14 replies [Last post]
oneeezy
oneeezy's picture
Offline
Enthusiast
Beaumont, TX
Last seen: 2 years 13 weeks ago
Beaumont, TX
Timezone: GMT-6
Joined: 2009-11-18
Posts: 98
Points: 126

I live in Beaumont, Tx... a city of about 200,000 people (and growing). I've read in bigger cities the going rate is $75/hr to $100/hr if your running your own web service (which I am). The company I'm currently with now pays me $17/hr (in town) and we build large scale "odd job" applications. I'm always getting emails from recruiters from DICE.com offering me pay anywhere from $50/hr to $60/hr.

I am taking on more and more clients as people here more about what I can do for them, but the truth is I have no idea what to charge! I don't want to overcharge but I most definitely do not want to work for free.

So I ask you guys to please view my portfolio and help me decide on where I rank and what a good reasonable price would be:

My Spill:
I'm 27 years old and have been developing websites and keeping up w/ internet trends for 10+ years. I'm skilled in Photoshop CS5, HTML5, CSS3, editing PHP, Javascript/ jQuery, and MySQL. I hand write HTML and hand code CSS. I have studied SEO and fully understand how to rank high in search engines. I have a good eye for design. I can build/customize any type of website: ecommerce (shopping cart systems), self hosted blogs, forums, social networks, small business website, and full corporate layouts.

Completed Projects:
http://www.dangertags.com/
http://www.texaspaternityfraud.com/
http://www.applicationfactory.com/
http://www.lasvegasconciergeandtravel.com/
http://www.kelliworley.com/
................................................................................

In The Works:
http://www.oneillwebs.com/payroll/
http://www.oneillwebs.com/water-ways/
http://www.oneillwebs.com/ussc/
http://www.oneillwebs.com/wilson/
http://www.oneillwebs.com/coburns/
................................................................................

please don't judge me on oneillwebs.com or lasvegasconciergeandtravel.com! they were before i understood A LOT. Other then that, critique is welcome!

http://oneillwebs.com/ ~ yes, my personal website built purely with tables which needs to be updated heavily Wink

(before i knew anything!)

Verschwindende
Verschwindende's picture
Offline
Guru
Last seen: 2 years 10 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT-5
Joined: 2009-10-09
Posts: 2037
Points: 2256

Are those all your own

Are those all your own designs or are they pre-fabricated templates?

The place I used to work at charged $128/hour but rarely got that actual amount. It was closer to half that in reality. Still not bad. I guess the idea was to charge a high amount and then accept a reasonable amount. I wasn't in charge of the business end though which is probably why the place went defunct.

Keep it reasonable because people are convinced by the media that the economy is bad and web sites will be the first project back-burnered (is that a word?) by a lot of businesses.

yet again.

Verschwindende
Verschwindende's picture
Offline
Guru
Last seen: 2 years 10 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT-5
Joined: 2009-10-09
Posts: 2037
Points: 2256

On

On http://www.oneillwebs.com/ussc/ why is your table head in your TBODY and why use TD instead of TH?

yet again.

Tony
Tony's picture
Offline
Moderator
Brisbane
Last seen: 15 hours 31 min ago
Brisbane
Timezone: GMT+10
Joined: 2003-03-12
Posts: 5054
Points: 2632

Hi oneeezy, Similar topics

Hi oneeezy,
Similar topics have come up from time to time, might be worth a search.
basically it comes down to a balance of:

  • What you think you are worth,
  • how confident you are of providing a successful solution,
  • what people are willing to pay.

