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Flat rate vs. hourly rate for design jobs?

I do xhtml, css, flash, javascript, multimedia and some php design, and of course whatever graphic design is necessary when making my web layouts. Most clients seem to insist on flat fees, which I can understand from their perspective, but honestly, I'm HORRIBLE at estimations. If you're talking print design, estimates are comparatively a piece of cake. But when you're talking about the web stuff, anything I estimate is just a stab in the dark. Why? Because you have all cross browser/cross platform issues to bang out, much of which is entirely unpredictable from the start. For example complex interactions between javascript and flash and dhtml and ajax which must be tested and debugged like crazy for mac and pc with all major browsers. For you web guys that get your clients to pay by the hour, how do you do it? Second question, is it best to split your rates depending on task? Say, a different amount for css, for flash, for photoshop comps, xhtml, php, etc? Or just one rate for all?

Asked By: skadanks - 5/28/2008
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
First off, you can get better at estimation. Takes time and discipline to collect and analyze your historical information, but, in the long run, this will make you more competitive and profitable. Record the elements of your estimation process for each project. What was the "step," how much effort did you estimate, and... More
Answered By: richarduie - 5/28/2008
Additional Answers (2)
People rarely get hourly rates, you can register at freelance websites like http://getafreelnacer.com/ , http://scriptlance.biz/ ,etc and start bidding for all web designing projects posted there.
Answered By: Rina S - 5/28/2008
 
You rarely can get by the hour anymore. I haven't done it in years and I know of no one that has been able to do it in years either. I generally charge by the graphic (and size) and by every function people want. If they want multiple themes to choose from, thats a fee. If they want a form, that's another fee... More
Answered By: n m - 5/28/2008
 
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