After spending countless hours learning code and honing the craft of website building, it’s time for your business to prepare for takeoff. Starting a new business always involves a lot of tricky decision-making and battling with unknowns, and this problem only gets worse for freelancers. One of the biggest questions you may have about marketing your freelance business is how to set the price of the products and services you provide.
So, what should a website cost? There are a few important questions to ask yourself in order to properly determine a fair estimate for your client. Your level of expertise will increase your price, for one thing. Furthermore, every client has individual needs which may cause you to charge more or less. Clear communication and evaluation of each client on a case-by-case basis is vital for both client satisfaction, and for your own.
One thing to consider when determining pricing is that there are many website building programs that a business owner may use to create a functional website on their own. If a client is seeking you, a developer, then it is most likely because they do not have the time to use an online website builder, or because they want something more upscale and personalized to better reach their target market.
It is also necessary to be aware of your own target market. In order to set a fair price, you must know who you are marketing your services to. For example, do you have the skills and resources to design websites for law firms and corporations, or are you helping neighborhood acquaintances with their latest small business ventures? A law firm will need a feature-rich website that includes, among other things, detailed legal information. This website will take a great deal of time compared to a local bakery in a small town, which only needs some basic information. Because of the difference in the depth and complexity of the content, the pricing should be different as well.
Another factor to consider is whether or not you will offer other services along with website construction. For example, are you able to create a logo and branding? Will you obtain a specialized gTLD (generic top-level domain) and secure hosting for the client? Will you offer website maintenance periodically after the website is completed? Customers usually prefer a one-stop-shop experience. Bundling similar services can mean a bigger paycheck for a job that only adds a little bit of time to your work schedule. Check out this article on Forbes for more information.
Your expertise and skill level can also affect how much a client is willing to pay, and thus how much you should charge. The more you work, the better you will become at your craft. Clients will not pay the same amount for an entry-level freelancer as they will for someone who has worked in their field for five to ten years. Be honest about what you can do, and be improving constantly to make yourself as appealing a choice as possible. Also, if you’ve been coding and building websites for long enough to become something of an expert, adjust your prices accordingly! You should be adequately compensated for your knowledge and skill level. Communicate what it is that makes your service unique with every potential client.
Clients want to know what sets you apart from other website developers. What specific features do you use that add value to the sites you create? How much experience do you have? Can you complete the same job in less time than other developers?
You will also want to compare and contrast your pricing with freelancers in your area. Get a better idea of how you can strategically price your services with the best ratio of value-for-money. If you offer more, charge more! Be sure to let the customer know exactly what they’re getting if they choose to do business with you. One other way to get an idea of how to price your services compared to others is to use an online freelance network such as Upwork, Toptal, Hired, GitHub, etc. Use the “secret shopper” method to learn more information about how much your competition is charging. Be sure to look at the reviews as well; this will reveal exactly what your target market really values in a web developer service.
The final important aspect of pricing is whether or not to create your estimate based on a per-hour rate or on a per-project rate. Many web developers charge fifty to eighty dollars per hour, whereas others might charge five thousand dollars or more as a flat rate for a finished project. Prices may vary drastically depending on the target market and necessary website features, but time is a key element as well. Keep in mind that your time is valuable, and decide what works best for you based on your skills as a developer.
There is no definitive answer to the question of exactly how much to charge a client to develop their website. Instead, address each client on an individual basis. Figure out their needs, wants, likes, and dislikes. Discuss who the client’s target market is and what you can do to support them as a website developer. Utilize freelance network platforms to create your own catalog of prices for different options based on other services from website developers like yourself. In short, know your skill level, and be sure to market yourself accordingly!