[clug-talk] Going rate for web development

Shawn sgrover at open2space.com
Thu Apr 2 21:14:49 PDT 2009

In my experience (and I'm not claiming to be any sort of definitive 
source here....)...

A typical brochure type website usually costs about $500.  This would 
include a handful of static pages with "who we are and what we do" types 
of pages.  If more time effort is needed on the graphics, the price can 
go up quickly.

I've come to the conclusion that 95% (a statistic pulled out of the air) 
of these types of sites eventually need to be updated and it is much 
cheaper for the customer to update their site.  The alternative is for 
the customer to convey what they want to the web master, the web master 
implements the changes - text, graphics, links, etc., and gathers 
feedback until there are no further changes.  Rather if the customer can 
make the changes, they can be done MUCH quicker and more efficiently. 
So I usually set up something like Drupal, or Joomla for such customers 
- they may not care about the capabilities, but they are there when they 
DO ask for them.

On the otherhand, most customers who look to hire a web person usually 
don't really understand the terminology or processes needed for a web 
site.  So I still end up doing the non-trivial (aka text only) changes 
to a site.  Even if it's simply "make it look pretty".

For true web development, where you are dynamically constructing a web 
page based on database queries, and/or user interaction... the costs 
become quite different.

I've seen rates for this type of work range anywhere from $25/hour right 
up to $120/hour.  I find that if the rates are under $50/hour (approx) 
these tend to be start up companies just learning the trade, or students 
looking to pad their cash flow.  The "pros" out there seem to start at 
approx $50/hour -ish.  Any higher rates seem to be a reflection of their 
skill, how busy they are, or the type of work they are trying to attract.

As a pro web developer myself, I can honestly say that my rates fall 
within the ranges I've just discussed....  For me it depends on the job 
itself and how much impact the job would have on my other 

Take all this with a healthy degree of skepticism though.  I have not 
undertaken any indepth studies in this area.  In other words, consider 
it a slightly informed opinion, and use at your own risk.  :)

My thoughts


Chris q wrote:
> Hi,
> I was wondering what the going rate for web development was. I want to 
> build a simple webpage (probably just need a theme for plone, or some 
> other cms and someone to insert our initial content, probably ten pages 
> total). How much should that cost?
> Thanks,
> Chris
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