31 Replies Latest reply on Aug 14, 2006 9:35 PM by DLoe

    What is the Going Rate out there?

    computerkitten Level 1
      I hate to ask this question but I will anyways.

      I have been asked to design a website and they wanted me to give them an estimate of costs. I am a student and have completed Intro to Dreamweaver, Intermediate Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Photoshop. So I do have some skills. No flash yet. Are there guidelines out there for what the going rate is? I am located in Portland, OR. How do I figure this out?

      I just don't know how to go about this... of course its nothing I learned in class :-).

      Thanks
        • 1. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
          CSI_Bruce
          1. How many pages?
          2. How much proof-reading will you need to do?
          3. How many hours do you anticipate it will take you?
          4. How many revisions are you going to let the customer ask for before you start charging them for the revisions? (This one bit me big time in my first job)
          5. Are you creating the graphics or is the client supplying the base files?

          These are but the basic questions you will need to know answers to before giving an estimate.
          • 2. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
            computerkitten Level 1
            Hi!

            Well I was told 3 pages to start off with but that he would want more pages added later.

            I don't think there will be a lot of proofreading involved, I am counting on him writing the content. Or I will ask for it.

            As for hours.... that is a good question. I would say I really don't know. I need for him to provide the content and then I could make an estimate. But do know 3 pages.

            He has the graphics... or the logo I shall say. That was sent to me.

            Revisions..... good point...and I can understand that biting anybody that doesn't figure out how to charge for that.

            So what do you think after I've told you all this?

            Angie
            • 3. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
              Level 7

              "CSI Bruce" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
              news:eb8juu$7ug$1@forums.macromedia.com...
              > 1. How many pages?
              > 2. How much proof-reading will you need to do?
              > 3. How many hours do you anticipate it will take you?
              > 4. How many revisions are you going to let the customer ask for before you
              > start charging them for the revisions? (This one bit me big time in my
              > first
              > job)
              > 5. Are you creating the graphics or is the client supplying the base
              > files?

              also, is the client supplying all copy content or are they expecting you to
              create it?


              • 4. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                Level 7
                computerkitten wrote:

                > I don't think there will be a lot of proofreading involved, I am counting on
                > him writing the content.

                But count on him not writing it (I advise from sad experience), and
                figure in at least the cost of a copy editor and probably copy writer.

                Copy editing is not the same as proofreading, although that is part of it.

                --
                James M. Shook
                http://www.jshook.com
                • 5. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                  computerkitten Level 1
                  Thanks for the responses even though there were a zillion repeats! How strange.

                  OK...I am counting on them to give me the content write up because I will refuse to write it for them. I saw range of $30 to $160....per hour. Of course I would on the low end of the scale.

                  <sigh>...this is not easy to figure out.

                  Angie
                  • 6. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                    Level 7

                    "computerkitten" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                    news:ebaoaa$qi$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                    > Thanks for the responses even though there were a zillion repeats! How
                    > strange.
                    >
                    > OK...I am counting on them to give me the content write up because I will
                    > refuse to write it for them. I saw range of $30 to $160....per hour. Of
                    > course I would on the low end of the scale.
                    >
                    > <sigh>...this is not easy to figure out.

                    But you can do it. The hard thing is to actually *charge* that much for
                    *all* the time you're working for your client, rather than sit there working
                    on his site for 5 hours and then write down "2", because you feel sort of
                    guilty for charging so much.


                    --
                    Patty Ayers | www.WebDevBiz.com
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                    • 7. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                      Level 7
                      > But you can do it. The hard thing is to actually *charge* that much for
                      > *all* the time you're working for your client, rather than sit there
                      working
                      > on his site for 5 hours and then write down "2", because you feel sort of
                      > guilty for charging so much.

                      Very true, but remember, your client wouldn't bat an eye about charging you
                      his going rate if the shoe was on the other foot.


                      • 8. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                        Level 7

                        "Bill Horvath" <bill@thisandthat.com> wrote in message
                        news:ebasa6$5oe$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                        >> But you can do it. The hard thing is to actually *charge* that much for
                        >> *all* the time you're working for your client, rather than sit there
                        > working
                        >> on his site for 5 hours and then write down "2", because you feel sort of
                        >> guilty for charging so much.
                        >
                        > Very true, but remember, your client wouldn't bat an eye about charging
                        > you
                        > his going rate if the shoe was on the other foot.

                        That's not a "but" - that's an "and". Same point I'm making. :-)


                        --
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                        Free Articles on the Business of Web Development
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                        • 9. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                          Ciprés
                          Computerkitten, I've been in this business for about three + years and everyday I discover a new cost that will eventually has to be transferred to clients.

                          In fact I keep a digram/log that identifies what every customer has needed as a "business process" that has hit my bottom line.

                          A word of caution, watch the original scope and time allotted to the project, if it ever increases because the customer has asked for additional, or altered, the original requirements call it "scope creep" and quantify how much extra you are going to charge for that.
                          • 10. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                            Level 7
                            > That's not a "but" - that's an "and". Same point I'm making. :-)

                            I'll see your but and raise you two ands.


