Economics of survival

TL:DR It’s back to the same old story. How does one balance doing work one loves with making enough money to get along? More specifically, can I please be well paid for web design in Nigeria?

This post was thought of only because of a recent email from (now) an ex-client who decided she didn’t want our services anymore because we were too expensive charging N200,000 for a website design. She claimed she found someone who would collect a third of the amount, and would never refer us to anyone. Wow.

My initial reaction was annoyance, pure annoyance at the manner in which she had presented this, seeing as there was nothing to warrant the dissent, especially on the referral part. We produce work way better than the average website shop in Nigeria, and that’s what we think is fair pay. If you can’t afford it, move on. This annoyance later became disgust for the fact that it seems no one appreciates well done digital work in Nigeria.

According to Executionist, the website design for a small business website in the US should cost from $5,640 — $11,400 and even way more for other website tiers. Granted, the economy there is different and prices for stuff can’t be generally compared, so maybe I’m on some incredibly long thing, but it’s a sham how poorly the average Nigerian thinks web design should cost.

I’ll give an overview of this. Many developers and designers in Nigeria get paid salaries of N120,000 and below, and many of the calls I’ve recieved from people concerning website creation generally estimate the price we (Helloworld) ask for creating websites to be around N50,000 — N70,000. Wait, WHAT? To put some perspective to this, these are prices for basic information websites or websites with a CMS. It’s almost like no one has any understanding of the work or detail some of us put into this, and even more painful, even other designers don’t seem to know what the work they do is worth.

Maybe I should blame the clients for thinking creating websites is a walkover, or maybe I should blame the Nigerian get-money-quick horde who will charge people miserably low amounts to do hack jobs and put online. However way, I strongly believe there should be sensitization on both sides as to the fact that this is art and devotion and the people that do it well should well be rewarded enough to live comfortably on the proceeds.

This is a rant (obviously!), and I personally have pitched to my partner that our small business should stop making basic websites and stick to functional web apps that we can easier charge good money for. Yet, I feel sorry that as a designer that has to learn so much and keep learning to get better and produce the best work, I will be seen as expensive for billing ten times less than global standards. Maybe the solution is to look for foreign clients, I don’t know. I really feel like we should be paid way better than we are now, and I have absolutely no idea how we can come together to improve this.

We put so much into this shit, we deserve to be paid well.

Written by

Real crowd pleaser

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store