1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

How much would you charge?

Discussion in 'Community' started by cleo, May 29, 2002.

  1. macrumors 65816


    OK, so I'm designing a web site for this guy that works with my dad, and he wants to know about "cost parameters." He sent me a list of sites that are for people doing approximately what he does, but wasn't terribly specific about what he actually wants, thus far. At any rate, how (hourly? flat rate?) and how much would you to charge to develop something like <http://www.obcci.com/> (which is about in the midrange of the ones he sent me)? (Of course, I wouldn't pay *anyone* to make something that ugly, but you get the idea). The only sites I've developed have been for departments at school, and they pay me crappy minimum wage, so I'm kind of clueless.
  2. macrumors 68000

    Ensign Paris

  3. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Well, if he can't give you specifics, you might want to charge by the hour, that way you don't get locked into a price and end up getting screwed because he can't make up his mind about what he likes or wants. Find out what the hourly rate for a web designer is in your neck of the woods and factor in you're a student and come up with a reasonable rate.
  4. macrumors G3


    i too would recommend charging by the hour (though it's tough to "prove" how many hours you worked... but that's how it works in this biz)...

    i agreed to do a "simple" animation for a producer last winter. i figured it'd be like 2 weeks work or something. we agreed to 500 bucks.... not great, but i realized i was a student and needed to get whatever work i could.

    well, i did the animation. and many many revisions, self recorded audio, scanning many documents, etc later.... i realized 500 was too little, even for a student...

    so do it hourly. or get many more specifics... or make it clear that "you are asking for this, you pay this- if you add more you pay more..."

    as for what to charge... i got no clue!
  5. Moderator emeritus


    I would recomend an hourly rate...

    If u know exactly what to do and won't be having a lot of time where u are trying to figure out how to do it...it's probably your best bet...

    I don't do websites, but when I freelance...I'll charge depending upon what the job is. Sometimes I charge a flat rate if I know it'll only take me 2 hours or so of work...and others I charge by the hour knowing it'll take me several hours of work. I've found the flat rate works best in most cases, but hourly can make it much more worth your while... ;)
  6. macrumors G3

    I normally go on an hourly rate, but it does depend on the client......

    My hourly rate is high, so for some work it becomes unfeasible to charge on an hourly rate as the overall site cost will just spiral....... and the client WILL go to someone else........

    For the site that you supplied the URL to.... I imagine it took less than a day to design and build so you aren't looking at the biggest of pay days if you did it on an hourly rate..... and in my opinion would probably get more money for flat rate......

    Discuss the site with the client, and discuss needs etc. then you'll be able to come up with a better solution both interms of the budget and the work involved.......
  7. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    A flat rate is good if you know what the job will be, from what she's said he has an idea, but no specifics. I've had to deal with this before and if you don't go to a hourly rate you're just asking for trouble, cause if he's not sure now, you'll be lucky to get out of it with just a few changes. And he'll settle on a design and idea if he realizes its going cost more every time he changes his mind.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Thanks for all the input. I emailed the guy back and told him that we need to get together to discuss specifics, and also asked him some specific questions (how many pages, does he already have a logo, etc). Hopefully I'll be able to pin him down a bit to get a better handle on what I'm getting myself into. I also think I'm going to ask for an hourly rate (probably $9/hr) unless he offers me a flat rate I can't refuse. Anyway, thanks again for all the input... I'll probably be asking more questions as this plays out. :)
  9. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    That might be a little low, do you have any other work out there? That always helps. But it might be good to make a deal with him this time and start to build a portfolio so you can get more money in long run. Besides, it is word of mouth that got you the job, right? It might do you well to consider this an investment that will pay you back in more clients....
  10. macrumors G3

    Cleo, the other way to approach it maybe, is that when you're discussing it with him, ask what his total budget is for the site and what he expects for that budget, then you can calculate how long it'll take you etc. to produce the site........ and the determining factors like what you said, does he have existing content, does he require media etc etc.... and can inform him as to whether his brief can be match his budget.......
  11. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Good points, if you keep doing freelance, you're going to need to learn how to manage your clients, it can be a pain sometimes, but its always best to be up front with them.
  12. macrumors 65816


    Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking. The thing is, the sites I've done are either on the (password-protected) intranet of my school, or are awful (aesthetically, not technically, and due to the requests of the clients, not my skills - it's amazing how much people like ugly stuff). So it would be nice to do this, probably rather quickly, and have something good to point other people to. There are a couple of other subcontractors of my father's who have expressed interest in having websites, so if I do this one well I might have some more opportunities to do some more for a bit more money, we'll see.

