View Full Version : Question about What to Charge For

01-17-2008, 08:36 PM
I am a web designer and I have done a few side projects for cash, but i have mostly been getting screwed.... so i decided to use a template to make a contract. I went to a trade school that dealt with web design in one wing and paralegals in the other wing. So i plan on going to the paralegal teachers for some help on syntax of the contract but I need help from designers and other professionals in terms of what to charge for.

Right now I am charging:
XX amount of dollars for any Flash work.
XX amount of dollars for any HTML work.
XX amount of dollars for any PHP/MySQL work.

All of these are per hour. Are there any other fees I should maybe include? Any help would be great.

01-18-2008, 04:51 AM
There's also hosting fees if they don't already have a server. Domain name registration. Are you going to charge seperately for javascript work too? Just throwing out ideas.

01-18-2008, 01:14 PM
I charge:
consultation fees
usually I give 2-3 designs in initial brief
domain registration
domain maintenance

I usually give them free support and changes for the first year.

I cannot give exact amounts but some friends charge £40-50 / hour for work and I would say £400-500 for design.

Obviously these figures change based on your skill level or the amount of work for the job. You could also have a sliding scale of hour/day/week - say £30/h or £200/day or £600/week depending on size of job.

There was a government scheme going here where they would give up to £500 for small businesses needing a website. Coincidentally most of my quotes for sites came in at around £500! :thumbsup:

From my experience, what I would insist on now is that clients get ALL information to me in the sections they want it to appear. I cannot tell you how many times I have built skeleton sites and waited weeks/months for clients to get information to me. This then delays the completion of the job and therefore delays payments. Get the client interested and involved in the project.


01-19-2008, 09:29 AM
Before I do any work that is going to take more than a few hours, I usually require some money up front. Typically around 30% of the estimated hours paid up front. I've found it helps keep people serious since they have already spent some of their money.

01-21-2008, 06:49 PM
Ya i totally agree about some money up front. I got stiffed twice. Although once was kinda dumb and I didnt understand the clients line of thinking.

I had completed the site except the about us page, which was designed but didnt have the text that was needed. He decided to pay me and took my word that I would finish it and upload it to his web page server.

Well to make a long story short after he paid me, he never got back to me on that one little page. All it would have taken was like 20 minutes to write something up and email it to me.

That was over a year ago. Kinda dumb huh?

01-21-2008, 08:12 PM
Someone recently told me this little gem, which I think may be helpful to a starting programmer...

Always charge the greater of a) what you need to make to live or b) what you're worth.

It's really quite true. If you have extensive programming and design skills, asking for $100 / hour is not unheard of - especially if you can deliver a value of $100 / hour.

On the other hand, just because you're starting out, doesn't mean you need to charge min-wage. Remember (at least in the US) that taxes, and other expenses mean your real wage is about 50% of what you charge. If you charge $25 / hour, you're really only taking home about $12.50 / hour, which is only about $26k / year. If you can live on that, fine. But most people need between $40 and $60k / year. Backing into that, an average programmer should be charging $40 - $50 / hour for freelance work.

That said, and to answer your original question, you should consider everything you do in a project, and determine how you want to bill. Remember, 25%+ of the project is going to be just communicating either via email, IM or phone. So make sure you account for that. You can either itemize every little thing you do and bill at different rates, or you can do a flat fee rate for everything.

I can tell you that if you charge $x for programming and $y for html, you're going to run into trouble down the road. Because some people will say "why is this charged as $x and not $y?". IMO, it's better to charge the same rate for all your work.

Hope this helps.

01-21-2008, 08:29 PM
Ya i see your point bcarl314. Some of the clients I have will question about that kinda stuff and give me a hard time trying to lowball me. But then again some of my clients do understand what it takes to get this kind of stuff done. Is it at all possible to charge the people that do understand in that manner and then dumb things down for everyone else?

01-21-2008, 09:27 PM
Well, ask yourself this question...

If I charge different people different amounts, what will happen if a high paying client finds out about what you charge a lower paying client?

If you have a plan on how to handle that, then by all means go for it. You just have to be prepared for that to happen. Because it will happen eventually.

01-26-2008, 09:12 AM
Back to the original question by centrationinc,
I am against charging by the hour, because the time variable can turn for the worst. You could work slow and end up making your client pay a whole lot more. Or, you can get paid more if you don't know what you're doing.

Overall, the best way to price your client is by setting an overall project price based not only on time factors, but also by others factors such as your experience, delivery value, and type of client / industry.

There are a lot of fees that you should consider in your contract, such as late fees, maintenance fees, etc.

Here is a link for an example contract from Orion HiTek. Their contract covers almost everything that any web designer and / or developer will need. It should help.