Charging as a web devoper (as opposed to as a web designer)

Though I’ve always be a web designer, I’m proposed to work with a designer as a web developer and asked how much I charge for it.

Could someone help with to answer this question with some advice or useful articles ?

Why not just charge the same rate?

I don’t think there is a set rate per se. Like Sagewing says, you could possibly charge the same rate - although this may be effected by variables e.g. Are there any additional/different activities in this role vs your role as a web designer? If so, is the quality of yours skills required for that service less/greater than a webdesigner?

It’s actually a graphic designer who would provide PSD web mockups and I’ll make live websites from it (and he delivers the result to the client). Should I charge him in a way different from how I charge my clients ?

Finally, is it a good idea to add “open to negociation” after I present my rates to him (if I’m really interested in working with him) ?

Hourly rates are somewhat arbitrary and somewhat based in experience and credentials. There is a lot of room for interpretation. There is really no reason that someone should charge a different rate for a different service unless one of the services would command a higher or lower rate according to the marketplace, or your skill level is totally different for the two skills. So, this is really something you need to consider for your own personal situation. If in doubt, just keep your rate the same.

As for saying that your rate is negotiable, this is also up to you. But, keep in mind that what you are really saying is ‘this is the rate that I want, but if you ask me to I’ll accept a lower rate’. Do you really want to send that message?


These days most of my freelance work as as a social media consultant but on occasion I get pulled in for ecommerce optimization and even technology / vendor selection. In either case my rate is the same rate and while this can be higher than what’s the norm in other fields my comment to clients is simple – that’s what I charge for my time, what you ask me to work on is up to you. So unless it’s a travel / ongoing gig it’s all the same rate. Simple.

Billable rates are as much about what you want, and can get, as it is about norms. That’s why you see people on freelance sites charging $10 / hr while the next profile is $110. Both are standard rates, for different skillsets, regions and offerings within a given space.

Ok thanks !

I charge substantially less if someone else is acquiring the client and making the sale. I just don’t like to do it. It is much easier for me to simply do a technical task like create a template from a comp than it is to try and persuade someone to use my services.

So I charge less to designers who are sending me repeat work than I do to the restaurants/churches/etc who I actively have to work on as a client account, and I pay a pretty good commission to my sales agent. So I have no problem charging less if I don’t have to sell and manage an account.

I also don’t negotiate on price. I actually turned down a $7000 job today because the client wouldn’t meet my bid (which was $8500 for the same work). I don’t just make up numbers when I give a quote: it is the lowest price and I can’t negotiate below that, so no negotiations on price for me.

Hmm I asked the same rate to him as to my clients. But since I don’t have to deal with the clients (acquiring him, communicating, getting paid, etc) I think you’re right, I should ask less !

Let’s see if he accepts. If he does, there’s no need to ask less :wink:

Not necessarily. Imagine if you were super busy with lots of good work, and someone came to you with another job. You are already busy, but could maybe take one more job if it were worth it financially. So, you tell him that you could accept the job but only at a higher rate.

See, it can go both ways? Setting rates is a bit like chess and a bit like poker. You have to consider the market conditions as your major parameters, but then much of it also depends on how much you ‘think’ you can get, and how much you really want the job.

In a single day I might get 3 inquires and quote different rates for each.

If someone calls me and asks me to do some consulting for a client who I am dying to make contact with, sounds like a fun job, and is very attractive I might quote them $100.

If an hour later someone calls me and offers me a consulting gig for a sector and I am not interested in, requiring travel somewhere I don’t feel like going, and working with people that I am not excited about, that might get quoted at $300.

So, be sure to adjust your rates based on both the market and your personal situation at the time!

Very instructive thanks!

That is the hardest thing to figure out…how much to charge. It all depends on the market and your experience. Maybe call around to some places and see what they are charging.