Hey everyone,

So here's the deal - I've been pretty into website design for a few years now, and I like to think I'm relatively good at it. Over the years I've had a few people ask me to build websites for them, and I used to do it for free, because A) it was fun, and B) it was a good easy way to build my portfolio and develop the material that (in part) got me accepted to college. Well, now I'm a poor college student, and I'm better than ever at what I do. And now, more people are starting to ask me about developing websites.

So here's my question: What do I charge them? People are always very willing to pay, and as I said, in the past I've done it for free or for something of a small, one-time rate (around $100) in some cases. I'm just wondering what the standard in the industry is, so that I can start making some money doing what I love, and not feel like I'm over-charging for the product (and service) I deliver.

Kyle Wilson

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An advice from somewhere:

Ask your clients or 'target' clients what they think your work is worth.

- You'd be surprised at how much they value your talent!

If they quoted something smaller and you're actually 'shocked' / 'offended' / 'abhorred!' at the offer, then at least you know what your work ISN'T worth. (Or at least you get the idea of 'minimum' for yourself)

Or you can always browse the job postings at, say webdesignerwall.com, and see how much the companies there are offering for their 'hirees'.

Do not look at 'bidding' job sites because the bidding makes the work dirt-cheap, but they aren't necessarily up to par. And since your confident that your work is good, don't base your rates on the bidding-prices.

I make $32 per hour in most cases and I've made that much for a while, with opportunity to go up in price but have stalled here as I am comfortable here.

I recommend starting at $15-20 per working hour and see how that plays out. Narrowing down your ideal hourly rate is just a matter of time and comfort. Perhaps if you would be willing to share a little bit of your portfolio you could get an honest guestimate...

I also suggest not going to a bidding type scenario. I did this for a while and almost starved. I base my work on 25 dollars per hour and a 5 hour minimum ( for very simple sites like photo galleries and such) and go from there. I have been doing it long enough I can usually hit my estimate, but if I under shoot the time I don't penalize the customer. If I go over I just eat it. So basically I quote a price and stick to it.

If your customers are looking you up, how about asking them what their uppper limit is. If you feel that you want to get them to come back again, when the job is done, ask them to pay 10-20% less than what they figured as the maximum. They should be pleased with your charges and realize that you're not out to gouge them. If they are pleased with your work, they should be likely to come back to you in the future.
If you are looking up your customers, offer them a price below which you are not willing to do the work (taking into account your time, effort, self-esteem etc.) and stick to it without raising the cost even if you estimated too low--but let them know that you put in more work than you expected but are sticking to your estimate. That too earns loyal customers.
You may get away with greediness once or twice, but it will soon do you out of business. An honest, fair, reliably done job will build you a business you can be proud of.


It really depends on whose your client. sometimes if i know the client,
i give them a discount for the web design. its your call really. try also asking other web designers or maybe pretend to be a customer.. :)

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