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  1. #1
    Senior Coder BarrMan's Avatar
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    How much can I charge for a website?

    I'm using PHP for 2 years now and am experienced with asp for 6 years.
    HTML/CSS - 6 years.
    javascript - 4 years.

    I have 4 websites that I've built for my resume.

    I was wondering how much I could charge for a website without and with graphics.

    Is there a price list for these kind of things? and how much can I charge for small,medium,large projects?

    Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    The fat guy next door VIPStephan's Avatar
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    This question is better suited in the career/job advice forum.

    How much money you can charge only partly depends on how much experience you have, it also depends on the quality you provide. I know that there is some kind of comparison chart somewhere on the internet but that can only be a ruogh guide as your local conditions are very specific. While a develoepr from India will work for $5 an hour a European or American wouldn’t even get out of bed for less than $20.

    Also, what you charge depends on how complex the task/project is. If it’s a simple HTML/CSS job you’ll probably not charge $100 per hour while if it’s a big a** application that would be appropriate.

    I can tell you how I’m doing it: My base rate is €30 per hour (I’m only a front-end developer and designer) and if people ask for a fixed price I’m estimating the time for a project and then calculate based on that hourly rate. Add 50% to what you have estimated/calculated (because many times you will underestimate a requirement, especially if you’re not so experienced) and that’s it. Then the small/medium/large project question is also covered.

    I don’t quite know what other freelancers in my area are charging but I’ve learned from experience. You can usually charge more when working for big companies than for average Joe’s Diner website. When I had an offer for a job that I actually didn’t wanna do then I’ve raised my price just to see how they would react (because I wouldn’t have been sad if I didn’t get the job) and to my surprise sometimes they actually went with that price. Sometimes, however, people wouldn’t hire me, so that’s when it leveled out at €30 per hour for me – but I’m only good at HTML and CSS (and I know it) and a little bit JS. So you could probably charge around €40 (=$55) for such kind of work.

    I guess as decent back-end programmer you can charge $50–$80 per hour, again, depending on the client and general economical state in the area where you are.

  • #3
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    I have a freind that wont make a simple 4 page site for less than 5K. I know people that will do it for 500 dollars.

  • #4
    Senior Coder BarrMan's Avatar
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    Thanks VIPSteph, That really helped me out. Where is the best place to look for these kind of jobs? I get people coming to me saying they need a website but these websites are personal websites and they're willing to pay 400$ max for them (includes: programming and designing) and for each of these websites I work around 30 hours. Is it worth the while or should I reach to different customers?

  • #5
    The fat guy next door VIPStephan's Avatar
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    The beginning of a career as freelancer is always hard because you have no experience and nobody really knows and trusts you. Especially some decent, well paying clients won’t come to you by themselves, you have to promote yourself. If people ask you for personal website then there’s actually not much room for negotiations and these are definitely not the ones you eventually earn your rent from. If you feel like you deserve something better than cheap jobs for friends then draw your personal line there and be as professional to them as you would be to other clients. You have your rate and that’s what you’re worth. If they aren’t willing to pay you for 30 hours of work then they aren’t worth wasting your time for (Of course, you can always make an exception. If it’s not getting too much I’m also sometimes doing some favors.).

    The first and most important thing you need as web developer is a portfolio (I know, it’s hard to build without clients but some cheap jobs in the beginning or even some imaginary clients for demonstrating the skills can make a start, especially if you’ve done quality work and show this to potential future clients). Then look for job boards and promote your skills there. I’m subscriber of the freelancer feeds at Authentic Jobs and das Auge (probably irrelevant for you), and in the beginning I offered my skills on these forums as well (in the job request forum). Eventually you will get clients that come back to you (if you’ve done a good job before) and that’s how you build your client base.

    However, to make it clear: Even some “minor” clients that won’t pay much can spread the word and with each new client you can go a little higher in price. You just have to be honest to yourself, determine according to the situation, and be confident about your skills and what they are worth. It’s easy to slip into the “cheap” role and ending up doing a lot of work without much outcome.

    Oh and one thing I experienced as freelance musician as well as freelance web developer: If you’re expensive people tend to treat you better. They feel like if that guy is expensive he must be good so we better not p**s him off. Of course you should also deliver good quality, otherwise people will lose trust in you. If you’re cheap some people (not all of them!) are much more likely to treat you like s*** because they wouldn’t lose much if they lost you as partner. There is a saying here which basically says: “What doesn’t cost much isn’t worth much.”

    But as I said: Life isn’t black or white. Not everything I said does apply in each case. Get out there and bid on job offers. Don’t sell yourself under value. Sometimes you are too expensive for people but many times if they don’t hire you because of that then they aren’t worth the effort. Don’t feel pressed to undercut the cheapest competitors, it won't help you in any way.
    Last edited by VIPStephan; 07-10-2009 at 03:20 PM.

