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Old 11.05.2009, 15:51
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What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

Hi

I am thinking of doing some PHP, MySQL, Flash freelancing:
E.g.
-Installation of CMS-Systems (Joomla, Drupal...)
-Installation of Online-shopping carts (oscommerce, Zen Cart...)
-Installation of Payment-Systems (Paypal)
-Custom PHP-MySQL development (for example adding a customer DB to a website)
-Flash animation

I was thinking of charging CHF 60.- an hour. Does that seem reasonable?
I would be interested in hearing feedback from people who have had work done (on a website) by freelancers or web companies.
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Old 11.05.2009, 17:00
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

Seems fair. One usual method is to take what the salary would be if you were employed, and knock of three zeros, and make that your hourly rate. So 60'000CHF a year = 60CHF an hour.

Of course, any rate you're actually getting is better than a theoretical rate that you're not!
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Old 11.05.2009, 17:05
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

This depends on your qualifications etc...

I used to charge out $50 NZD (40 CHF) per hour in New Zealand, so 60CHF seems reasonable. Of course, if you can show that you have a programming degree, or are a Zend Certified developer or something, then you can charge more.

Be careful to consider what work you take on and how your agreements are written up. A simple job can of course become an absolute nightmare.

I hope never to freelance again.

Have fun though, and good luck.
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Old 11.05.2009, 17:07
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

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Seems fair. One usual method is to take what the salary would be if you were employed, and knock of three zeros, and make that your hourly rate. So 60'000CHF a year = 60CHF an hour.

Of course, any rate you're actually getting is better than a theoretical rate that you're not!
Oh... good idea. In that case I would suggest charging out along the lines of just over 100 CHF / hour.
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Old 11.05.2009, 17:07
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

60 chf is fair enough for consultations or hands-on troubleshooting but you should consider some exceptions.

For example, i am a startup company that needs a website with no clear design, content, HW and SW: the 60 chf/hr i think is too much.

The best is to prepare and draft some packages that you can offer.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11.05.2009, 17:17
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

The problem with packages is that you have to define very clearly where a package begins and ends.
Especially, customers with no clear design and the like are exactly the ones that become very difficult and extremely time-consuming. This is where an hourly rate is ideal. You sit with them (consultation free) and define exactly what you can do in a time frame. You make them well aware that if it takes longer due to changing requirements etc that you will advise them of extra hours, but these will be at your rate.

If a start-up is finding your rate too expensive then you could discount it on a one-off basis, or they need to go and learn these skills themselves. Fat chance they would find a professional PHP developer for less money anywhere around here.
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Old 11.05.2009, 17:45
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

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Hi

I am thinking of doing some PHP, MySQL, Flash freelancing:
E.g.
-Installation of CMS-Systems (Joomla, Drupal...)
-Installation of Online-shopping carts (oscommerce, Zen Cart...)
-Installation of Payment-Systems (Paypal)
-Custom PHP-MySQL development (for example adding a customer DB to a website)
-Flash animation

I was thinking of charging CHF 60.- an hour. Does that seem reasonable?
I would be interested in hearing feedback from people who have had work done (on a website) by freelancers or web companies.
The eternal problem with hourly rates!

CHF60.- is not bad for sitting at home in front of your PC. But as Temiatwork points out it is often not practical for small to medium sized clients who want to know the final cost up front. And it is quite possible to offer an original design template and say 25 products installed on an ecommerce site for a fixed price.

Additionally working on an hourly rate can be very unfair, as you are actually paid more for working slowly!

BTW installation (and upgrades) of CMSs and eCommerce is hardly a chargeable item anymore with Fantastico, which will install these is seconds. Do you mean customising?
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Old 11.05.2009, 20:47
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

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But as Temiatwork points out it is often not practical for small to medium sized clients who want to know the final cost up front
...
Additionally working on an hourly rate can be very unfair, as you are actually paid more for working slowly!
Both these problems get resolved if the final price is discussed and agreed to by the customer in advance.

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BTW installation (and upgrades) of CMSs and eCommerce is hardly a chargeable item anymore with Fantastico, which will install these is seconds. Do you mean customising?
Yes I meant installation on an already existing website without modifying the design (so yes =customisation).
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Old 11.05.2009, 20:51
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

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the 60 chf/hr i think is too much.
How can you say it is too much, you don't know how fast I work
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Old 11.05.2009, 21:01
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

It is not about how fast you work. It is about covering your costs.

Can you live with 10-15 hours of work per week at that rate? Hopefully
you will have more work that 10-15 hours a week... but, in order to plan
accordingly, it may be better to plan for the worst case scenario.

Also, have you figured in all fix costs? Being self employed costs.

Let me know how much you charge in the end. May need some
assistance in the near future.
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Old 12.05.2009, 09:33
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

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How can you say it is too much, you don't know how fast I work
We all work fast at that rate , but as Scott has pointed out " It is not about how fast you work. It is about covering your costs."

100% also has a point, instead of charging hourly rate or packaging service you can charge them per consultation aside from the services you offer.

My suggestion is, don't stick with the 60 chf/hr. and be flexible with your pricing (offer customized service). GOOD LUCK!
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Old 12.05.2009, 09:47
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

I work on web development and pretty much similar stuff. Like Temiatwork said you have to be very flexible. If there is a customer who needs regular support, then I don't mind going down to even 30/hour but if it is one off 10-50 hours effort then it could be resonable or even less to charge 60/hour.

Also depends on how much you are billing and how much you want to be billed in terms of number of hours. If you are looking at working 100 hours a month and you are getting 20 then you have the possibility to go down and same ways if you have good demand and less time then you can shortlist based on price and other important criteria like client, technology etc.

BTW, if you have extra work I can be of help. I live 15 mins from Zurich.

Last edited by timpy; 12.05.2009 at 09:48. Reason: Typo
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Old 12.05.2009, 10:46
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

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Be careful to consider what work you take on and how your agreements are written up. A simple job can of course become an absolute nightmare.
That's the best advice i have read.

Clients can get quite demanding, asking for extra features and wanting to change the design/layout when it's too late.

Always make sure both parties are clear on what is required and what is going to be delivered.
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Old 12.05.2009, 10:51
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

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The best is to prepare and draft some packages that you can offer.
You could have for example a 'Wordpress package' for CHFXXX

Where you provide the domain name,hosting and setup of a Wordpress powered site.

You could then offer a choice of say 10 themes for how the site could look.

I think if you offered a competitive price for the whole package it could be really appealing to people looking for a basic site.

You could also have packages for Joomla, Mambo CMS's too....

Hope it's useful.
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Old 13.05.2009, 11:43
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

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I hope never to freelance again.
Was the experience really that bad?
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Old 13.05.2009, 11:50
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

Thank you guys for the interesting feedback.

One tip seems to be to prepare a standard website package and offer it at a reasonable price. My problem with that is that I would then be competing with website designers. I was hoping to work in association with website designers, concentrating on the more complicated parts (stuff that website designers can't do).

Food for thought anyway, thanks.
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Old 13.05.2009, 13:06
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Re: What to charge as a PHP-MySQL-Flash freelancer?

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........... I was hoping to work in association with website designers, concentrating on the more complicated parts (stuff that website designers can't do).........
Try putting up a web site that offers exactly this support/partnership service & see what happens.
Almost every other sort of advertising (except personal networking & recommendation) does not seem to obtain business anymore.

Also keep to services offered for on a short term basis & that require a lot of client interaction. You will never be able to compete price wise offering "web packages" with people in India & similar countries. Your best Unique Sales Point is your ability to sit with clients & discuss & refine their requirements; very much easier than trying to do this with email & telephone.

Marton
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