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How much should I charge?
Never Contracted before

 12:11 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have been doing web design for a little over 2 years and I have always worked for a company. Recently an opportunity came my way to do some subcontracting for someone.

The company wants me to design the site and give them the .PSD files(index and interior page) to splice up.

How much should I charge for this?



 12:17 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hard to say what you should charge. I'm sure you have a number in your head already - you want to make sure you get the contract but you don't want to be too low either. Here's what I used to to do when I started out and now I recommend it to all new contractors:

Take that number in your head and add 50% to it.

I've found over the years that most new contractors far undervalue themselves. Also don't forget there is a certain level of value perception - if you bid too low the client can thin that either you're not very good or that you're desperate for work. Neither of those situations will do you any good.

Good Luck and welcome to WMW :)


 12:24 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am trying to base it off of what they charge. They charge $2500 a site. I want at least $200

Is that asking too much?


 12:27 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

200 strikes me as low.

You could also break it down into the amount of hours it would take you and then work with adesired hourly and see what you come up with.


 12:30 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

What would you charge?


 12:33 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

How skilled are you? I do design projects from freebies and up. Try to get stock in their company ;)


 12:35 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Freelance visual conception is at least $40 per hour in my book.

(edited by: Macguru at 12:36 am (utc) on April 4, 2002)


 12:35 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

It always depends on the project.

Programming will cost more than graphics, etc.

I always try to get a rough hourly on paper and then put an hourly rate to it. I then look at the number and then I see how much possibility for over run there is on the project and see if I can live with same amount if it goes long. I usually do as oilman suggests and add a percentage on top.

I agree with macguru and then go up from there based on your experience

(edited by: jatar_k at 12:38 am (utc) on April 4, 2002)


 12:37 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thank you everyone for the help! You have put things into perspective. I guess I am just afraid to charge too much. :)

But you have made it easier to make a decision!

brotherhood of LAN

 1:04 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

I would give yourself a rate per hour, say $9 / $10. If you are making money from your time, and a little more, then youare not overcharging for what you are really doing.

Any PPC or whatever can be seperate


 3:26 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Don't forget to pitch SEO as a "value added". You can pitch yourself as one of the few designers that understands the value of traffic and how to get it... and you incorporate that into your work. Charge a bit of a premium for your greater knowledge.


 4:28 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

This is a tough question for most people who are just getting into "the ebusiness" or have been in a while, but getting more serious work.

Do some research. What are your skills, and how do they match up with other small or large companies. I do A LOT of backdoor marketing he he... It's fun acting like a customer, but the information gathering is great! Ask other developers the same request your client is asking... Fast way to sort out how much to charge.

How much do you charge for on going business.. or to keep your business running? Are you doing this for a living or part time?

If you are doing this work for a living. Then you want to figure out what your monthly income needs are to survive. Medical, Auto, Loans, Utilities, blah blah.. Most forgot item is - play money, and money left over to build a savings for your company. What will be your work load?

After you have all your numbers down - there in the bottom line - you will see what you should be earning.

I will give this though. If you are good and produce quality work - charge what your worth. Many companies that come to look to get online have already planned for the investment and usually come to play! If your clients are personal websites - ummm you know the rest of the story.

What you are doing is running a business. Like every business you need a plan of attack. You also need to survive to keep your attack full on. Selling yourself short is a loss of money.

If you don't know how to do your research, build a business plan, or set up your accounting. I suggest signing up for a small business class at your Community College. You may also call your local chamber of commerce and and they will be able to put you in touch with some workshops or classes to get you rolling. Chamber of Commerce is also a great tool to drive clients to your business, and NETWORKING ;)

Best of luck and hope I was some help.



 8:52 am on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

We use subcontractors a fair amount, and for design work we would expect to pay around 150 - 250 per day (8 hour day = approx 20 - 30 per hour) depending on the skills of the person we use, and how many days work we are contracting for.

We might pay up to 350/day for programming/database work, because we can charge the client more for that, and hence maintain our margin

I'd echo what oilman said, new contractors undercharge. If you charge more you create the impression of competence, and competition for your time. That gives idiot MD/CEOs confidence that you do know what you are doing


 5:02 pm on Apr 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

One thing to keep in mind also is that it is far easier to quote high and lower your price later than it is to quote too low and try to get more out of them when the project takes more work than you planned. The $40 per hour Macguru quoted would probably be a good starting point seeing that you already have 2 years experience.


 3:28 am on Apr 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

Setting up a rate is always a toughy. You have to remember to map the hours out that it will take you to complete the project, and give yourself an hourly salary. Your hourly salary should be what you feel your work is worth (honsetly).

Always remember when your trying to figure out the total number of hours, especially for your first few projects to take the number of hours you come up with and add about 10-20 hours onto it. You will find that adding those hours actually saved you from having to tell your buyer that he needs to give you more money. I'm pretty sure every 1 under-bidded their hours when they first started doing this kind of work, at least, I know I did ;)

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