How Much Should You Get Paid to Build Websites in 2021?

Having a website is one of the most important things a business can do. An estimated 94% of a business's first impressions relate to website design, and 89% of consumers said they will shop with a competitor if they have a poor user experience. In other words, investing in a quality website can have a dramatic impact on business growth.

Therefore, website design professionals who can help create this experience play a critical role in business development. Using your skills, you can create masterful websites and build your own business in the process. Understanding web design pricing and how much to charge for a website can help freelancers like you find clients and improve your bottom line.

Here's what you need to know about how to charge for a new website and how to write a winning website cost estimate.

How to Create a Free Estimate to Build a Website

An estimate helps you provide prospective new clients with a general idea of how much it will cost for you to build their website. A quality estimate focuses on providing an accurate price and an estimated timeline so clients can begin to plan. Many prospective clients like to shop around for estimates before committing, so this offers you a chance to make your business shine.

Creating a well-written estimate can help your business look more professional and create a positive impression. If you use the free estimate template from Skynova, you'll find creating high-quality estimates straightforward and simple. Skynova's software products can streamline your business paperwork even more, as your important documents and accounting records are in one place.

To help you get more work, here's what you should include on your website cost estimates.

Create Estimate Template

1. Enter Your Business and Client Contact Information

Your first step is to include your contact information and that of your potential client. You want to be sure that the client can easily reach you if they have any questions about your estimate or to get started on the project. This means you don't want them looking around for the relevant contact information.

You also want to make note of any other business names you use. For example, let's say you introduce yourself to clients using your first name, but clients aren't as familiar with your business name. Include your first name somewhere prominent with your business's contact information so they can connect you with the estimate.

2. Include Your Business Logo

Your business logo plays an important role in branding your estimate. A strong logo will help people associate the image with your company regardless of where they might see it.

To add your logo to the estimate template by Skynova, click on "Show Customization Options" and then click on "Logo." You can then upload the appropriate image file to the right-hand side of the template.

3. Give the Estimate a Number

Next, you want to assign a unique number to the estimate. By giving each estimate a special number, you'll have an easier time tracking different estimates. You'll be able to follow up as needed on open estimates and keep your paperwork more organized.

On the right-hand side of the estimate template, above "Date," you can input any number of your choice. Skynova's software also allows you to automatically convert your estimates into invoices once clients accept them. The estimate number you assign can then help you track your invoices.

4. Provide the Estimate's Date

Each estimate that you provide to a prospective client should have the date. This can help you organize your paperwork and track when people respond to your estimates. With clear dates, it'll be easier to find past estimates, set deadlines for clients to accept your proposal, and keep track of what invoices you have issued and when.

With Skynova, you can also easily alter the date as needed. Therefore, if you end up working on an estimate over a few days or otherwise need to adjust the date, you can take care of this without a problem.

5. Write Up Your Charges for the Project

The next portion of your estimate should include your pricing for the web design. There are several ways you can structure your freelancing pricing. The system you select will likely depend on the type of web design you do and the length of work you end up performing.

As you prepare to take on work, you should come up with appropriate rates for your projects and choose the billing method that makes the most sense for you.


With an hourly rate, you'll track how much time you spend on a particular project and then charge the client as needed. The actual hourly rate will need to be agreed on with the client before you begin your project. According to Upwork, the average website designer typically has a price range of $45 to $75 an hour to build a website. Keep in mind that this rate can vary depending on factors like your experience, the scope of the project, and whether you'll start the project from scratch or use a platform like WordPress or build an e-commerce website with Shopify.

Some considerations to remember when using an hourly rate include:

  • You'll need to carefully track your hours to bill the client properly, which can be a struggle even when working full time.
  • There are no rewards for working efficiently.
  • If there are changes in the project or adjustments call for more time, you can just keep charging at your hourly rate rather than renegotiating fees.