Remember that working full time on $17 per hour, can be more in the back pocket then earning $100 per hour sometimes.

oneeezy
oneeezy's picture
Offline
Enthusiast
Beaumont, TX
Last seen: 2 years 13 weeks ago
Beaumont, TX
Timezone: GMT-6
Joined: 2009-11-18
Posts: 98
Points: 126

lol, good question.... I'm

lol, good question.... I'm not really sure why or what i was thinking when i did that. I haven't used tables in so long I really overlooked all of the elements that make up a table and just ran with what i did. that project is scrapped tho, lets just say the relationship w/ my company and theirs went south

http://oneillwebs.com/ ~ yes, my personal website built purely with tables which needs to be updated heavily Wink

(before i knew anything!)

oneeezy
oneeezy's picture
Offline
Enthusiast
Beaumont, TX
Last seen: 2 years 13 weeks ago
Beaumont, TX
Timezone: GMT-6
Joined: 2009-11-18
Posts: 98
Points: 126

That's really good money! I

That's really good money! I imagine those kinds of prices rely on where you are geographically and the type of programming that's involved as well. Yes, those are all of my designs w/ the exception of www.kelliworley.com (a WP template that she had chose before I started helping her).

For my current client now I've spent a total of 47 hours on the project (www.oneillwebs.com/payroll) and have been going with these rates:
- $25/hr (grafix work - 24 hours total)
- $45/hr (web development - 21 hours total)
- $60/hr (consulting - 2 hours total)

And what you see on that project is everything I've done so far. A lot of planning/preparing.. I take a lot of time on projects because I'm a bit of a perfectionist and am accounting for many things (a big part of that being SEO).

So that's why my prices are a bit lower I guess (because I take a lot of time). But I'm trying to get an evaluation from you guys right now and see if I'm going about it right.

http://oneillwebs.com/ ~ yes, my personal website built purely with tables which needs to be updated heavily Wink

(before i knew anything!)

oneeezy
oneeezy's picture
Offline
Enthusiast
Beaumont, TX
Last seen: 2 years 13 weeks ago
Beaumont, TX
Timezone: GMT-6
Joined: 2009-11-18
Posts: 98
Points: 126

Hi Tony, I honestly feel like

Hi Tony,
I honestly feel like I'm worth that $75/hr range, but convincing a small business that can be a problem and could scare them off. I don't even want to take on a project if I'm not making at least $2000, I feel like its just not worth my time. To me, the type of work I do and the amount of thought that I put into a project is priceless (not trying to sound arrogant here Big smile). This is what I send all of my clients now to convince and educate them on my process of creating a website (feel free to critique this as well):

Website Process (Step-by-Step Guide)
By Justin O’Neill

1.) Idea/ Concept
What type of website are we creating?

  • Small Business
  • Corporate Layout
  • Ecommerce
  • Forum
  • Blogging
  • Social Networking
  • CMS (content management system - self editable)
  • Other

2.) Domain Name/ Hosting Plan
It’s best to get both of these at the same time since they are both activated yearly (if you’re my client I can take care this for you).

Domain Name
When choosing a domain name it’s best to keep it short, simple, and easy for people to remember. Good practice involves using 1 or 2 keywords in the name for SEO purposes (Search Engine Optimization), but ultimately this is a company/client decision (you will not be able to change this later on so it’s best to choose the best available option). Domain names can be purchased for 1 to 20 years. For most companies I say go with (.com) because it’s the most widely used and recognized extension. There are many other types though, and your website might qualify for these.

Hosting Plan
A host is a computer server that your websites data is kept on. When thinking of hosting options there are couple of things to consider. How many users will I be expecting? Will I need a database? How many years do I need this server space for? Do I want to share this server with other websites or do I need my very own?

3.) Grafix Design
What types of graphic work needs to be done?

  • Logo Design
  • Website Layout
  • Web Ads
  • Custom Imagery
  • Buttons
  • Business Cards
  • Posters/ Flyers/ Pamphlets
  • Letterheads
  • CD covers
  • T-shirts

4.) Keyword Analysis (SEO Step #1)
What are the best keywords to create the website around (use the Google keyword tool)?

