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  1. #1
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    Question. I'm woundering what is the basic pay scale for a person with a degree in web design vs a person without a degree but has advance knowledge of building the pages. Reason that I'm asking is that i'm doing a web site for a non profit organziation that I've been with since I was ten and my mom is the program director. I'm 26 now this is my first site and just woundering what type of price range I should expect. I haven't offered any type of price range to the board but what I had in mind was between $1000.00 to $1500 one time fee and I would maintain it for free. I've try searching the pay scale on web designers but to no prevail. Thanks for your help.
    Aaron

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  3. #2
    Junior Member Pope's Avatar
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    Interesting. I was going to ask pretty much the exact same question on here today. I too am curious as to what the typical price expectation would be for a web design job, and any other advice on how to start and manage a small web design business. I was asked about doing a website for a woman at my school, and I'm just not sure how to approach it. This would be my first web design job. I'm not yet the most experienced, but I have much more skill than most, so I definitely have a service to offer. I'm just not quite polished enough to give any kind of estimate on the time it would take me, or the amount of pay it would require. I'm also wondering how to handle managing the website on a continual basis.
    Music, writing, and nerdery by Arthur Pope.
    www.PopeArthur.com -I'm Ex Cathedra, baby!

  4. #3
    Senior Member Shani's Avatar
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    Factors to consider:

    How big is the site? How complicated is the code? Do they need extra services like domain registration and finding a host? The ultimate question really is "How long will it take me to build & set up?"

    I determine for myself an hourly rate. I then determine how many hours it will take me to do something (add a little in because it always takes longer any ways) and then come up with a formula output that matches my hourly rate. In other words I give quotes based on projects, but the price of the project is based on an hourly estimate.

    I think that sounds confusing, but really it's not so let me give you an example. I'll use small pretty numbers that are well below the going price:

    Say I want $10/hr.

    I define a project in at least 3 levels (larger projects I generally add a "planning" phase):
    1- home page
    2- other pages
    3- advanced coding

    Note: this does not include graphic production, which I also offer, but most of my clients already have a logo & photography. If these things are needed, include them, by all means!.

    Say it take me 5-10 hours to layout a home page, that means I'd charge $100. From there, the next page would take 2 hours, so that would be $20, and so on. Using this formula, a 10 page site would cost $280, before advanced coding.

    Does it make sense?

    My best piece of advice: do a web search for web design rates. Since you do not have a lot of experience, charge less, BUT, make sure you're not getting yourself into a situation where you're losing money OR underselling yourself. When I see things that are a LOT cheaper, I question the quality of the service. DO NOT say things that sell yourself short or undermine your skills.

    You asked about education vs experience. I think experience is preferred, and I know from a fact education is not necessary. That sounds wrong, I'm not saying skip out on the education, what I'm saying is don't worry if you don't have it.

    Advice: Be careful of offering free updates... Some clients think updates and re-designs are the same thing, so make sure to define what services are included (e.g. addition of news articles, monthly updates of subscription statistics, etc.). Also, determine a time frame, and avoid using the term "Free" (I prefer "included") so... "$1500 includes initial set up including all codes and graphics, as well as updates* for one year, ending on 23 March, 2007." "*Updates include..."

    Also, run a search on this forum, this question has come up before.
    Shani

    I have an eye for detail like you'd never believe.

  5. #4
    Senior Member hagen's Avatar
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    That's all good advice...

    Make sure that you charge sufficient to not get pissed off with the whole thing then you will all lose out... This was the temptation when I first started... And still is a bit...

    I would suggest writing a SLA: Service Level Agreement....

    Use it to define terms and expectations... or things can get messy...

    IE for me updates are all about the content, and rebuilds are about navigation and structure...

    If you know them well, then maybe you could ask them what they feel would be a fair hourly rate, and calculate accordingly...

    :-)

    -Hagen
    Hagen Rose: hagen(at)jxwd(dot)co(dot)uk
    JX Web Development, Bournemouth, Dorset...JXWD.co.uk

  6. #5
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    Most important, start cheap. Use the first few jobs you get and tell them `listen, understand you're getting a real bargain deal here. The hidden price is, you have to tell other people about me if you hear about someone needing a site done for them.' Get a few like that, and you're not only building up your portfolio, but you're also building up goodwill and people who are willing to promote you for free.

  7. #6
    Senior Member hagen's Avatar
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    very true...never give something for nothing or cheap without making damn sure that the client knows....

    I sometimes even go as far as to put it on the invoice I.E. includes £150 of SEO at no charge with compliments...

    It's also good sales if you can get everyone to feel like they have got a bargin... Donít go too far or you will sound like a car sales person... I often tell people that I will do something cheaper than normal because the project interests me, and its oftern even true!

    I have got myself in a little trouble recently doing a pro bono martial arts web site where for as many lessons as I want for free I do the club web site... Because the person involved wasnít being invoiced they became quite flippant about making requests and it became very annoying... I think from now on I will allocate them say 40 hours in exchange for the years tuition, and they can use them as they want....

    :-)

    -Hagen
    Hagen Rose: hagen(at)jxwd(dot)co(dot)uk
    JX Web Development, Bournemouth, Dorset...JXWD.co.uk

  8. #7
    Senior Member Karloff's Avatar
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    i'm not experienced at all but would like to express my views. I have taken on some FREElance work.... yes i did it for free just to build my portfolio up.

    however it was a bad idea as i only wanted to re-design their current site (same content) and they would do all the maintenance. (not much work i thought but it soon led to more and more and more work which really was time consuming but by a certain point i had to complete the work as i had spent so much time on it.

    Next time i will set out exactly what i'm willing to do and not do! anyway, i've learned a million lessons from it and hopefully will learn from my mistakes!

  9. #8
    Senior Member minute44's Avatar
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    This is tricky really because in the world of web design... Qualifications are nothing more than sheets of paper. Self taught designers can be (and often are) better than university educated designers. Why? Well this is why:

    A university course corriculum takes a lot of time and effort to produce, research and test before it hits the lecture halss and students begin learning.

    So by the time it reaches the students it is already out of date. Some schools are still teaching <font> tags and frames for Christs sake!

    How are you supposed to learn web design if the information you're being given is incorrect or out dated?

    So I'd say it's not the method of learning that makes the designer his money... it's the experience and portfolio that writes your pricetags.
    No ma'am, we in IT don't have a sense of humor we're aware of.

  10. #9
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    So by the time [the curriculum] reaches the students it is already out of date.
    It's not just that. An eye for design is something that develops through practice, not through classrom teaching. And a feel for it (i.e., not just being able to *recognize* good design, but being able to come up with it) develops through even more practice. In my case, for example, though my eye for design is getting better, my feel for it is still horrendous.

    While using `outdated' techniques is... Well...Outdated... It's not a Bad Thing (tm) for your customer if it does what they want it to. Things like designing with CSS and such aren't done just so the website deliverable is better, though they often help. They're also done for other reasons like accessibility and future-proofness. If the customer doesn't care about either of those and you don't know how to deliver either of those, well, you still get the job.

    At the end of the day, it's probably not going to be the resume that'll catch them, it'll be your portfolio and your people skills. If you can talk to them on their level, grasp what they want quickly, and sell yourself well, then you'll be better off than if you can do none of these but you have a college degree in CS and website design.

  11. #10
    Senior Member karinne's Avatar
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    [a web design portfolio - Currently NOT AVAILABLE for work | web design | Re-coding | PSD-to-HTML]
    I'm also on: virb - facebook - twitter - flickr - del.icio.us


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