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r2d2

Your hourly rate?

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Hi Everyone,

If you don't mind me asking, I'm wondering what billing rates look like for a PW developer. How much do you generally charge your clients if broken down to an hourly rate?  A range would be good; for example:

Little experience: $### - $###

Moderate amount of experience: $### - $###

Very experienced: $### - $###

Thanks.

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This has been asked before and you're unlikely to get an answer - not because rates are trade secrets, but because it depends on so many things.

Experience is subjective, but which country and which city in which country also makes a difference. New York developers will charge more than rural developers.

The short version rate you charge should be based on what you can live off plus some additional to cover times when there's not as much work on, plus extra for how much you think your experience is worth.

It's not as clear as "what's the average" and it should be more about "what do you want to charge".

If your rate is set and you're getting no customers then you need to re-think it, but essentially it's about your variables more than what anyone else charges.

All that said, if you really want an answer then you can type this sort of thing into Google - "web developer rates in X city".

Hope that helps a bit.

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So true Pete !

Next we have the question which hours do we charge. Example: you need study for a project ( without you'll not succeed the job )

how do you charge those ? 

Experienced developers can charge way more an hour then a less experienced programmer and in the end the bill will be lower. 

I do think that customers want to know the cost of the product, not the hours it took (in first place).

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r2d2, these are alienated questions, been there.

PM me.

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I charge ~100'000€/h for advanced stuff and my expertise. Depends.

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Yup, there's another topic that touches on pricing here with some really useful links: http://processwire.com/talk/topic/3309-i-just-got-fired-from-my-job/page-2

I seem to think there was one someone linked to ages ago as well where a web developer did a really nice graphic breaking down the different parts of a project and arriving at a price but I can't remember where that was.

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Ah yes, I love that video - gave me more confidence definitely! I really need to bookmark it.

One of the things I took away from it was "if you think you're not charging enough then you probably aren't" - simple as that.

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Back to the "experience" bit, I always used to feel bad charging much for websites because, whilst I'm reasonably good at it, I enjoy it and it always used to feel like a hobby.

Now compare this to any tradesman. In the UK an electrician to re-wire your house might charge £60 an hour and take a week (big house huh? :)). That's £2400 for an 8 hour day, 5 days a week and the results of the work last a really long time and are effective as soon as the work is complete.

A web developer is also a skilled tradeperson with experience built up over the years. The website might take two weeks for a non-standard site that's not overly-complicated. Like the electrician, my work is of immediate benefit to the client and will last a really long time (unless I did a really bad job). On top of that, my work will generate new customers and income for them.

If I was to take two weeks and charge the same rate would you be offended by a £4800 price tag? Should you have a reason to be offended given the examples above?

Of course because there is often other work on, some tradespeople (and web developers) will have to split their time and the project takes longer, but the hours are still the same so the longer the project takes to complete doesn't necessarily equate to more hours charged, but you get the idea.

Anyway, these aren't what I charge, but I feel that the example is relevant - and also that I also might have pinched bits of it from some of the 37Signals books :)

Something else to remember is that if your prices are right then you can afford to have fewer clients giving you more work than more clients giving you sporadic work. A lot of it is about building relationships as much as finding the right prices.

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@r2d2: for quick figures you'll probably want to find existing articles and discussions from Google. ProcessWire developers are not a special group when compared to, say, Drupal developers. Except, of course, that they're using a far superior platform ;)

This little post was something of a wake-up call for me: http://speckyboy.com/2013/07/08/turn-your-web-design-agency-around-by-raising-rates/. Things like that, of course, depend entirely on what kind of projects (and clients) you're interested in, what can you do for them that's worth their money etc.

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Great post you linked to there teppo - even makes my example seem too cheap :)

I know of a company that used to charge £10k for a large-ish site in static HTML and several hundred a month for support. I can now see why they set the initial price so high (though not the support - that seemed a bit much to me since they didn't do that many updates ever and an hourly rate would make more sense there I feel) as it was a large site to rebuild, but if I had just a couple of those a year I'd spend a heck of a lot more time making sure everyone was happy and doing an amazing job instead of the reality where they were landing lots of large clients and not giving any of them their full attention and trying to push them out of the door quickly.

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And then there is the sticky issue of "what the market can stand."

I absolutely know I am very underpaid for some work (both web and music composition), but if I tell the client that it will cost more than they are prepared to pay, then they go away and use someone else. I don't have the expertise to do work for larger value clients than little shops and so on, and most of those people's starting point is the ads they see on TV for business sites for £1

I know most of the devs here have work coming out of their ears, but I dont - I cant afford to not take work, sadly. 

That makes it very difficult to boil this down to a per hour rate. If a job pays £500 - then it should only take 10 hours at a sensible rate. But if it takes a week, then it still pays the 500.

EDIT: Actually, not so much the expertise as not a good enough portfolio 

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Joss - I agree with you as well. I don't have work coming out of my ears (well, at the moment I have a queue which is a novelty in the 8 years my business has been running) but then this isn't the only thing I do so I have a bit of financial backup there from another job.

I despise the ads on TV for those websites. They are touting "cookie cutter" websites as unique and valuable and the problem nowadays is that the designs are pretty good and that's drawing people in. At the same time though, they're probably not the people you want to work with if you had the choice because they won't see the value in what you bring to the project.

If you ever want or need to team up on something larger though then give me a shout - I'm happy to collaborate.

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Thanks!

One of the things with writing music is that I have become hardened to people not seeing value. Mostly when a client signs off and I do the final arrangement and vocals, I get no feed back at all. They just pay the bill and use it. I have no idea whether the end client (I deal with stations or agencies) was in love with it or just thinks it is doing the job.

The very rare occasion I get a client phone up and say nice things is therefore a huge bonus - though cash would also be nice!

Interestingly, I did get that recently on a set of sung commercials I did that I wrote in the style of a West End musical. That one they did bother to comment on.

Its at the front of my recent show reel (and a second version at the end):

http://dancingbear.co.uk/site/assets/audio/showreels/DancingBear-Feb2014-recent.mp3

I did once get annoyed about it - I had written and produced this 3 minute orchestral piece with a big vocal over the top; I was very pleased with it. The client liked it but asked "where do you source your tracks to sing over?"

I have no idea what he thought the £3000 he had just paid me was for!!!

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I did once get annoyed about it - I had written and produced this 3 minute orchestral piece with a big vocal over the top; I was very pleased with it. The client liked it but asked "where do you source your tracks to sing over?"

I have no idea what he thought the £3000 he had just paid me was for!!!

That's an example of not charging enough then I think, but it can be a difficult balancing act.

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Oh, sorry - you probably got the impression that the composition took a long time. I did it in 5 hours. I had to sit on it for a week so he thought it took me longer. Hence why I was so pissed off he thought I had bought the track in ....  >:D

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But again, is it a simple skill to learn? Not at all. The client was paying for your experience, though I now see why you were annoyed as they didn't seem to know what they paid for :D

I know someone once who was paying £100 a month for web hosting that they didn't know they had and they'd been letting it come out of their bank account for years alongside the much cheaper hosting they were using.

Little should surprise me at this stage really.

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Thank you everyone for the good info. I appreciate it.

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Agree with R2, this has turned out to be a far more interesting discussion than just having people post their rates.

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