What do you charge?

  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm asking less because I want to hear a dollar amount, and more because I think as a community we're seriously under valuing our services and giving the general population the impression that all our hard earned (school or life) expertise is worth next to nothing. I also believe that good work that provides value costs money. I mean when was the last time you went for a major operation and asked the medical staff to work for half their normal wage.

This was all reinforced today for me when I ran across this article. Here's a highlight
Quote:
Whenever we lower our price to win a bid, we’re essentially hurting the web design industry as a whole. Devaluing our service gives clients a false impression that web design is cheap. Good web design is NOT cheap. It’s more than slapping graphics with codes and calling it a web site. Web design is about providing a solution. Such creative problem-solving service mixed with technical know-how deserves a respectable pay.


So there it is. Maybe the question isn't "what do you charge?" but "what should we all charge?"
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • celandine
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I fully agree with your sentiment, and I'm often frustrated to see that, though no one questions paying top dollar for a good doctor, architect or even tailor, people seem to have the view that anybody can do web design - heck, they could do it themselves if they only had more free time to faff with colors and codes - and thus design work doesn't deserve particular remuneration. Why all the kids are doing it these days, aren't they?

I personally don't charge huge amounts, for two reasons - one, this is not my day job, I'm still gathering experience and I can't always offer all functionality I'd want (PHP for instance). Two - I've done a bit of 'charity' coding/ design work, for organisations (or individuals) I feel deserve to have good sites but can't necessarily afford to pay for them.

but once I feel I have sufficient knowledge/ experience and I can offer a professional web design service, I'll charge significant sums for it safe in the knowledge that what I'm offering isn't easy to come by. I respect people's desire to do things on the cheap, and anyone who wants a generic website is free to get someone to modify a template for them - let's be honest, there are plenty of perfectly decent templates out there. But a bespoke solution is expensive, in every industry - and thus it should be in this one :D
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Too many people think that they can learn to design websites and then start charging people next to nothing for it. As a result Joe Public will come along looking for a job to see there are thousands of people fighting for that job therefore he's gonna be happy to pay the person who charges the least amount for the quality of job Joe needs.

When the demand is high and the supply is low then the prices can increase. I am thinking of tradesmen for example, a builder can charge so much because in most parts of the world there are not alot who do the same job and specialise in the same area as him.

Because web design is on the internet, you have many more people looking to do the work for you. I've known many people to receive emails from someone in India offering to do a complete redesign of a website for next to nothing in our currency. The currency in which the proposer is somewhat weaker therefore this web designer is making a nice sum of money. I think for this reason alone you'll be lucky if prices do ever increase.
  • Fabinator
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Nice post graphixboy!

I totally agree with you and I think the major problem is that most clients don't now what a good website is. That fact combined with the fact that almost everyone has photoshop nowadays (legal, or not) and some very basic HTML knowledge. So those "webdesigners" use a nice tool to generate the website and they actually think they've built a great website.

So I think the problem is more with the clients. If they would see the difference between a professional website and an unprofessional one, they would always choose for more talented designers. But that isn't the reality and most of the people are choosing for the cheapest designer.

So we have get ahead of the masses by either being very cheap or otherwise being exceptionally good. Internet has many advantages, being worldwide accesible, but that also gives problems. And one of those problems is that one tenth (or so) of the world population calls him or herself a webdesigner. So since there are so many, clients don't have to pay much, they can always find a cheaper one, if you're to expensive.

But I think we have no choice, charge what you think is right and don't do the job for less. Attract attention with your skills, not with your price.

(Oh and about me, I don't charge very much, mostly because of my young age. But please keep the "kids" out this discussion. I've seen people of my age with more skills in designing than the average adult webdesigner and I don't think that age really matters here. Not that I'm saying, that I'm a good designer, but I don't like us "kids" to be put in one corner, as if we're all the same)
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The largest problem ironicly enough, is the very thing the web facilitates, people from all over the world getting together.

I've read in more than a few places comments from business owners who are afraid of paying someone in India enough to last them a month when it would only last someone in say the US or Canada a week. They feel like they;re getting ripped off when they do that, so they just assume everyone is in India and use that as their cost basis.
  • RockmanTV
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I noticed no one gave a dollar amount for you so I guess I'll set the bar in that regard to kind of start you off (although, if you're looking for a standard fee for web design you won't find one. There's too many variables).

