How much should freelance web designers charge?
Words by Charlotte Alice Moore
Setting rates as a freelancer can be a daunting task. It’s easy for new designers to fall into the trap of under charging in order to build up a client base.
However, this approach can label them as low quality or inexperienced and lead potential clients to look elsewhere for services.
So, finding the right balance between overcharging and under valuing work is key.
With this in mind, there are lots of different ways to price your work.
We consider a few of the most common here…
Charging by the hour/day
The advantage of this method is that you are paid for all of your time on a project.
However, a client will expect you to suggest how many hours or days the project will take before you begin, meaning that if the project runs over, they may be unwilling to pay for extra time. For this reason, you should always factor in extra time for potential edits and additions.
How much to charge by the hour/day?
There are several factors to consider when coming up with rates, including experience, geography and workload.
For example, perhaps you’re a junior freelance web developer who is just trying to establish themselves in the UK marketplace. You might begin by offering services at £25 per hour whereas a more experienced developer could charge between £50 and £75.
Charging by the project
For large projects, most freelance web designers charge based on the project itself. This means they offer the client a flat rate for the completion of the project.
However, when negotiating a flat rate, be sure to include a proviso for how many revisions your rate includes. Don’t be afraid to charge more for more revisions, as clients may otherwise request endless revisions without the expectation of paying for them.
How much to charge by project?
The average price of a website build can vary. If you’re the type of designer who uses off the peg website builders to provider sites for clients, then you’ll be able to charge less.
However, designers who build bespoke sites using their coding knowledge and include the stages of planning, research, design, build and content support can charge between £2,000 and £5,000.
Larger agencies working on big projects can charge up to £9,000.
Many web designers choose to put together set packages for some types of projects. These can be helpful, as clients know exactly what they’re getting for their money when booking in.
However, you’re often at risk of underpricing yourself, as some projects will require complex solutions that may only become apparent once you’re working on them - you may then feel unable to change your price.
How much to charge for packages?
It all depends on what you’re offering. If you’re offering a basic web design build with a limited number of pages and features, you may price it at just £700.
However, for a complex e-commerce site with custom CMS and other complex design features, you may choose to price it at £4,000 and above.
How to keep track of extra costs
The key to keeping track of extra web design costs is transparency. No client wants to be faced with an unexpected bill at the end of a project, so it’s important to keep them up to date with the project and costs as they progress.
A shared spreadsheet or database which they can view at their leisure, plus regular reminders to check in with it is a great way to keep them up to date.
Adding simple explanations for extra fees is also good practice, as no client is going to pay for something if they don’t know what it’s for.
Clients will often expect support after a web design project is complete, and unless stated otherwise, they may expect it to be free.
Include the mention of an aftercare package when first discussing prices for large projects. Alternatively, extra assistance after a website build may be best charged on a per-hour rate.
Some web designers offer custom training packages, in which they film themselves explaining certain elements of the customer’s site and how to update it. This may be included in the original price or you may wish to offer this as a separate package.
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