Calling all web developers

in General Discussion
Posted at 02/17/2011 07:59PM

So I might design a website for a local business. I've never been hired to do any website work. I was wondering what the average charge for web development and also maintenance is. Any info on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

Posted at 02/17/2011 08:41PM
Age: 32
Atascadero, CA

just run a search online, it all depends on how many pages they want done and how intricate of a site they need.  don't undercharge that's all i can recommend.. depending upon your level it should be between $60-$120 per hour I would say.  i paid the top ruby on rails web designer about $120 per hour so figure thats the high end.. im almost done with my web design certificate and id like to try to charge hourly to save myself hassle but if you're looking for a set price id say $500 on the very simple html/css only side but usually no less than $1k+ (CEO/Founder)
Blue Reef Design Studios (Web Development)

Jared Mehle
Posted at 02/18/2011 06:05AM
Age: 33
Minneapolis, MN

I've done a bit of freelancing and here are a few things I've learned along the way.

First of all, I'd say whatever you end up doing, get a contract. Make sure it outlines every piece of work you are going to do. What often happens is requirements will change as the project progresses. This is normal, but it should be understood that any work you didn't originally agree to is going to cost them extra.

It's up to you whether you want to charge by the hour or make a fixed bid. If you bid hourly, they're going to want a breakdown of tasks and time estimates for each line item. It would be a good idea to do this for a fixed bid too, but just talk in generals such as "I'll have it done in 2-3 weeks." Don't be stingy with hours if you do write them up. At the company I work at, we will internally go through a project and figure out hours, and then double the total. Things always end up taking longer than you think and if you come in under your original estimate, the client is never mad.

As far as maintenance, I always billed it out at half to two-thirds of my original rate. It gives your client another reason to stay loyal to you and it makes them feel as though they're getting a special deal. Just make sure to be firm with your client. If the "maintenance" they are asking for is really a new feature, then bill them at your full rate.

Also think about any costs not related to the website you may incur. Meetings may eat up your time and require you to drive somewhere to meet. If they don't have a web design already, you may have to get a designer and pay them to design the site (if you can't do that yourself). If you are doing the design yourself, do you need any special fonts, textures, or stock imagery? If you aren't much of a system admin, are you going to need someone to set up the hosting, domain, install the required software. Build these sorts of things into your bid. They don't necessarily have to be line items in your contract, but they should be reflected in the total amount you are paid.

I said it already and mentioned it numerous times, but I can't say it enough. Get a contract that includes a statement about the work you are doing. Good luck.