Business Scaling

The Real Cost Of Working With A Freelance Web Developer In 2023

The Real Cost Of Working With A Freelance Web Developer In 2023

Looking for a web developer to help create your website? You might be wondering whether hiring a freelance developer is a good option. 

The answer? It can be, as long as it fits right what your business needs!

There are 1.5 million freelance web developers all over the world, ready to dive into your project. The key? Learning how to pick the right one.

Freelance developers are independent professionals who take on projects for various clients, often working from home or another remote location. While they bring flexibility, affordability, and a burst of creativity to the table, there are also potential downsides.

As a remote staffing firm with years of experience in recruiting, we’re familiar with the challenges. So trust us when we say that you have to play your cards right.

Before hiring a freelance web developer for your project, understand their services, typical salaries, and the factors influencing their rates.

Let’s start with…

What is a Freelance Web Developer?

To give you a background on freelancing, nearly 47% of workers worldwide are freelancers. And out of this huge number, 1.5 million are freelance web developers all over the world. These numbers just go to show how big the gig economy is growing.

So, like any web developer, a freelance web developer also builds websites, web applications, or web-based software for clients. They work on projects like e-commerce sites, blogs, social media platforms, online games, or mobile apps and have knowledge of programming languages like JavaScript and HTML. They can also specialize in areas like front-end, back-end, full-stack, or web design.

The thing that makes freelance web development different is these experts work independently and manage their time, schedule, and workload. They can choose which projects to take on, how much to charge, and how to communicate with their clients. They also set their working hours and location as long as they can access a computer and an internet connection.

How Much Do Freelance Web Developers Make on Average?

A freelance web developer’s salary varies significantly based on several factors (which we will discuss in the next section), with hourly and annual rates as common benchmarks.

Hourly rate for freelance web developers

On average, freelancers working in web or mobile development earn $28 per hour. This rate is higher than 70% of all hourly wages in the US. The hourly rate is the amount of money that a freelancer charges for each hour of work. It can range from $10 to $200 or more, depending on the expertise and experience of the freelancer. 

Full-time freelance web developer salary

Another way to measure the freelance web developer's salary is by looking at the annual income. The annual income is the total amount of money a freelancer earns from all their projects in a year. It can vary depending on how many projects they complete, how long they work on each project, and how much they charge for each project. 

According to Glassdoor, the average annual income for freelance web developers in the United States is $73,056 as of September 2023.

Entry-level freelance web developer salary

The entry-level freelance web developer's salary can be lower than the average because they have less experience and skills than more seasoned freelancers. According to Noble Desktop, the average entry-level web developer's salary is generally between $51,000 and $74,000.

With the increasing demand for web development services, this field has promising opportunities. Earnings are directly tied to a web developer's skill, experience, and market dynamics.

What Is The Actual Cost of Working With a Freelance Developer?

The actual cost of working with a freelance developer is determined by their salary and other factors that affect the quality and efficiency of their work.

Some key factors that can influence a freelance web developer's salary are: 

  1. Experience and expertise

    More experienced and highly skilled web developers often command higher rates. Specialized expertise in certain technologies or industries can also lead to higher pay.
  1. Location

    The cost of living and demand for web development services can vary by location. Freelancers in major cities or regions with a high demand for tech services may be able to charge higher rates.

    For example, if you hire a remote web developer from the Philippines, you can save as much as 73% on labor costs.

  1. Portfolio and reputation

    A strong portfolio of past work and a positive reputation within the industry can allow freelancers to command higher rates and attract more clients.
  1. Skill set

    Proficiency in a wide range of programming languages, frameworks, and tools can make a freelancer more marketable and lead to higher pay.
  1. Clientele

    Working with well-established clients or companies can often lead to higher-paying projects. Repeat business and long-term client relationships can also provide a steady income.
  1. Project complexity

    More complex web development projects often require specialized skills and time, leading to higher rates.
  1. Market demand

    The demand for web development services in a particular niche or industry can affect rates. High-demand areas like e-commerce or mobile app development may command higher rates.
  1. Negotiation skills

