Whether you’re new to web design or seasoned with experience, you may already know the importance of creating great web design invoices to bill your clients. Invoicing is the easiest way to get paid for the work you’ve done and ensure that all parties involved are on the same page. Regardless of when you invoice your client during the project, knowing the invoice process and how to create one is imperative!
In this article, I’ll dive into the different components of a web design invoice. Here’s what that looks like:
Why you need an invoice
An invoice process is important for many reasons, but the first (and most important) is that it’s the way you’ll get paid by your clients! Especially as you begin to scale, you’ll want a document or sheet that puts you and your client on the same page about how much money is due.
It outlines essential information
Having a standard invoice keeps you and your client on the same page for what services you did for them, and how much they owe you. Typically, an invoice will include contact information for both you and your client, description of the services or charges, the total amount due, and a payment due date.
An invoice is one of the best methods to get paid fully from clients, on time, each time. It serves as a method of communication, as both parties should understand the services, the amount due, and the payment due date.
It easily tracks how much money you’re charging clients
Client communication differs from client to client, and trust me, it will only get more challenging as you scale your business. The last thing you want to do is bug a client about getting paid or double-checking that a check is made out to the correct name. Invoicing (especially automatically invoicing or using a template) cuts down extra client communication, which ultimately saves everyone time!
You’ll spend less time answering questions about payments
Picture this: A client that agrees with everything about a web design project and pays their bill on time. We can dream, right? But seriously, let’s say your business is booming and you need to invoice 10 clients around the same time. Instead of creating a brand new invoice for every client, you can use a template, adjust a few items, and send away. This also ensures that the information is correct and you’re not missing anything important (like payment due date!) on your invoice.
The better the invoicing process is for your client, the better your relationship will be, and the better your relationship is, the more likely they are to refer you! Did you know that over 92% of creatives find new clients through referrals? Invoicing is the most seamless way possible to grow your web design business.
Now that you know the big reasons why you should have an invoice, let’s dive in and learn how to create one!
How to create an invoice
There are so many different ways to create an invoice, so the first thing you’ll want to decide is which invoicing method is a better fit for you and your business. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s break down this process!
Here are the steps to create an invoice using a template:
- Decide which invoice method you’re using
- Add contact information
- Include invoice tracking details
- List the services
- Calculate the total cost
- Get paid
Step 1: Decide which invoice method you’re using
Creating a new invoice for every new client sounds (and most likely is!) exhausting. Think about how much time you’d save just by automating the process! Both of these invoicing methods, software and templates, are great options so let’s review the pros and cons so you can decide which one is a better fit.
Use an invoice software
When you choose to invoice your clients using software, you’ll save time and money because most software makes the process automated and easy to go in, edit the fields, and send to a client. This might be helpful if you have quite a few clients that you’re typically billing for the usual services each month.
However, you may find that using an invoicing software is more money than you’re willing to spend or may not be as intuitive if you have a special case client. Let’s say you send a monthly invoice to a client for site maintenance, however this month you met for an additional hour and outlined a strategy for them. In this case, you’d want an invoice option that is customizable for your clients, no matter how simple or complicated.
Another downfall of using invoicing software is the lack of creative freedom. You’ll find that most invoice software options have editable fields and an area to add your company logo. However, you’re a web designer so you most likely want the freedom to create your own look, feel, and add in your brand a bit more. Invoicing isn’t the most exciting document you’ll ever create, but it should be something you’re proud to show and share.
If you decide that invoice software is the better choice for you and your business, here are some solid options to get you started:
Use this online invoice generator to make beautifully branded invoices with one simple click! Invoice Generator lets you quickly make invoices straight from your web browser. The invoices you make can be sent and paid online or downloaded as a PDF.
Have more than one invoice to create? Fear not! Invoiced lets you generate an unlimited number of invoices. Bonus: You can even add your logo to make your invoice look even better!
Zoho offers a generator that couldn’t be easier to use. You can easily fill in your billing address, your client’s address, set an invoice number, and have as brief or as long of a description for the item you are charging for. You can also list multiple items for those larger projects that are billed all at one time, and add in a customized “thank you” note for the client that can be customized however you see fit.
See more invoice software options here.
Use an invoice template
Another option is using one invoice template and updating it whenever you need to for any situation of client that comes your way.
Templates give you the freedom to customize any invoice you want to. The best part: It’s free! Let’s talk about the process of creating an invoice using a template.
There are so many templates in the world, but don’t go looking for a new one. Lucky for you, we already have a great web design invoice template! Grab yours here.
Add contact information
The first piece of information you’ll want to add to your web design invoice is your contact information. Since this is standard and won’t change unless your business changes, you can add your business name, contact information such as email, phone number, and your logo.
Note: Here’s where you can hit save as the rest of the steps are for invoicing a specific client!
The next step is adding in your client’s name and/or business name and their contact information including an email address and phone number. Always double check to make sure this information is correct, as you don’t want it to affect when you’re getting paid.
Include invoice tracking details
This step may or may not be relevant to you. If you have just one or two smaller clients, you may not feel the need to include invoice tracking details, such as a unique invoice number, date, and due date. On the other hand, I’d recommend adding some type of tracking details for your business’ sake. It’s better to be organized, and especially as you start to scale, you’ll want a solid tracking system from the start.
List the services and payments for each
It’s time to list out all of the services you’re billing your client for. You can be as vague or as detailed as you want (feel free to add descriptions!), however, the client should already know what services to expect on the invoice.
Be mindful of any acronyms or nicknames you’re using to describe your services. Assume the client has little to no understanding of web design and make sure everything is laid out clearly, so you don’t have to spend time explaining charges to the client.
Calculate the total cost
Calculate the total cost for all the services you listed. All you have to do is make sure all individual item costs are correct, calculate the total cost, and double-check each of the numbers.
Bonus: We learned from The business of web design report that web designers also add payment terms and additional information to the bottom of the invoice. Feel free to try that out, however it’s more of a nice to have and not a need to have for your web design invoice.
Here’s the easiest step! The requires little to no work as your invoice is finished up, you’ve sent it to the client, and now you wait.
Occasionally, invoicing issues come up with clients. Whether it’s a client that isn’t paying you or invoicing disputes, it’s better to be prepared ahead of time. Check out this article for more helpful invoicing tips and tricks.
The best time to send an invoice
Now that you have a great invoice created for a client, the next step is to send it to them so they can pay it! You may be wondering when the best time to send an invoice is. Is it at the beginning of a project, the end of a project, monthly, or on another frequency?
Honestly, it totally depends! Some clients may prefer to pay upfront, while others may want it after the work is completed. It’s best to have that conversation before sending an invoice, as you don’t want to send a client an invoice if they don’t know it’s coming. The more transparent the process, the easier it’ll be to collect the payments.
Worried about getting paid in full? Check out that article for helpful tips when you run into this.
Invoicing is an important part of the web design process. While it’s essential to create great work for clients, it’s also necessary to get paid fairly for the work you’re doing. Make sure your invoice and other client-facing documents are correct so you can get back to doing what you do best: building beautiful websites!
Download a free invoice template!
Looking for a great invoice template to get you started? Look no further! This template has all the important details and sections that you need in an invoice. Snag yours below!