Treehouse: Grow your CSS skills. Land your dream job.

How much to charge

  • # February 20, 2011 at 12:13 pm


    How much should I be charging for valid xhtml / css website with quality graphics and design?

    How much should I be charging for custom php coding?

    There are many bidding sites out there where people are paying like £200 for all this? Is this normal?

    How do you get above the “cheap” website market?

    I think in real industry companies must be charging 1000’s of pounds so how is it that these bidding sites are only charging 200 pounds.

    # February 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    200 pounds for a website is not something you want to be charging. To get above that market you get really good and produce very beautiful and valuable products.

    I started out charging about $500 for a website. This was when I was first starting out about seven years ago.

    Now I work with two other fellows and I won’t name exact prices but the jobs we do are always in the thousands.

    For instance, right now we are bidding on a job which is near $100,000. Granted, this is a very major job and will take some months and we may not even get it. Hopes are high though :)

    # February 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm


    There’s no way to offer a realistic answer to your question without specific details. Is the project a five-page static site or a complex, dynamic corporate site? Are the graphics supplied or created by you? Does custom php coding refer to a hand-rolled inventory/shopping cart system, or tweaking a WP theme? Along with these and myriad other variables, location obviously plays a huge part — different markets support different fair-value rates. A firm in New York or London is going to command higher rates than a firm in a rural location — and, also, firms will almost always command higher rates than a freelancer.

    In terms of the bidding sites, I used to do a lot of freelance writing through one site and eventually gave it up due to continually being underbid (by a very significant margin). The simple fact was that people in different regions could afford to work far cheaper than I could. Give up on those sites and market yourself locally and on sites that offer the fee structures you’re looking for.

    Good luck — I’m in the same situation, trying to establish myself and build a business, so I understand your frustration. It takes time; just keep at it!

    Chris Clark

    # February 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    The cheap website market is just that. Cheap. Poor “web 2.0″ coding and design. These people try to get the most of the market by pricing low and that is why they always fail.

    # February 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    @soap – how did you find your first clients?

    # February 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Everyone’s expenses are different, and everyone values their time differently. The company that I work for charges out at $100/hr, but we have to pay wages, rent for the office, health care, etc etc. Those projects are almost always over $100k.

    When I freelance on my own I usually deal with smaller projects, anywhere between $800 and $1500 and on average charge about $40/hr.

    # February 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    What would I need to be able to work $100k+ or $50k+

    What would I need in my portfolio to be able to do that, what other things would I need.

    # February 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    @James, a clarification, please: are you looking to land $50k+ projects as a freelancer, or as an employee of a firm?

    # February 20, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I think you are putting the cart before the horse here. I don’t think very many people will go from not knowing how price a site to charging for very high end 50k+ projects.

    You will need to know why there is such a huge gap between 500 dollar and 1500 dollar “standard” projects. You’ll need to flow into it. You’ll need to build sites, make mistakes, grow your client base, learn, etc.

    It’s kind of like advancing in your career. You don’t start making 75k a year. You learn, move up, get more education, get rejected, finally get promoted and so on. You can’t expect to be at point d without going to b or c.

    # February 21, 2011 at 2:03 am

    @drake It was mostly just word of mouth. The better you get the more confident you get in asking for more money. To work on a $50k job by yourself would be a handful to say the least. You need lots of hands on these large projects for it not to take years.

    # February 21, 2011 at 9:17 am

    @ccc630 I am a freelancer, however I also have another website with numerous other freelancers which could kinda be classed as a firm.

    # February 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

    @JamesBarnsley At my full time job, where we bid on $100k+ projects, we are a team of seven, two of which are purely project management. As a company grows so does its clientele, certainly didn’t start with those projects!

    # February 23, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    What kind of projects did you start with?

    # February 24, 2011 at 12:34 am

    It makes me laugh as the company I work for charges a base rate of $165/hour for design work which they then delegate to a web designer like me. I then do the same work as a freelancer for $40/hour. The quality and outcome of the work is the same, yet it’s almost impossible for me to charge anywhere near $165 as a freelancer.

    In regards to landing big projects, the company I work for does work for huge clients (American airlines, coca cola, merrill lynch etc..) and they seem to land most of the jobs through consulting companies who contract these projects out to us on a regular basis.

    # February 24, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Simple answer dude.

    If you’re good: $45/hr

    If you’re Really good: $60/hr

    If you’re BOMB ASS HELLA KILLA DOPE: $100+/hr

    In the current global economic climate I’d go for the 1st one. If you charge less than that, you’re going to get passed around as a designer who will work for cheap; you don’t want that. You don’t want to be the guy that drives around with a sign on his car that says “Web Design” you want to be the guy that sits at home and gets phone calls requesting your talents, and you don’t do that by making yourself available to every broke joke in the country. Your talent is worth something, act like it.

    Also, this is pricing for XHTML/CSS/JQUERY and WordPress stuff. If you’re doing ASP or Flash or web development (C# or something) start at $60/hr and go from there. But from what you’re saying, $45/hour should be sufficient, a 10 page website from scratch, charge for 40 hours $1800, adjust down to $1500 if necessary but don’t go below that.

    Also, this is assuming you have a portfolio that showcases you work … if you don’t, you might have to take a hit down to $25 just because you have no proof of your talent. If you don’t have a portfolio, start building one now.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.