Deciding what to charge for a website can be one of the most stressful and frustrating parts of creating a proposal. We can’t do the math for you, but we can help you replace guesswork with a solid pricing strategy. Get out your pen and calculator as we share an inside look at how to price building a WordPress website.
Tips for How to Price Building a WordPress Website
While there’s no tried-and-true formula for pricing a WordPress website build, there are some common approaches. Follow these tips to make pricing your next proposal easier.
Match Your Pricing to the Industry
WordPress websites can come with cheap $100 price tags or expensive six-figure bills because it’s such a versatile platform. The same platform for a single-page business site can also run an enterprise ecommerce store. The prices clients pay for websites also reflect this range. Ecommerce sites cost significantly more than a one-page site for a consulting business.
Do you specialize in building a particular type of website? Look on freelancing websites like UpWork to see what clients are looking for in a project. You need a general idea of how complex of a website your average client will expect.
Identify Your Hard Costs
Odds are you won’t code the entire website from scratch on a server you built yourself. Every website build includes some hard costs. Create a budget of your expenses, so you can be sure to include them in the total price you give the client.
Also, don’t forget to mark up hard costs. You’re providing expertise by selecting the right products and possibly getting the client a bulk rate they wouldn’t have access to otherwise. You don’t have to treat the costs as a pass-through. You can make some money off them too.
Hard costs of building a WordPress website include:
- Domain Registration. Clients will probably take care of this, but if not, be sure to charge them for it. Make sure the domain’s ownership details are clear up front.
- Hosting. If the client doesn’t already have hosting, you could consider hosting the site for them. Hosting and maintenance packages help you generate monthly recurring revenue.
- Themes and Plugins. Budget for any premium plugins or themes you’ll use to build out the site. If they have recurring subscriptions, set up the client’s billing info for renewals or bundle them in with a maintenance and hosting package.
- Stock Photography. If you’re paying to license photos, even if it’s part of a subscription you already have, be sure to include it as a part of the price the client pays. Don’t want to pay for photos? Try searching the Openverse instead.
Calculate Your Margin and Hourly Rates
How much money do you need for your business to be profitable? What are your overhead costs like rent and utilities? Do you have to pay staff? You should have a general idea of what it takes to keep your business afloat. You also probably know how much you’d like to make for yourself.
Your breakeven point and target profit margin give you an idea of the bare minimum you should charge. But that’s not the only consideration. What’s your experience level? Do you have a specialty in a particular area or industry? Your skills and reputation can warrant a higher rate.
Beginning WordPress freelancers can charge $20 to $40 per hour with minimal experience. Experienced freelancers and agencies can fetch much higher rates.
Define Your Scope of Work
Every web project needs a clear scope of work that spells out exactly what you’ll do for the client. You’ll build a scope of work around the client’s needs and expectations. Read what questions to ask a client to ensure you have as much detail as possible to estimate a price.
The scope of work is probably the most vital part of determining how to price building a WordPress website. It will help you map out your hard costs and time estimates for the project.
Pro Tip: Your website proposal should always include how you decide what is out of scope and what you’ll charge for that work. Clients will always push to get more. You need clear guidelines for responding to requests that are above and beyond.
Decide Between Fixed Pricing or Hourly
You have two options for how to price building a WordPress website: you can charge by the hour or by the project. Either way, you’ll use the scope of work to calculate the price.
With a fixed-price job, you’ll back into the price by applying your hourly rate to the scope of work. You can then tweak the price if you think the client might be extra picky or if you bring special expertise to the project.
For hourly projects, clients will want a general estimate of the site’s cost. You can use the scope of work to provide a sample timeline and price range. Set clear expectations for communicating to the client if the hours exceed your estimate.
Know When to Say ‘No’
Not every client is a good fit. Part of developing a pricing strategy is knowing what your floor is. What’s the minimum amount a project needs to pay to be worth your time? Ask clients for their budgets upfront, and weed out clients who can’t afford your services. Yes, it sounds harsh. But you don’t want to turn down a $20,000 website project because you’re too busy building cheap sites.
Regularly Evaluate Your Rates
Your pricing strategy needs to include raising your rates. As you gain more clients and experience, you can justify charging more. If your schedule is full, that’s a good sign it’s time to raise your prices.
Regularly raising your rates is essential when you’re in business for yourself. You don’t have a boss to give you a raise each year. The best part of running your own business is deciding how much of a raise you want. Forget a measly 2% raise. Consider adding 10% or more each time your schedule gets packed.
Grow Your Business With Pressable
How much you charge to build a WordPress website is just one of the many choices you make when you work on your own or lead a team. Let us make choosing a hosting company simple. Pressable is the perfect partner for freelancers and web agencies. Our expert-level support, easy-to-use platform, and bulk pricing make running your business easier and more profitable. Sign up for a plan today.
Obatarhe is a Customer Support Engineer at Pressable, WordPress Enthusiast, Community Volunteer, and Tech Advocate. He gets to do exciting things everyday, these include providing 5 star rated support to customers and rendering tailored service to resolve their issues. When he's not working, you can find him traveling and taking good landscape pictures.