How Much Are We Talking

This is such a common question asked by new web designers breaking into the Freelance Web Design Business trying to build their brand. On one hand you don’t want to charge too much to where you’re not getting any business, but at the same time you don’t want to cheat yourself by not charging enough for your work. Finding that happy medium can be very challenging, especially in the beginning. Should I charge by the hour, or should I charge a fixed price for a complete website.

What’s your Rates

Before first deciding on how much to charge clients for your work, I think it’s highly important to understand your limits. As in, at what point do you tell a client no who comes to you seeking your help. I ask you this because it definitely affects how much you may charge a client for a website. Let me explain. Sometimes I get approached by a client for a project I’m really not interested in doing. Whether I just don’t like the project, the goal, or it just seems flat out boring. In situations like this, I’ll send the client a proposal that’s a lot higher than the rate I would normally charge being that I’m not really interested in doing the web site in the first place. If the client chooses not to go with me, no problem as I didn’t really want to do the job in the first place. If the client does still chose me, then the income alone will motivate me enough to get my through the project.

On the other hand, there could be a client I really like, or I enjoy their vision and goals for the website, or I just find it to be a very interesting or fun project. In this situation I’ll usually give the client a proposal with a lower rate. Why? Because it’s a project I’m actually interested in doing.


Outside of charging clients for your work, you could also do free work. I understand your time is valuable, but there’s tons of value in doing free work. Sometimes it can take your web design business to the next level. I’ve had this happen twice.  I did a website for a group of military veterans about a year ago. Just so happen that this group was not only featured in the local newspaper, but they also appeared on the local news for like a week at a time. When they showed their point of contact, and how they could be reached, not only did they show the web site I designed with my brand at the bottom, they also shouted me out a thank you for getting their website up and running on such short notice. That week I was flooded with clients.

The other instance was a website I did for a local church. I just didn’t have the heart to turn down a couple older ladies who wanted their church to have a web presence online. Next thing I know, I had four paying churches contacting me saying how much they loved what I did for the other church.

Final Thoughts!

Another fact to take into consideration is whether or not you plan to use the completed project on your portfolio. As miniscule as it may seem, this is something you should always be asking yourself as you go from project to project.

Don’t get caught up with price lists as a web designer either. Focus on pricing each project based on your motivation, how you feel about the project, and the value it can have on your Web Design career and business.