to spend building it? If X is a number that’s reasonable on its face value, but realistically you’ll likely earn less than minimum wage – that’s OK if you’re OK with it.

    I don’t tell people how much something is going to cost, I tell them what is and is not possible with the budget they have – in other words they tell me how much money they plan on spending up front. Everyone has a budget, and I can fit most of them in somehow.

    If someone is going to ask me to build a full website for a grand, there are going to be a lot of caveats built into the contract (in writing and signed in ink) about the limitations of my time and the end product.

    Check out this book when you have the chance:

    It will get you to wrap your head around all this freelance stuff in a way that makes sense if you plan on making it your source of primary income.

    Don’t let a business take advantage of you because you’re young. Sure, you’ll have to charge less than me for instance, but don’t get rolled.


    I would suggest that you not quote a price at all. I would suggest you set it up like this:

    Tell them that you’ll be submitting work orders ever week/two weeks/month (whatever makes you feel comfortable). These work orders should describe each “phase” and quote a price for that block of work.

    Clients don’t usually like this. But guess what you won’t like? When the client starts asking for more and more and more, while trying to pay less and less and less.

    No matter how nice clients are, at the end of they day they’re consumers. They want the most they can get for the lowest price possible. If you quote them a price/time-line and you go over due to their demands… you’ll still be the asshole to them.

    Hourly billing is the only GUARANTEED way to stay in the black.

    Disclaimer: This is just my opinion. Several people will disagree but that’s just my two cents.


    I have worked under longer-term projects and done so on a work-order basis, but IMO that only works out with medium or larger businesses. And don’t expect to be paid on net-30 either…

    Also my opinion, I don’t like working without knowing what the full budget is. We might run into a path that we can’t back down from and then everyone gets angry and you get no referrals.

    No matter how nice clients are, at the end of they day they’re consumers. They want the most they can get for the lowest price possible. If you quote them a price/time-line and you go over due to their demands… you’ll still be the asshole to them.

    This is true no matter how you bill… that’s why an actual real contract needs to be written up that details everyone’s expectations about everyone’s time. Did I mention in detail on a contract signed in ink yet? Yeah, that…


    If you are going to give them an upfront price make sure you stipulate exactly what they are getting for that price and that anything outside of the price will be charged for.

    Also make sure you have their sitemap, design brief and feature requests before giving them a price as the tiniest requests in concept terms can be huge in programming terms so you have to have it nailed down shut before you give them a price. As we don’t have these details we cannot advise you on what is a reasonable price or not.

    In my experiance getting the content off them can delay your schedule dramatically (it can turn a three week build into a 12 month build depending on when they get around to it), so stipulate that you need all content BEFORE you schedule the project in for development subject to availability.

    Good luck


    Many thanks guys for all your opinions so far. I really appreciate your time – it is super useful to get this wide array of ideas.




    GBP1000 seems to be little on the higher side. Our website ( was designed for just GBP300 since the developer knows we are just a start up company. I would suggest GBP 500 – 700 with the features mentioned above.


    I hope you take no offense to this, but your website looks like it was done for 300. If it does what you need it to do, great, but I wouldn’t suggest low-balling a website for a business if that’s a primary way for people to find you and find out about you.

    If I was going to Kerala, I’d take one look at your website and bounce… if I could find it at all, which I couldn’t on the first page of Google search results for “kerala honeymoon packages”.

    Now we’re just scratching the surface on why this stuff costs what it does.


    Hi guys,

    Interesting stuff. So I am very interested to know @traq and @shaneisme, what would you charge for the orchestra site I made? (

    I really appreciate your kind words on it, however I would love to know what you think I could have done better, and what looks beginner? This would really help in me knowing how much I think I could charge for this next site.

    Many thanks,



    I reiterate – I need to know the budget of the client first. This would determine if I would be setting up a WordPress site with a ready-made theme and helping them set it up, not helping them set it up, making a custom theme or scrapping WordPress and making a static site… maybe they need a custom CMS (not likely)…

    This wide range of options goes from a $3-5k on the low end to… a lot. And the low end would have a lot of very specific requirements about my time, etc.

    Did I mention it would be in writing in an actual contract?

    If I was a plumber and I recommended that they repipe their entire house, but they could only afford a patch, I would apply the patch to the best of my abilities (making sure to teach them about what might happen since they didn’t do my recommendation) and give them my card so they can call again when they’re ready for the full smash. So to would it be with a website… of course if they wanted to do it themselves, or know someone that’s a friend that can do it for $300, I’ll tip my hat and move on with my day – I don’t have time for that.

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