How to Incorporate Developer Fees Into Your Design Projects


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Only things I really like.

You are over coding or being limited to certain design features you feel comfortable creating on your own.

Now your starting to realize it would just be easier to create a design mockup and pass off your designs to a developer to create.

So you don’t have to deal with figuring out how to make your designs work.

One thing that you are wondering is…

How do I Incorporate The Developer Fees Into My Design Project?

That is a great question and there are two common methods I have used when working with designers on bringing their designs to life.

I want to give you the pro’s and some cons of each method so you have some context and can decide what works best for you!

Separately Invoice The Client

One way to factor in the development cost is to separately invoice the client.

The client would pay you for the design portion and then pay the developer for the development portion.

Which is fine if you want to have separate documents for accounting etc.

The pros of invoicing the client separately

  • You can stick pretty much to your normal payment process.

The cons of invoicing the client separately

  • Your client may not understand why they need to pay two separate invoices.
  • Your client may feel comfortable communicating with the two of you separately. Which can result in miscommunication during the project.

Submit One Invoice to Your Client

Another way is to invoice the client is with one invoice.

The client doesn’t have to deal with different systems and can easily begin the process.

The pros of using only one invoice

  • The client can use one payment system & contract for their project.
  • They clearly understand that you are in charge because they are paying exclusively through you.

The cons of using only one invoice

  • Your developer may have fees that you didn’t include in your contract to the client. To avoid this hurdle, make sure to include whatever developer fees are in the contract to the client so you aren’t responsible for paying it. Fees such as late content, etc.

When going the route of using one invoice be sure to connect with your developer as early as possible to determine the cost of development.

No one likes surprises after they have agreed to work with you. So be sure to connect with your developer to get the cost or estimate for development only. Then just add that to your normal design price. Yes, it may be higher than what you are used to charging.

When you have two experts working on a project the value of the website is going to go up as both experts are only focusing on their expertise.

My personal preferred method is one invoice since a lot of the times I don’t talk to the client. The designer is the main point of contact and it can seem weird paying someone you barely know a large sum of money.

You always want to consider your client experience when bringing on partners. Making the process as seamless as possible is a must for a trustworthy and pleasant relationship.


If you are ready to start the collaboration process then I’d love to connect to see if we are fit. You can learn more about collaborating, where you get to focus on design. Just by visiting Collaborative Development.  My signature service for designers ready to let go of the coding or figuring out the functionality of their designs so they can sit back and relax or do other business tasks in their business.

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