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Since I normally can't start a project right away, because of other projects, I charge $500 up front when the agreement is made, this guarantees to both the client and myself that in 2 months when I said I'd start on the project, I will be starting it then. Basically, once they have paid me $500, they aren't going to pull out of the deal, and I know I've go the work. And that gives them the same feeling, they know I've scheduled their work to be done, and they are more comfortable.

Of course $500, works for me, it depends on the project size.
 

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namenotfound said:
I know a guy who charges $15 an hour
OMG, that's it?
 

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namenotfound said:
Who, the guy I'm talking about? He just doesn't know it's "ok" to ask for more money :D
Heck, if he's good, he should ask at least 3 or 4 times that!
 

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Design should always charged by the project. Hourly charges would make websites un-affordabe, however they do come into play on changes or ommissions and some companies (mine included) bill for database creations by the hour @ $50 - $90 depending on the database complexity.

A really good practice is to ask for percentages of the designs cost. Example is you could ask for 25% up front, 50% when conceptual design is completed and the remaining 25% on completition.
Always be sure that you have been paid before handing full control or all the site files over to the client! This helps you keep legal fees down for collection of monies owing.
Sadly it seems there is always one who will try to prolong payment or stiff you with a bill. If you dont hand over the files, then they have to pay you or you simply remove them from the server and thier site is down.

Gibble, I am surprised that you take 2 months to start a project and actaully have clients. You must do really good work or are the only designer in your area. In my experiences the customer doesn't mind reasonable delays to project start times, but If I were to request that 2 months were to pass they would go elsewhere.
My projects at most take 2 months to complete, most ofthen 4-6 weeks from design to completion and I often have three or four on the go at any given time. Tell me your secrets :)
 

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When I worked with my brother back in high school we charged by the hour and billed clients after the sites were finished... in most cases it worked fine, but one guy did skip town on us and left with a pretty large bill. We never found him and he never paid. It was a big project too.
 

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erick295 said:
When I worked with my brother back in high school we charged by the hour and billed clients after the sites were finished... in most cases it worked fine, but one guy did skip town on us and left with a pretty large bill. We never found him and he never paid. It was a big project too.
Did you already hand over the site before he paid? So he got services without paying for them? If so did you file a lawsuit?
(laywers are good at finding anyone they want to sue)
 

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I create milestones in the project. Once specific parts of the project are working I send an invoice. So I get about 10-20% up front and try to charge for each milestone about what it costs to create it. That way if the client decides he wants to stop I've gotten paid for most of the work I've already done.
 

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A spin on the same subject, do any of you have customers bring there ideas to the design table? what did you have in mind? layout that sort of stuff, I really hate having all my sites look the same I would like diversity but there is only so much that can be done with the layout, menus pictures etc.
 

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AKA Arizona said:
A spin on the same subject, do any of you have customers bring there ideas to the design table? what did you have in mind? layout that sort of stuff, I really hate having all my sites look the same I would like diversity but there is only so much that can be done with the layout, menus pictures etc.
I use a graphics designer to come up with unique layouts :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Gibble said:
Since I normally can't start a project right away, because of other projects, I charge $500 up front when the agreement is made, this guarantees to both the client and myself that in 2 months when I said I'd start on the project, I will be starting it then. Basically, once they have paid me $500, they aren't going to pull out of the deal, and I know I've go the work. And that gives them the same feeling, they know I've scheduled their work to be done, and they are more comfortable.

Of course $500, works for me, it depends on the project size.
I knew there was someone, out there that charged up front. What's your clients' reactionwhen you tell them?
 

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ddpromo1 said:
I knew there was someone, out there that charged up front. What's your clients' reactionwhen you tell them?
Here's the cheque...
 

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LOL, I charge up front also most of my customers are very pleased, after reading this post and hearing what some others charge I think Im gonna raise my rates, I was doing the hourly rate @ 25 per, my computer repair gets min 2 hours web design 4 hours. Now thats a minimum. Im thinking about charging an up front fee then the hourly charge for extra pages etc. etc.
 
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