    The ability to negotiate effectively with clients can impact the final rate a freelancer receives for a project.
  1. Freelancing platform

    The platform or marketplace through which a freelancer finds clients can affect rates. Some platforms have standardized pricing structures, while others allow freelancers to set their own rates.
  1. Economic conditions

    Broader economic conditions, such as recessions or economic growth, can influence the availability of freelance work and rates.
  1. Benefits and overheads

    Freelancers typically don't receive benefits like health insurance or retirement contributions, so they may adjust their rates to compensate for these factors.
  1. Trends in technology

    Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in web development can make a freelancer more competitive and potentially lead to higher-paying projects.

Many, if not most, freelancers regularly assess and adjust their rates based on changes in their skills, experience, and market conditions. Doing so makes sure they are compensated fairly for the work they are doing.

The Difference Between Freelancing and Remote Staffing

The difference between freelancing and remote staffing is that freelancing is a form of self-employment. In contrast, remote staffing is a form of company employment. Some remote staffing companies, like MultiplyMii, assist businesses in finding the right talent for their needs.

Freelancers work on projects for different clients, usually from home or a remote location. They have more flexibility and control over their work but also more responsibility and risk. 

Remote workers are full-time employees who work outside the company premises, usually from home or while they travel. They have more stability and security but must follow the company’s policies and procedures.

Here are some main differences between freelancing and remote staffing:

Contract length

  • Freelancers work on short-term or project-based contracts that end when the project is completed. 
  • Remote workers work on long-term or permanent contracts.


  • Freelancers have variable income that depends on their projects' number, type, and duration. They must also pay their own taxes, insurance, and expenses. 
  • Remote workers have a fixed income that is usually paid monthly or biweekly. They also enjoy benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation, and sick leave.


  • Freelancers have to manage their workload and schedule. They can choose which projects to take on, how much to charge, and how to communicate with their clients. 
  • Remote workers have to follow the workload and schedule assigned by their employer. They have to report to their boss, collaborate with their team, use the company’s tools and methods, and meet the company’s standards and expectations.


  • Freelancers can work from anywhere they want, as long as they have a computer and an internet connection. They can work from home, in a coworking space, coffee shop, or even in a different country. 
  • Remote workers can also work from anywhere they want, but they may have some limitations or restrictions depending on the company’s policy. They may have to work in a specific time zone, use a particular device or software, or attend occasional meetings or events.

You can explore either of these options depending on your current business needs. While they have similarities, freelancing and remote staffing have differences you need to take into account.

10 Highest-Paying Technologies for Developers in 2023

The programming languages developers use can affect their income and career prospects. Some programming languages are more popular than others. 

According to Stack Overflow’s 2023 Developer Survey, the top-paying programming languages for developers are:

  1. Zig

    Zig is the highest-paid language and a new addition to this year’s top-paying technologies. It is a general-purpose and compiled programming language that aims to be fast, safe, and expressive. 

    Zig is designed to replace C and C++ for system programming, embedded programming, cross-platform development, and more. It offers features such as memory safety, compile-time evaluation, optional garbage collection, and interoperability with C code. 

    The median salary for Zig developers is $103,611.
  1. Erlang

    Erlang is a functional and concurrent programming language created to develop distributed and fault-tolerant systems. It is widely used for building scalable and reliable applications, such as telecommunication systems, web servers, messaging platforms, or cloud computing services.

    Erlang offers features such as pattern matching, hot code reloading, actor model concurrency, and built-in support for distributed computing. 

    The median salary for Erlang developers is $99,492.
  1. F#

    F# is a multi-paradigm programming language that combines functional and object-oriented programming features. It is designed to run on the .NET Framework and interoperate with C# code. 

    F# is used for developing web applications, desktop applications, mobile applications, games, data science, machine learning, and more. It offers features like type inference, immutability, algebraic data types, pattern matching, and async workflows. 

