How Much Should You Pay Your Freelance Web Designer?

You’re here because a new website is on the horizon. Maybe you have an old site that’s in dire need of an update, or maybe you’re starting from scratch. Either way, having a good web designer by your side is crucial to the project’s success but how well do you know their worth? How much is too much to pay for a good website? Where does the value of their work lie?

This article will give you some insight into those questions, and help you determine what a fair price would be for your specific situation. You’ll learn about the three most common pricing models (hourly, fixed-price, and value-based), as well as when it might be best to use each one. Finally, we’ll examine how both parties can ensure that they’re getting what they pay for out of their partnership.

How to Figure Out Your Web Design Hourly Rate
Understanding your web design needs is crucial to determining a fair price.
Researching industry standards and comparing rates can give you an idea of what to expect.
Consider the scope of the project, including the number of pages, functionality, and design complexity.
Communication and transparency with your designer can help avoid any misunderstandings or surprises.
It’s important to set clear expectations, including timelines and payment terms, before starting a project.

Web Designing Pricing Estimate

There are so many factors that go into each project and it’s hard to copy and paste a number here to tell you how much your freelance web designer should cost. But.

If you want to hire a skilled freelance web designer who produces a well-crafted website on budget and on time every time, then you need to spend more than $500. You need to budget around $3,000-$5,000 for a simple website (five pages or less), and upwards of $10k+ if you want something more complex. 

If you want to build an online store that will sell products or services automatically 24/7 then as we said before…you’re going to need thousands upon thousands of dollars set aside for this project because it’s going to take months just for development alone!

Are you looking to improve your web design freelancing career? Our experts share their top tips in our article on improving your web design freelancing career to help you achieve success.

Why Is It So Difficult To Find The Right Pricing For A Website?

So now you know that your website’s biggest costs are the amount of work, time, and experience required to complete it. The problem is how quickly all three can spiral out of control.

If you let your designer make all the decisions about those three things, they could easily run away with your budget and leave you with a bloated website that isn’t as good as it should be.

On the other hand, if you get too involved in trying to stop them from going overboard, you could end up with a website that doesn’t do what you need it to do.

Why Are Hourly Rates For Freelance Web Designers So Different?

The most important factor to consider when hiring a freelance web designer is the amount of experience they have. Naturally, more experienced designers will charge higher hourly rates because their expertise and time are worth more. 

It’s also important to consider the location because the cost of living varies drastically around the world. Developers on the coasts, in larger cities like New York City, San Francisco, and London will charge more than developers in smaller towns or rural areas.

Finally, every project has its own requirements and scope that impact how much work goes into it. A freelancer who charges $25 an hour may not be able to handle a job that takes over 20 hours while a freelancer who charges $100 an hour may complete it in less time, making your overall cost lower.

Starting a career in freelance web design can be challenging, but following a few simple rules can make all the difference. Check out our article on 19 rules for starting freelance web design to get started on the right foot.

What About Design Agencies And Large Development Companies?

For better or worse, there are plenty of web design and development agencies out there (here’s looking at you, Dallas). While they may seem like they’re going after your project as well, the truth is that they’re built to handle very large projects the type of jobs that require a team of designers and developers. When you’re only hiring one person to do all the work on a project, it’s unlikely that you’ll have the budget for an agency.

Agencies offer services in cities throughout North America and usually have a decent amount of experience in their field which means they know what they’re doing (and they don’t need much direction from you). However, this kind of expertise comes at a price. Agencies also often have a lot more overhead than freelancers think office space, computers, furniture for the conference room, etc. so it makes sense that their prices would be much higher than a single freelancer’s.

Why Are Estimates Not Accurate?

The main reason estimates don’t work is because it’s impossible for your developer to know the full scope of work that will be necessary to complete the project. This may seem like a claim of incompetence, but in reality, it’s just basic human nature: your developers are not minded readers. They can only do what you describe for them, and if you aren’t sure exactly how things should look or function, they won’t either.

Unlike many other professions, freelance web development is an industry where clients tend to have a very specific idea in their heads of what they want the end product to look like even if they can’t quite express it in words. 

Most people come into this process thinking that all they need to do is give their developer some bullet points describing what they want on their website and everything else will fall neatly into place. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.

Even if you’re able to provide your developers with more detailed descriptions of what you want to be done, there’s still a great chance that they won’t have an accurate picture of how much time those tasks will take until after the project has started. It’s not uncommon for developers to spend hours on one line of code simply because it has been placed in a location within the files where something else being built interferes with its performance or appearance on different browsers or devices (or both!). 

As a client or designer, it’s essential to understand the salaries and payment models in freelance web design. Check out our ultimate guide to freelance web designer salaries and FAQs to learn more and make informed decisions.

How To Make Your Developer Happy (From Experience!)

As a freelance developer and someone who’s worked with many other freelancers, I can attest to the fact that freelancing developers will be happier if you do the following:

Pay them on time. Getting paid is how they make money, so be sure to pay them when it’s due! If you don’t want to pay them, why did you hire them in the first place?

Ask for an estimate before starting the project. A good way of ensuring that your project stays within a budget is to get a rough estimate of how much work will cost before committing to anything. This allows both parties to know upfront if they can afford each other and helps avoid surprises down the road.