                            • 11. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                              computerkitten Level 1
                              OK.... its very obvious that I need to set the guidelines for price structure. I will try my best to figure out what to charge.

                              Angie
                              • 12. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                Level 7

                                "Bill Horvath" <bill@thisandthat.com> wrote in message
                                news:ebau51$81n$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                >> That's not a "but" - that's an "and". Same point I'm making. :-)
                                >
                                > I'll see your but and raise you two ands.

                                I'm going off to get a fish..

                                :-)


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                                • 13. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                  Level 7
                                  Sounds fishy to me.

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                                  "P@tty Ayers" <patty@REMOVEcarolinawebsolutions.com> wrote in message
                                  news:ebb118$bb9$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                  >
                                  > "Bill Horvath" <bill@thisandthat.com> wrote in message
                                  > news:ebau51$81n$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                  >>> That's not a "but" - that's an "and". Same point I'm making. :-)
                                  >>
                                  >> I'll see your but and raise you two ands.
                                  >
                                  > I'm going off to get a fish..
                                  >
                                  > :-)
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --
                                  > Patty Ayers | www.WebDevBiz.com
                                  > Free Articles on the Business of Web Development
                                  > Web Design Contract, Estimate Request Form, Estimate Worksheet
                                  > --
                                  >
                                  >


                                  • 14. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                    mdgriff
                                    I've about decided no site of any size is worth starting without a base fee of at least a thousand bucks! I've done some "simple" sites where the content was to be provided... and it turned out to be not much to make a page! And images? Had to reshoot everything they provided...and once you finally fill in all the blanks to make a decent site, the client will google it and wonder why it's not on the first page!
                                    • 15. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                      BullocksTroy Level 1
                                      I'm by no means an expert on this matter since I'm kind of in the same boat you are. I've really only had one freelance gig but I did research on this a while ago, so here are some articles that might be useful, although some of this is probably repetitive by now:

                                      http://www.webdevbiz.com/article.cfm?VarArtID=6 (by ms. ayers, oddly enough)
                                      http://webdesign.about.com/cs/salaries/a/aa022403a.htm
                                      http://webdesign.about.com/cs/salaries/a/aapricing.htm
                                      http://www.brennerbooks.com/sampleprices.html

                                      That last one offers a pretty big range, but if you look on the other sites that say how to base your level of experience and factor in other costs, that might help you settle on a reasonable rate. I remember seeing a site listing avg rates by city, but i can't find it :( does anyone know of a site with this info?
                                      i'm not sure about Portland, but for me being in Chicago, which is obviously pretty big and competitive, the cheapest rates were $25-30/hr. i personally prefer to charge by the hour because it seems more fair and easier to figure out a rate that way. if i were the client would probably like it better that way as well, since when you bill them, you could easily outline just what they are being charged for. charging a flat rate seems a little trickier, especially if you end up having to cover more costs than you anticipated...
                                      • 16. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                        Level 7

                                        "mdgriff" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                                        news:ebfdjb$ll2$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                        > I've about decided no site of any size is worth starting without a base
                                        > fee of
                                        > at least a thousand bucks!

                                        Bingo! At *least*. That's been a firm policy for me for several years now.


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                                        • 17. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                          Level 7

                                          "BullocksTroy" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                                          news:ebffvi$oje$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                          > I'm by no means an expert on this matter since I'm kind of in the same
                                          > boat you
                                          > are. I've really only had one freelance gig but I did research on this a
                                          > while
                                          > ago, so here are some articles that might be useful, although some of this
                                          > is
                                          > probably repetitive by now:
                                          >
                                          > http://www.webdevbiz.com/article.cfm?VarArtID=6 (by ms. ayers, oddly
                                          > enough)

                                          Why is that odd?

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                                          • 18. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                            BullocksTroy Level 1
                                            ha, just because i bookmarked that months ago and then noticed you had been posting on here. i guess it's not that odd, you probably sent me that link in the first place :)
                                            • 19. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                              computerkitten Level 1
                                              Hey,

                                              Thanks for those links. I am printing them off and taking a look. Very helpful!

                                              Angie
                                              • 20. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                Wynnefield Level 1
                                                quote:

                                                Originally posted by: computerkitten
                                                I have been asked to design a website and they wanted me to give them an estimate of costs. I am a student and have completed Intro to Dreamweaver, Intermediate Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Photoshop.


                                                i apologize for possibly being offensive; however, have you completed any other courses related to graphic design, color theory, typography; or have you decided to take a few courses about the tools and now decided to design web sites? i know many individuals who learned Front Page and began advertising themselves as a "Web Designer" with no other training or education in "right brain" studies ... this would have an impact on the amount i would be willing to pay someone to design a site for me.

