Why web developers should send professional invoices
As a web developer, your projects can range from creating simple micro pages of content to complex web-based internet applications, e-commerce websites, social networking, and more. It takes hard work and lots of collaboration with web designers and other software developers to do what you do – and your invoice needs to make that clear so your clients understand what they are being charged for.
That means your invoice needs to be simple enough to understand, while at the same time accurately detailing the skill and technique that went into the project.
Your invoices should also look as polished and professional as your work. You do amazing, complicated web development – make sure your invoices reflect your expertise.
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Look through the variety of web development templates we offer in different designs and colors, and select the one you want in your preferred format – Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets
- Download the invoice template. It’s free!
- Add in your business name, phone number, email address, and other contact information. Always make sure your info is current so your clients send your payment to the correct place – as well as refer you to new clients
- Insert your logo, website address, and other business graphics
- Add in your client’s name and contact information
- Add in a unique invoice number
- List all the services you provided, such as content development, design, and security, along with descriptions and the cost for each
- Customize the format to include any special features the client requested by adding lines
- Insert the date of the invoice and the payment due date
- If you are including a discount, add a line explaining the discount so your client knows they are receiving a great deal
- Calculate the total price of the project, including applicable tax, and list the total at the bottom of the invoice
- Include your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept
- Why not add a note at the end – everyone loves a personal touch. You could put in a “Thank you for the business” or a note about how much you enjoyed working on their website
- Save a copy – and send the invoice off to your client!
When is the right time to send an invoice to your web development clients?
The right time to send your invoice varies with the scope of the web development project. If it is a small project you could invoice on completion of your work. But if it is a larger project, you can request partial or even full payment up front. This isn’t unreasonable as you are running your own business and need to keep the revenue flowing, especially if this is going to be a time-consuming project.
One option is to ask for a percentage of the estimated cost up front, with the remainder upon completion – or you could send monthly invoices. Whatever payment cadence you choose, make sure to reflect that on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final “cost” has been paid to date