Don’t ask your developer to do extra work for free. While it may seem like small or random requests here and there won’t hurt anything as long as you’re paying for their time, these seemingly small requests add up over time. You wouldn’t expect a restaurant owner or waiter to come over with a tray full of food every five minutes without charging extra for it so please remember that your developer also needs compensation for their effort, even if it isn’t blatantly obvious at first glance.

Don’t ask your developer to do work that you don’t need to be done. It’s important not only that you can afford all of the necessary services, but also that you aren’t adding unnecessary expenses by asking your developer to take on projects outside of their normal scope of expertise (or in some cases, any kind of design at all). 

Just because your website has text doesn’t mean that hiring an experienced web designer will automatically solve any problems with readability or accessibility so please be sure about what kind of goals you have in mind before making decisions about who should be working on which aspects of your site!

Maximizing the value of your freelance web design work is crucial for both clients and designers. Check out our article on getting the most out of your freelance web design work for tips on how to optimize your work and improve outcomes.

Budgeting Is Often The First Step In A Successful Project

Budgeting is one of the most important steps to take when starting a web design project. Note that I say “budgeting” and not “establishing a budget.” While it’s definitely crucial to know how much money you have available for your project, it’s just as important to remember that your budget shouldn’t serve as an unbreakable, iron-clad cap on what you’re willing to spend.

Instead, think of your budget as more of a guide it should be practical and grounded in reality, but it should also be flexible enough so that if something comes up (either during the early stages of planning or after the site has been built), you won’t be completely hamstrung and unable to address issues without losing sleep over them.

Your web design specialist can help immensely in this regard. An experienced web designer will have worked with countless clients before you which means they’ve seen more than their fair share of websites (both good and bad), so they’ll be able to give advice about what kinds of things are possible within your given budget range. 

Many specialists will even offer free consultations, which cost nothing but a bit of your time and could end up saving you hundreds or thousands in the long run by helping you avoid costly mistakes down the road that could potentially undo all of your hard work (and hurt your business in the process).

Hiring a freelance web designer can be a valuable decision for businesses of all sizes. Check out our article on why hiring a freelance web designer may help you to learn more about the benefits of working with a freelancer.

Final Thought

The truth is, you get what you pay for. In fact, even that can be deceiving. A designer’s hourly rate may be high because of their experience and quality of work, but they may also be the slowest workers in the world!

Creating an amazing website takes a lot of work. And if you’re serious about creating something great with your designer/developer team then make sure they have all the resources necessary from day one! Otherwise, things won’t go smoothly at all 🙂

Further Reading

If you want to learn more about website pricing and how much to charge for your web design services, here are some additional resources to check out:

How Much to Charge for a Website: A Comprehensive Guide: Hostinger’s tutorial covers the factors that affect website pricing, how to calculate the cost of a website, and how to set your rates.

A Web Design Pricing Guide: This is What You Can Expect to Pay: This guide by Ripe Media provides an overview of web design pricing, including average costs for different types of websites and how to budget for your project.

How Much Do Web Designers Charge? A Guide for Freelancers: Dribbble’s guide breaks down web design pricing by project type, provides tips for setting your rates, and includes a calculator to help you estimate costs.


What factors affect web design pricing?

Web design pricing can be influenced by a variety of factors, including the complexity of the project, the size of the website, the level of customization required, and the experience and expertise of the designer.

How do I calculate the cost of a website?

To calculate the cost of a website, you’ll need to consider the factors that affect pricing and estimate how many hours of work will be required for each stage of the project. You can then multiply your hourly rate by the estimated hours to arrive at a total cost.

What is the average cost of a website?

The average cost of a website can vary widely depending on the type of site and the level of customization required. However, according to recent surveys, the average cost of a basic website ranges from $2,000 to $8,000.

How do I set my web design rates?

To set your web design rates, you should consider factors such as your level of experience and expertise, the average rates in your market, and the value you provide to clients. You may also want to consider offering different pricing packages or pricing by project.

How can I make sure I’m charging a fair price for my web design services?

To ensure that you’re charging a fair price for your web design services, you should research industry standards and average rates in your market, estimate the time required for each project, and be transparent with clients about your pricing and process. You may also want to consider offering a satisfaction guarantee or performance-based pricing.

When you’re trying to figure out how much to charge a client, it can be difficult to know where to start. It’s not uncommon for freelance web designers especially the ones just starting out to feel unsure about what kind of rates they should set. If you’re in this position, read these FAQs and see if your questions are answered:

How Much Should I Charge Per Hour?

A rate that feels comfortable for both you and your client is best. If your work takes a lot of time or requires special skills, you may feel inclined to charge more per hour than someone who can complete similar tasks within a shorter amount of time. However, if your client has more money at their disposal than others, you could also take that into account when setting the price per hour.

What Is My Project Worth? 

For many people, determining the value of a project depends on several factors: the scope of work needed, how long it has taken them in the past to complete similar projects (if any), their level of experience with this type of work, and even how much money they think their client will be willing to pay for it. 

When considering these various factors before quoting an hourly rate or flat fee for a job request from someone else, remember that as an independent contractor with no established brand name behind them yet the “you” factor doesn’t carry as much weight as other elements involved here might do at first glance.

How Much Should I Charge Per Page? 

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way around this one: every website will require different amounts of effort depending on its size and complexity. You may want to charge by page size or a number of pages instead if possible; otherwise, try charging hourly rates with estimates given before starting work so everyone knows what they’re getting into beforehand without having too many surprises later down line.

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