What to charge for web work? Help!!

mariahlullaby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 19, 2005
852
1
NYC
Can you guys help?

I am a high school senior and have been asked by a local realtor to do some web work for his agency's web site. I have done stuff for myself, non-paid, but nothing with business. I really think this will be great for me, but he wants me to quote him a price tomorrow. I have no idea what to charge -- I have never done this type of work before.
Like I said, I am a high school student and have never had any formal training (I did take a course over the summer once, but it was at a more camp-like setting for fun and as a choice). I don't want to ask for too much and not get the job but I also want it to be worth my time; and I do really need the money.

He is looking for me to search for articles regarding a list of topics we've discussed -- a list of about 15 topics -- on a realty web site he uses for articles to place on his site for buyers/sellers. I will need to find 3 articles for each topic and send them to him so he can choose which one to place on the site. The topics are very in depth, and he's looking for ones that are the most relevant. He wants to increase his page rankings on search engines to drive people to his site. After the articles are chosen, I will place them on an index for his site with meta tags, mini synopsis, etc. and a link back to his main site.

I am not sure how long this will take me, several hours at least. I will do it from home. I just have no idea what to charge, so I was hoping you guys, since you're more experienced, can help me out. This is not a huge company I'm dealing with -- a local realtor like I said. And please be aware I am only a high school student, not a professional.

Thanks guys!!!!
 

dornoforpyros

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2004
3,070
3
Calgary, AB
I personally charge $15/hr for freelance projects like that. Ussually depending on the size of the site they end up costing the client 400-800+ dollars. It really just depends on how many pages and what not. Assuming it's an average small site (5-10 pages) I'd say $500 is a good ballpark figure.
 

_bnkr612

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2004
619
0
A couple things to consider:

1. Content. Is it a site with 5-8 pages or 800 pages?

2. Research and materials. Are you taking your own photos and gathering all the info for the site?

3. Are you conceptualizing a site that not only works visually, but easily navigable? (there is the grandma rule... she must be able to view the site on her 3.1 windows machine with a 15" monitor running 800x600 res.)

4. Are you meeting with this guy regularly? Printing samples of work for him? Driving places for meetings? Gas isn't cheap. Ink and paper add up.

Being in high-school and assuming your education is at high school level, I would charge around 300-500 and take the rest in experience working with a client.
If you know what you are doing and can give the chap a quick turn-around than charge him a little more.

Experience is worth its weight in gold.

Cheers mate.
 

dornoforpyros

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2004
3,070
3
Calgary, AB
_bnkr612 said:
A couple things to consider:
3. Are you conceptualizing a site that not only works visually, but easily navigable? (there is the grandma rule... she must be able to view the site on her 3.1 windows machine with a 15" monitor running 800x600 res.)

I used to have the best "grandma" testing machine, a pentium II running windoze 98 with a 15" monitor I found by the dumpster one day. Unfortunatly it died.
 

xelterran

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2001
291
0
_bnkr612 said:
3. Are you conceptualizing a site that not only works visually, but easily navigable? (there is the grandma rule... she must be able to view the site on her 3.1 windows machine with a 15" monitor running 800x600 res.).
-_-; theres no point supporting browsers below IE5 just serve an unstyled version to them.
 

_bnkr612

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2004
619
0
xelterran said:
-_-; theres no point supporting browsers below IE5 just serve an unstyled version to them.

True, but in a couple years they will either be dead (harsh, but true) or have a newer system! The work your doing has to cater the demographic.

So, I should have asked if he knows the demographic that he is catering to.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
mariahlullaby said:
He is looking for me to search for articles regarding a list of topics we've discussed -- a list of about 15 topics -- on a realty web site he uses for articles to place on his site for buyers/sellers. I will need to find 3 articles for each topic and send them to him so he can choose which one to place on the site. The topics are very in depth, and he's looking for ones that are the most relevant. He wants to increase his page rankings on search engines to drive people to his site. After the articles are chosen, I will place them on an index for his site with meta tags, mini synopsis, etc. and a link back to his main site.
OK, so this real estate seller (who probably staunchly defends the trademark RealtorTM and his right to use it to the exclusion of non Realtors), is asking you to plagarize or violate copyright to put content on his site? Why doesn't he write the content himself? He wants to increase his site's visibility by using other peoples materials on it?

Unless he is prepared to negotiate permission to use the materials from each one of the authors, then my advice is to walk away. As the Web designer, you are also liable for any legal actions due to copyright infringement.

And just to anticipate the flames: Every work of writing and every visual creation has copyright on it, by default. The act of putting it on the Web does not put the material into the public domain. You may read it, but you may not copy it or include it in another work unless you have been granted a license to do so by the copyright holder, or the use of the work (in the USA at least) falls under the Fair Use provisions for education or reportage. (This Realtor's use would not).
 

mariahlullaby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 19, 2005
852
1
NYC
CanadaRAM said:
OK, so this real estate seller (who probably staunchly defends the trademark RealtorTM and his right to use it to the exclusion of non Realtors), is asking you to plagarize or violate copyright to put content on his site? Why doesn't he write the content himself? He wants to increase his site's visibility by using other peoples materials on it?

Unless he is prepared to negotiate permission to use the materials from each one of the authors, then my advice is to walk away. As the Web designer, you are also liable for any legal actions due to copyright infringement.

