how much should I charge?

  mco 21:09 05 Dec 03

please help a first timer whos very shy with money. I'm not technical but can follow a template as well as anyone. I designed a basic simple website for my brother's business
click here
( Please view to see how basic we're talking)
His mate (whom I've never met) saw it and wants me to do him one on similar lines - but says he'll pay me. Question is:how much?? I bought his dotcom for a tenner; the hosting package will be about £30 but what about labour, etc?? Obviously I can't charge as much as a 'professional' but it will take me a fair bit of time and I dont' want to be doing it for peanuts. Are we talking...£50? £100? £150? £200? He's ringing me up to discuss money and I need to back up my price!! thanks

  Pesala 22:44 05 Dec 03

If it is a simple site, about five pages, it shouldn't take more than five hours, so £25 would be about right as you're not a professional. Show him a preview before it is finished, but tell him if he wants any changes after it is finished, it will be £5 an hour.

  Forum Editor 00:06 06 Dec 03

you should even contemplate designing a site for someone for less than £100/150 + hosting and domain name costs.

A professional designer would charge a lot more.

You'll find that when people are paying for a site they tend to be a good deal more picky about it, and you'll need to be firm about the number of revisions you'll make after showing the client the final design. Otherwise you'll be making alterations until the cows come home - it's a trap many new designers fall into. Get a reasonably detailed brief, and show the client a sketch outline of the site structure before you begin.

  Sir Radfordin 00:38 06 Dec 03

The first site I designed I sold for about £200 which to me was nice sum - this was about 5 years ago!

Over the last few years I've been involved with the kind of work you are talking of doing and have charged very little. Simply because I don't need to earn the money to live and it is the best way to get experience.

With one 'client' who is also in the motor trade we have an agreement that I fix his computers and he fixes my car. Since there is no financial transaction the tax man can't get involved.

Once you start charging money for things you are effectivly being self employed and you have to think about the implications of that.

You can pass on any direct costs such as the hosting and domain registration without any problems.

As Pesala suggests work out some form of formula to charge - say £100 for first five pages, and £10 for every additional one. Agree to do mocks and let him have one review. Anything after that charge by the hour/page.

If you are working at the moment then you could use what you are paid hourly as a guide. Also look and see if the local paper has anyone else offering to design a basic site. I know of at least one who charges about £100 for adding your company details into an 'off the shelf' template. At the end of the day you can charge as much as he is willing to pay.

  mco 10:58 06 Dec 03

very helpful thanks! I suppose I was afraid if I asked too much he wouldn't go for it but then, working full time as a teacher (wonder what that makes my hourly rate?!) I don't really need his money anyway. And I suspect he knows whatever I ask it'll be cheaper than elsewhere. I was also thinking of the day to day admin costs 'cos I'd have to check his emails, put him on search engines etc; it wouldn't just be the one off building of it. Thanks everyone.

  Keith 15:24 06 Dec 03

... may I add one or two final thoughts? You're entering into a business agreement and should approach it with a business-like mind. You must take as an absolute basis for charging the fact that you will incur overheads - your telephone bill and the software you use to develop the site. If you use, say, FrontPage you have bought software to the value of about £170 that your client has not had to buy. If they were prepared to buy development software, could they as easily do the job themselves?
Template or not, you are using skills and knowledge that the client may not have. Even if it's a cinch for you, it may be one big mystery to them!
Don't charge any less than £100 and be prepared to charge more! A basic site should be priced at upwards of £200. Keith

  mco 18:57 06 Dec 03

keith you're so right! Guess I need to value myself as well as my websites!!!

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