How Do You Calculate What You’re Worth?

Ever wondered how people calculate what they are worth, per hour, or per job?

Due to being asked about why I charge $88 per hour (minimum 3 hour blocks), I thought it would be interesting to ‘investigate’ and finally answer this question.

OK, let’s get to it.

First up, I’d like to say that I’m not the highest paid WordPress Professional. There are many freelancers like me, that took it upon themselves to build their own name / brand, instead of working for another company, for a lot less money – resulting in more hours needed to work for the same money.

In the beginning, it is hard – no doubt. YOU need to chase work, often working many more hours for roughly the same money you’d earn working as an employee – or less!

The best advice I could give you (if you’re deciding to go down the freelancer road), is to have a willing partner who can see and understand what you are ‘trying’ to do, and support you, both morally and financially. My Mrs is the best.

My hourly rate has not changed in about 3 years. As of January 1, 2019, I am actually increasing it to $100 per hour (minimum 4 hour blocks).

Demand for my ‘skills’ are increasing due to the fact that more websites are being built with the WordPress Platform, both privately (blogs) and Business Websites, both static and eCommerce.

Being skilled in numerous coding languages is an obvious benefit. I learned basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript about 20 years ago, and followed this up with with PHP and SQL a few years later. I’m also quite ‘fluent’ in JQuery, JAVA, Ruby and Python to a lesser extent. There are pro’s and con’s with all languages. Some developers will absolutely love one code, and hate another, but in reality, they ‘can’ work together if you know how to implement properly.

Obviously, the deeper the understanding of ‘how’ the WordPress Platform works, the better.

To be a successful WordPress freelancer, you also need to know about a large number of plugins, how they ‘work’ and how to customize them, if need be. With new plugins being released every day, and existing plugins being updated regularly, there is a lot of work you need to do to stay on top of the game. BUT, if you enjoy it, it’s not a problem.

Right, the nitty-gritty of this post – MONEY.

There are websites that will give you an idea of what current rates are for freelancers, such as Hello Bonsai. Hello Bonsai gives you some options to choose from, see below.

As you can see, I’m actually on the lower end of what the going rates are. I believe (although cannot be certain), if you’re paying $140+ per hour, you are probably also paying for graphics etc. Personally, I just stick to what I do best – WordPress.

Is there a ‘demand’ for work at $120 per hour? Absolutely. BUT, as I’ve stated above, knowledge of various coding types and plugin (customization) is a must. My rate incorporates the knowledge and understanding of numerous coding types and plugin development, allowing me to do the work of, lets say 3 or 4 people. If you were to go to a Web Dev company offering what I can do, your website will cost you $200+ per hour. On that basis alone, I’m cheap.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I do get stuck on something, but it’s easy for me to pick up the phone, send an email or get onto a forum to help me solve a ‘problem’. That’s on me.

Instead of just taking my word for it, visit wpmudev to find out more of what I’ve screen-grabbed below, about Pricing Your Services.

If you visited this blog because you found it via Google etc, thanks for visiting.

There are lots of resources out there that allow you to judge what you should charge / pay (if you’re a client). Some people may have differing opinions on how to charge, and that’s fine. I haven’t been short of work for a long time, so I guess I’m doing something right?

Again, everyone will have their own ways to calculate their worth, with regards to WordPress freelancing. If you are just starting out, may I suggest that you work for an organisation for a few years to gain more of an insight into the industry, and gain some contacts. I did it the hard way, which isn’t bad, but at least I can offer the advice now.

For the record, I am contacted by at least a dozen people each week, wanting to know if I can help them. I can, but I’m up front about what I charge, and they say no thanks. It’s interesting to note, that some people have gone off and had work done by others, only to ‘come back’ when their website ‘breaks’. Sometimes I’ll help them, most time, I say no.

When you can choose who you work with, you know you’ve done something right. Word of mouth in this industry is supreme.

If you are looking at getting into this line of work, I wish you well, and if you require further help, please get in touch. If you came hear to read my thoughts and find out about how and why I charge what I do, I hope you now understand.

Like always, if you have a question, contact me.