There are 1.4 million people working as freelancers in the UK today. However, what you can expect to pay for the services of a freelance web designer is still a mystery for many.
Freelancer rates vary depending on location, level of experience, and the quantity/quality of the work required.
But what can you expect to pay? And how do you get the best deal for your business?
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Why Hire a Freelance Web Designer?
Most people hire freelancers for the convenience. Having a temporary, no strings attached freelancer is less commitment than hiring a new employee.
Hiring a freelance web designer often means working with just one person.
You’ll also enjoy a more personalised service, with your web designer taking the time to fully understand your wants and needs. This is especially important when designing a website, as it will be the first port of call for your potential customers.
To ensure they receive work, many freelance web designers will enroll on courses to learn new skills. This makes them more versatile and able to offer a more bespoke end product.
Freelance web designers often have a wider range of experience than your typical agency designer. Accepting commissions from different businesses in different sectors means freelancers can provide a more flexible and tailored service for your business.
Their Industry Contacts
Freelancers always know other freelancers. If they don’t know how to do something, you can guarantee that they have a friend or a contact that can help you out.
Web design agencies do offer aftercare services, but once a site is live and a project ‘finished’, you might find that you’re no longer the top priority.
However, with a freelancer you can expect a much quicker response time and a willingness to help. It’s all part of the one-to-one relationship you develop with them.
What Affects a Freelance Designer’s Rates?
There are many different factors that can affect the rate that a freelancer charges you. Below you’ll find a few examples of the factors that determine how much you might pay:
Knowing What you Want
When planning your website, think carefully about what you really want. Are you after a simple, no-frills website? If so you can expect to pay a much cheaper rate than for a website with forms, eCommerce functionality, several pages etc. Likewise, a site designed in HTML5 with dynamic components will cost more than a content-managed site.
Your freelancer will need to take all of this on-board, so knowing what you want up front can really save time and money later on.
The Length of the Project
Is it a quick fix or a big website re-design? Unsurprisingly these will cost a significantly different amount. For larger projects, it's best to agree a fee up front for the whole project. Otherwise you'll end up paying extra by the hour should the project overrun.
Their Skills and Experience
As with most industries, a freelance web designer’s experience and skills can massively affect the amount they charge. Expect to pay a lower rate for junior and inexperienced designers, and a higher one for experienced designers. You’ll find more information on rates and pricing below.
As self-employed workers, freelancers have to be acutely aware of paying their taxes. This can sometimes bump up your costs if freelancers increase their rate to negate the impact of tax and improve their overall take home pay. This is a pretty common practice, but is something to be aware of if working to a strict budget.
As a general rule, the rate for an independent freelance web designer will be lower than that of a larger company. This is largely due to the fact that larger organisations typically have greater costs and overheads.
The traditional way of hiring a freelancer was to pay them by the hour until they finished the job. This often proved quite costly with extra hours racking up quickly over time, especially if the client wasn't happy with the work. You should always consider the cost of potential reworks, edits, and additional extras before agreeing to an hourly rate.
If you want to hire a freelance web designer but need to them to work on-site where you can manage them more directly, then you may be charged by the day. However, many freelance web designers prefer to work at home or in a space of their own.
Paying by the day to have someone on-site can end up costing you more as freelancers won’t know their way around, will need internet access and firewall privileges, and could even be a disruptive presence for the rest of your team. All of these factors may hinder the project’s progress, costing you even more money.
This is generally the safest method of paying your freelance web designer. When searching for a web designer, you should consider how large you want your website to be.
For larger jobs, freelancers will typically charge by the project, which may seem more expensive at first but can be preferable to an hourly rate. Not only does paying by project mean you won’t have to pay extra for hours of overtime, but you can agree a much better up front ‘all-in-one’ package rate.
This is a slightly less common method of charging and is often associated with larger website projects. You pay a set rate per page, making large websites more expensive and smaller sites less so. More often though, you should expect to pay by the project for websites with many pages and by the hour for smaller jobs.
What Can you Expect to Pay?
Independent web designers may be happy to offer a pricing structure based either on an hourly rate or a packaged proposal to deliver a specific objective.
Hourly rates may vary widely. A junior freelancer looking to establish themselves in the marketplace might offer a price as low as £20 per hour.
However, a very experienced designer might look for hourly rates as high as £50 - £75 per hour.
Package prices for the delivery of a website typically start in the low hundreds and may reach figures around several thousands of pounds.
Much will depend upon the complexity of your requirements and an initial discussion with a suitable provider.
If you would like to find out more about web design options for your business, then complete the short form at the top of this page. Expert Market will contact you to find out more about your requirements and then we'll find the right suppliers for your needs.
If you want to find out who else you may need to hire for your website project then you might be interested in the differences between a web developer, software engineer and computer programmer
If you want to know more about how much a website costs you should read our expert guide.