Summary: Understanding website designer charges – hourly rates, project-based pricing, day rates, and tips for setting your rates. In this post you will discover how much a website designer charges, and why they charge that rate.

Understanding how much website designers charge can be a bit complex as rates vary widely depending on several factors. However, a structured approach can help simplify this.

Factors influencing rates

  1. Experience and Expertise

    • Junior designers: Typically charge lower rates.
    • Experienced designers: Command higher rates due to their expertise.
  2. Project Complexity

    • Simple websites: Lower cost due to less time and effort.
    • Complex websites: Higher cost due to more features and customisation.
  3. Geographic Location

    • Rates vary by region; designers in major cities may charge more.
  4. Type of Client

    • Small businesses: Often have tighter budgets.
    • Larger companies: Usually have more substantial budgets.

Common pricing models

  1. Hourly Rate

    • Many designers calculate their rates based on an hourly charge.
    • To determine your hourly rate:
      • Establish a sensible annual salary.
      • Divide by the number of work hours in a year (typically 2,080 hours for full-time work).
      • Example: For a £40,000 annual salary: £40,000 ÷ 2,080 ≈ £19/hour.
    • Estimate project hours and multiply by the hourly rate to get the total project cost.
  2. Project-Based Pricing

    • This involves estimating the total hours required for a project and charging a flat fee.
    • It includes factors like project scope, complexity, and client requirements.
    • Example: If a project is estimated to take 50 hours and your hourly rate is £35, then the project cost would be 50 x £35 = £1,750.
  3. Day Rate

    • Some designers prefer to charge a daily rate, especially for short-term projects.
    • Calculate your day rate by multiplying your hourly rate by the number of hours in a typical workday (e.g., 8 hours).
    • Example: £35/hour x 8 hours = £280/day but, most designers who charge day rates knock it down a bit.

Example breakdown

Let’s say you’ve determined your hourly rate to be £35 after factoring in all costs and desired earnings. Here’s how you might price different scenarios:

  • Simple Website: Estimated 40 hours

    • Cost: 40 hours x £35/hour = £1,400
  • Complex Website: Estimated 120 hours

    • Cost: 120 hours x £35/hour = £4,200
  • Day Rate for a 3-Day Project

    • Cost: 3 days x £280/day = £840

Practical Tips for Setting Your Rates

  • Market Research: Check what others in your region and experience level charge.
  • Value Proposition: Justify your rates by highlighting your skills and portfolio.
  • Flexibility: Be open to negotiation but know your minimum acceptable rate.
  • Transparency: Clearly communicate your pricing model to clients upfront.


Charging for website design involves a balance between fair compensation for your time and offering value to clients. By calculating an hourly rate based on your desired annual income and project requirements, you can create a clear and fair pricing structure. Always tailor your rates to reflect your expertise, the complexity of the project, and market conditions.

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