How much do you charge for a custom Kirby site?

Hey guys, I’ve been freelancing on and off for a short while, and I’m curious to know: How much to you typically charge for a custom Kirby website for a client?

If it’s an “it depends” answer, what’s your billing/pricing process like?

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I don’t have clients anymore but when I worked with WordPress I had clients. I don’t think it has to do with what CMS you have but instead what kind of business model you have.

I took 500 SEK per hour. That’s today 59 USD per hour. In Sweden it’s a really low price, but instead of thinking of what to get paid for, I got paid for everything. What I mean is I started the clock if I needed to do research, mail the client, talk to the client in the phone, have meetings with the client, code someting, design something, bugfixes everything. That way the client can’t ruin my company by long discussions.

I have a friend that takes 750 SEK per hour. That’s still a low price but he offers free communication like discussions, mail, phone etc. He even fix some work for free that the client expected from the start, like bugs. It means he takes a big risk. In some cases 75% of the time for the website could be discussions and bugfixes.


Well, it really depends.

It depends on what the customer wants, which features, different templates needed, customizations etc. I am not a designer, so this part is made by somebody else, but the Design also affects the price, because I have to translate it to a template.

I normally sit down, have a look on what has to be done, think about how long it would take to do the work (after more then 10 years in business, I am quite good at this, but it’s always a bit “risky”) and then name a price. I write down what I am going to do for this price as detailed as possible. Everything beside that will be charged hourly or I calculate another price.

Usually it goes like:
– So, how much does a website cost?
– It costs the price of a car.
– Oh, wow. But what kind of car then?
– You tell me, what do you need? :slight_smile:

There is no simple answer really. What does the client need, when does he need it, what level of quality does he expect or need?

Ideally I charge as I go, with a fixed daily rate (and a rough estimate at the beginning of course). This is of course not always possible, especially for small sites the client will most likely ask for a flat price.

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I recently read this short book about value-based pricing:

I don’t agree with the main points of the strategy. It seemed to be saying, “Get as much money as possible out of the client, you can charge 10x the amount you would normally do if the client is rich.”

But, one thing that was very useful to me is to give your client a few options when pricing a project. “Here’s what you could get for $500, here’s what you could get for $5000, and here’s what you can get for $50,000”, then that sets up the expectation.

Hourly rates are sometimes criticized for “selling yourself short”, but I find that it helps the client respect your time and is helpful when the client doesn’t know exactly what they want (which, in my experience, happens a lot).


I’ll drop here my 2c:

Short answer
It depends (who would have thought)

Long Answer
This is my 5th year as a full time freelancer and I still struggle when is the time to quote a project.
What I’m doing is something like this:

First I identify how much do I need to earn monthly to live a normal life. I try to stay as low as I can and only add things I really need and not include holidays in 5 stars hotels every month and a new Ferrari every year. This is just to establish some sort of baseline and is important to be reasonable. If the average salary where you live is for example 1000$ you can’t say you expect to earn 8500$. I don’t say you should aim necessarily to the average salary but you shouldn’t aim too far off (that’s obviously just my personal opinion)

Then I decide how much I want to work. Some people think 8 hours a day, 5 days a week is a good amount, others think you should work 5 hours a day, 4 days a week. This is up to you.

With these 2 elements I can find out how much my daily rate is so if, for example, I decided that I need to earn 2000$/month I’ll do 2000 x 2 / 20.

The x 2 is to include the amount of taxes I’ll have to pay (and where I live is roughly 50%) in order to be left with 2k in my pockets. That will obviously depends by where you live.

/ 20 is 5 days a week, 4 weeks per month.

So with this example I’ll have to earn 200$/day.
With this in mind I can price a project because with a few years of experience I know how much time a given project is gonna take me.

I like what @samnabi said about giving clients various possibilities and I also think it really depends by the type of client, if you’re having fun, how much freedom you’ll have working on the project, how much experience you have and so on.


Thanks for the detailed example. Calculating rates from the other direction (what you need instead of what you can earn) is definitely interesting.
I think you forgot something though: 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month won’t allow you to take time off, for example when you are in holidays, need time for your family or when you are ill. I think you should at least multiply everything with 130 % because of that.

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Holidays? What’s a holiday? :grin:
Anyway, yeah you’re right. As I said, mine was just a rough example, you can tweak it to make it fit better your life and your necessities. You can for example add an X amount of $/€/£ each month that you’re gonna use for holidays and an Y amount for unexpected expenses.

