What should you charge as a web designer?

So your starting out as a web designer, you have probably done a short course in HTML and Web Standards, maybe your proficient at Adobe Photoshop. More than likely you have done a few websites for friends at no charge and now your wanting to start your career as a professional freelance web designer.

Maybe your a seasoned pro, but still having difficulty pricing projects. If that’s the case hopefully my article will set you on the right path for sensible and fair pricing that works for you ad your clients.

One of the first things you will need to think about is “What to charge” and “How to charge”. So before you go any further decide if you want to charge a ‘Project Rate’ or a ‘per hour rate’. Most people will expect to be charged on a project basis, especially if your new to the game and have a limited portfolio of sites. So what do you need to take into consideration when charging on a per project basis?

You need to be clear about what the project entails. There is no way that you can establish this without communication with the client.Ask, ask and clarify is my biggest recommendation, you might be surprised at what the client thinks comes inclusive in the web design price, and therefore it makes sense to clarify things before quoting.

Some questions to ask include:

I hope you noticed the recurring theme, because it is the secret to a successful and happy ongoing relationship with your client. Be specific!

Be warned about urgent projects, make sure you can deliver. If you agree to an accelerated schedule make sure you have all the resources you require at hand. Otherwise 24 hours before the project deadline you will find yourself scrambling round for that PHP programer or shockwave animator and find your profits eaten up by other freelancers.

Now the more experience and the more extensive your portfolio the more you can charge. However if you have 8 years web design experience but are running scared of PHP code and/or Flash and that’s what the clients want, do not expect to be able to charge a premium just because you have been around the block a few times.

At the end of the day you need to work out how much you want to make, and how much it will cost you to deliver a project. There are a number of factors that may cause you to be flexible with your pricing. The project may be for a client you would really like to work for, an industry you would like to specialize in or it could be plain
interesting. All these are good reasons to be flexible on pricing.

However remember to be precise, as specific as possible whenever possible, or you may find the client believes you agreed to do a whole lot more than you had anticipated.

Good luck, and remember be honest, be fair and you will not go wrong.

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