                                                on the other hand, if you are studying for an art degree or related area, terrific for you! i hope you wonderfully successful. a few suggestions:

                                                never work without a written contract (i would be happy to email you mine)
                                                always ask for a down payment in advance (i usually ask for one third); second third when mock-ups agreed on and final third on publication
                                                be clear as as possible to you customer's expectations (if you expect to deliver 3 mock-ups and the customer expects as many as it takes, i would charge time and materials, rather than a flat rate)
                                                get signatures at delivery points along the process


                                                sorry for starting out so rough ... good luck and let us see your final site when published!
                                                • 21. What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                  Wynnefield Level 1
                                                  duplicate post removed
                                                  • 22. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                    computerkitten Level 1
                                                    Hello Wynne,

                                                    I am in the web design certificate program at the local school. They are now in the middle of getting approval to offer a degree version of the program which will be great. But its waiting on state approval. I have taken 8 classes so far... few of them multimedia courses. As I continue on there are other classes to take. You mentioned color theory and tyopgraphy...I don't think that is part of the program but writing for multimedia is.

                                                    Can you please email me your contract? I would love to see that and think it could be very helpful. Send it to computerkitten at hotmail dot com account. (trying to prevent being a spam target).

                                                    Down payment... I agree! As for mock-ups... what do you do your mock-ups in?

                                                    Angie
                                                    • 23. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                      Wynnefield Level 1
                                                      being old fashion, i start out with small postcard size sketchs in my drawing pad. i may or may not show these to the client depending on the duration of our relationship. i move from the sketch pad to photoshop, so the client can get an online visual of the mock-ups. i usually do three unique versions and end up with a combination of two of the three.

                                                      since you are using studio 8, fireworks would work just as well as photoshop for the mock-ups. the point is to offer the client a version "as close to reality" as possible, so there are no surprises at the end. make sense??
                                                      • 24. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                        computerkitten Level 1
                                                        Thanks for that information. When you do the mock-ups though in photoshop... or even if its Fireworks... could you also just do it in Powerpoint? Maybe that would not be such a good idea using that tool... I know Fireworks and Photoshop real well... I understand how that could work easily. Just curious as to why maybe powerpoint wouldn't be used.

                                                        So I assume you do your wireframing and then move right to Photoshop for the mock-up.


                                                        Thanks,
                                                        Angie
                                                        • 25. What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                          quote:

                                                          Originally posted by: computerkitten
                                                          Thanks for that information. When you do the mock-ups though in photoshop... or even if its Fireworks... could you also just do it in Powerpoint?


                                                          If you can do the mockup in Fireworks why would you both creating something in Powerpoint - a waste of time and not a true representation I would have thought.
                                                          • 26. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                            computerkitten Level 1
                                                            Well you have a point. One time I had someone turn into me a mock up of their thoughts that they had done in Powerpoint. But he was probably more of a unique customer who had a clear idea of what he wanted the site to look like. Then I just created it from there.

                                                            I can see how it would be beneficial to stay in FW or Photoshop.

                                                            Angie
                                                            • 27. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                              BullocksTroy Level 1
                                                              Wynne -
                                                              Since like I said, I'm in the same boat as computerkitten, so I think your contract might be helpful to me as well. Could you email me a copy? (atennx10 at yahoo)
                                                              do you use the same contract for all clients or is it customized for each project?
                                                              thanks!!
                                                              • 28. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                                Level 7
                                                                Great to see that I ventured over to the webforum today, but the message I
                                                                posted never made it over here :\


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                                                                • 29. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                                  Wynnefield Level 1
                                                                  copy of contract sent to kitten and troy ... I hope it helps.
                                                                  • 30. Re: What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                                    Wynnefield Level 1
                                                                    mdgriff made a good point earlier in this thread regarding customers going to an SE a week after their site is online and wondering why it isn't showing up. when doing the project, be sure to help the customer understand whether or not you plan to include SEO, as many "potential" customers have come to me with lowball prices from other designers, and after a bit of discussion found out the other use templates (no custom design), nor do they apply any SEO content, title phrases, keywords, etc.

                                                                    I usually charge separately for SEO, as it takes a great length of time researching keyword phrases and securing inbound links as designing a site. and many smaller clients are really interested in paying the extra, and all they want is an online present, so they can refer customers to it.

                                                                    i guess bottom line is "clearly define the deliverables" so there are no surprises to the customer (or you).
                                                                    • 31. What is the Going Rate out there?
                                                                      DLoe
                                                                      I'll throw in my two cents, and I won't even charge you a penny. :)

                                                                      Charge at least a little more than you think. Then when you need to put in extra work...and you will to give excellent service...you'll feel like you're getting paid for the extra.

                                                                      One of the issues freelancers learn to deal with is fudging for the pain-in-the-butt client. If the prospect seems like they will keep asking for more, up your estimate by 25%. I think the only way to learn this is by getting out there, estimating and completing projects. Then you'll learn better how to estimate your time.

                                                                      Be very clear about the size of the project. Write it up with bullet points and all, and e-mail it to your client. Use numbers for maximum page count, number of pictures, etc.

                                                                      Include that the client is to provide all text and graphics...or whatever they are to provide.

                                                                      Finally, I include a clause in my terms of service that says if the project completion is delayed beyond a specifc date because the client does provide content, reviews and feedback in a timely fashion, I will invoice the client for the percentage of the project that is complete as determined by me. Now, to be fair, the date is 45 days for small 8-page sites and my best guess for bigger projects, so it gives the client plenty of time.

                                                                      Hope that adds to the ideas.