It's a subject that I'm really interested in learning about. I have been working for my clients since I was 14 and I have charged around £12 per hour ($15). It has really come to light that this is a low price compared to other web developers.
My question to all of you is, how much do you charge per hour?
I'd be interested in getting some feedback from the professionals on here about the legal fight I'm currently having with eontek.net aka eontek.com (amongst others) regarding a website design for 'IVTherapyHouston' they asked me to create.
In almost 8 years I've been lucky enough (and friendly enough) to have never had a problem with a client and I find this an upsetting and unnecessary experience.
In the beginning the Client signed a Contract and paid a deposit by Paypal. He promptly asked me to refund it as he'd paid "from the wrong account", I did and he paid me again a few days later. This was a red light to me but I carried on regardless.
In the Proposal I sent the Client I laid out that it would take no more than one month to complete. It has now been five months due to his unresponsiveness in replying to my emails. Here's a few:
After working over 50 hours changing the PSD, coding the website and working out how to have slants dividing background images (tricky stuff) I grew tired of having to wait weeks for a reply and asked the client to show commitment by paying 50% of the outstanding balance, this was meant as a bit of a kick up the ass as I wanted to get the project finished and had already lost time (money) on this project. He'd agreed the design in Photoshop, was happy with it and was enjoying previews as I experimented with different font combinations (as some Clients do fancy themselves as Designers, "left a bit, right a bit, try it in blue" is not something that particularly bothers me). The project was 95% complete and I wanted to see some commitment.
He did not like this and said he'd pay nothing until it was complete; by this point the relationship had broken down and I took the working preview offline.
He then opened a Paypal dispute demanding his deposit back. As per the Contract he signed (which he seems to have zero respect for) he is not entitled to a refund which luckily for me Paypal agreed.
Here's a shot of that part of the Contract:
As you can see, the Contract clearly states the client needs to "supply all the information and images needed to complete the project within the set deadline", him not responding to my emails in a timely manner is covered within this.
You can also clearly see that the deposit is non-refundable (as I am aware all professional Web Designers do this in order to at least be paid for the time they spend in planning out the project, the design etc..would be interested to hear comments from you guys). Finally, you can see that "as they have commissioned the work and paid a deposit they are still obliged to pay for the work that has been done" - the client is 95% done so he is lucky that I haven't (as yet) sued for the amount that would pay for the project having got to that point.
Okay, so basically I was waiting ages for email replies, the client had no commitment to the project or respect for my time so I'd asked for 50% of the remaining balance to show some commitment.It would've taken only one or two days to complete so I didn't see this as a big deal but rather a way of getting paid for some of the 50 hours+ I'd already put into this project plus a nudge for him to reply faster and get this done; after all, he said himself that it needed to get completed (try answering email then!)
His transaction dispute through Paypal was thrown out, he had, after all signed a Contract that clearly states the deposit is non-refundable (my 50 hours+ for his $420 deposit = £6.80 an hour..and he wants that back!).
Not happy with this he sent me an email which looks to me like he's trying to blackmail me:
No sooner had I sent my reply I was told by Paypal he'd appealed against their decision (amazing how quickly he could reply to their emails!):
I don't see how I am not honouring my Contract or why he expects me to hand over a $1,400+ project after having paid only a deposit. The project did take longer because I was happy to change the PSD design before coding but that didn't include him taking a week to reply to a simple question. By "deleted everything" I think he's on about my taking down the live preview which I did because he clearly lacks respect for us Web Designers and was not going to pay.
So I'm looking for a solution(software) that reminds me when a client needs to renew his or her package. I'm working on expanding my services and put more focus on maintenance packages. Now the way I send out invoices is through e-mail, I have a special layout for them that I wish to use. But the thing that is missing right now is a place that keeps track of when each client needs to be billed again.
I mean of course I could look for a schedule calender program and put in reminders, but I have a feeling there must be a better alternative/solution for this specific problem for businesses. Invoice programs force you to send invoices through them and they may remind you to re-bill them, but I don't want to use invoice programs. I just want a scheduler for myself that organizes/showcases/keeps track of all the individual client payment renewals.
I currently have a full-time web developer position at a small agency, working 9 until 5:30 - also spending 2 hours a day on a train commuting.
When I get home on the evenings, I am up until midnight doing work every weekday night, and I work for about 6 hours on a Saturday and 6 hours on a Sunday - completing all of my freelance work. My website ranks very well (page 1 usually) in search engine results for terms such as "freelance web developer", "freelance web designer", etc. So this is where most of my work comes from. Some also comes from referrals, but I do not advertising and do not use websites such as freelancer.com to win work either.
I earn a lot more from my freelance work (over £4000 in March) than I do in my full time job (£17k salary). I have an accountant to help me with taxes, etc. So as you can imagine, I want to make the transition to go freelance on a full-time basis.
I have all of the tools (a good smartphone, a powerful PC with dual monitors, iPad, etc etc) as well as the business knowledge which I've gained working closely with the director of the agency.
Should I got full time freelance? What should I consider?