When I worked for a smaller web design company we usually did a website for around 2000-3000 dollars a project. Those projects were usually projected to take about 10 hours (but usually MUCH MUCH less with a dedicated coder and dedicated designer PLUS the fact that the sites were simple. This was an actual small business, and that comes out to about 200 or 300 dollars an for an estimated 10 hours worth of work. Now I don't believe that a freelancer with little to no reputation could pull that off, but a business with the security that that offers to a client can.

However, I've been advised (I'm still a college student) for freelance work to get it paid by the hour and upfront estimate your hourly work and use that for the price basis of the contract (a MUST HAVE). Also, you may want to charge extra for premium work such as Flash or "Web 2.0" (AJAX or Javascript effects). A good starting point would be in the range of $50 an hour for normal HTML/Server Side Programming work, and depending on your skillset with Flash or Javascript setting a different price for that. I like setting a higher price for those premium effects because they're definitely harder to code well (with various browsers to consider) and they're above and beyond what the user needs. Generally that should run higher into the 70-100 dollar range. I wouldn't recommend charging more for Server Side Programming because that's generally pretty straight forward, doesn't really require optimizing for extra browsers, and the client probably won't be able to tell the difference with the final product as it spits out HTML.

That's just kind of the numbers I've been playing around with. Again, like many are suggesting, you're going to need to tweak that to your experience and education. If you're a high school student, consider lowering your prices to compete with the more experienced guys whereas if you're a professional freelancer, maybe consider something higher?

BTW, How about them Vikings GraphixBoy? :lol:
  • celandine
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Post 3+ Months Ago

one thing I don't get about charging by the hour - what if I'm just slow? How do you estimate how many hours a particular job 'ought to' take, so you're not ripping your client off simply because you work slowly? doesn't it make more sense to charge by product, such as, say, per page?
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Fabinator wrote:
So I think the problem is more with the clients. If they would see the difference between a professional website and an unprofessional one, they would always choose for more talented designers. But that isn't the reality and most of the people are choosing for the cheapest designer.

I completely agree. For several years I've been attempting to help people understand what "quality" means in regards to the web however I don't feel like I'm making much headway. How do other people go about that concept? That said I'm also very much in favor of a web certification. The problem though like many have pointed out is that the web is global so a standard web certification seems like its going to be a long way off.

celandine wrote:
one thing I don't get about charging by the hour - what if I'm just slow? How do you estimate how many hours a particular job 'ought to' take, so you're not ripping your client off simply because you work slowly? doesn't it make more sense to charge by product, such as, say, per page?

I'm going to preface this by saying that I'm not a full time freelancer. I work for an interactive agency and do a little bit of work on the side. However, I believe that the hourly rate concept is intended to save the designer from the client who wants endless rounds of revisions to a point where the project drags on for so long that the actual hourly rate is a joke. Now I found long ago that the hourly rate by itself doesn't work for me (clients like to know how much it will cost).

So I've found that I will typically provide a flat price and then in the contract specify an exact amount of revisions and very strict timelines. If the project goes past whats specified then I have in writing that an hourly fee will go into effect. In this format if I can do the project quickly I earn a much higher hourly rate and if I can't then the hourly rate is much lower but the client still pays the same amount. The one catch is that for this system to work you really have to have a decent contract in place before you begin the work.
  • mindfullsilence
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
So we have get ahead of the masses by either being very cheap or otherwise being exceptionally good.


This is the case with all industries. If you're not the best, than don't expect the same money that the best makes. Am I using your single quote to completely negate the fact we charge so little? no. I do believe the market for graphic design could be doing better. There're a lot of people who don't know what they're doing out there making web pages and what not. Unfortunately I feel as though I am part of the problem after reading the posts on this thread. I currently work as a graphic designer for free while I'm going to school. I know I am nowhere near as good as ones with experience and degrees, so I am essentially taking from those professionals their clientel.
My point is, the only way to get ahead in any industry is to be bettr than your competitor, both in service and prices. Anyone dissagree?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

But you know the Graphic designing is much sensitive job throughout the industry because everyone visualize your work and pass comment about it.
So i must say that to charge more on you creative work because it is the basic right of a graphic designer to charge for their creative work.No compromise on your Creativity

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