Programming Fees

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I have been asked by "an aquaintance" ... friend of a friend ... to put
together a small web site.  I have to charge them something but I want to be
fair.  What do those of you who do stuff like this charge?  By the hour or
by the project?


Re: Programming Fees

Steve said...

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15/October/2003 06:20:11 am

Re: Programming Fees

Thanks guys, it gives me a place to start.


Re: Programming Fees

Steve wrote:
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William Tasso -

Re: Programming Fees

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For a small job like the one you're considering, probably best to charge per
project. Determine what your time is worth to you, guesstimate how long it
wil take to complete the project (it will usually take longer than you
think!) and go from there. Bill half up front, and half on completion of the

There is an excellent article on pricing here: /
and many more alistapart articles on the business side of webdesign here:

cheers ~

Re: Programming Fees

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I see that a number of people have pointed you to some good articles.  I
highly suggest you read them.

However, I'd like to add one thing that many people who write sych
articles tend to miss...  Pricing not only depends upon your skill, but
your geographical location.

I started my career as a web designer in San Jose.  Before I moved
across country a few years ago, I was regularly charging (and getting)
fees between $100/hour and $200/hour depending on the requirements of
the project.

Where I live now, I was lucky to get HALF that when I first started my
business.  The lower cost of living and the lack of understanding by
locals on what a good web designer can do was the limiting factor.

Now that I'm established, I'm closer to where I was and I charge more
when I deal with clients in more "affluent" parts of the country.

The way I survived was by calling local competitors and getting their
rates.  Then basing my rates on theirs until I was confortable with
raising mine.  And as you get better and you build a solid reputation,
you SHOULD raise your rates.

As one of the articles suggested to you says, if people walk out of your
office because they think your rates are too high, many of them will
come back.  At least 30% of my business is with clients who interviewed
me, went elsewhere for their work, and then came back when they were
dissatisfied with my competition.  Don't be afraid to show someone the
door when they're being too cheap.

My worst clients have been those that tried to haggle on price and then
argued over every dime on my invoices after I made the mistake of
lowering my rates to get their business.  Now if someone argues about my
rates, I smile, give them contact info on my competitors, and tell them
I'll be here when they want the job done right.  Usually, one-in-five of
them come back.

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