When it comes to website design jobs, there are people pulling in hundreds of dollars per hour and people making $5-$10 an hour. What makes an employee affordable and how can you be the website designer making $100 an hour?
Employers: A website designer's affordability is not, as you might think, 100% proportional to the hourly rate. In a world where the saying, "Time is Money" has never been more true, the hourly rate you pay can be justified with numerous variables, with the most important one being TIME. Turn around time, bugs, usability, search optimization know-how are just a few of the other variables in trying to find out if your website designer is affordable. Can you afford to pay someone $10 an hour, $50, or $100 isn't the question. The question is do you have more time than money, or more money than time? If you have time to wait on a project then you can afford to take the chance on a lower rate employee. If you have to have something done right the first time and done quickly, then another cliche is quite true... "You get what you pay for." If you're an employer, then you probably know (but may not practice) that your time is very valuable, and outsourcing and delegating are the keys to success.
Jobseekers: If you are a web designer, then the question is... "How do I get to be the one making $100 an hour or more?" This is the most simple answer there is, and if followed will make you do well in any job you tackle with this mentality... CUSTOMER SERVICE! You have to answer your boss's questions quickly, you have to set realistic expectations, and you have to deliver consistently. If you do those three things, but most importantly you communicate quickly and efficiently, you will have success, and you will eventually get to that high rate of pay. Your boss/employee relationship has a metaphorical bank which you deposit into when you provide great customer service and withdraw from when you don't answer an email quickly, or set expectations higher than they should have been. When the bank gets to zero, you lose your job. If you keep depositing though, the interest earned keeps going up. That interest rate is your hourly rate in this metaphor, and it is also what makes you affordable even when you're making double or triple the rate of others doing the same job.
No matter which side of the coin you're on, jobseeker or employer, you can be affordable and you can find someone who is affordable. After you realize that money is not the only thing going in and out during these transactions.