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Chapter 23. Turning Pro: Becoming a Paid... > Getting Paid: Web Design Rates - Pg. 265

Turning Pro: Becoming a Paid Web Designer 265 Getting Paid: Web Design Rates What you charge for your services is obviously a critical part of your business success (or lack thereof). If you charge too much, people won't hire you; if you charge too little, you'll leave money on the table (at best) or fail due to lack of profits (at worst). Unfortunately, the web design business is still wet behind its electronic ears, so there are no set rates. In any case, what you charge depends on a number of factors: Webmaster Wisdom It's a rare web designer who has the Big Four skills: HTML, writing, graphics, and programming. If you lack one or more of these assets, you can always hire someone to work with you on a project-by-project basis. · Your level of experience:The more the monetarily merrier. · What skills you have:Someone with good writing, graphics, or programming skills can charge more than someone who just knows HTML inside and out. · The type of client:You can get away with charging more to a corporation than you could to a Mom and Pop shop or a nonprofit organization. · What type of page you're creating:You should charge one (lower) price for simple text pages or for converting existing documents to HTML; you should charge another (higher) price for pages that require creative writing, custom graphics, or programming. · How much consulting is involved:You can boost your rate if a job requires long consultations with the client. With all that in mind, the next question to think about is how you want to charge the client: by the hour or by the project? Per-hour pricing is the most common, particularly for new web designers. Before delving into this, you should be familiar with one crucial concept: billable hours. These are hours that you actually work on a project. They don't include activities such as selling the client in the first place, eating lunch, or blowing away nasty aliens in a rousing game of Quake. With that in mind, coming up with that all-important hourly rate is tough. Here are two ways to go about it: · See what other designers are charging.Visit the sites of other page designers and check out their rates. See what kinds of sites they've produced. If you think you can do as good a job, then you might be able to charge the same amount. · Use the expenses-and-profits method.With this method, you calculate your average weekly expenses, add the amount of profit you'd like, and then divide by the weekly billable hours. For example, suppose your weekly expenses work out to $600. If you want to make a minimum 25 percent profit (a not unreasonable figure), then you need to add another $150, for a total weekly nut of $750. If you figure your week has 30 billable hours, then you'd set your rate at $25 per hour.