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jsc3791's avatar

In what time increments should web freelancers charge?

Asked by jsc3791 (1973 points ) October 20th, 2011

I have started picking up some freelance web development, design, and marketing work on the side to supplement my income.

I am a novice at freelance work (although not a novice in the subject matter), so I am only charging $30/hr. I live in Louisville, KY (just to give you an idea of the market in which I work).

My question is: if I spend, say, 30 minutes on something and it’s complete, should I bill for a full hour or break it down? Do most freelancers bill in 15/30/60 minute increments?

I usually bill a total rate before a project but this particular client has asked me to do some follow up marketing pieces.

Thanks for your help!

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6 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

I usually charge a minimum of $100 which is a two hours. After that it is by the hour. But if it is 2 hours and 15 minutes I call it 2 hours. If it is 2 hours and thirty they will be billed for three.

And this also depends on my stupidity. If I spend 90 minutes trying to figure out something stupid like a missing semicolon those 90 minutes are free.

jsc3791's avatar

So, @johnpowell , do you think anything less than 2 hours (or maybe 1 hour for me) should be billed at full rate? I actually did a little blurb this week that only took me 15 minutes.

jrpowell's avatar

Usually for things that take 15 minutes it is a freebie. I don’t even bother charging for that.

But yeah. If it takes 30 minutes I would charge for the full hour. In the end it it takes so long to talk to people to figure out exactly what they want and how to go about doing it (like can I have the user/pass for the server?) that it takes way longer than the actual work. That is why I am OK with padding my hours a bit.

jsc3791's avatar

Thanks for your advice.

I agree that something so small would be a freebie…but this company typically has a litany of small items that end up adding up at the end of the month. I want to start documenting them and billing appropriately, but didn’t want to seem like I was nickel and diming them, so to speak.

Thanks again! Much lurve.

njnyjobs's avatar

I charge on the half-hour increment for updates on pages. If asked to create or add pages, a minimum of 1 hour is charged. Minor updates, such as changing font characteristics or a picture here and there are freebies. In the rare instances that client keeps coming back with minor changes, they get compiled and get billed accordingly. You should document work/changes requested by clients by having them email their instructions and replying accordingly, this creates references for your bills..

ETpro's avatar

I bill by the hour unless it’s a ridiculously simple task I can do in a few seconds. You need to consider that your tie contacting, discussing and settling on the price and specs for the job, then letting them know it’s complete, answering questions and getting paid all factor into the “job”.

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