How to Become a Successful Freelance Website Developer in 2022

How to Become a Sucessful Freelance Website Developer in 2022

In today’s world don’t want to become a successful freelance website developer.

With the growing trend of remote working, it is not surprising that freelancing as a career choice is becoming more popular.

Web development is one of the types of freelance jobs that people can pursue. According to one study, web developers see their business grow by 25% or more each year. This makes it easy to understand why this profession is considered one of the top ten most in-demand tech jobs in 2021.

In addition, as more businesses migrate online, having a well-designed website has become a priority. It is for this reason that top web developers are so in demand today.

On the other hand, hiring a full-time web developer can be an expensive proposition. Because of this, many business owners prefer to hire freelancers, particularly for one-time projects.

In this guide, we will explain what you need to know to jumpstart your web development career and provide some tips for being successful as a freelancer.

Who Is a Freelance Web Developer?

An independent web developer works from home, coffee shops, or libraries – essentially, anywhere that has an internet connection. They are responsible for delivering the final product to a client after discussing their ideas with that client.

You can also read How To Become A Successful Freelance Graphic Designer

The benefits of working as a freelance web developer include the opportunity to take on projects from different employers, both local and international. You are able to manage your own business, which means that you are able to set your own rates, set your own work schedule, and select which clients you want to work with.

Typical freelance developer services include developing software with programming languages, designing websites, managing complex data, and making sure a website is compatible with different browsers and devices.

How to Become a Freelance Web Developer

In order to become a successful web developer, a person must possess both technical ability and design sensibility. Being able to design a functional website is one thing, but making a visually pleasing and user-friendly design is another.

Let’s take a look at some tips to help you get started as a freelancer:

1. Choose the type of web development you want to focus on

As a freelance developer, the first thing you need to decide is what type of services you will be able to offer. The web development sector is divided into three parts based on their expertise:

Front-End Development

The front-end web developer is responsible for ensuring that visitors have a good experience on the website. Essentially, this type of web development involves making sure that your clients’ website’s look and feel are up to their expectations and according to their preferences. Think about the website’s aesthetic factors, as well as its overall user interface.

In addition to programming skills, front-end developers create UI elements such as buttons and icons, and choose colors, pictures, or typography. As a web designer, you are responsible for enriching every visible and clickable aspect of a site.

As a front-end web developer, you must have extensive knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You must also be familiar with relevant search engine optimization strategies (SEO) in addition to these three primary programming languages.

Back-End Development

You will typically be involved in tasks that deal with the creation of the site’s core, databases, APIs, and a variety of other server-side tasks when working on the back-end of web development. Also known as backend developers, these individuals are responsible for the logical side of a website’s infrastructure that powers the front-end.

In addition to many other core programming languages, back-end web developers must be well-versed in PHP, MySQL, Python, and frameworks related to their preferred programming language.

Among other popular PHP frameworks, you can choose Laravel, Phalcon, or CodeIgniter to build web applications.

A backend developer should not only keep up with technological advances in the programming and coding field but also develop soft skills such as good communication and teamwork. IA fully functional site requires effective communication with front-end developers.

Full-Stack Development

Full-stack development is essentially a combination of both front-end and back-end skills. An individual must be capable of both building a user interface for a website and managing its functions on the server at the same time. To put it simply, a full-stack developer must be able to handle everything related to web development to the best of their ability.

2. Web development skills that freelancers should know

In addition to programming languages and technical knowledge, it’s a good idea to learn other skills that can help you provide excellent customer service. The following skills can further enhance your credibility as a freelance web developer:

Technical Skills

If you are a freelance web developer, your technical skills reflect your competencies to a great extent and can enhance your versatility. This gives you an edge over your competitors.

  • Responsive design. An understanding of responsive design is vital for web developers. There is a need to build websites that can be viewed on both desktop computers and mobile devices, regardless of the size of the screen.
  • Testing and debugging. Developers must ensure that a website and mobile app are fully functional. A website testing service can assist in checking various aspects of a website, such as a user-friendliness, efficiency, and user satisfaction, and detect any errors that need to be tested.
  • Back-end knowledge. It is still important that you have a clear understanding of back-end development, even if you are only focusing on the front-end. Make sure you understand the fundamentals of servers, databases, and cybersecurity.
  • Search engine optimization. The usability of a website is equally important as its content when it comes to SEO. In addition to making a site mobile-friendly, web developers implement easy navigation, keep load times low, and add sitemaps. This is all a ranking factor for a site.
  • Micro copywriting. Clients may hire freelance copywriters to write copy for their websites. For software elements, landing pages, or web pages, microcontent is required. Content that has a solid command of grammar and compelling writing will be more reliable.

Soft Skills

The ability to collaborate with others is one of your soft skills. If you want to build a good relationship with clients as a freelance web developer, you need them to be able to do so. It is important to have soft skills that will help you to understand more efficiently what the needs and expectations of your clients are.

  • Analytical skills. The functionality of a website depends on how its code is structured. Analytical thinking will help you identify and resolve potential problems.
  • Ability to interact with others. Freelancers usually work alone, so having strong people skills will help you perform client needs and communicate your ideas clearly. It is important to listen and communicate effectively to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Good work ethic. Many clients search for freelancers with strong work ethics. Be dependable, disciplined, and professional to maintain a good reputation and the loyalty of clients.

Business skills

Last but not least, having solid business skills adds value to your service. In order to earn a consistent source of income, you need to implement strategies. Market your services effectively, establish a strong personal brand, set the right price, expand your network, and learn negotiation skills.

