Your Guide to Freelance Web Developer Rates

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If you’re working in web development, it’s important to understand exactly how much you should be getting paid (or should pay someone) for a job well done. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to determine, as skills, geography, and experience level all play a role. This can get even more difficult if you don’t have any real-world examples available.

But on the basis of our database, we know that on average, freelance web developer rates are between $60 and $120 per hour, in the United States. This is different in other countries – for example, in Western Europe the average rate of freelance web devs is between €65 and €90 per hour. 

Note though that these are simply averages. Finding the right rate for you depends on your skill level, expertise and a whole range of other factors. So in this article we explain what different freelance web developers (from PHP magicians to HTML/CSS wizards) earn, looking both at hourly and project-based pricing. Let’s begin!

The Different Types of Web Developers

If you want to get a good idea of the rate of an independent web dev, it is important to determine what kind of web developer we’re talking about. There are a number of specializations in this industry, so let’s first start with that.

Broadly speaking, a web developer is anyone who designs or creates websites. These websites can be incredibly simple, such as one-page websites, or very extensive like a corporate website with login functionality. Such websites can run on different types of technology, from HTML/CSS to PHP, WordPress, JavaScript and many more. This then, is one way to segmentize web developers – based on their specific experience with certain technologies. 

Front-end, back-end and full-stack web developers

Another way to do so is by looking at the impact they make. Then we can split web developers in 3 ways. First, front-end web developers work on the ‘front-end’ of a website. That means that they design the look and feel, and user experience of a website. Often, they are familiar with for instance HTML/CSS, React, Angular, Flutter, and other front-end technologies

Second, back-end web developers work on the ‘back-end’ of a website or web application. They ensure that a website is linked to a database, and that it can actually function. In this case, PHP, Ruby, Java, .NET or Python are commonly used.  

Third, full-stack web developers are familiar with both front-end and back-end web development. They combine these skills into a comprehensive service that can help clients design, create, and launch a fully functioning site.

Front-end developers in our database

How Much Do Freelance Web Designers Charge Per Hour?

If we take in mind these different ways of classifying web developers, let’s now look at how much freelance web developers charge per hour.

For junior freelance front-end web devs, you may be able to find someone with a rate of about $40-$50 per hour. Generally though, rates of between $60-$80 are most common.

If we’re talking about freelance back-end web devs, then hourly rates will start from about $60, going up to $100 on average.

Lastly, freelance full-stack web developers earn generally a bit more. This is because they have a wider range of skills, and can build websites without the help of others. In the current market, you’ll find rates between $70 and $120.

Of course, these are average rates that freelancers ask from their clients — based on our data. However, there are factors that could warrant lower rates, such as long-term projects with the same client, or a small project such as a small adjustment on an existing website. On the other hand, freelancers might choose to increase their rate when working on large projects, such as a complex web application.

What about Project-Based Rates?

While an hourly rate is common, some freelancers use project-based pricing instead. This has both upsides and downsides; so if you’re starting out as a freelancer we would advise you try both and see what works.

While we do not have any project-based rates in our freelance rate database, we do have a good idea of what freelance web developers generally charge for different projects. So here, we’ll discuss the price for:

  1. A simple one-page website;
  2. An average website with a few pages, for instance for an agency
  3. A complex corporate website with login portal

A simple one-page website

A one-page website is exactly what it describes; a website consisting of one long page. A freelance web developer working with WordPress would be able to create a very simple one-pager in less than a full day.

If using a freelancer from a developing country, a website like this could cost as little as $120. However, this is the bare minimum. For freelancers based in the US, the rate for a one-pager starts at about $500, and can go up to $1500 depending on how much time is needed for the design, development and even copywriting.

An average website with a few pages, for instance for an agency

Let’s consider the rate for a website for a marketing agency. These often have a few different pages, such as ‘services’, ‘about’, ‘contact’, and ‘blog’. This makes the website more complex, and for that reason you can expect to set higher rates if you’re selling your services as a freelance web designer.

A project-based rate would be around $6700, according to Website Builder Expert. This is an average, so depending on the complexity but also on the freelancer’s expertise, this number could go lower (from $2000 for the bare minimum) or higher (up to $10,000).

A complex corporate website

For a complex corporate website, including multiple pages, a log-in system, or perhaps an e-commerce store, rates can be significantly higher.

A freelance web developer would still need to design many different pages, come up with content (or have a partner do it), and even create the log-in functionality is more complex.

The prices if you’re hiring a freelancer (or if you’re a freelancer yourself!) would start at about $5,000 – and can run up all the way to $30,000 or more. However, note that the more intricate a website is, the more commonly it is done not by just one freelancer — but by a website agency who has multiple designers, developers, and content writers at hand.

Other Web Dev Rates: Retainers & Service Fees

While the starting point for any freelancer is an hourly or project-based rate, there are a few other points we should mention. For instance, you may want to consider a retainerJust as in other industries, some freelancers allow long-term clients to pay a monthly fee so that they can always use their services if needed. 

For example, a client may ask the web developer to come back to a particular job to create new content, add more web pages, or develop other types of functionality on a consistent basis. 

This can tremendously help with providing freelancers a consistent monthly income. Additionally, we should discuss service fees: monthly or yearly fees to ‘service’ a website. 

Both web development agencies and freelancers often use service fees to pay for things like hosting, (plugin) updates and other general work to keep the website alive and kicking.

Determining Your Rate as a Freelance Web Developer

While the rates and figures listed above can be used as a starting point, don’t take them as absolutes. There are simply too many factors to definitively determine the average rates for freelance web designers.

Consider for instance the freelancer’s expertise, experience, location, and much more. All these are factors that help determine the rate you can set when starting as a freelance web developer — or the rate you’re willing to pay as a client if you want a new website.

So if you want to see the actual rates of real freelance web developers, you can take a look at our database. Take a look and see average rates for e.g. WordPress developers in specific areas (like the United States) or years of experience.

We hope this was useful! If you have any comments or questions, please reach out or keep on reading on our blog.

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