5.) HTML Markup/ Foundation (SEO Step #2)
It helps to look at html as if it were the ink and words that make up a book. Theirs the book name, table of contents, chapters, sub-chapters, contents, page numbers, summary, author, and so on... For the book to even be a book it needs these ingredients. For it to be a great seller, it needs keyword informative content that serves a purpose. This applies to websites as well:

  • Domain Name (book name)
  • URL's (pages)
  • Page Titles (page titles)
  • META Keywords, Title, and Description (book summary)
  • H1, H2, H3 Tags (chapters/ sub-chapters)
  • P Tags (paragraphs/ contents)
  • Image Tags (pictures)
  • Links (turning the page)
  • LI Tags (bulleted information)
  • Site Map (table of contents)

6.) CSS Integration (Website Formatting)
The css is the graphic design to coding process. It gives style to every html element that you apply it too. The css/html integration can be very tricky and has to be done correctly. Putting it together is the easy part, but making it work in all of the browsers is the trick. Imagine if you were a carpenter building a house. Sure, you know how to build a house but do you know how to build a house on sand, mountains, soft ground, hard dirt, over water, etc? The design has to sit right or you’re in for a disaster! Like these types of locations, the browsers have to all merge within your css. Currently, there are 5 browsers in use today (Internet Explorer, FireFox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera).

7.) Add-Ons
What types of features do you want your site to have? Some of these add-ons will have to be created with a combination of css and different programming languages (javascript, jquery, actionscript, php, mysql, and ajax just to name a few).

  • Photo/Video Archive
  • News Ticker
  • Time Ticker
  • Calendar
  • Downloads Section
  • Social Plugins (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc…)
  • Search Box
  • Contact Form
  • Newsletter
  • RSS Feeder
  • Bookmark Tool
  • Calculator
  • Rating System
  • User Comments
  • Sort By
  • Database
  • Login/ Logout
  • Sitemap
  • Other

8.) Website FX
These are the finishing touches that make your website shine. Like the add-ons, these effects are created with a combination of css and different programming languages (javascript, jquery, actionscript, php, mysql, and ajax just to name a few).

  • Link Effects (changes color on hover or when clicked)
  • Button Effects (changes images when hovered over or clicked)
  • Page Identity (making buttons/links look "punched down" when on a certain page)
  • Image Fader (a scrolling image fader or slider that conveys a message)
  • Anchor Points (linking to different parts of a page)
  • In page popup windows
  • Drag/ Drop/ Resize
  • Sliding/ Animating
  • Other

9.) XML Sitemaps/ Robots.txt (SEO Step #3)

XML Sitemaps
An xml site map is used strictly for search engines; users will never actually see it. It tells search crawlers/spiders what urls are on your website so that they can be properly indexed. All major search engines recommend that you do this and include it as being an important SEO technique. The major search engines that you need to submit to include Google, Yahoo, and Bing (all other search engines are based off of these).

Robots.txt
A robots.txt is a file that you include on your website to tell search crawlers/spiders to not list particular pages in search results.

10.) Google Analytics (Website Statistics Software)
This allows you to view all types of data on your users. See information like how many people are visiting your site, what times they're visiting, where they’re coming from (search engines, direct, other sites), what keyword they used to get there, and literally tons more... It's a great tool that helps you optimize your site, learn about your users, and increase ROI.

11.) Google Webmaster Tools
Webmaster tools allow you to view your website as a search engines sees it. You can view data like:

  • What pages are included in Google’s index
  • What keywords that list your site as a result
  • Which sites link back to you
  • And more…

12.) Link Building (SEO Step #4)
After your site is completely finished its time to show it off. This is the most important step for users finding you on the internet! If you have already submitted your website to the major search engines, it’s time to start putting “keyword phrased” backlinks (keywords linking back to your site) on as many closely related, high page ranked websites that you can find. If you can get your link on 1,000 sites, you’re off to a great start. A tedious process, but a very necessary ingredient for success. Some things to consider when putting backlinks on websites are:

Page Rank
Every website on the internet has a rank#, and every webpage on the internet has a page rank. Web(site) rank #’s range from 1 to the millions. Web(page) rank #’s range from 0 to 10. When you create a website for the first time it starts off at about 30million with a page rank of 0! Good practice involves getting your website linked to high PR sites that rank well. This will boost your website up tremendously in search engines. There are programs that allow you to view websites rank data along with other types of data that can be useful.

