First freelance web design project -...

User 457589 Photo

Registered User
133 posts

A small business is interested in working with me to design their company website. I am very excited to be considered for the job. I have worked as an artist and graphic designer for years and have had some professional experience in web design. I recently created my own site, which the business that has inquired about my service really likes. The company wants a basic site: home page and 3 – 4 information pages. It will be a website for potential clients to find them and read about the services that the company provides. I will use Visual Site Designer to create the website.

I’m really not sure about how much to charge the company. I called around and got several quotes from area designers. My cost idea is considerably less than the professionals I spoke with. A couple of designers talked a lot about web optimization, and other features that they provide.

This is my first freelance web design project. I really want to do a good job, not only with the design (which I feel competent about), but also with the service that this company receives from the site that I build. Can anyone give me some advice about designing a site for someone else? What are some things that I should consider aside from the actual design of the site? What will help my client get the most out of the website I create for his business?

Many Thanks,
User 38401 Photo

Senior Advisor
10,951 posts

I think the main thing to find out from the client is exactly what they expect from you. Basically designing a site is not a problem and I would imagine you'll have no difficulties there at all, but do they expect other things from you also such as search engine submissions and optimizations outside of the site building itself, upkeep that entails X number of changes per X amount of time (usually setup like 5 changes a month or whatever amounts you decide on), things like this need to also be considered in the price.

Price usually goes by:

how many pages?

do you have to do all the graphical work such as creating a logo, scanning all their documents, etc, or do they have it done and you can just pop it in there with maybe just a resize or small color adjustment?

How much upkeep will be involved? Will you have to update it weekly/monthly/yearly to accomodate sales/new products/etc.?

Are you providing the hosting or are they already setup for it? Keep in mind there are always monthly costs for hosting fees.

Are you providing the domain name or do they have one already? If they don't have one are they going to get it themselves or do you need to do it for them? Also what type of protection they want on their domain matters too as it usually costs extra for things like WHOIS protection from spammers and such.

These and anything else that is involved in the end result are all things to consider in your pricing.
Having said all that, I've seen sites that range from 100 to 500+ dollars and really in the end it's how much work is involved for the time it takes.
User 2006507 Photo

Registered User
18 posts

Hi Amy,

As I was reading your question, I had several suggestions. Luckily, most of them have already been very well covered up by Wolverana.

Since this is your first assignment keep your rates low. Your good work/references will help in getting more assignments in future from the same client or others. There is NEVER a flat rate per page, it all depends how complex each page will be and time it will take you to do it. It is best to quote a billing rate per hour (say $25), that way both you and client can estimate the cost.

Say you initial estimation is:
It will take you 25 hours for 5 pages X $25 per hour (billing rate)= $625 Total.

It is fine to quote an initial estimate, but often clients keep changing their mind regarding Layout, Fonts, Colors and 'N' number of things. A billing rate per hour will indicate to your client that any change they make from initially agreeable layout will not come 'totally' free. Hosting, making logo etc expenses are extra. Once you quote your billing rate to client, they will likely disclose their budget too.

Throw in some free goodies like - Offer him to Submit the site to search engines (which is easy right ;) + 4 free hours of your work time ) .

Also keep tax aspects in mind (Ideally one has to declare freelance income to IRS which is taxed heavily .. but its your call eventually to declare it or not).

I am a biotech professional. | (accounts receivables)
User 629005 Photo

2,174 posts

Make sure that whatever amount you finally agree upon, that you both have a full understanding of what is expected by both parties. Definitely get a written agreement, and IF/WHEN they want to amend the job (most all will try to add-on when you are almost done), do not be soft and allow them to take advantage of you. Free goodies is good (as was suggested) but watch that you don't get taken in the end.
Living the dream, stocking the cream :D
User 37670 Photo

Registered User
2,138 posts

Amy, I wish you the best of luck on this project.
Don't undercharge is the only good advice I can give you. We are all willing to work for different amounts. Make sure that you feel you are paid reasonably for your work. It's difficult to do any work if you feel you are under paid.

Do keep in mind that any site you build for a company is THEIR property. Don't quote a cheap price for the design, thinking that you will recover your value when doing upgrades. Once the site is built and working, that company has every right to take it over and leave you out of the picture. Decide what your time is worth, and then GO FOR IT! Building a company website is an achievement you should be proud of.
E-Learning Specialist is my website, and yes, some of it is crappy.
User 2825928 Photo

1 post

Hello to Amy,

Since I have seen this message to you I took a chance to write to you and ask you a serious question. I am a retired gentleman with a very tight and limited pension in Canada. I can pay very little to any designer who would take on my project but I am willing to share a percentage of any profit I make of sales from the website. I have an excellent idea of what I wish on the site but not locked into how it runs except on how to input data and access. For all this I would be willing to even give you a junior partnership if you wanted or just keep you on a percentage of my profit as mentioned. I just moved my website to Coffee Cups S-Drive and I am in the process of acquiring the RSD package at the end of the month hopefully. If you are at all interested then please reply to me on my personal email which is <> or the websites email <>. If you are not interested then maybe you might know someone who might be. I have a bunch of stuff for sale from my previous Flea Market days and some of it is new and others are used. In them including Bills, Books, Coins, Comics, DVDs, Jewellry, Plates, Posters, Prints, VHS, Watches & etc... I don't remember all the stuff right now. Oh yes, I have many computer accessories that are hard to find including some cell phones. This will give an idea of what I wish to do but once interested I could explain it in more detail... My Thanx for reading this. Clinton...
User 3153290 Photo

1 post

Understand the client's goals: Start by having a detailed discussion with the client to understand their business, target audience, and specific goals for the website. This will help you tailor the design and content to meet their objectives effectively. Plan the website structure: Work with the client to determine the main sections and pages required for the website. In this case, it would be a home page and 3-4 information pages. Create a sitemap or wireframe to visualize the structure and flow of the website.

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