Quoting for web design.


Well-Known Member
Alright guys.

How does every go about quoting for the design side of a web project? If you happen to be designing and developing the same site, is it all done per hour, or per page or do you have a set price for the design side then the development side.

I'm quoting for the design side of a website, but handing it over to a developer to be made, and stuck on how I'd quote my part.

Any advice would be great.

I tend to quote a fixed price with more or less everything I do. If a job is massive then I would break it down into smaller parts and charge a fixed price for each part on a ‘bit by bit’ basis. If I was a client I know I would want to know upfront how something was going to cost rather than writing a blank cheque which is what I think an hourly rate approach would seem to me. I basically try and establish what the client wants and then estimate how long it is going to take me in order to come up with a quote. It’s also good to outline a proposal so you are then saying what it is that you intend to do and what it is the client is going to get for their money. Additional things which are later suggested that are not in the proposal can then be charged as extra. Telling the client your hourly rate would help them know how much extra things could cost.

For me there is a sliding scale between how open or specific a brief is. I know the more open a brief is then the more I am going to need to work with the client to arrive at a solution. There are specific factors like predicting how much creative time and design time will be needed. A minimal design might just involve some typography and some simple graphic elements so is not going to take as long as a more creative design that needs a killer idea. The brief might suggest to explore a more graphic heavy, time consuming approach to the design - so this is a big consideration when coming up with a price as obviously it’s the process of coming up with the design that is likely to take longer – so the cost has to represent this.

Most of the time I end up spending longer than I originally anticipated, so I guess it’s a case of trying to learn from experience. At my first job I told my boss how long something would take me to do, which he tripled when quoting - it normally worked out about right!

It’s a case of working out how long everything is likely to take and then multiplying it by an amount that you would class as a fair and reasonable hourly rate. You might want to adjust this figure if it looks different than what you think would be a reasonable price for the job. As long as the hour hourly rate allows for a little bit of extra time just in case the job takes longer than expected. I.e if you quote minimum wage as your hourly rate and the job takes longer than you anticipated – then you will be working for less than minimum wage – not recommended - I’ve been there before!
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Think that's a great post there and sums up how I've always felt about quoting hourly or fixed.

I have to say I've never quoted hourly before and I've never been completely sure I'd know how to go about it in the right way. We've all been there where jobs take longer than expected and, as the above post says, from the client's perspective you want to know where you stand.

If you commission a piece then you do so knowing that it fits within your budget and, if the designer comes back and tells you that it's going to take longer than anticipated and will cost more, you might not afford that extra - so now you've just got a part-finished job? It can't always be avoided but that could also be said to be due to a poor estimation on the design side and it can get messy.

I like the idea above of breaking it down into bits. The smaller each bit is, the higher the chances it should run on time. A bit like a car journey really; if you're driving round the corner then you wouldn't expect a delay, maybe a couple of minutes if unfortunate. If you drive the length of the country then you would probably expect longer than that over the longer distance.

I would look at charging a separate design fee and split the project up into, at a minimum, at least those two stages of design and coding. I suppose we're all charging hourly rates in reality, just that by spending time to ensure you work out the time as accurately as possible you can be much clearer with your client, too.
Cheers the info guys. I've only recently started to design for web. My interest previously has been solely on branding. However more and more clients are asking for web work, and although I can't develop them myself, I figure I can do the design part at least. Thanks again.