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In a world where everything from conversion rates to page views to the size of a customer’s shopping cart can be adversely impacted by a single second delay, building a solid front-end for your website is a top priority. React.js is a popular front-end JavaScript library for building performance oriented user interfaces (UI). Whether you’re looking to use server-side rendering (SSR) to boost those initial page loads or simply want a solid UI that provides a smooth user experience, a React.js developer can help you build the front-end for your business.

So how much does it cost to hire a React.js developer? It all depends on the level of expertise you require, and the overall scope of your project. In this article, we’ll cover these and other cost factors to consider in drafting a budget for hiring a React.js developer.

The Secret to an Awesome React.js Developer? A Solid, Detailed Brief

Before we get into budgets, you’ll need to understand your project requirements, and the best way to do that is to get started on another aspect of the hiring process—writing a detailed job post. A React.js developer is essentially a front-end developer who specializes in the React.js library, but there are a number of other technologies and skills under the React umbrella or the front-end developer skill tree as a whole that you may need to consider when assessing the monetary value of a potential job applicant.

The trick is to write a clear and detailed project description that potential developers can review to decide if their skills, experience, and interests are a good match for your project. The best job briefs will provide background information about you, your company, products, and/or services, project scope and timeline, and any supporting documentation that helps illustrate what you’re trying to accomplish. This can encourage applicants to self select for the role you’re trying to fill. For some more resources, learn how to write an awesome job post on Upwork.

With a clearly defined project in hand, it’s time to build your budget—here are some important cost factors you may want to consider when determining the cost of your project.

Pricing your Project

Rates charged by React.js developers on Upwork vary from $15 to $150 an hour, while fixed price contracts may vary widely based on the duration or scope of your project. Freelancers don’t always bill hourly, so some React.js developers will set a fixed price for the work, based on his or her understanding of the project requirements. Here are a few more considerations for your budget.

Expertise and Experience

Years of experience, location and local market conditions impact individual rates. A seasoned React.js developer typically works faster while delivering high value deliverables — but their pricing often scales to match. On the other hand, if a freelancer is still building his portfolio, he may price more competitively than a more seasoned professional who is booking one or two months out. Finding the right React.js developer requires matching your goal with relevant industry experience.

Beyond experience level, you also need to consider the type of experience a freelancer possesses—skillsets in specific frameworks, libraries, and other technologies will also impact your budget. It is important to remember when searching for developers, that React.js is probably just one of the skills they’ll list in their profile. If you’re looking for help on the client-side specifically, also search for front-end developers who are familiar with the React ecosystem. On the flipside, if you also require help with the back-end, look for a full stack developer.

The following table breaks down the rates of the typical types of React.js developers you can find on Upwork. Keep in mind that the listed skills are just guidelines, and it is more important to judge a developer by their portfolio than the presence or absence of certain skills.

Typical Rates Charged by React.js Developers*

Type of React.js Developer Description Average Hourly Rate
Basic Front-End Front-end fundamentals (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript), familiarity with libraries like React.js/Redux, and React Native for mobile. $15-50 +
Intermediate – Advanced Front-End Beyond fundamentals, also skilled in other front-end JavaScript frameworks like Angular, CSS preprocessors like LESS/SASS, and CSS frameworks like Foundation. $35-100 +
Basic Back-End Back-end fundamentals (RESTful API’s, Lambda functions, Node.js, Express). Databases like MySQL. $15-50 +
Intermediate – Advanced Back-End Beyond fundamentals, specialization in a back-end server environment like AWS (Amazon Web Services), back-end JavaScript frameworks like Meteor.js. $35-100 +
Full Stack Developer Mix of front-end and back-end technology expertise. Expertise working with MERN (MongoDB, Express, React.js, Node.js) $30-150 +

*Reflects rates charged by freelancers on Upwork in North America with over 1,000 hours and 90% success rate.

Scope of Work

If you’ve already taken the advice above and wrote your project description, you’re in luck: defining the overall scope of a project is the cornerstone of any budget. There’s a big difference in scope between writing a single component to add a feature to a landing page and building a full fledged Universal React application from scratch. If you’re new to web development, here’s a list of the types of tasks you might list in your project description for a React.js developer:

  • Translate wireframes and storyboards from the designer into front-end code
  • Perform unit tests and analyze results
  • Build a RESTful API

Beyond what you choose to reveal in your job description, you’ll want to have a clear picture of how you will break up your project. For example, you know you want a social media app, but what are the parts that will have to be developed? You’ll probably need API’s and views for login, signup, photos, videos, comments, etc. Or maybe, you’re hiring someone onto an existing team to pick up the slack for running unit tests on particular components, or debugging some spaghetti code. These tasks can be broken down and funneled into your favorite software development methodology of choice.

Milestone payments can be distributed as a percentage of your total budget for a project on a payment schedule, tied to specific tasks in a task board (Agile), or as simple as providing 50% up front and 50% on completion.

Tip: You can often manage a limited budget more effectively by considering an Agile development methodology. Start with a minimum viable project (MVP), the bare bones of the application you eventually wish to create, gather live feedback from the market, and let validated data guide the development of your project. This will help you avoid that dreaded pitfall of sinking cost into a product the market doesn’t want.

Build your Budget

With a detailed project brief in hand, a clear portfolio of your ideal React.js developer, and a solid scope of work, you have just about everything you need to estimate the cost of hiring a freelance React.js developer.