    The median salary for F# developers is $99,311.
  1. Ruby

    Ruby is an interpreted scripting language known for its elegance, readability, and productivity. It supports multiple programming paradigms, such as object-oriented, functional, and procedural. 

    Ruby is the language behind the popular web framework Ruby on Rails, used for building dynamic and interactive websites, such as Twitter, Shopify, Airbnb, and more. 

    The median salary for Ruby developers is $98,522.
  1. Clojure

    Clojure was knocked down from the top spot with a 10% decrease from 2022. It is a dialect of Lisp that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and interoperates with Java code. It is a functional and immutable programming language emphasizing simplicity, concurrency, and data transformation. 

    Clojure is used for building web applications, data analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and more. It offers features such as macros, lazy evaluation, persistent data structures, and software transactional memory. 

    The median salary for Clojure developers is $96,381.
  1. Elixir

    Elixir is a functional and concurrent programming language that runs on the Erlang virtual machine (BEAM) and interoperates with Erlang code. It is designed to build scalable and fault-tolerant applications like web applications, distributed systems, microservices, or cloud computing services. It offers features such as metaprogramming, polymorphism, protocols, and streams. 

    The median salary for Elixir developers is $96,381.
  1. Lisp

    Lisp is one of the world's oldest and most influential programming languages. It is a family of languages that share common features such as symbolic expressions, recursion, dynamic typing, macros, and homoiconicity. It is used for various domains such as artificial intelligence, natural language processing, computer graphics, web development, and more. 

    The median salary for Lisp developers is $96,381.
  1. Scala

    Scala is a multi-paradigm programming language that combines object-oriented and functional programming features. It is designed to run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and interoperate with Java code. Scala is used for building scalable and concurrent applications, such as big data processing, machine learning, web development, and more. It offers features like type inference, pattern matching, higher-order functions, and implicit conversions. 

    The median salary for Scala developers is $96,381.
  1. Perl

    Perl is a general-purpose scripting language widely used for web development, text processing, system administration, and more. It is known for its flexibility, expressiveness, and compatibility with various platforms and databases. It offers regular expressions, dynamic typing, hashes, and references. 

    The median salary for Perl developers is $94,540.
  1. Go

    Go is an open-source programming language that Google created. It is a compiled and concurrent language that aims to be simple, fast, and reliable. It is used for developing system software, web applications, cloud computing, microservices, and more. It offers features such as memory management, goroutines, channels, and interfaces. 

    The median salary for Go developers is $92,760.

Working with a freelance web developer can be a great option for creating your website or web application. Freelance web developers offer flexibility, affordability, and creativity that can suit your needs and preferences. However, working with a freelance web developer also comes with some challenges and costs you must consider before hiring one. 

Onboard a Qualified Web Developer to Your Team With MultiplyMii

On the lookout for a web developer who can deliver high-quality work but won’t break the bank? Connect with us at MultiplyMii! 

Our team understands the importance of having the right talent to achieve your goals.

With our expertise in recruitment and staffing, we'll match you with the perfect web developer who aligns with your project's requirements and culture. 

Say goodbye to hiring hassles and hello to a smooth onboarding experience.

Let's build something incredible together! 

Book a discovery call today, and let's get started!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a freelance web developer charge?

Experience, skills, location, project complexity, and industry demand can influence how much freelance web developers make. On average, freelance web developers may charge anywhere from $25 to $150 per hour. However, rates can go higher for specialized skills or complex projects.

Is freelance web development worth it?

Depending on your needs, freelance web development can work for you if you aren’t looking for a long-term solution. Freelancers also often have different clients, meaning their availability and dedication to your project can be affected. So, before hiring a freelancer, you have to clarify all of these to ensure your production won’t suffer.

How much should I pay a web developer?

The amount you should pay a web developer depends on the scope of work, project complexity, timelines, and the developer's experience and expertise. How much freelance web developers make is quite different from your own web developer. Freelancers can charge per project. That’s why hiring your own web developer can be really handy, especially if you have ad hoc tasks.