This is a tough one, because everyone who needs a website has a "nephew" or "cousin"
that will do it for free ... "why can't you make me one for free?" So, you give them a
quote and they don't call back. Everyone wants something for nothing.
Determining who your client is will help get started. If it's a small business, large business,
non-profit org, single person business ... I sort of charge them by what they can typically
afford. It of course depends on the project.
You do need your own website. Somewhere that the clients can see your portfolio,
and most importantly, contact you and deal with the invoices for your services.
Work on your own website first.
You might want to do some non-profit organization sites (a couple for free even?) to
get a feel for the time and knowledge required. That will help in determining costs
for future sites.
Too many CMS systems to determine a typical fee. WordPress is fairly easy compared
to Drupal, but it all depends on your experience with each one. Keep in mind that you are
not really charging just for time, but for your knowledge and abilities to write code.
Don't be afraid to charge a small-sized business $500 - $1000+ to install and customize a CMS
website for them. Remember that they can write-off expenses like this on their business taxes.
A contract in writing is good, but more for what happens after the site is done. How you
determine you're done, and how they will be charged for future changes, fixes, and maintenance.
Make sure there is agreement on how the project ends. They may expect you to make changes
for free after 1 year. They may feel that their site is never completed.
Last edited by mlseim; 07-23-2009 at 06:08 PM..