Website Types
There are a few different types of websites floating around on the internet and which ones you link to have an effect on your search engine rank.

  • A. Directories
  • B. Forums/ Message Boards
  • C. Similar Websites

A. It is good practice to get listed into directories such as DMOZ.org and Yahoo directories. They are human controlled (not robot based). Search engines have taken note of this and to be accepted into these “man-made” directories is an honor in itself and will affect your listings in search results greatly. Other directories besides these are great too- the more exposure the better. Directories are the best way to quickly get backlinks pointing to your site.

B. Forums and message boards are great because people go there to get information. If you can provide that information to them through answers/feedback with links back to your site, users will remember that and go back to you time and time again. Most forums/ message boards allow you to create a “signature” that will go at the bottom of your post where you can add a backlink to your site with a small description on what services you provide (a very useful technique).

C. Similar sites are great because in a niche market, you may offer services that a similar company does not (and vice versa). Networking together can bring both of you more business and in turn be a great decision for both parties. In this case you would ask for a link-exchange, meaning you will link to their site if they link to yours. Good practice involves emailing them directly and simply asking. Your email should be a brief summary on your company, how linking to you could benefit them, and including important data like domain name, site rank, page rank, unique visitors, monthly visitors, etc… (all of which you can get from Google Analytics). If you follow these methods correctly they are sure-fire ways of getting to the top of search engines!

Domain Extensions
Domain extensions even play an important role in search engine optimization. If you can get your site listed on a .gov or .edu website, it will greatly improve your listings in results. There are many different extension types, but we will just stick to a few here:

  • .com (commercial)
  • .net (network services)
  • .org (non-profit organizations)
  • .gov (government)
  • .edu (educational)
  • .biz (business)
  • .info (informational)

13.) Google Adsense (Pay-Per-Click Advertising)
When users go to Google to enter a search term, 2 different types of results are brought back (natural listings and paid listings). The natural results you see are all of the seo techniques I've explained above. The paid results are the first highlighted ads you see. When clicked, that company is paying anywhere from $.5 to $50 per click, though paying over $1 is not needed for most websites (of course this all depends on your business). To choose the best keywords, it’s best to use the Google keyword tool. If done correctly PPC can give you great results!

http://oneillwebs.com/ ~ yes, my personal website built purely with tables which needs to be updated heavily Wink

(before i knew anything!)

Verschwindende
Verschwindende's picture
Offline
Guru
Last seen: 2 years 10 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT-5
Joined: 2009-10-09
Posts: 2037
Points: 2256

oneeezy wrote:That's really

oneeezy wrote:

That's really good money! I imagine those kinds of prices rely on where you are geographically and the type of programming that's involved as well.

Yeah, this was custom programming. Contact management systems with campaign tracking, funeral home management, online job applications and crap like that. Most of it was a modernizing of the companies outdated workflow. We tried to get them to get more done with less, more organized steps. The workers hated every minute of it because it wasted less time and they resisted change. Tongue We weren't really tied to a geographical area. We had customers in NJ, NC, PA and OH.

oneeezy wrote:

Yes, those are all of my designs w/ the exception of www.kelliworley.com (a WP template that she had chose before I started helping her). ...

Nice work. Really. I wish I could design. All of my "art" is in the back end where no one ever sees it.

yet again.

oneeezy
oneeezy's picture
Offline
Enthusiast
Beaumont, TX
Last seen: 2 years 13 weeks ago
Beaumont, TX
Timezone: GMT-6
Joined: 2009-11-18
Posts: 98
Points: 126

Verschwindende wrote: Nice

Verschwindende wrote:

Nice work. Really. I wish I could design. All of my "art" is in the back end where no one ever sees it.

