how much to charge for website

Freelance 101: How Much to Charge for Website Design and Hosting Services

Becoming a freelance website designer is exciting, yet scary at the same time. You know you have the skills and drive to do this. But, being your own boss means making all the decisions.

Deciding how much to charge for website design is a critical step in the process. Let’s cut through the confusion so you can get to the stuff you love the most: making websites and getting paid!

Learn How Much to Charge for Website Services

There are three different ways that you can charge for freelance web design. The one you choose will depend on how fast you work and how big the project is.

When setting your rates, take into consideration your experience and skill level. Don’t forget to raise your prices as you gain more of each.

How Much Do You Need to Make?

The first step in figuring out your rates is to see how much you need to survive. To do this, add all of your living and business expenses together. Next, add an overhead amount to cover healthcare, vacation, retirement, and taxes.

Take this amount and divide it by the number of hours that you plan on working for the year. For example, working 30 hours a week with two weeks vacation built in will give you 1500 billable hours.

This final number will give you the minimum per hour rate that you can accept.

Hourly Rate for Web Design

Charging by the hour is a simple and straightforward way to handle freelance billing. Freelance web developers earn around $50 an hour.

Charging per hour is great for new freelancers that don’t know how long individual projects will take them yet. It also makes sure that you’re paid for scope creep that sometimes happens when clients add more website features to their original plans.

Getting Paid by the Project

Setting prices per project or design package, such as a five-page website, is better for more experienced freelancers. You will have to accurately plan how long each project will take you to charge per project. Underestimating the time it takes to complete a project will end in a lower wage for your services.

Project-based pricing keeps your hourly wage private. This is sometimes helpful with clients that would balk at higher hourly rates.

Doing it this way, you can raise your pay-per-hour without actually increasing your rates by getting faster at what you do.

Charging per Page

Back when website design was new, charging per page used to be the primary way to bill for services. Nowadays, it is not the norm, and you don’t see it very often.

It can be useful for minimal websites such as marketing or affiliate sites. Although even with these types of sites, you’re better off going with project-based pricing.


Every website needs maintenance and updates. You can include this cost in your contract on a monthly retainer or per update basis.

The costs for maintenance can vary depending on what kind of website it is. Prices range from $30/month for basic websites to $1,500/month for custom e-commerce sites.

Provide Hosting Services for Recurring Income

Providing hosting for the websites you develop for clients is an excellent way to collect recurring income. It’s easy with a reseller account from any popular web hosting company. You pay a small monthly fee and then charge your clients what you want for hosting.

The hosting company provides maintenance of the server. The reseller accounts are also whitelabled so it’ll look like you are the hosting company. Your customers won’t know any different.

If you’re not sure if this is a service you’d like to include, companies that offer reseller accounts are happy to give you more info on their packages.

The Bottom Line

Setting your rates for web design services is tough. Many freelancers underestimate their worth and undercharge.

The best way to master it is through experience. But the information above will help you get started with how much to charge for website design and development services.

Have any advice to add? Share your thoughts on pricing in the comments below.