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Designer Hourly Rates Versus Package Rates

Years ago I used to be a freelance website designer and at the time I charged an hourly rate of $20. However since many clients would want a "package rate" I would need to quote a specific price for a job based on a time estimate of how much time I thought it would take to do the job, assuming they didn't ask for any changes which added up to extra time.

So for example if I thought a project might take 30, 40 or 50 hours I would quote them $600, $800 or $1000 respectively - bearing in mind that if a project goes overtime, I don't get paid anything extra. So if I quote 30 hours to complete a task and it takes 40 or 50, I don't get paid anything extra because it was my fault for not quoting a more accurate price.

So when a client then asks for a "discount rate" or $300 or $400 for a $600 job, think about how much I get paid per hour if the job goes overtime?

At $400 for 40 hours I am suddenly getting $10/hour, which is less than minimum wage in Ontario.

At $400 for 50 hours I am now getting $8/hour, which is ridiculous. I got paid that much when doing heavy labour in a welding shop 20 years ago. This shows you how much minimum wage has improved in the last 20 years.

At $300 for 40 hours I am now getting an awful $7.50/hour.

At $300 for 50 hours I would be getting a pathetic $6/hour.

So when a client asks for a discount rate, the proper response is:

"That is the discount rate."

Also I later jacked up my hourly rate to $25, then $30, and eventually to $35/hour - which is my current rate for doing website design.

Also I now explain to clients when they ask for a website design that we agree to the design of the website in advance and any "changes" they want to the website after it is completed is billed separately. I am not doing endless edits for people who cannot make up their mind about what shade of blue they want for their website.

"Oh, I don't like that new blue. Can you make it more like a sky blue, but like greyer?"

Yes. Yes, I can. But I am not changing it again unless you are paying me for my time.

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