Thanks Verschwindende!,
I'm all frontend... I wish I had the skills to do some backend dev. :/

The company I'm currently with mainly writes in C# but since I've started with them I'm getting them thinking more front-endy', so we are starting to do a lot with jQuery! (the fun stuff) Big smile

http://oneillwebs.com/ ~ yes, my personal website built purely with tables which needs to be updated heavily Wink

(before i knew anything!)

gary.turner
gary.turner's picture
Offline
Moderator
Dallas
Last seen: 3 hours 49 min ago
Dallas
Timezone: GMT-5
Joined: 2004-06-25
Posts: 9052
Points: 3021

oneeezy

oneeezy wrote:

I'm all frontend... I wish I had the skills to do some backend dev. :/

The company I'm currently with mainly writes in C# but since I've started with them I'm getting them thinking more front-endy', so we are starting to do a lot with jQuery! (the fun stuff) Big smile

I'm primarily a frontend guy, but really hate, no, I mean really hate all the front end javascript/jQuery crap that's being done. I firmly believe most scripting, if not all on some sites, belongs on the mid tier. Keep in mind that if the site is not fully functional without js/jQ, it's a major FAIL. Client side scripting is for enhancement only; a nice to have extra but not a functional requirement. If there is a requirement for scripting, it belongs on the server; you cannot depend on the client, and you absolutely must verify/validate all user data anyway. If you want to enhance the user experience, by all means do so. But don't even think about making that enhancement a requirement for use.

cheers,

gary

Unplanned code results in a tangled wad of brain-cramping confusion.

There are enough html & css demos and tutorials to be interesting. Please visit.

Tyssen
Tyssen's picture
Offline
Moderator
Brisbane
Last seen: 34 weeks 3 days ago
Brisbane
Timezone: GMT+10
Joined: 2004-05-01
Posts: 8201
Points: 1386

Grafix? Design

If you want to be taken seriously, remove stuff like grafix and FX from your copy and spell the words correctly.

And why charge different rates for the different type of work you do? It's all your time, right? Is your time of any less value depending on the work you're doing?

I read this on another blog about freelancing recently that if you work on jobs that you feel you're not getting enough value out of, then you won't put the same amount of care or effort into it. In your case, with you having to do more than twice as much work in graphics to make the same amount from consulting, you'll eventually come to resent doing graphics because it doesn't earn you enough revenue.

And when I read the hourly rate you're getting, I wondered if that was even legal minimum wage, so had to look it up and boy, do you get shafted in the US! In Australia, our minimum wage is $15.50 which is double what it is in most US states. Shock

Edit: although it seems the UK and Canada aren't much better, so maybe it's just we have higher minimums here.

How to get help
Post a link. If you can't post a link, jsFiddle it.
My blog | My older articles | CSS Reference

Hugo
Hugo's picture
Offline
Moderator
London
Last seen: 14 weeks 2 days ago
London
Joined: 2004-06-06
Posts: 15650
Points: 2788

The UK min wage is terrible

The UK min wage is terrible £6.08 or approx $9.00 US, you should all be bloody grateful you don't live and work here.

Tony made a good point earlier $17 on a regular basis can work out more than occasionally getting $50.00 also the reason of course for the higher rate when you freelance is partly the fewer billable hours you can tend to be able to produce daily Vs all the communication, planning, documenting etc.

Tyssens right about the differential between pay for work types but also there is a general tiering systems as a web developer coding frontend/backend I should be on around $50.00 - $60.00 designers on the other hand are slightly lower than that - according to my designer contacts.

Before you make your first post it is vital that you READ THE POSTING GUIDELINES!
----------------------------------------------------------------
Please post ALL your code - both CSS & HTML - in [code] tags
Please validate and ensure you have included a full Doctype before posting.
Why validate? Read Me

oneeezy
oneeezy's picture
Offline
Enthusiast
Beaumont, TX
Last seen: 2 years 13 weeks ago
Beaumont, TX
Timezone: GMT-6
Joined: 2009-11-18
Posts: 98
Points: 126

gary.turner wrote: Keep in

gary.turner wrote:

Keep in mind that if the site is not fully functional without js/jQ, it's a major FAIL.

