Question for Freelancers
Posted 19 June 2006 - 05:49 PM
Hopefully I can post this question here, as I don't know of a more appropriate place for it.
I have just finished a project -- my first "paying gig" for a fairly complicated PHP/MySQL-driven site.
It is a searchable database, where users can search & find contacts, customers can pay for a place in the database, register a new account, & login to modify their own information. There is a full admin side where the admin can manage the database & users. It includes automated processes for approving new accounts, suspending expired accounts, manually entering & editing & suspending accounts, etc. It is a setup for a business.
The problem is, I'm not sure at all what is typical for rates & billable hours. I had in mind to bill for around 40 hours at $30/hour. It took me longer than 40 hours for sure, but it was a project that really pushed my skills & I had to do a lot of research & learning to get it done. It required 62 total PHP files, and I was figuring that even if I had been very experienced when I started, it would have taken me around an hour per file just to enter everything & debug.
Is this typical? Am I way over- or under-charging?
Posted 19 June 2006 - 06:29 PM
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Posted 20 June 2006 - 03:50 PM
Please, take the time and do some research and find out how much it would have cost you to get your help from a decent paid-for source. A "roll-of-the-dice" freelancer will charge you $5-$15/hr. A decent entry level freelancer will charge you around $15-30/hr. A professional will charge you anywhere from $50-$100/hr. An agency will charge anywhere from $100-$250/hr. Think about all this when soliciting for help here. Think about how much money you are making from the work you are asking for help on. No, we do not expect you to pay for the help given here, but donating a few bucks is a fraction of the cost of what you would have paid, shows your appreciation, helps motivate people to keep offering help without the pricetag, and helps make this a higher quality free-help community
Posted 20 June 2006 - 05:25 PM
here's what i've run into as i've learned (and my prices have changed):
Starting: $25/hr minimum 2 hrs.
2 yrs exp: $35/hr minimum 2 hrs.
now: $45/hr minimum 2hrs.
i've actually found that as my prices have gone up, i've gotten more work. if you undersell yourself, people will be convinced that you don't know what you're doing, and they'll be scared off.
one final thing to really be aware of that has taken me these last two years as lead developer at my job to learn is this: when you're asked to give a time estimate, figure out how much time you think you can get it done in (if nothing comes up), and double it... simple as that. if you think a project will only take you 20 hours to complete, quote 40. it may seem like a lot, but when you get into things, and you find yourself working on someone else's server with settings and such you're not familiar with, you'll very quickly become thankful that you overestimated, and most of the time, you'll land somewhere in the middle.
as for your project you mentioned above, i would probably have quoted between $1200-1600, so if you got $1200 for it, i think you're right on par. here's the catch... with the experience i've got, my guess is that i could have completed it in about half the time since i've done sites just like this in the past. that's where the money comes in. it's not that i would have charged more for the project than you did, it's just that i could have gotten more work in in the same amount of time.
sounds like you're off to a great start, though!
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