What a Freelance Web Designer Should Consider to Find the Right Cost

For a freelance web designer, it is quite a challenging task to figure out the worth of your time, and it could take some time to learn the cost of the different projects. There could be assignments that, in spite of low payments, take a little of your time, and that makes them worth it, while some other projects would come with a fat paycheck, but could take over life. Hence, in venturing into the world of freelance web designing or development, the key is to figure out the correct rate. Now granted, what you can convince your client to pay you that determines the charge, but there are certain factors that could help you come to your goal rate. To help you figure out the rates as a freelance designer, here are few tips for you:

What the client is really asking for

At the outset, find out the components and features that the client wants. There must be some cost variations between building a personal blog and a website for a large-scale business. A big challenge for a freelancer is finding ways to deal with changes in project scope. Hence, you need to consider the following.

How demanding the client is

You could come across demanding clients, some offers the projects, and only provides answers to your queries, while some others might be micromanaging things all through the project. You need to factor in the second type of clients while charging. However, you need to consider the following as well.

Your skill level

It is important for you to be honest regarding the level of experience that you have with different types of projects. Your expertise may be short of what the client needs, and your level of delivering may not be similar to another designer, or else, you may need some more time and research to perform the task. One thing that needs to be noted is that the better-experienced designers are capable of delivering faster, while payments made to beginners are used up for learning. So, you need to consider the following option.

Charging Hourly

The hourly rates of a designer usually are around $40 on the low-end, while the high-end figure is about $75 (though this figure could be as high as $100 or more for an hour), with $59 an hour as an average.

However, in hourly charging, there are few things that you cannot include. Hence, if there is a need to learn a new skill, you can just discount the hours that are spent in learning, while at other times, billing a flat rate for the project would make more sense. If you make a mistake, you cannot charge for the lost hours. It is justified to bill the lost hours if the client keeps changing his or her requirements. And if the mistake is from your end, or if the client is not satisfied with the work, you better not bill the client, but instead, do some little extra work to deliver, or else offer a discount. Here, it is only your gut and the relationship that you have with your client that matters.

Designers could also charge variable hourly rates depending on the kind of functions that they do (designing, coding, etc.). The hourly rate billing has the advantage in that it is more straightforward to deal with the billing, and also letting the client include some more tasks without any complexity, along with being easy to please without any need for numerous revisions. However, sometimes the client does not find well if the hours spent is running up. Hence, in such circumstances, your option would be the following.

Charging by the project

Your charging could depend on standard packages that include a certain amount of work that you always provide. Usually, a freelance web developer and designer charge depending on the time taken to complete the project (usually, an hourly rate) as calculated from their past experiences and/or the bearing capability of the market. If the hourly or project-based approach does not go well, then you need to consider the following.

Charging by the page

Although a rare payment method, there are some freelance web designers and developers who calculate the cost this way. This would go well for designers creating relatively simple marketing style websites, though this mode of charging should also be considered by designers and developers.

The Wave of Technology

As part of my personal development, I regularly attend live webinars. The topic on one of these weekly calls was technology, the speed at how this is advancing and what this means for our future. This topic is so relevant to all of us, I had an obligation to share this on my blog.

There’s no doubt that technology has had a huge impact on society. It has radically changed the way companies do business and affected the way we live our day to day lives. From the advancements in medicine and education, to travel and communication, we are now living longer because of it. But with the speed at which machines are improving and the number of tasks they can do today, what does this mean for humanity and how will this affect us in our working lives?

What is the advantage of a machine over a person?

Compared to humans, machines can work faster, eliminate human error and reduce overhead costs. It is therefore not surprising that Oxford University predicts in the next 20 years, 47% of US jobs will be eliminated by artificial intelligence! The impact technology has on the working population is not something new. During the Industrial Revolution workers were being replaced by machinery and this trend is growing.

Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it

We need to adapt to the changing times. Look at the internet revolution which led to the World Wide Web and e-commerce, this wiped out household names, companies like Kodak and Blockbuster video. The companies that have boomed over the last few years, such as Airbnb and Uber operate mainly via an app.

Today technology is advancing at such a high pace that jobs being replaced are not just in manufacturing and simple tasks such customer service roles, (in China there is already a restaurant where waitresses have been replaced by robots) but computers will be so highly intelligent, they will start competing with the human brain. This means entire professions will be replaced!

To demonstrate this level of intelligence, in 2011 IBM built a super computer called Watson which competed with two of the all time most successful chess players and beat them! This clearly shows it is now possible a machine can think analytically and strategically. This win was monumental. It demonstrated a machine was able to think for itself, use facial recognition, facial expressions and read body language.

Also in recent years, with the introduction of 3D printing. This technology allows highly customised parts and products to be printed on demand, from furniture, clothes, bones and prostheses to auto, airplane and building parts, this will lead to a widespread disruption in all industries.

Advancements are noticeable all around us

Disappearing are the days where there was a person in Toll Booths who greeted you and took your cash, now there is a machine to slot your card. Typewriters are now computers and laptops. I remember in my teens before mobile phones were affordable, many of my friends had pagers. How frustrating would this be today, having to call a number, leave a message and return phone number, and then just waiting at this phone for that person to return your call. I waited many a times in a cold phone box for a call back! And what about the first time you saw a fax machine in action and how mind blowing this was when a document was printed that came from somewhere else! Today these things seem so ancient, but this was only 15-20 years ago. Just look at the speed in the advancement of technology and imagine how we will be communicating in 15-20 years from now!

‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change’ – Charles Darwin

Consider Moore’s Law, an observation that Gordon Moore made back in 1965. He noticed that the number of transistors engineers could cram onto a silicon chip, doubled every 24-months. Therefore the processing power of our computers should double every two years. Assuming microprocessor manufacturers can continue to live up to Moore’s Law, that would mean computers 100 years from now would be 1,125,899,906,842,624 times more powerful than computers today! That’s huge! There are those who argue, Moore’s Law will soon begin to break down. However there are others who believe there is no guarantee it will ever reach a threshold, and computer power is projected to surpass the power of all human brains.

Ride the wave

Already look at how technology is impacting the next generation. To think when I have kids they will never know of fax machines, pagers or even land phones. Today children don’t even have to type anymore – they ask Siri!

High technological innovation drives a new era of global prosperity and rapid change, and having the right skills for the digital economy will improve competitiveness and productivity. Approach this, not from a crisis point of view but from one of opportunity, you don’t need to be a tech nerd but start using technology to your advantage. With sites such as freelancer.com and elance.com, business’s are now looking to the internet for virtual assistants / designers and accountants. You no longer have to physically be present. You could be working for a company or person thousands of miles from you. You could be working from home with your family. You could be travelling the world!

The wave of technology is happening. You can either be pulled under or you can take control and ride it. Use it to your advantage, and make sure you are on the right side of the tech wave.