    Also, this guy has known me since I was 4, so I don't want to push my luck - he might just laugh at me. :D
  13. Retired


    billable hours baby!

    imagine a doctor who billed by the job and patient satisfaction and the patient was a hypo who never was satisfied
  14. macrumors 68000


    YIKES!! Are you kidding? Thats very low. Unless you live in po-dunk ville and your cost of living is astronmically low.

    Plus, the 'higher' the design, the higher you should charge. For a site that you showed us, I wouldnt charge a whole lot. But for a site like www.2advanced.com or a more fancy site, you could charge 20+ and hour.

    Try to estimate how long it will take to design each element, page, workflow, etc. Present it to him/her in a clear manner and explain how long it takes, and why it costs this amount. They key to not getting raped is to keep your hour/payment system organzed, and always charge for every hour you work.

    Try to stick to your estimate, but make sure you have an up-front policy on last-minute client changes or updates after the site is launched.
  15. macrumors G3

    Heh heh... it's your job as a designer to educate those with bad taste...... :D

    I'd go for more than $9 an hour.... that sounds really, really low, just because you're new to the game, doesn't mean you need to charge so little..... this is where portfolios come in......... so you can demonstrate exactly what your skills and experience are....
  16. macrumors 65816


    See, this is what happens when you do work-study for too long... you begin to think that $7/hr is good pay. :D
  17. Retired


    i live in monterey county, just south of silicon valley and those five counties and even though i am close to all the silicon action, the pay is very low

    the same goes for some outlying areas near san francisco even though the city itself pays well

    good techies (many with degrees and/or certs) make over 100 an hour in san jose, but the outlying area techies charge a half or third of that because that is what the market will bear

    the highest paid graphics people in usa are in nyc and los angeles...charge what you can but do not surpass those rates for what you do

    with techies, one can almost charge anything one wants but there is a ceiling somewhere but this field is new so some take advantage of it

    one techie put in two pcs with cash registers attached on them, probided the software and setup, and his 40 hours of setup plus gear came out to 10,000 dollars...to me that sounded kind of high

    but very few techies know computers, proprietary commerce software, and POS stuff so he was able to make over 200 an hour for his efforts...not bad for a week's work
  18. macrumors G3


    that's what kicked me in the arse. the experience was still worth the low pay in my case... but you have to let them know that you are agreeing to said price for said work. and anything after that, even if they didn't really foresee it, is more... after a certain point at least...

    i'd think you easily (and very fairly) ask for say 12/hour... or more. but the key is the budget and what it's used for.

    if he/she's gonna make money off the site, then it's more valuable to them and thus so is your work... the thing i made was attached to every reel the producer sent out and so i could've easily gotten more..... that said, you know the guy, so just talk to him...
  19. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    But one thing more, don't let friendship get in the way of business, it won't be good. I've had to deal with that and regret it to this day.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
  20. Retired


    words of wisdom...try to keep the two separate and if you do work for friends, then don't expect to make a lot of money that way...there are plenty of regular customers that you can build a reputation on

    i also don't have techie friends because when i relax, i don't want to see a computer with computer issues or even talk about it...does a network techie want to sit there and talk about punchdown tools and half duplex when hanging out...not unless you have a sick mind...

  21. macrumors 68030


    ah man.....I hear that! next year I'll get a raise to 7/hr :( boy do low paying school jobs suck.....well, the job doesnt, just the pay...

    Good experience though....landed me two (unpaid) internships this summer...
  22. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    but thats how it goes, you pay your dues and someday you'll be able to offer those internships to the slave labor force.....
  23. macrumors 68020


    I would charge from $500 to $800 for that site. I would make it in a week (actually in a day or two).

    The client have to give me the entire material before I start doing anything (logos, pictures, text).

    I always ask for a catalog or something. The hell of doing a site is that the client have to give you all the information, usually they do a bussiness but they do not have everything in a papera yet, so, it may take them about a week to really find out what their bussiness is about.

    If you have to create some logo, find them a good graphic designer.

    The web designer works as a paper, "you are gonna place what you client gives you", start from there.

    Calculate the ammount for a production and then for a week of fixes.

    Remember that the hosting and domain are not include in the payment, neither the registration of the web site in the search engines.
  24. macrumors 68030



    mmmmm......slave labor force.....
  25. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    that's a nice fantasy, huh? Think of all the work you might be able to do if you had a few eager souls at your disposal....

    I think unpaid internships aren't very fair, you should be able to get some value out of it other than connections and experience - aid you in the short term instead of just the long term.

Share This Page