Setting A Price Range for A Custom Website Design


sorry if this is the wrong area to be posting this, but after looking through the other various stackexchange sites, I thought this one was most suitable for my question.

I'm a first year university student who has, in the past, designed and implemented custom websites for paying customers around my community. These websites basically consisted of a simple CMS along with a custom-built template and a few hand-designed pages along with some basic marketing/keywords which I would usually charge only a few hundred dollars for by the time I'm done ($200-$300).

During the past week though, I've picked up another contract in which I will be doing the basic setup and design of a wordpress site (including custom images, template adjustments, keywords etc. like before) which is fine and dandy, but now they've asked for a great deal of php programming and database work as well. So now I'm doing my normal set-up along with a bunch of programming to include stuff like: secure registration, email confirmation, automated password/username recovery, database searches with filters, dynamic profile pages, timeout counters, mass email functions and other items along those sort of lines.

I'm fine with the actual programming behind it all and I've been making great headway thus far, but I've got no idea how to price this for them and they would like me to ballpark a number I think this will cost them for early next week.

I've looked at some of the basic web-pricing forums and programs online and from what I've read, this would cost around the $1000 range coming from a student? The website is for a good cause and I just don't want to cheat them or myself in this endeavour. Any advice would be greatly appreciated here.

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asked Jun 10 '12 at 11:45
6 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • You already started the work without agreeing on a price? Ouch. As a ballpark figure, programming work starts at $50/h. – Frenchie 9 years ago

1 Answer


I've been in that same situation. As a first year University student your primary goals should still be learning. Don't get too hung up on money but make sure it's fair for you and your client. I would say as long as you are making $15+ an hour you are doing fine. However, I have found the industry to charge $80 - $200/hr for those types of services. But starting a site for $200, and then having to do custom stuff could make the overall project jump up in price dramatically.

One tip is when the client says they want X, Y and Z you can discuss with them that your original idea was to implement this CMS package WordPress and features available in it should be able to be accomplished in the original quote. But, what they are looking for doesn't exist in WordPress so it needs to be created which costs a lot more then just turning a feature on. And you estimate that it will take 20 hrs at your rate of $X/hr. As a first year student and if you are not an expert in PHP I would imagine $20 - $40/hr would be appropriate.
If you are a badass charge whatever you want.

But best thing to do is bring it up before hand - if you are uncomfortable with that you need to get comfortable with it or re-consider working for yourself/freelancing.

answered Jun 10 '12 at 22:03
Ryan Doom
5,472 points
  • Your goals should be learning, experience, building a portfolio, building a client base, and building a reputation. – Martin 9 years ago

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