It has been my experience that determining what price to charge for web design work is one of the most difficult tasks that any freelance web developer faces. There are many factors that go into determining value. Here are my suggestions about how to determine what price to charge for your web design project.
What is Your Experience Level?
What is the value of your experience developing websites? Is it fair to only charge “by-the-hour” when it has taken you years and years of experience to be able to offer a solution to the problem at hand? That being said, I think it’s only fair to factor your experience and training into defining a project price.
Is Your Work High Quality?
The quality of your work is subjective, of course. Step back and try to be objective when determining how good your work product is. Compare your workt o others in your niche. Does it stand up to theirs? Is it superior for some reason? Or does it fail in comparison. These are all factors to take into consideration when settling on a price for your project.
How Long Will the Project Take to Complete?
Needless to say, the longer a project takes to complete the higher the cost. Don’t forget to take into account the necessary research and planning time that goes into the design process. It has been my experience that most projects take longer than originally anticipated, so plan accordingly.
When Does Your Client Need the Project Completed?
The sooner the project needs to be completed the more it is likely to cost. Why? Because working on a short time line often involves putting in overtime, working weekends and holidays, and taking other steps to meet the deadline.
If you want your project done quickly, you should always expect that it will cost more to complete.
What’s Your Gut Feeling About the Client?
With experience, all freelancers begin to develop a “feel” for their potential and current clients. Will the client be easy to work with? Will the client be accessible to answer questions as they occur? Will the client provide content in a timely fashion? Does the agreed upon design process involve approval by multiple people or various levels of management? All of these factors – and others – can help you develop a gut feel about your client. Price your project accordingly.
How Busy are You?
Supply and demand applies to your time as well. If you are swamped with work you may wish to price your potential projects higher. You only have so much time to commit to your workload, and how you price your projects will play a significant role in how many projects you have stacked up at the moment.
On the other hand, if you are experiencing one of the slow times that we all experience from time to time, you may want to drop your prices some to win the current project.
Can You Offer Anything Your Competitors Cannot?
Do the services you offer differ substantially from those of your competition? If so, this works to your advantage when pricing your project.
Are There Any Special Features Required by the Project?
Will client training be required as part of the project? Does the client want a Content Management System to update their own content? Is the client experienced enough with the CMS to not need extensive training? How many people will need to be trained? All of these factors, and others, must be considered when determining what to charge for your project.
How Badly Do Your Want This Project?
If your are short on work at the moment, then you probably have an incentive to price the project lower to give yourself a better advantage to win the project. Another factor to consider is the exposure that this particular project may offer you. Is it for a high profile client that is likely to offer your future exposure that will more than likely bring more work to you? If so, you may want to take this into consideration when developing your project price.
I would be interested in hearing what factors you take into consideration when determining the price you charge for your web design projects. Please leave a comment and let me know your tips and suggestions.