I completely agree Gary, I firmly believe i a fully functional site w/out any extra's added...Though putting them in there really does make a huge impact on return users. The cooler/ feel good surroundings you have the better usage.

When I go to Wal-mart to buy shampoo which shampoo brand do i buy? The one that looks the coolest! LOL... I'm a sucker for design

http://oneillwebs.com/ ~ yes, my personal website built purely with tables which needs to be updated heavily Wink

(before i knew anything!)

oneeezy
oneeezy's picture
Offline
Enthusiast
Beaumont, TX
Last seen: 2 years 13 weeks ago
Beaumont, TX
Timezone: GMT-6
Joined: 2009-11-18
Posts: 98
Points: 126

Tyssen wrote: If you want to

Tyssen wrote:

If you want to be taken seriously, remove stuff like grafix and FX from your copy and spell the words correctly.

Thanks Tyssen for the input. Personal preference really... I feel like my work will speak for me, not my wording. Graffix vs. Graphics to me just looks cooler. And FX vs. effects same thing! But I do see your point.

Tyssen wrote:

And why charge different rates for the different type of work you do? It's all your time, right? Is your time of any less value depending on the work you're doing?

In my city of 200,000... Beaumont, TX (the deep south of Texas), people here really aren't in tune with web development. They have no idea what it is, to them its a picture on page and that's it. So my pricing heavily revolves around my clients and how much I think I can make from them. Sadly, if I stick a $60/ per hour price on all the work I do I will get looked at like I'm crazy. $60/hr for nationwide clients is more acceptable but I'm still working my way up that point.

Tyssen wrote:

I read this on another blog about freelancing recently that if you work on jobs that you feel you're not getting enough value out of, then you won't put the same amount of care or effort into it. In your case, with you having to do more than twice as much work in graphics to make the same amount from consulting, you'll eventually come to resent doing graphics because it doesn't earn you enough revenue.

And when I read the hourly rate you're getting, I wondered if that was even legal minimum wage, so had to look it up and boy, do you get shafted in the US! In Australia, our minimum wage is $15.50 which is double what it is in most US states. Shock

Completely agree. I frown on doing graphics work these days... It was my passion in the beginning but doing it for money now is a bit irritating. For my market here in this city though it is working and paying my bills... Minimum wage here is $8/hr which sucks! For me, its all about basing my hourly wage on the particular client.

Edit: although it seems the UK and Canada aren't much better, so maybe it's just we have higher minimums here.

http://oneillwebs.com/ ~ yes, my personal website built purely with tables which needs to be updated heavily Wink

(before i knew anything!)

oneeezy
oneeezy's picture
Offline
Enthusiast
Beaumont, TX
Last seen: 2 years 13 weeks ago
Beaumont, TX
Timezone: GMT-6
Joined: 2009-11-18
Posts: 98
Points: 126

Hugo wrote: The UK min wage

Hugo wrote:

The UK min wage is terrible £6.08 or approx $9.00 US, you should all be bloody grateful you don't live and work here.

Tony made a good point earlier $17 on a regular basis can work out more than occasionally getting $50.00 also the reason of course for the higher rate when you freelance is partly the fewer billable hours you can tend to be able to produce daily Vs all the communication, planning, documenting etc.

Tyssens right about the differential between pay for work types but also there is a general tiering systems as a web developer coding frontend/backend I should be on around $50.00 - $60.00 designers on the other hand are slightly lower than that - according to my designer contacts.

$1 more then what we here in Texas get.

I'm lucky to have my $17/hr 9 to 5 job and whatever side projects I get personally I charge my $45/hr rate web dev.

I am slowly figuring out my prices but I would love to get my normal rate @ $60/hr.

http://oneillwebs.com/ ~ yes, my personal website built purely with tables which needs to be updated heavily Wink

(before i knew anything!)