When you start any type of work you’re slow. When I started building WordPress themes it took me 2 weeks to get something that I’d barely say is halfway passable (looking back at it now).

Now that I’ve been building themes for 5 years I can build a basic theme that would pass all of the pertinent items on the WordPress Theme Review standards in less than a week and I charge more.

When I started I also priced hourly at $50/hour and a theme build took me around 20 hours to do. That meant I made about $1000 on a theme. If I stuck with pricing my services hourly then as I got faster I’d be making less for the same amount of work. At the same time I’m providing more value in the form of better code.

Doesn’t seem right to me.

Price on hours to be poor

The speed at which you accomplish a task should have no bearing on how much you get paid to do it. You should be pricing based on value (and we’ll talk about how to approach this in a later post).

Does that design work increase the conversions to your clients coaching business? How many extra people convert and what are they worth?

Does the custom plugin you’re building mean that the client can stop using an external service they pay monthly for? How much do they pay?

Those are the questions you should be asking yourself and your client as you talk about starting a project with them.

Charging time and materials (another way of saying hourly plus any costs like subscriptions to services) caps your income by how many hours you can put in. It does not reward the value you bring to a project, just your “butt in chair time”.

photo credit: pfala via photopin cc