average hourly cost of a website developer

Average hourly cost of a website developer

With the rapid growth of e-commerce and internet usage, businesses need a more substantial online presence. The web design services industry in the United States was valued at $21 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at an annualized rate of 2.7% from 2021 to 2026 (IBISWorld).

When hiring a web developer, knowing what hourly rate is fair or typical is tough—it depends on the developer. Rates can vary significantly based on location, skills, experience, and whether someone works freelance or in-house.

In what ways does this blog help us learn?

From the data, front-end developers charge around $34 per hour on average. Folks who work on the backend and databases make a bit more, averaging around $36/hour. Full-stack developers who can do everything tend to bring in the biggest paychecks, with average rates of around $39/hour.

And rates change between regions. For example, the typical rate is around $48 an hour in a pricey city like New York. But in Austin, Texas, the average is slightly lower at $32 an hour. Based on the differing living costs and tech scenes, this makes sense.

Additionally, the price varies depending on whether someone is a dedicated team member or an outside freelancer. Freelancers usually charge more since their expenses are higher.

Developers’ exact rates depend on their skills, work, and local job market. However, these averages give a rough idea.

Refrain from assuming that the lowest bidder will provide the highest value for your web development project is imperative. This post offers tips on how to budget realistically and choose the right web developer to deliver a high-quality website on time and within budget. 

We’ll break down typical hourly rates by skill level, location, and other essential factors to consider when hiring. With some upfront research, you can find an affordable web developer with the expertise to meet your business goals and create a website representing your brand online.

What Factors Affect Web Developer Hourly Cost?

Several factors affect web developers’ hourly costs:

  • Experience level – More experienced developers charge higher hourly rates. Entry-level developers may charge $25-$50 per hour, mid-level $50-$150 per hour, and senior level $150+ per hour.
  • Expertise: Developers with specialized skills like security, e-commerce, or mobile development can command higher rates. Generalist developers tend to be at the lower end of the pay scale.
  • Location: Web developer rates will be higher in areas with higher living costs, like New York City or San Francisco. Developers in smaller towns or rural areas often charge less.
  • Company size: Larger agencies and firms tend to pay more as they have deeper pockets. Independent freelancers and contractors working for small businesses usually charge less per hour.
  • Project complexity: More complex website builds with advanced functionality can justify higher developer rates than simple brochure sites.
  • Full-time vs. contract: Full-time in-house developers may cost less per hour than contractors with additional expenses.
  • Programming language/platform: Developers with in-demand skills like React can charge more than those using older technologies.
  • Client budget:  Some developers lower rates for nonprofit clients or small businesses.

Web developers’ hourly rate depends on many factors, including experience, skills, location, project scope, employment type, technologies used, and client budget.

Web Developer Salary

When budgeting for a web development project, it’s imperative to understand how rates vary based on the developer’s skills, location, and other considerations.

  • By skill level
    • Entry-level: $20-30/hour
    • Mid-level: $30-50/hour
    • Senior: $50-150+/hour
  • By location
    • San Francisco: $46/hour (avg).
    • New York City: $48/hour (avg).
    • Atlanta: $27/hour (avg).
    • Rural areas: Typically lower than urban rates
  • By specialization,
    • Front-end developers: $34/hour (avg).
    • Backend developers: $36/hour (avg).
    • Full-stack developers: $39/hour (avg).
    • WordPress developers: $35/hour (average).
  • Other factors
    • Project complexity – More complex projects warrant higher rates
    • Portfolio/experience – proven track record allows higher rates
    • Skills/certifications – Niche skills like security increase rates
    • Overhead costs – freelancers factor in business expenses
    • Demand and availability – higher demand enables higher rates

When requesting quotes, provide detailed project requirements so developers can estimate time and resources accurately. Carefully review your portfolios and testimonials to evaluate your skills. Be prepared to negotiate rates depending on experience and specializations. With an experienced web developer, you can get a high-quality website that meets your business goals.

Important Notice About Web Developer Salaries

This article’s web developer salary information is intended only as a general guideline. There may be variations in reported salaries from different data sources.

Before setting expectations for your salary as a web developer, you must check multiple reputable sources and compare their data. Adjust any projected numbers based on your unique situation, skills, experience level, location, and role responsibilities.

Salaries can vary widely between entry-level junior developers and highly specialized senior staff. Quoted salaries are national averages, but developers in high-cost-of-living urban areas may earn much more.

Be sure to thoroughly research salaries based on your credentials and circumstances when negotiating pay or considering job offers as a web developer.

The purpose of the data is to avoid confusion and to enable you to calculate your salary.

How to Calculate Your Hourly Rate as a Web Developer

Determining your hourly rate as a web developer requires determining your desired income, expenses, skills, experience, location, and market demand. Follow these steps:

  • First, set your target annual income. Consider the salary needed to meet your financial goals. Remember to account for taxes and expenses.
  • Next, estimate your annual business and personal expenses. Business costs may include software, hardware, marketing, etc. Private costs are things like rent and insurance.
  • Calculate your net income by subtracting expenses from your target income. Taking home a paycheck is what you earn.
  • Determine your billable hours or time you’ll spend on client work. The standard yearly estimate is 1,000 hours.
  • Divide your net income by estimated billable hours. Based on this, you can determine your hourly rate.
  • Finally, adjust your rate based on your skills, experience, location, project complexity, and market rates for web developers in your region. These factors impact perceived value.
  • Research average rates in your area using sites like Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, Salary.com, and freelance platforms. Compare to inform your rate.
  • Set a competitive rate that reflects your expertise and covers costs while aligning with local market rates for web developers. Reevaluate periodically.


Do web developers make good money?

Yes, web developers, especially those with in-demand skills and several years of experience, can make good salaries. According to PayScale, the average annual pay for web developers in the US is $68,297. Senior web developers and specialists in high-cost-of-living cities can make over $100,000 per year.

Which web developer has the highest salary?

Full-stack developers have the highest salaries among web development roles. According to data, the average base pay for full-stack developers is $106,000 annually in the United States. Experienced full-stack developers from top tech companies like Google or Facebook can make $150,000 or more.

Is web development a promising career?

Yes, web development is considered a perfect career path. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 13% growth for web developer jobs between 2020-2030, much faster than average. As technology and internet usage expand, demand for web developers will continue to grow. It offers high earning potential, remote work opportunities, and a creative, challenging work environment for those with the right technical skills and passion for coding.

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