Written exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman.
If you’re a corporate designer, you don’t have to worry about things like how to bill your clients, as you’re likely either on salary or have a predetermined hourly rate and regular work schedule.
But for freelancers, figuring out how best to charge clients for work completed can be a nightmare. After all, you want to charge clients a fair price, make a decent living, and get enough work so that you’re not struggling to find the next project.
In the world of web design, there are two basic ways most designers charge: per hour or per project. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, and there are situations where one method works better than the other.
In this article, we’ve presented an overview of what’s involved in each method of charging, as well as what you need to consider when choosing a method.
Charging by the Hour
Charging an hourly rate is incredibly common in the world of freelancers, both for designers and other professionals.
It’s a pretty straight-forward way of charging. I just tell you I charge $X per hour and you either think that’s reasonable and agree to pay it or you don’t and you find someone who charges less.
Advantages to Charging by the Hour
As mentioned, hourly charges are very straight-forward. Some designers have a flat hourly rate regardless of the type of work they do. Others have different hourly rates for different functions (designing, coding, testing, etc.).
It’s easy to lay out for your clients exactly what you charge, and they often feel like it’s a more transparent way of doing business. It’s also a method clients are used to dealing with, as that’s likely how their lawyer, accountant, and other professionals also charge.