And as you pointed out, looking at the “problem” from the other perspective (what you need and not what you can get) I think is helpful to keep us with the feet on the ground in a world of people selling apps for billions and freelancers charging 1k/day for doing simple frontend work.

Which can be totally justified if you live in a place where the average salary is 50k month but personally I’d fell bad charging 2k for 2 days of work while knowing that people are working 8 hours a day in a factory for 800€ month.

But again, that’s a totally personal opinion :slight_smile:

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I think you should also consider that when you would work for a company that they also pay a really big amount into social insurance. While as a freelancer you have to pay that yourself and also build reserves on your own.

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That really depends by where you live but you’re right, there are a ton of factors.
I for example live in Italy and social insurance is provided by the state and is paid with taxes.

But as I said, you can add and/or subtract any type of variable from the calculation based on your life situation.

I simply think is helpful to have a rough number in mind. It helps to put things into perspective :slight_smile:

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That’s right. Mostly the average productive time, I mean hours that you can charge to somebody is with good luck something about 2/3 of your time. The rest is getting jobs, calculating or some other office stuff. On Top comes your costs. insurance, office rent, hardware, software … and on top of that your lifestyle. Look here :ür_Designer The site is in german, but with icons, you can guess, what the site is asking for. It starts by default with 87 € / hour, assuming you are working 5 days a week 8 hours including all the stuff you do need running your business.

The other question is what customers are willing to pay. There are a lot working with the Pareto principle. With 20% of effort getting 80% of the succes and that’s enough. The missing 20% is what makes the thing expensive. Or, like @samnabi said, they dont’t know exactly what they want

So it’s up to you to make the customer charge fair for a nice and good peace of work.

I make websites for about 25 years now (started in 1991) and when a client asks me “what do you charge for a website” - I always ask him “what’s the color of monday”.

He can not tell me what’s the color of monday, because it’s not a valid question.

Than I ask him - “How many pages does a book have?

And he tells me - “That depends of the book.

Exactly - that’s why I don’t make much sites these days…


most of my clients are not interested in how much time i spend in the project but how much it cost.

  • i with them talk about what they want to achieve and make a summary for them so they to review i got it right
  • then i create a short list of design and technical requirements (german: pflichtenheft) about 1 page long. (this is the overview of a longer documentation of course.)
  • i also create a pricing table which shows each point on the list cost what, if its optional or if higher quality could be gained spending more money (like @samnabi did above)
  • prices are estimates from my experience. usually hours * 90 euro (not including tax) * 2. or if new client or risky stuff times 3 (instead of 2). i also add about 20% of cost for communication (email, phone, meeting, creating the docs).
  • i also add a clause that each requirement has one one iteration to change if needed (and only one) – hence the factor 2 above. if not needed this acts as buffer for unforeseen stuff or research.
  • before iteration happens i will tell client exactly that its the iteration. after that iteration i will charge per hour if they change the requirement again.
  • client has to sign of requirements and costs to if he/she wants stuff thats not on the list i can show them.

i like the : “think first. decide and stick with it. then work.” - mantra.


It’s a tricky one. On the one hand, you’ve got skills and experience and need to charge accordingly (for me that is around £400 a day). On the other hand you don’t want to scare customers away by high costs.

Remember this though: Solicitors, Lawyers and Barristers don’t even blink when they give you the bill even though its extreme. Why? Because they have a valuable skill you don’t have. The trick to charging properly for freelance development is to not sell your self short but to instead make it clear to the client that you are a professional with a craft and the money charged reflects that skill. You pay a plumber well don’t you? and an electrician? Thats because they all have a craft, something that comes from dedication and experience. The same goes for good freelance developers. You just have to make people believe in you and lean on your reputation.

Personally for the most part I charge a flat fee for the small business sites i build which usually comes in at around £2,000 - £4,000). That fee covers work until the site goes live and the customer has accepted the job by signing it off physically on paper. They then get 14 days to call foul on anything - like a warranty period. Beyond that, I charge £50 an hour for any for any future updates or changes on the site. I also charge a monthly fee for hosting.

Hope that helps.

I stopped trading work for cash years ago and instead trade myself for ip, shares or residual payments, depending on the purpose and scope.

99% of businesses that contact me, I refer to friends and colleagues.

to sum it up what was said above: if unsure ask your plumber and charge the same amount per hour. they manage to survive. :slight_smile:

itsa me mario!

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$1500 for company profile website with 10 page layout. $1000 when use theme.