Public Service Announcement for all Web Design Business Owners: It’s time to stop underpricing and undercharging for a website, learn how to price your services, and charge what you’re worth. Underpricing isn’t only hurtful to you but it’s hurtful to your fellow web designers, too.
There are always going to be web designers out there who charge less than you. Just like there will always be those who charge more than you. While I’m always a huge supporter of you raising your prices, I will never be a supporter in your underpricing your web design packages.
Understanding how much to charge for a website – and being comfortable with charging “expensive” rates – takes time. But if you’ve designed 5 or more websites and you’re still charging ridiculously low rates, then you need to read how about how you’re doing not only a diservice to yourself but to other web designers.
It Caps How Much Money You Can Make
Let’s say you’re charging $500 for a standard 5 page website. Between onboarding your client, gathering content, having calls with your client, creating mock-ups of the website, doing 2 or more rounds of revisions, launching the website, training your client to maintain their new site, and answering their questions as they come up in the future you could be spending anywhere from 30 hours to 80 hours on this one project.
$500 divided by 30 hours would be $16 per hour – not bad for a beginner web designer.
$500 divided by 80 hours would be $6.25 per hour – that’s below minimum wage in the United States!
How many projects would you be able to take on if you’re spending 80 hours working on a website? 2 per month? So you’re making $1,000 a month. Does that cover your bills? Even if it took you 30 hours per project, you could take on 5 projects per month and make $2,500 per month. You didn’t become your own boss to cap out at $2,500 per month, did you?
When you underprice and undercharge for your web design services, you cap how much money you make. The price of your services shouldn’t just account for the time it takes you to design and build the website. Never forget about the amount of time you spend communicating with your client, too. Those are hours you won’t be able to spend working on another project.
You’re Only Taking Time, Not Value Into Account
Speaking of only charging for the hours you spend working on a website… you absolutely, 100%, need to take the value you’re providing into consideration. (I talk about that more here.) When you underprice your services you tend to only take the hours you’ll spend building a website into consideration but what about the value you’re providing that client for months and years to come?
The websites you build serve a purpose and that purpose is to provide your client value on and on-going basis. This value they receive could lasts for years and if you’re not charging for that, then you’re robbing yourself of money that you deserve.
The Wrong (Difficult) Audience Will Be Attracted to You
This is a biggie, guys. When you underprice your web design services, you attract a less than ideal client. You may be thinking, “well someone who can afford a $4,000 website would surely love to save $3,500 and have me design their site for them.” You’re thinking wrong.
Someone who can afford a $4,000 website is going to expect to pay closer to that amount – maybe even more. They are going to be looking for quality and while you may design high-converting, quality websites for $500… they’re going to think you don’t.
It’s kind of like looking for the best produce at a grocery store. If I want to be confident that I’m getting quality, ripe produce then I would go somewhere like Whole Foods, not WalMart.
What you charge attracts your audience and if you’re underpricing, then you’re more than likely attracting the wrong audience.
Other Web Designers Will Be Mad at You
The last three things are all related to how underpricing affects you but underpricing can affect other web designers, too.
Let’s say Laurie charges $500 for a high-converting, 5 page website. And Sally, another web designer who is on the exact same level as Laurie, charges $2,000 for a high-converting, 5 page website.
Do you know how many times Sally hears, “well I know another web designer, Laurie, who charges a quarter of the price for the exact same thing”? A FREAKIN’ LOT.
We collectively as web designers need to raise our prices, stop underpricing, so that the expectation for a website isn’t $500 but is instead thousands of dollars. Websites provide so much value to a business and while Sally understands that and charges appropriately, non-web design business owners may have a harder time understanding that because there are so many web designers like Laurie out there charging pennies!
For your own sake, to have more time and financial freedom, to get paid what you and your websites are worth, to attract the right type of client, and to help web designers everywhere stop hearing the inevitable “someone can do it cheaper” speech, stop underpricing your services and charge what you’re worth!