# September 6, 2009 at 4:49 pm
I am doing some freelance work while I finish a web design program. I have done several small sites for free, and am ready to charge something for my work.
I did this site: elementsandenergy.com, and charged $400, which does not reflect the many hours spent on the design. I did all the html and CSS, took all the photos, did some CAD drafting, a Flash eye candy animation for the home page, 2 more informative Flash graphics (one is a slideshow), helped write the copy, and wrote a PHP form.This was a lot of work.
What would have been a fair price?
How do other folks charge–per project or per hour? Or a mix of both? I’ve looked at dozens of small design studio sites, and they don’t list their prices. I am trying to draft a contract, a site planning worksheet, and a pricing list to use with clients.
-Shaya# September 6, 2009 at 5:39 pm
I think perhaps the best way, though I too am just starting out, is to give a quote based on an estimate of the hours you expect the project to take you, at your hourly rate, plus some additional padding in case of scope creep. For instance, if you charge $40 an hour, and expect the project to take 10 hours, you may charge $500 or so.
SitePoint is giving away a free ebook on the Principles of Freelancing; I’ve been reading it studiously for the past few days as I have time. It is an extremely informative and helpful source of information for us just-getting-started freelancers. The Principles of Successful Freelancing
Hope you don’t mind my posting the links, mods!# September 8, 2009 at 7:28 pm
An extremely common question, and perhaps one I can’t give you a straight answer to.
Everybody has different prices. There are a number of factors that go into it, but the two main factors are 1) Skill level, and 2) Location. For example, a web designer in India is going to cost much less than one in London. A web designer that has a portfolio of prominent clients (Nike, Coca-Cola, Ford, etc) will charge more than one just out of school who only has study cases.
Charging $400 for that site was probably in the right range for your skill level. If it took you a really long time, that’s not particularly the client’s fault. You’re still learning. Eventually things will get quicker and easier. As your designs get better and your code gets cleaner, you’ll be able to start charging more.
A lot of times people just starting out will ask a top web designer what they make and then try to base their wage off that. It can become confusing and hard to settle on a number. When I first started out, I was simply told to charge what I thought was fair. Charge up until the point where I thought I was ripping somebody off. If you feel guilty, you’re probably charging too much. If you feel shafted, you’re probably charging too little. Find your balance.
Now, in terms of presenting a project’s cost to a client, always go with a rounded number. Nobody wants to hear about your hourly rate. You say the project costs X amount of dollars. Now, how do you come to that number? Hourly Rate x Hours to Complete project. This will be hard to figure out at first. What you’ll want to do is create a few fake clients and time yourself on how long you can put together a design and code it (remember, coding a design is not just the home page, you have inside pages, special pages like a contact us page, site map, etc).
Things will become more clear with experience!# September 10, 2009 at 1:04 pm
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my first payment was £1000 but I spent hours on it, lost many days, and had to learn wordpress for the client, at their request.
the guy was great, he actually told me to bill them for learning wordpress because it was a request by them because thety wanted it so badly.
but later on, I felt my price tag for that first site was really high, but now that I have been doing more work for them, and that I am mainly working 10hrs at a time (roughly) I charge them £20 pre hr, and my contact thinks this extremely reasonble.
I have had 4 sub site requests, 1 of which is live, but the sub sites are for business propositiions for themselves to join forces with other businesses, and it seems to be working…. so for me chargin on average £200-£250 for a sub site (not live) they end up with a new buisness venture/partner which makes them even more money.
a win win for me really….
but I now have the balls to stand up and ask for what I believ to be a fair price, for any client, I will ask them loads of questions and find out exactly what they want, give them an estimate and make sure they know it is not the final price once given go ahead I make site, and keep it on my site, when they like it / pay, they get the site uploaded to their site.
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