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How to charge for a website

P: 2
Hello everyone,

I have finally decided to put my programming skills to use and accepted my first assignment to build someone a website. I have done some basic research on how I should charge for the service, but there is something that I am still having a hard time understanding.

Most web designers seem to charge for their work on a per hour basis. Even though that makes perfect sense to me, unless the client knows the web designer well and finds him/her to be trustworthy, I don't see how the client should trust on the designer's word as far as the number of hours he states he has spent doing the job.

How about charging on a per page basis? Is that a common practise? If so, what would the definition of a page in this case be?

Any feedback from you would be greatly appreciated. Thank you kindly. Marcos

"Be kind, for everyone you meet fight a hard battle." --- Plato
Jun 10 '10 #1
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5 Replies

Expert 5K+
P: 8,127
When you say a page and in web , it really does not make any sense. How you determine the size of a page. That's why per hour is always preferred standard. Work is always assigned to a trust worthy person and no one will pass you for what ever you claim. If you are taking 5 hrs (for what ever reason) to complete something which can be easily finished in 2 hrs, no one will pay you for more than 2 hrs or at a comparatively low rate for 5 hrs.
Jun 11 '10 #2

Expert 100+
P: 449
I think you should charge on per page basis ...
but that as well depends... upon the type of website..

if its a database related website, which has logins and maintaining business records then.. the price should be charged according to the features you're providing in the website..

It also depends upon your experience and reputation in the market... For which you can charge a higher price...

Since you're a fresher in this field... you won't really develop as good as others provide... it only comes out of experience.. So you'll be paid lesser then them...
Jun 11 '10 #3

P: 1
If you charge on a per-hour basis, you'll probably need to come up with an estimate based on the features and how many hours it will take to complete them. Add up the $/hr and this is no different than providing an estimate with a fixed amount per page. With an estimate, the client knows how much it will probably cost and they can either accept or not accept. What it comes down to is that you are providing a service for X amount regardless of how you break down the final amount. A mechanic may charge $90/hr but he/she wouldn't make much if they charge for only the 5 minutes it takes to do simple things. That's why they charge the full hour and you'll still pay because you couldn't do it yourself or you don't have the time.

The client won't know how many hours you actually put into the work, but the way I look at it is that the client is expecting to pay a certain amount for the work, based on the estimate. If you don't use up all of the hours, you should still charge for them because $/hr comes out to be a set amount in the end. This would be no different than telling the client that you will build the site for $xxxx. If you don't agree with charging all of the estimated hours, do whatever you feel is the right thing to do.

The more experience you have with projects and the more efficient you become, the more experienced you will get with giving accurate estimates. You may find that instead of overcharging for hours to get a certain ending amount, you will charge more per hour and estimate less hours.

Per-hour can give you a little more flexibility when the client want's to change things because you can say "I charge $/hr and it's going to take 5 more hours to make the change". It may be a little easier to justify the price to a client as opposed to giving a fixed price for the changes. I think it's easier for clients to understand the cost of work when it's broken down into $/hr instead of a fixed amount. Per-page has it's benefits too because if it takes you 5 minutes to build a new page in the future, you can still charge for the full page amount. You could also do this with a rate of xhours/page though.

Just some advice: Have the client sign off on the design, features, and everything before you begin building the site, to prevent doing extra work for free.
Jun 15 '10 #4

P: 24
Here is a tool to help you work out exactly how much you should charge hourly:

Edit: Hmmm, that's actually a pretty good website:
Jul 5 '10 #5

P: 115
negotiate in such a way that you get paid by hour while you are developing the site. Then on the basis of the hits and the source utility of the site you can get further reimbursed.
Jul 23 '10 #6

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