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Web-desgin pricing

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    Good point on the business trust. Not always easy sometimes. I think for me at least a ballpark estimate range would at least need to be in the picture just so I can know my limits. I would hate to rack up a bunch of hours with a designer and not know what ballpark I'm am in. If I expect a job to be done around a certain price in my head and I get surprised cause it took you longer than you thought that will be really frustrating unless you had already given me a ballpark and warned me. I can see by everyones comments that hourly is a must. I have definitely worn people out in the past with request upon request, but have learned how to put the brakes on myself. I thinjk an hourly rate definitely lessons that temptation for sure. I'd be much less likely to call and ask for yet another tweak if I knew it was costing me 40 or more bucks. I still go for the guy who gives me a flat fee if I have the choice. But I see everyones point for sure. Good discussion
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    trafik broke vanilla!
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    haha...i was trying to do the discussion board on my phone. didn't work out too well.
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    what kind of phone were you using? I post with my verizon pocket pc all the time.
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    blackberry. I kept pressing 'add comments' after i was done typing and it would send me back to the previous page. i didn't realize it was actually posting each time.
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    i charge $5 plus two glasses of ice-cold lemonade
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    ithcy i want to hire you for that price
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    Immersion said

    "well yes web design can be rated hourly. Most people charge anywhere between $200 to $1000 for a design.

    However i cant say your design is professional. Maybe consider more practice first using xhtml and css."
    I'm unsure where you get you figures from, but doing any reasonable small business site for $200-$1000 is far below any professional standards.

    And as far as Mark's flat fee problem... My company will bill by project bases with a maximum number of hours, then anything over our estimated hours is at $xxx rate. Any additions are billed at $xxx rate, and any modifications once complete are billed at a maintenance rate. We also do strickly per hour.

    Once you've done enough work, you can pretty accurately estimate the time to design and create a site.
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    I see both sides of the argument really - I gave up much of my freelance work a long time ago mainly because I found all too frequently I’d get to the end of the project and the clients would go "it's great! But could we have it in green?" or just reject previously agreed designs out of hand. Personally I recommend offering a fixed fee for an agreed number of pages and a previously agreed design (mock it up in Photoshop). Write a proper spec, list all the requirements, agree deadlines and what you have agreed to produce then add a clear hourly rate for items over and above the agreed project spec. This gives the clients what they want in terms of a fixed fee and protects you from the additional work clients often suddenly decide they need halfway through the process. More than anything else though, I’d be willing to bet you have a gut instinct on what you want to charge - go with that instinct! Other than that:- - Get a hosting account with someone like www.servage.net (75Gb of disk space and 1.1Tb of transfer per month for six quid or about 15 dollars a month and great availability) use that to host your projects - keep them all in one place. - Use someone cheap like www.godaddy.com to buy and manage domain names, don't register them through your hosting provider as it tends to keep you tied to them - transferring domain names about the place is a right pain in the backside. - Charge yearly, in advance for the hosting and domain names, believe me you don't want to get into the pain of monthly invoicing – small businesses are often very slow at paying. - While what mentioned above about CSS (you’re clearly using CSS looking at the head tags) is perfectly valid, and I’d recommend you stop using Dreamweaver and take a look at tools like Macromedia Homesite and TopStyle Pro, stick with code you’re comfortable with and can easily maintain. - Don’t take jibes about professional or not too seriously. If you’re happy and your client is happy don’t worry about it. Don’t try and craft it too hard to begin with, skills will come with time and practice.
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    edited July 2006
    Great comments, Grep. You can usually get a feel for what kind of a client you will be working with when you have your first meeting. If you leave the meeting and say "what am I getting into?", then you need to price accordingly (or forget that job). On the other hand, if you seem to be more in sync with the client, then that could lead you to another more precise quote. In either case, you need to be upfront with the client and really spell out what you are going to do for $xxx. Then give a rate for things above and beyond that.
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    Yeah I'm doing a design at the moment and I charged a flat fee.. not a good idea.. the amount of work has now changed from what I expected and it's become a bigger job and I can't really turn around and add more to the cost. I'll charge per hour next time.
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    This is great you really helped me out, all of you! Thanks!
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    Another nice proof of this communitys value. big thx for this thread, another one for the valuable answers :-)
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    nowadays with all the templates out there all one needs is alittle CSS and don't have to worry about paying a web designer. thanks to the internet people can build their own sites for almost nothing, more web designers out of business everyday simply because there are either too many and/or more people are building their own sites.
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    I disagree bugsmi0 - I've been getting more and more work recently and most designers I know are in the same position. While "anyone" can build a site, it still takes skill to make it look good and be an effective site. I'm finding that I'm doing less tedious maintenance ("could you change $100 to $120?" could you change this photo to a newer one?") because people can *maintain* their sites thanks to CMS tools/desktop tools and more design, setup, consulting.
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    ithcyithcy New
    edited August 2006
    not to mention that you can't just take a free template and use it on a commercial site which someone is paying you to develop...
    or rather you can, but it would be a very yayhooray thing to do. not to mention you'd be fired and discredited if anyone found out, which they will.
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    I agree one some things of course, perhaps that will be the next level design consulant on how to use the tools, you also see more people these days not being able to afford expensive web building so they buy templates which they can use commerically. When you see a listing of 10 million web designers that should tell you something lol One thing about CSS you won't find just anyone studying it, it takes time like you said and to learn the CMS systems. I also think things will be easier in the future so more people won't need to hire an expert because everyone will be an expet, but it depends how the technology will evolve.
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    If you are by yourself, going flat fee will hurt you because its a lot more work then you think, such as design critiques by uninformed clients about whats important and what looks good (as well as works well with WC3 Standards). If you are with a few other people, such as a sales guy, a tech guy and a designer, a flat fee is sometimes nice to fall back on, just so everyone gets paid. If you are going to be maintaining the site, you might just want to consider a monthly fee that covers hosting, your needs as a designer/maintenance/tech guy for the month, and the original design. And ALWAYS, get it in writing.
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    Trust me, do an hourly rate. It's fair for everyone as long as the customer has a detailed estimate of how long a project will take beforehand. Thankfully I've had nice customers so far who were pretty understanding.
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