View Full Version : What to charge?

04-13-2003, 12:23 PM
I've just started doing freelance work in 3d and web design, and I've got no idea what to charge! The first few jobs I've been done, I've simply accepted the offer made, but some people have told me I charge too little.

Are there any standards, or is it different everywhere? Could anyone give me some examples? How much for a 25 page website? How much for a flying logo? How much for a short character animation?

Thanks for the help.


04-13-2003, 01:32 PM
Where to start? It has been my experience that most artists charge too little. The rates you can get should be determined by what the market will bear in your area and how much competition there is. Where I live, free-lance graphics people can get anywhere from $25.00 to $50.00 per hour. The cost of living here is cheaper than most places. You asked, "How much for a 25 page website?" Well, that depends what is on the pages. If it's 25 pages of text, you would obviously charge less than 25 pages with photos, flash animation, shopping carts, e-commerce forms, etc. The same goes for flying logos and animations. How complex are the textures, motion paths, logos, etc.

I used to charge by the job, but that leads to many problems. If you charge by the job the customers will make change after change after change, and in the end, you'll end up making $2.00 per hour. You need to charge by the hour and this will help limit the changes they make. If they know they have to pay for them, they will be less likely to change them. That will force them to have their stuff together up-front. Customers are like dogs: they want to piss on everything to mark their territory.

Either way that you charge, you need to be good at estimating how long it will take you. And, when working with animations, remember that they need to be rendered. If you render them on your computer, and you only have one computer, then you'll be out of commission while the anims render. Add an additional charge for rendering, and consider using a render service like http://www.respower.com . That leaves your machine free for doing work.

I hope that some of this is helpful. If you could give more details about the jobs and where you live, then maybe we could help a little more. Good Luck!


04-16-2003, 12:38 AM
Thanks a lot! This is very helpful.

As far as jobs in my area go, right now it's mostly small business websites. I've got three jobs waiting in the wings. One is a simple site, 4-6 pages, possibly with a contact form and probably thats it. The other two I'm waiting to find out about, as I just got the offer for them today.

As an example, the first major site I did about 5 months ago. Could you tell me what you would have charged for it?


Thanks a lot for your help. It's much appreciated.


04-16-2003, 04:24 PM
Funny, I have also made a site for a gymnastics school. I would´ve charged something like $600-800, consider you didn´t have to do much layout besides the text and the main layout. But then again, I´m a real "cheapo" guy who hasn´t learned how to charge enough for my jobs. Hmm, guess that´s why I am unemployed right now... Anyway, what you can do is to go in at a low price and then have the customer rely on you for updates and enhancements. Then you have a more steady stream of money coming in. Being a webbdesigner is hard work these days. If you get more jobs than you can handle, call on me! :-)

Johan Grönwall