And just to anticipate the flames: Every work of writing and every visual creation has copyright on it, by default. The act of putting it on the Web does not put the material into the public domain. You may read it, but you may not copy it or include it in another work unless you have been granted a license to do so by the copyright holder, or the use of the work (in the USA at least) falls under the Fair Use provisions for education or reportage. (This Realtor's use would not).
He has permission. The site he is getting the articles from is a special Realtor site that has allowed him to use the articles as long as he credits the authors. This is only one section of the web site where potential customers can find information that might pertain to selling/buying in our community. Articles on tax laws, tips for selling, etc.

I am not actually building the site -- just beefing up sites he already has (though I think they could use some work). He cares most about content.

Thanks for all your help everyone!! It has really gotten me thinking and now at least I have a ballpark figure. Right now, I'm looking at about $400 for the work.
 

RacerX

macrumors 65832
Aug 2, 2004
1,504
2
I usually charge between $25-35US per hour. The thing is, every site is different and you don't really know what amount of work is going to go into it until you've actually gotten started.

I work hard to tailer a site to the people I'm making it for (and try to not let any of my sites look like anything I've done previously). That can actually be one of the hardest parts and all happens before you start making the final pages. Depending on the size they want, this can take anywhere from an hour or two to to 6-8 hours (and includes building a site map and a navigation system).

When giving an estimate, I add that pre-build work time about an hour a page (assuming few custom graphics per page).

It is hard to give an estimate... and it doesn't seem to get that much easier the more you do it. :(

_bnkr612 said:
3. Are you conceptualizing a site that not only works visually, but easily navigable? (there is the grandma rule... she must be able to view the site on her 3.1 windows machine with a 15" monitor running 800x600 res.)
Best advice for anyone wanting to do web design. With the tools around these days, the barrier for entry into wed design has been lowered quite a bit, but one of the biggest problems I've seen with people coming from a print design background is not realizing that the average person on the internet is using a system with limited abilities.

And someone having to scroll side to side to view the contents of a site is always bad design. ;)
 

evoluzione

macrumors 68020
$10-15 per hour i'd say, unless it involves designing a site and building the whole thing, in which case $15-20. sounds like it's more like grunt work so the former should be about right...just my opinion, you have to make it worth your while don't forget...there's always jobs out there that won't pay, that you can use to "practise" on as it were, but if he's willing to pay, make him pay what it's worth, unless you want to get involved with cut price "mates rates".
 

superbovine

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2003
2,872
0
i'd do some googling for some sample free-lance web contracts, or head to borders or barnes and noble and look at some books on free lancing. a lot people charge by page, per hour, documents scanned, and per graphic(s) designed. there also might be seperate charge for designing making logos for letter heads that match the website etc. the best part is to charge for support. i'd workout about a set period for free support then charge on a monthly basises.
 

feyd_ehway

macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2005
118
0
kcmo
from my lessons learned....

mariahlullaby said:
Can you guys help? I am a high school senior and have been asked by a local realtor to do some web work for his agency's web site. I have done stuff for myself, non-paid, but nothing with business. I really think this will be great for me, but he wants me to quote him a price tomorrow. I have no idea what to charge -- I have never done this type of work before. Like I said, I am a high school student and have never had any formal training (I did take a course over the summer once, but it was at a more camp-like setting for fun and as a choice). I don't want to ask for too much and not get the job but I also want it to be worth my time; and I do really need the money. He is looking for me to search for articles regarding a list of topics we've discussed -- a list of about 15 topics -- on a realty web site he uses for articles to place on his site for buyers/sellers. I will need to find 3 articles for each topic and send them to him so he can choose which one to place on the site. The topics are very in depth, and he's looking for ones that are the most relevant. He wants to increase his page rankings on search engines to drive people to his site. After the articles are chosen, I will place them on an index for his site with meta tags, mini synopsis, etc. and a link back to his main site.
I am not sure how long this will take me, several hours at least. I will do it from home. I just have no idea what to charge, so I was hoping you guys, since you're more experienced, can help me out. This is not a huge company I'm dealing with -- a local realtor like I said. And please be aware I am only a high school student, not a professional.
Thanks guys!!!!
ack... i suggest you make sure this person has a firm plan. write down a realistic timeline with financial + factored in any freak/possible scenerios. The fact that he want you to go searching for these articles reminds me of one of my first projects. the client is the person who (ideally) knows their market the best. your job is designing an appropiate site to reflect / enhance the clients image / reach target. my first client expected me to come up with the text. i was like huh? icould care less about weddings in general. to me a wedding cake is a wedding cake... i had no idea there were seasonal trends!?! (and still dont care) I was able to finally stand up for myself and nicely but frankly explained my situation. ... she did realize and i understood because we are friends ( she was just starting her business too.)
but unless they are your friend dont bend over backwards. I do little things i can but just like you i have school (albiet grad school) but my life is not about html. wow, what a rant. and another bit of advice- work out some payment berfore with remainder on completion. if you ever do get lead on and on at least you will have some money for your efforts. i am STILL waiting on a check (and i totally undercharged them and did extra work on his site *slightly bitter*) I have learned % up front % upon completion. (still working out the numbers).
feyd summary:
beware the vague concept sight aka: never ending site.
'oh could you...' 'well, if just the colums were 1/8 of an inch to the left', 'one more thing... we've decided on this layout with these colours instead!' :rolls eyes:
keep it simple. really, its what people (not kids, teens) but regular people want.
i wish you the best of luck! but we all make mistakes on the way up! ;)
-feyd