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My question is, how much should I charge? I didn't count hours, but I wouldn't feel right charging by the hour because any of you could have made the site in half the time that it took me (I was constantly looking up CSS attributes because I have forgotten so much that I learned in a class in college). Anyway, any ideas?
That should give you a start to consider. Next, even if you are a beginner, how long did you spend to put the site together?
Is this work what you do for a living, or is it just a service for your family?
If it's a service, and if you plan to this kind of job in the future for a living. Just give it for free.
It's good training practice for you, and if your customer is satisfied, it will enrich your portfolio. Alternatively, if they ask you how much you want to charge them, as friend just let them make an offer.
If it's business related, you must charge them. A good indicator for you is to look what other web designers charge in your area, then you can adjust the price based on your experience.
The most important is not what you think about your website, but rather what your customer thinks about it.
I hope this help.
If you've done a good job (clean html, etc. with a clear and pleasant layout and navigation) then £250 ($350) would seem reasonable. More than £500 ($700) would probably be too much esp in the current economic climate.
Bear in mind, if you try to charge too much, you may not be asked to do any more work and it may cause an argument. But a good job at a good price may lead to more work.
since you got the job as a novice due to a family connection "mates rates" apply
Since it's a friendly gesture for a relative, if you're in the US or the UK you might consider getting a "gift back" in the form of a generous Amazon gift certificate, and start out by buying some good beginning to intermediate books on basic skills (including using PHP includes), so you won't have to be looking up as much online.
In the future, a concise quote with project expectations and cost would be recommended.
If yes, like surfgatinho said, $500 is fair price - however it would have been done faster by a more experienced webmaster. Still, you should not forget the family discount ;)
Good websites are never statics, we always need to upgrade and improve them. I would recommend the following:
$500 (for the site) - $100 (for slow design as beginner) -$100 (for family discount)
That would be about $300 for your first site, however, you should mentioned that you'll charge for the upgrade and maintenance if needed a small fee like $50 per month or so.
It's up to you to convince them that they need a webmaster service and that you are worth the money.
Then, if determined to continue the BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP sit down and hammer a contract for the hourly rate which will be billed for UPDATES, CHANGES, ETC.
Better yet, get the relation to buy beer and pizza, pound your back and say thanks and give glowing recommendations about your abilities---then get started on making your own sites.
If you need a reasonable metric for what to bill: I charge $15/page for CUSTOMER SUBMITTED READY TEXT (ie, I do not have to type or scan, but do have to convert to web display) FOR UPDATES TO THEIR EXISTING SITE. The site, of course, had already been completed via a traditional contract. Given your novice status this might be more "fair" to the relation as 15 pages times $15 is $225.
You spent too much time on this. You LEARNED A LOT! and that is to the good. You also led with the heart and desire to play before thinking about the business end.
Every once in a while we all do something we do not completely think through before jumping in. I've done it myself...too many times!