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  1. #1
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    How much should I charge? (Information included)

    A company has shown interest in hiring me to redesign their website. This would be my second commercial website (although the first was for a friend, so I gave a big discount).

    Here's what they want:
    - Redesign--updated graphics, smoother navigation, and a nicer, more professional look
    - Shopping Cart
    - Blog
    - Password-protected pages
    - Content manager (for events, dates, pictures, and the blog)

    I have been negligent to record how many hours I have spent on my other projects, so I'm not sure how long this will take me. If it would take me 50 hours and I'm charging $35/hour, that's $1,750.

    Is it better to give them an hourly rate or an overall fee? Even if I only give them an hourly rate, I will need an estimated overall fee.

    Now that you know what they want, let me show you what I can do:

    http://www.hopecbc.org/
    http://www.gracetoyouth.org/
    http://www.snipsnapphoto.com/

    As far as I can tell, I do a good job with the web design--it's not a crappy piece of junk, it's a professional design.

    Based on what they want and what I can do, can anyone give me a ballpark figure on this? Is $35/hour a decent rate at my skill level? Does 50 hours sound about right for this type of project?

  • #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shirk Deio View Post
    Is $35/hour a decent rate at my skill level? Does 50 hours sound about right for this type of project?
    What would be considered a decent rate, varies widely from location to location. $35/hour can be a fortune in some locations and not worth a developer's time in others.

  • #3
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    If you aren't sure how long it will take you, I would lean towards per hour. Perhaps you can keep careful track for the next few projects to get a better idea of your speed and the duration of certain tasks.

    I normally like to charge by the hour, but sometimes clients are not willing to do that. In that case, I recommend that you make a quote that is accounting for unforseen events like last minute changes and design mockup changes, etc. The larger the project, the more you need to assume that things will not go perfectly according to plan.

    If they are serious about this, and understand how business works for you, they might be receptive. You could also try to explain to them that an hourly rate is better because....and explain why, and then give a last note that says "but if you require a quote I can provide that".

    This thread should also be in Web Projects - Advice forum.
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
    Educated questions often get educated answers, and simple questions often get simple answers.

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    Shirk Deio (12-04-2008)

  • #4
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    Thank you for the advice.

    Should I repost the thread over there or can you move it?

  • #5
    The fat guy next door VIPStephan's Avatar
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    No double post, it will be moved by a moderator – or it won’t. But it doesn’t matter. We can also discuss it here.

    So, I’m usually charging about €30 per hour (at the current rate that’s about $37 but it was even higher a few months ago) and even that’s considered relatively reasonable in western Europe. If you’re confident that you can deliver to their satisfaction what they want then you can even go higher. But it also depends on where the client is situated financially.

    As for tracking the time I recently found a really nice application called Billings that helped me tremendously tracking time for certain tasks/projects and estimating for future projects (among other useful things like automatic invoicing etc.). There are more applications like that, though, for example “On The Job” and others.

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    Shirk Deio (12-04-2008)

  • #6
    The Apostate Apostropartheid's Avatar
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    Moved by moderator request.

  • #7
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    Thanks for the links, I will look into them. It would be a lot easier to see how many hours I spend if I use a timer app like that.

    So it seems like $35/hour is reasonable--but now I have the issue of time. How long do you think a site like described above would take, on average, for you and/or for the average web designer?

  • #8
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    If you are using some prebuilt systems, the site could be done in a week or two, depending on your speed and overall workload. Point is that nobody else can really say what it will take you!

    But if you really want...I would say it would take me 30-50 hours. It really depends on the finer details, which can get messy. Be sure to really tease out those little details, such as do you provide one mockup, how many revisions do you allow, how much control does the client have over what you do, and so on. Get it in writing too. I had several clients when first started to do larger projects who would move the pieces around on me and we hadn't set a real clear objective, so they kept adding on to the project or changing it, wasting my time and some of them I haven't been paid for because they ultimately dropped the ball and gave up. Point is: make sure you cover your bases when you are talking about a large time/work investment.

    I think your rate is reasonable, if your work is professional and your market accepts it.

    Note: I would never write "This site is best viewed in..." on any website. I saw it on one of your examples.
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
    Educated questions often get educated answers, and simple questions often get simple answers.

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    Shirk Deio (12-04-2008)

  • #9
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    Thank you again. I was estimating about 50 hours, so it doesn't sound like I'm too far off--I just wanted to see if that was a good estimate.

    Also, I appreciate the advice on getting it in writing. I wouldn't want to get pulled into something through a loophole that really wastes my time.

    Finally, I will remove that "This site is best viewed in..." message. I honestly can't remember at this moment why I put it there. Now that I think about it, it doesn't seem like a good idea to have it there--it makes the site feel limited to those browsers.


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