Web News

Do You Respect Your Time as a Web Developer?

June 25, 2024
July 2, 2024
Episode Number:

In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed time management and time respect as a web developer, specifically diving into their thoughts on different types of billing, invoicing, and availability requirements. Some freelancers feel as though they should charge for every minute that they're on the clock since they're trading their time for money - while others believe more in the project angle, they're dedicated to getting the job done and therefore will often work "unpaid overtime" or will essentially be on-call for no additional pay. For small business owners, the duo also discussed their thoughts on invoicing, comparing and contrasting invoices will very little detail, versus ones that describe every thing that was done and how much those items cost. Then towards the end of the episode, the guys zoomed in on package deals - and how loose or strict you should be when enforcing the confines of a package deal (ie website maintenance package).


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Who’s in This Episode?

Show Notes

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Show Notes

Questions for Mike

Matt asked these "pre-show questions" without revealing them to Mike to get his on-the-spot answers on the show:

Pre-show questions

  • Do you care about your every minute spent on a client project?
  • Does your passion or care for a project give any credit? (ie you'll give extra work hours for free)
  • If something is easy (ie updating a few lines of CSS) and a client that barely pays needs help with it, will you help them?

Going the extra mile, for free

When there's imperfections on a website that you could fix, but you aren't paid to fix those problems (ie you're hired to fix a slider problem, and you notice that their call to action has some styling errors on mobile).

  • At what point are you okay with just leaving those fixes alone? 

Granular billing - money maker, or time waster?

Matt and Mike discussed and debated whether granular billing was beneficial to your business or not. Is it better for organization? How about the bottom line? 

  • Granular billing
    • Writing down every thing in detail that you did on a project and it's applicable billing amount
    • For example you might write: 
      • Initial website inspection (hourly) - $60
      • Purchasing of licenses and plugins (at cost)- $120
      • Web Development (hourly): Fixed slider, added new CTA, fixed MX records - 10hrs - $600
      • 6 consulting phone calls (charged per call) - $400
  • Broad strokes billing
    • Writing down a blanket term or two that covers everything you did
      • For example, if we use the granular billing above, a broad strokes billing version might look like:
        • Fixed problems on home page - $780
        • Phone calls - $400

Availability Charges - Are you available for free? 

Websites run 24/7 and therefore web developers are "needed" 24/7.

  • If you're needed 24/7, should you charge some sort of "on-call" fee? What about if you aren't called in?
  • Are you okay with working on off-hours? Eeven if it's just being available for work-related messages and phone calls) on your smartphone?

Package Deals - Strict or loose?

Package deals are very popular in the web development sphere. They bundle up a collection of services into one predictable recurring payment for the client. For example, maintenance packages are very popular for WordPress sites. They'll typically include things like updates, small fixes, security checks, and a few hours of development time per month.

  • When you offer a package deal, there should be clear definitions into what's included (ie 4 hours dev time and 5 phone calls per month)
    • If a client calls 6 times, do you care enough to mention it and bill for it?