When it comes to web design and development, it seems all typical pricing guidelines are thrown out the window. Website designers are often taken advantage of – I have personally been on several occasions, but you learn from your mistakes. We are in a professional industry, and of course there are going to be designers who offer lower rates, but you get what you pay for. As the video demonstrates below, although a lot of what we do(platform, tools, design, etc.) is similar, there is a significant difference in the final product and service provided.

If clients cannot agree on your website pricing, I would suggest that you let them go with a cheaper alternative. These types of clients are what I like to refer to as “Groupon ers” they are always looking for a deal, always. Yes, you can leave room for negotiations, but know what your costs are, and where your break even point is. Just because another freelance designer, or design firm offers lower prices, doesn’t mean you should match it. If you provide a premium service, you should charge a premium price. From my experience, whatever time you guesstimate the design will take, should be doubled.

I offer a “basic web design package” and a “premium web design package” so the client and I know exactly what the design and cost expectations are throughout the process, and there aren’t any surprises when invoicing. I charge flat rates, time always fluctuates into the designer’s favour; but it’s not good business.

A good way to weed out the potential clients who aren’t serious is to ask for a down payment before you start the web design. There are start-up costs(domain, hosting, email and labour), so this isn’t an unreasonable request. If your client’s unwilling to sign a contract and/or give a down payment – I typically do 1/3 before the design, 1/3 when I’m half done, and 1/3 when complete or 1/2 when I start and 1/2 when complete, depending on the length and complexity of the project – they aren’t someone I want to work with. I don’t take on every project that I am presented. This way if the client flakes out on you(a lot of them do) you aren’t left high and dry with a website that you have invested a lot of time and energy into, which you cannot use.

A good analogy would be when you go and eat at a sit down restaurant. Yes, the restaurant will charge more for your meal than if you went to a fast food restaurant. A sit down restaurant offers better service(waiters), variety, personalization, checks up on you, and is there to ensure your overall satisfaction.