Flat Rate

With a flat fee, you'll tell the client upfront how much the entire project will cost. They pay you that amount regardless of the number of hours you work. According to Website Builder Expert, the average cost to build a website is about $6,000, with $5,000 being for the website design itself. Like other methods of billing, prices here will vary depending on the type of project — such as the integration with an inventory system, e-commerce site capabilities, and how you'll build the site.

If you're considering using a flat rate system to bill your clients, you'll find there are some important considerations:

  • A flat rate provides you with more flexibility, as you can work on your schedule without as much thought given to tracking your time spent working.
  • Efficiency is rewarded.
  • Make sure to consider revisions when offering a flat rate. If the client wants adjustments, you'll need to discuss charges with them and sometimes set new prices.


A monthly rate offers a variation on the typical hourly rate. For clients who have longer-lasting projects that will take several months to complete, a monthly contract might be appealing. With this setup, the client pays you according to your hours worked but you have more of a guarantee of work for the months during the contract. Therefore, most independent contractors will charge a lower monthly rate than they do for their typical hourly rate.

If you're debating using a monthly rate, consider the following:

  • The dependable hours will provide you with greater stability.
  • You can develop better relationships with clients and build networking opportunities.
  • You will earn less per hour.
  • You might miss out on higher-paying projects if they conflict with your guaranteed hours.
  • You might be called on to help with other web-related tasks, such as content management or plugins and website maintenance.

6. Include Any Relevant Discounts

Many small business owners find that offering occasional discounts and deals can help bring in more clients and improve their reputations. There are a number of discounts you might choose to offer your clients. Some popular ones include:

  • Welcome or first-time client discounts
  • Thank-you discounts for referrals
  • Holiday discounts
  • Discounts to inspire business during typically slow times of the year

To put a discount into your Skynova estimate, go to the "Item" menu and select "Discount." You'll enter the amount of the discount under the "Unit Price" and provide a description of what the discount is for. The system will then automatically deduct the discount at the end.

7. Make Note of Any Other Helpful Information

The "Notes" section on the Skynova template offers you an excellent place to provide your potential clients any other helpful information. Many clients appreciate knowing the project timeline. Knowing how long they can expect the web design to take can help them plan.

However, when you put a timeline and related information into the estimate, you have to be careful not to include any guarantees or promises. Instead, you should emphasize that this schedule is an estimate, as well. A variety of factors might impact the timeline of the project.

In addition to timelines, you might also want to include how long the estimate is valid for or any operational notes.

Best Practices When It Comes to Building Websites

Continue Learning the Latest in Website Design

As technology continues to improve and client expectations grow, those who want to excel in website design need to make sure they never stop learning. Studying the latest website trends, learning more about coding (e.g., HTML or CSS), exploring website functionality, and experimenting with design can all help you build your small business and create outstanding designs.

  • Follow industry blogs and read information from industry leaders.
  • Take free online courses.
  • Look at certifications offered for the areas of design in which you like to work.
  • Claim a domain name and experiment with your own website.

Familiarize Yourself With SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a critical part of website development. Business owners want to know that their new website will be discoverable by their customers, and SEO plays a critical role in this goal. Understanding the basics of SEO and copywriting can help you create better sites for customers but also create a more marketable resume as a web developer. Customers will appreciate what you can offer as they work to build their own online presence and digital marketing strategy.

Build a Strong Portfolio to Display Your Skills

As a freelance web designer, creating a portfolio that helps display your skills will be one of your most important time investments. Examples of your experience in web development can help clients visualize what they want to see with their business websites. You can use your portfolio to promote your skills as a website builder, including posting on social media, particularly LinkedIn.

How Skynova Helps You Get Paid for Building a Website

When it comes to building your small business, accounting can be a source of stress. Fortunately, with Skynova's software products and business templates, it's easy to create professional estimates and track necessary paperwork. You'll also find our accounting software particularly useful when tracking expenses for your web design business.

Simplify the process of getting paid for the work you do by trying Skynova's software. Spend less time worrying about accounting and more time dedicated to your design services and business growth.