March 22, 2023
Web Development Invoicing
What you’ll learn
- Top invoicing mistakes freelance web developers make
- A checklist for evaluating invoicing platforms and programs
- Ways to use Hopscotch for fast, easy, fee-free invoicing
Proper invoicing is crucial when it comes to getting paid as a freelance web developer.
Good invoicing practices will ensure that you can keep track of payments and maintain accurate records. If you incorporate automated invoicing tools into your workflow, administrative tasks will be less of a time suck and contain fewer errors overall. This translates to more on-time payments, better cash flow for your business, and an increased opportunity to grow.
Here’s how to set up the perfect invoicing process as a freelance web developer.
The best invoicing checklist for freelance web developers
Without any automated tools, invoicing can be extremely time-consuming and inefficient. You have to manually perform all the steps of the process and make sure there are no errors. If you mess up, it can undermine your cash flow and shake client confidence in the legitimacy of your business. Here’s how the process typically works, and what you need to watch out for:
Gather your client’s information. Ensure that you have the client’s name, business name, address, phone number, and email address.
Confirm project details. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the project’s scope, timeline, and agreed-upon price for all deliverables.
Itemize your work. List out the specific tasks you completed for the client, including the date you completed them and the time you spent on each task.
Include billable expenses. If you incurred any expenses, such as hosting fees, stock photography, or fonts make sure to include them on the invoice.
Calculate the total amount. Add up the costs of your work and expenses to get the total amount due on your invoice.
Add payment terms. Specify the payment terms, including the due date, payment method, and any late payment penalties.
Include your contact information. Make sure your invoice includes your name, business name, address, phone number, and email address.
Double-check for accuracy. Review your invoice for accuracy and completeness before sending it to the client. If you don’t include accurate information, you might experience significant delays.
Send the invoice. For freelancers who don’t have a dedicated invoicing platform, it’s common to send invoices via email. This isn’t the most secure way to send sensitive financial information, and it can expose your business to undue risk.
Follow-up. If you haven’t received payment by the due date, send a friendly reminder to the client, and if necessary, follow up with a phone call or email. Keep in mind that you might not have a ton of leverage if you sent the invoice outside of an official payment platform or partner, and any delays in payment could jeopardize your cash flow.
Download our checklist below to reference as you create and send invoices.
How to create web development invoices
You can create a web development invoice in several ways. To ensure you’re getting everything right, download a template from the internet or use an invoicing platform like Hopscotch to generate and send out customized invoices automatically. If you’re not ready to do that, you can create a basic invoice in Microsoft Excel or Word.
To make your invoicing more efficient and easier for customers to understand, include all the necessary information in your invoice regardless of your chosen method. Customers need data such as:
- Basic information like the name of your business
- A description of the services provided and the price charged for them
- Payment terms, due date, and any applicable discounts
- Your contact information so clients can reach you easily
- Any other relevant information about your payment policies
You can find more details on creating the perfect invoice by hopping over to our invoicing guide.
Common mistakes freelance web developers make
Manual invoicing can lead to mistakes, which can be costly for freelancers and small businesses. You might not get your cash if an invoice doesn’t contain the correct details or the information your client needs to render payment.
Common invoicing mistakes include:
- Forgetting to attach the actual invoice — If you forget this step, clients can’t pay.
- Inaccurately tracking hours — Whether you charge too many or too few hours, this could cause delays and additional work to correct the error and send a new invoice.
- Including incorrect information — Double-check everything before sending your invoice. Pay close attention to numbers like invoice total, address, discounts, etc.
- Underpricing services — It might not impact how quickly a client pays, but underpricing your services will end up costing you in the long run. When it comes time to send the invoice and your bottom line isn’t all that impressive, you’ll be wishing you had set your rates appropriately.
- Missing a payment reminder — Reminder emails help you get paid on time. If you don’t send reminders, clients may not remember to pay. Alternatively, you can use an invoicing tool like Hopscotch that sends auto-reminders.
Invoicing strategies for freelance web developers
Improving your invoicing strategy helps you get paid faster—no doubt about it. Luckily there are several steps you can take to motivate clients to pay on time without being pushy or jeopardizing the relationship.
For example, you can provide incentives like discounts for early payments. You can also charge late fees to ensure you’re compensated for delays.
Depending on the structure of your business, it might make sense to set up and offer payment plans to clients. This can encourage those who may not be able to pay the full amount upfront to still pay portions of their bill at regular intervals.
If you don’t want to change how you charge your clients or how much, focus on optimizing your process for efficiency. Clear, consistent invoices will eliminate confusion and teach clients when to expect payment requests and how to easily pay them.
The benefits of using an invoicing platform
As you can see, there’s a lot of room for error if you’re manually invoicing your clients as a freelance web developer. On top of the actual work you’re producing, you need to handle the business side of freelancing—admin tasks like creating and sending invoices, tracking payment status, sending follow-up notices, etc.
Using a payment platform to send your web development invoices is the fastest way to get paid, eliminating the need for lots of tedious data entry and improving the overall accuracy of your accounting systems.
When you create invoices manually, sticking to a regular invoicing cadence can be difficult. With an invoicing platform, you can set up recurring payment schedules and reminders to help your clients never miss a payment.
An invoicing platform can also provide valuable insights into your cash flow and performance over time. You’ll develop a better sense of when clients pay on time and which ones tend to need reminders. Plus, with the right invoicing platform, your clients can choose to pay in several ways. Whether it’s by bank transfer or credit card, having the option can improve the overall payment experience for your clients.
Choosing an invoicing platform
When it comes to choosing an invoicing platform that will improve your payment workflow, there are several features that you should consider.
As a freelance web developer, many clients will probably expect you to offer a slick, tech-forward payment process that matches your brand. Being able to generate and drop an invoice link in any digital channel (Slack, Instagram, email, text, etc.) makes it easy for your clients to review and send payment at any time from any device.
Remembering to send follow-up payment reminders on your own is challenging. Plus it takes a lot of time to constantly check your inbox and send perfectly crafted email reminders. If you choose an invoicing platform with automated reminder functionality, it’s just one less thing you’ll have to worry about as you operate and scale your freelancing business.
Every freelancer knows the pain of sending an invoice and waiting to hear back. As the days drag by and you become more anxious to get paid, you naturally start wondering if you’ve been ghosted or if the invoice got successfully delivered. With invoice read receipts, you’ll know exactly when a client views your invoice notification—no more wondering—so you can make an informed decision about next steps if they don’t respond as expected.
Many invoicing platforms charge transaction fees for payments (some as high at 3.5%!) which can reduce your profits. Freelancers are especially vulnerable to this type of predatory practice, and fees can take a significant chunk out of your profits over time. When choosing an invoicing platform, look for fee-free payment options so you can avoid those unnecessary losses.
Multiple payment methods
Freelance web developers work with a variety of client types, from small mom-and-pop shops to large brands, agencies, and corporations. Look for an invoicing platform that supports multiple payment methods, including credit cards and bank transfers.
Maximizing the potential of your invoices with Hopscotch
Hopscotch is built to be nimble and sophisticated, giving freelancers access to payment features that help grow revenue and control cash flow. The invoicing platform is easy to use and offers fee-free payment options so you can keep more of the money you earn. On top of that, your clients get a luxe payment experience that’s simple to navigate and matches the look and feel of your brand.
Learn how Hopscotch can make sending and receiving payments easier for your business, and sign up today for a free account.