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    BarrMan (07-11-2009), Deacon Frost (07-22-2009), LadyLove (07-21-2009)

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    well yes you can charge as small medium or large project. It depends how much the buyer agree to pay, you should always act to negotiate whatever you offered.
    Last edited by WA; 07-11-2009 at 01:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarrMan View Post
    Thanks VIPSteph, That really helped me out. Where is the best place to look for these kind of jobs? I get people coming to me saying they need a website but these websites are personal websites and they're willing to pay 400$ max for them (includes: programming and designing) and for each of these websites I work around 30 hours. Is it worth the while or should I reach to different customers?
    Direct customer this price is ver ylow... Pricing is based on the project and the customer... But if search for online u can do thesame project for less than 100$.. search on scriptlance.com

  • #8
    Senior Coder BarrMan's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your help. I think I'm good now

  • #9
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    Thanks

    VIPStephan well spoken I am also trying to start my own web development business, but it is very hard since I don't have a reputation... and I have to strive to promote myself... My biggest problem is figuring out what to charge clients... I don't want to go too high or I may lose the job, and I don't want to go too low, or people will think I cheap... and do cheap jobs.

  • #10
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    VIPStephan had some great tips, and I'd just like to add on to it. I have established myself, and have accidentally attracted more than I can handle. One reason is that I have attempted to specialize in an area. Yes, its good to have a wide set of skills, and I use them, but I really focus on promoting myself as a developer with a certain CMS. I am active with it, discuss with other developers who use it, and find ways to engage with the project (open source). This also helped me to develop a reputation among other developers, who have on more than one occassion sent quality work my way. Establishing yourself as a specialist is generally better than a do-it-all type. It also narrows the field when you are looking for jobs, and you can really focus in that niche, spend less time on jobs which a lot of people are going for, and find a better pricing model that fits that niche.

    I also find that when you put a quote out there, and you are afraid about overpricing, its generally insecurity about your own skills. I have found its much better to do as VIPStephen says, come up with a method for producing a quote that has breathing room. I put together a quote that has everything they request, but if I see them as a client with a tight budget, I may suggest things to cut or change to streamline the process. For example, does the client really want a Flash introduction to their website? I try to convince my clients that it is a bad idea for usability and generally not worth the investment. So if their budget is reasonable but not flexible, I suggest ways to reduce the project. If they claim your reduced budget is too much, then they are likely never to be happy with the price and its best to walk away. A lost potential client is better for you than a client that ends up being unhappy, and still doesn't want to pay. Its better for them too, as if one side is unhappy both sides are unhappy. The best tool is knowing how fast you work, and if you really can't put together a project quote, perhaps try an hourly rate?

    A reputation isn't everything. I work exclusively for people I have never met in person. Each time I contact someone about a project or am contacted about a project, its an opportunity to build that reputation with them. So build your reputation with each client, don't ever belittle yourself. I've seen a lot of posts that say things like 'I have expierence with X Y Z and have no projects currently.' The problem is that it sounds like nobody else wants you, so watch what you say, and how you say it.
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
    Educated questions often get educated answers, and simple questions often get simple answers.

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  • #11
    The fat guy next door VIPStephan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyLove View Post
    My biggest problem is figuring out what to charge clients... I don't want to go too high or I may lose the job, and I don't want to go too low, or people will think I cheap... and do cheap jobs.
    Sure, itís a walk on a thin line. But once you have decided for a price donít show insecurity in the way you tell your client. It is the price and thatís what you charge. If the client is serious they will negotiate in a constructive manner (i. e. they will tell you itís very high and you can discuss ways to make it cheaper, as described by Jeremy above). But if you lose a potential client because youíre too expensive for them donít be too irritated by that because there are thousands of other people out there you can look for. Generally you have to be thick-skinned because youíll experience more often than not that people donít hire you but someone else. But thatís the way it is so donít worry too much. On the other hand there are also people that will hire you and therefore drop someone else.

    I personally think that sometimes itís better to lose a job offer because Iím too expensive rather than having lots of jobs without earning much. I know what I can and what Iím good at so there will be people that appreciate this and hire me anyway.

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  • #12
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    I read many very good views here specially from gnomeontherun and VIPStephan,and it's really a problem to find a client who trust your ability and give you what's you deserve when we is a beginner freelancer.
    I found this problem but now I found an old friend who want a web site and I'm doing it for him,thanks for the God.

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    It depends keep your rates low in the starting then gradually increase it
    Last edited by Fou-Lu; 06-18-2013 at 03:43 PM.

  • #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexTampa View Post
    I have a freind that wont make a simple 4 page site for less than 5K. I know people that will do it for 500 dollars.
    How simple and does he actually get clients?

    I mean the first thing that pops into my mind is like a mechanic saying he wont service a car for less than 2k. Obviously he just wont get work.

    Over here in UK id say the going rate is about 1000 for a 5 page simple website last time i contacted a few places for research thats what they gave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midoô View Post
    it's really a problem to find a client who trust your ability and give you what's you deserve
    Remember this.

    People who your are dealing with haggle and do deals for a living. If someone wants to pay you as little as possible dont take it personal. Theyve probably been haggling since before you where born. Its called being a business owner.

    Your marketing needs improving. Not your design skills.

    Imagine a car salesman taking it personal because people want the best deals they can get on cars. Blast them with bull****. Blind them with science and sound confident.


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