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How do you charge for your services?

Discussion in 'Web Design Forum' started by returnButton, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. returnButton

    returnButton New Member

    Hi.. I’m new here.. been freelancing for a while and consistently I’ve come up against the same question: How to charge for my services?

    A lot of clients, especially the non-savvy, seem to expect to ‘buy’ a website off the shelf and walk off with it. In my experience this just isn’t how it works though.

    A website needs to be maintained, upgraded, SEO’d… the list goes on. Then there’s hosting per year. Many clients are surprised by these charges, and the usual response I get is that they’ll arrange their own hosting and save some cash thank you very much. Which leads to my next issue.

    If you’re coding to high standards, this means you’re writing re-usable code. The sites I’ve made, while bespoke to an extent, all use the same core set of functions/modules I’ve written. In fact it’s more than that, it’s a mini-CMS. So when I make a site for someone, I include all that code. But this is code I’m going to re-use, it’s not strictly ‘theirs’, it’s my livelihood, and I don’t want them walking off with it.

    Charging a one-off fee and nothing more isn’t very sustainable as a career model, but I find setting up some sort of ‘lease’ or monthly/annual fee puts people right off. I guess it all boils down to contracts and making people understand what they’re buying, what they own and what to expect from me.

    So, what do you do?
  2. storageclothing

    storageclothing New Member

    Here is a link to what you are looking for.

  3. SurreyWeb

    SurreyWeb New Member


    You might reflect on what you are selling. A website is an inanimate object, a business solution is not.

    If all your customers want is pages on the web they can send people to instead of a brochure, they can do that for nothing. Should they be looking for ongoing benefit, not least customers, this is altogether different and creating the site is simply a stepping stone.

    Many people make the assumption that putting up a website will somehow give this an impetus of it's own. Explain reality to them and what they need to do on an ongoing basis. Don't even think about selling websites, sell return on investment.
  4. c69

    c69 New Member

    Depends on time that you are willing to spend on your client.
    Often, 100$ for one fast do-and-forget order is much more profitable than long 1000$ project that takes few monthes, and requires constant repeated attention.

    As for sustainable business model - i would advice you to just grow your connections and be sure that you have an increasing flow of orders. (So you can apply your reusable code there ;) )
  5. jvmills

    jvmills New Member

    We're a small web design/development company based in the north of England we typically charge 65 per hour plus VAT for development work e.g. coding etc and 50 per hour plus VAT for SEO work.
  6. james.snv

    james.snv New Member

    Well if you're experienced in your field, you probably already know what to charge because you are familiar with market conditions or just investigate the market to see if you should adjust your rate up and down.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2010
  7. Victorious

    Victorious New Member

    You need to explain before you start working on it that copyrights to the work you did the code along with graphic design belong to your person. Then decide on the hourly rate or a one off fee. Ask for minimum 50% deposit and present the stuff on your server once you finish. Once they pay the rest you relase the project.

    As regards hosting service - well I give them right to choose the service on their own. Most of the time they ask me to do it and manage their site. Most of the time I pick 2-3 large hosting providers and give them idea what will be the best for them. You can easily find hosting service that wont exceed £30 a year. I never pay for hosting myself - I arrange a meeting with the customer prior the publishing and we choose the service together.
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  8. yellowww

    yellowww New Member

    I charge 35 per hour.
  9. Joy1578

    Joy1578 New Member

    I have the same experience with some of my clients. They expect that a website is a commodity that they can easily buy and forget about, but one that will give them a lot of leads and sales as well.

    There are too many things involved in building a site, and sometimes I just don't respond anymore to requests or budgets that are too low to start with. If they are not ready to pay a decent amount of fee, then it's almost sure that they will question all the costs you will incur later in the development stage.

    Just stick with a rate that you feel comfortable with and know that you will make a living out of it. You won't be making a lot of sites, but at least you'll be making sites that you will be proud of and you'll have a more sustainable business model.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  10. WritingOnTheWeb

    WritingOnTheWeb New Member

    I'd say about 90% of web developers believe that too.

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