As a webdesigner / webdeveloper, what is it that I can quote for?

It wasn't a long time ago, when I started work for a new agency, that they asked me to add an additional $500 for a project management fee which I had never done in the past.

Are there other items everyone else quotes for that I may not be considering? It always feels as though I am coming in short and perhaps there are items I could charge for?


My solution for this is to only work hourly, as that's really what I'm selling (my time / me). At that point, if one client's project is full of email conversations, managing other developers, iterating over designs - I don't have to capture that lost time with a 'management fee', I simply bill the hours.

I understand that depending on your specific market, it may be more common to charge per page, per site, or some other deliverable. But the less reproducible your work (designing a site, vrs slicing a PSD), the more you run into the problem you describe.


I don't necessarily break it down for clients unless they want it that way. I charge for absolutely any time spent on the project - these can be things such as research meetings, project management and even phone calls.

If you are working on fixed prices this is where good estimating comes in to play from knowledge of previous projects.


A webdeveloper was asked to do project management as well?! Hm, this is odd since doing project management puts you our of your primary domain - coding. Because of that it's almost impossible to say "what else you can add" to quoting. Basically with this approach you can add anything - make them morning coffee, massage them, etc.

Now, getting back to things a webdeveloper can offer, I'd say they are: - coding - web design - optimization for mobile devices and tablets - hosting - selling web domain - basic web administration like the one you do for yourself on your own hosting server (like cPanel, etc.)

You may also add SEO, but that also out of web developer area.

Now, I may be too rigid since I don't know your capabilities. If you are capable of doing SEO and project management, then do that as well. But somehow, I think this may be too much for one person. Imagine 10 projects with all these tasks for one person only.

PS. Many times I also tried being a coder and project manager and QA to cut costs, but in the end neither of these task I was able to complete in a quality manner.


For long projects with unclear deliverables and (more importantly) unclear gain to the client - I try to charge weekly. Especially if it's the only project at that time. This prevents a lot of hassle over hours and availability.

[Depends on your niche] Figuring out the value you bring to the client in dollars, and charging a portion of it, is the way to go. So that means breaking up projects into smaller deliverables with projected dollar savings/earnings attached.

  • 1
    I am also currently counting my hours. Mostly I list directly work related tasks and I group that together (to avoid too many details). But I stumbled upon a nice book recently that also basically suggested looking at the value that you bring to the customer. The book is here: breakingthetimebarrier.freshbooks.com – Priednis Sep 24 '13 at 14:44
  • Great book. Also related and more in depth is Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss. – ruffrey Sep 25 '13 at 21:59

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