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  1. #1
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    Pricing / Estimates

    I am a newbie and may be taking on a new client with existing website: www.ntbzzz.com. Need to recode the whole site (two pages)... The client asked for an estimate but since I am a newbie I know it will take me longer than most. Any suggestions about how to price this?

    It, of course, involves redoing both pages and creating template with proper semantic markup/css and will use a sandbag div (someone in another forum helped me with this) so text won't squish and float outside box in Safari or when user increases font (original problem).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to overcharge since it will take me longer than someone experienced.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I would say you should at least outline the specific items you will be doing. That way you don't end with an open ended project that has no end. Also, you might want to let them know that you are basing your quote on X hours of work. It can then be your perogative to work extra or ask for a little more money for additional features or requests.

  3. #3
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    Right. I think that's a good idea -- letting them know how many hours I think it will take and not leave it open ended.

    I am wondering how long it would it take you -- someone who is experienced with css/html, sandbag div, etc -- so that I don't overcharge since I am new and will be slower.

    Wondering if I should post this in the CSS section????

  4. #4
    Entrepreneur Spencer F.'s Avatar
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    I wouldn't charge per hour, because you have limited experience and so it'll take you longer than most. You should instead charge for the entire job. The reason being is that you're going to take far longer than someone like W3 MARKUP, but you could charge the same amount and get away with it.
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  5. #5
    Django Jedi neron-fx's Avatar
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    As a newbie I would say think how long it would take you. Whatever number you come up with- double it That was what I used to do when I started freelancing as a student. However I do agree with Spencer F. I did not charge clients by the hour. Put in a quote for the whole job and stick to that. Don't forget they are giving you a valuable oportunity here to get some experience and possibly gain a client that you can keep.

    Honesty is the best policy. Give them a quote for the 2 pages worth of work and then work until it is done. It may take you longer than you expect and the fee will not match the amount of time you spent. But on the upside you have a happy client with a site that came in on budget, good recommendations from your client via word of mouth and valuable experience on how to charge a job and calculate hourly estimates. The first few times I did freelance work I spent more time than I earned in money. But once you know your strengths and weaknesses and do it a couple of times then you can start quoting hours more accurately and therefore start charging more accurately. Its one of those things that just comes through experience unfortunately

    Saying that please remember- dont let the client take the mickey and dont undersell yourself! If they start adding bits on that you have not agreed to then you have to stand tall and charge appropriately for the extra work. Its a fine line and a balancing game but with some practice you will pick it up.

    Good luck to you!
    Neron-Fx
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru SSJ's Avatar
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    First of all keep in mind that honesty is the best policy.

    Now start with thinking on the work.
    - Slice the work in different modules OR pages.
    - Calculate how much time you will require to complete each module
    - Do Total of hours of all the modules.
    - Fix your rate for 1 hour.(ie 20$)
    - Do 20$ * (estimated hours to complete the whole task)

    Now you will get the estimated cost and estimated time for that job.

    If you think it may be high and task is longer then you can reduce your hourly rate to get that big Job.

    Hope it helps...

  7. #7
    Entrepreneur Spencer F.'s Avatar
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    @SSJ

    I really don't think inexperienced people should charge by the hour. That's just not going to work. You can't fairly estimate the cost of a project if you don't know how long it'll take you. It takes experience to be able to correctly quote a project at a per hour rate.
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  8. #8
    Django Jedi neron-fx's Avatar
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    I agree, for the timebeing Sculley should charge per job until he/she gets the hang of pricing jobs and gets into the swing of actually carrying out the work. You dont want to outprice or undersell yourself early on.
    Neron-Fx
    Everytime a user opens Internet Explorer, a web developer dies...
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  9. #9
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    So helpful! Thank you all for the helpful advice.

    I think I WILL charge by the job.

    SSJ - I don't understand what you mean by slice the work in different "modules" or pages. There's two pages and a style sheet. Gosh, I'm newer than I thought.

  10. #10
    Entrepreneur Spencer F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sculley View Post
    Gosh, I'm newer than I thought.
    You're green!
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  11. #11
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    Spencer,

    I emailed W3 Markup per your suggestion. They are suggesting a redesign:

    "The problem is that it is using one large graphic for the background on both pages which not only looks bad but is constraining the entire layout. And the fix isn't easy because the design has large angular bars going across the homepage which make slicing up the image hard. It needs to be refined so that it uses less graphics and uses more of the selling content on the homepage. Basically it needs major reworking.

    You could pay anyone to slice up the graphics for you but you're going to wind up with the same thing basically. I'd go with a redesign."

  12. #12
    Entrepreneur Spencer F.'s Avatar
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    @Sculley

    They have a point.
    + Carbonmade - Easiest way to display and manage your portfolio.
    + Burstoid - Design magazine.

    + twitter/spencerfry

  13. #13
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    However you charge, make sure that you have a written document that outlines the scope of the project. Clients always want to add a few tweaks here and there, so if you're not careful, your simple project can turn into a monster.


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