3. Work experience builds your reputation

Experience is crucial before you embark on your freelance web development journey. Having more experience will help you to sharpen your coding skills, as well as filling your portfolio, which will lead to more clients for you. As a result, you will also get a better idea of what kind of web development projects suit your skills and how you can overcome challenges.

Gaining experience through volunteer work is the easiest way to gain experience in web development. For example, you can create a simple website for a local business or a personal website for your friends if you wish to do so.

It may be pro-bono, but you will build your portfolio, showcase your talents, and ultimately convince future clients to hire you.

You can also work on the following projects to gain more extensive experience:

  • Develop a new website using a CMS. If you are a beginner or want to showcase your design skills, you can easily develop a website using a content management system (CMS). CMS platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal allow you to design any website without writing any code. This freelance web development project idea is also affordable.
  • Upgrade or redesign an existing website. In light of the fact that outdated or unattractive website designs can negatively impact customer experiences, there’s always room for improvement. Identify clients who may benefit from a website redesign. Pick a business that needs its website to be mobile-friendly for your redesign project.
  • Design a landing page. After clicking on a web advertisement or search result, visitors see a landing page. When you work as a freelance web developer, you can help enhance your client’s business’ credibility, improve user experience, and ultimately increase sales.
  • Create websites for small businesses. Businesses need platforms for demonstrating their products or services. Small business owners, however, often lack the resources and expertise to build a quality website. You can help with this. You can help a client by creating a stunning and easy-to-navigate website design as a freelance web developer.
  • Work on projects that require different programming languages. If you want to be a successful freelance web developer, you should master a variety of programming languages and coding skills. You will likely find more work opportunities once you have extensive web development expertise. In addition, you will be able to work on a variety of projects, increasing your experience and income.
  • Participate in open-source projects. Participate in open-source projects with fellow freelancers. You can use this opportunity to improve your coding skills and network with other freelancers. GitHub is a great resource for finding open-source projects you’re interested in.

4. Set Up Your Freelance Business

Freelancers are independent contractors. A business plan is necessary for them to succeed.

To meet your professional goals, a perfect business plan should cover all key aspects of operations. You should determine the mission of your business, set a vision, estimate any costs, and choose projects to help you reach your target income.

Further, it is helpful to have a separate bank account for your freelance business. This will make it easier for you to calculate taxes, revenue, and expenses.

5. Ensure that the legal obligations are met

There may be certain legal requirements or regulations surrounding freelance workers based on where you live. As a freelancer, you do not have to register your activities with the government since you are not considered a regular employee or business owner.

If you’re unsure if registration is necessary, consult with local law firms. You can also hire an accountant to help you navigate through all the local laws and specific guidelines for freelance work. Your accountant will also help you manage your expenses and deductions.

Lastly, think about how you will protect your freelance business. You will find working with clients a lot simpler if you use a third-party platform that handles payments and projects.

You should ensure that you have an official agreement stating how much your clients owe you for the work you have performed. If you prefer to work directly with your clients, make sure that you have an official agreement in place.

As a freelance web developer, you’ll also need to take care of insurance. Having insurance may protect you against financial losses if you are sued by a client.

Learn about the different types of freelance insurance available. Freelancers are typically covered by liability insurance against claims made by clients about poor performance or breach of contract.

6. Build a Portfolio Website

It is a good idea to build your personal brand and showcase your past work on a portfolio website. Building your own website will give you creative freedom.

Your portfolio should reflect your web development skills if you design it thoughtfully and creatively. A combination of stunning visuals and engaging content is a powerful combination for convincing potential clients to use your services.

Include projects you have worked on your portfolio website. Adding testimonials to your portfolio website will make you seem more credible to your visitors. In addition, make sure you tell people about your education, skill set, and experience in order to give them a sense of you.

Since the whole point of your portfolio is to attract new clients, ensure that you can be reached. On your website, make sure your availability schedules, email address, social media profiles, and contact form are prominently displayed.

7. Market Your Services

You’re ready to market your services once you’ve completed the previous steps. As a marketer, you’ll have to put yourself out there by networking with other people and business owners.

In addition to creating an attractive and functional portfolio website, you must also promote your services effectively.

It is true that being a freelance web developer gives you an abundance of marketing channels to choose from. Don’t try to market everywhere at once; instead, focus on one marketing channel before implementing other methods.

Check out a few popular marketing channels below.

  • Client referrals. One of the best ways to market your business is through word-of-mouth or referral marketing. By receiving new projects from people who know you through existing clients or acquaintances in your industry, you will establish authority. Always ask your clients for referrals in a professional manner.
  • Develop content marketing strategies. You can build your expertise and generate leads by creating niche-specific content. Create blog posts or publish videos as part of your content marketing strategy. By doing so, you may be able to secure more lucrative contracts.
  • Website. To rank higher on search engine results pages, you should employ the best SEO techniques. Having a higher rank increases the likelihood that more users will click on your website, boosting your online visibility.
  • Social media. Using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, you can advertise your services and attract more clients. As a freelance web developer, you can also create a YouTube channel to share anything related to your job.
  • Attend offline events. Meeting potential clients at events such as conventions, seminars, and webinars is an effective way to get noticed. You can meet other professional web developers through this network, which can open doors. You can also expand your knowledge and skills through this network.
  • Join a community or participate in a forum. A community or forum is another way to market your services online. Consider joining a platform where you can engage in discussions with other freelancers. Answer questions about web development on LinkedIn, Quora, or Reddit. In this way, you will have the opportunity to network with both fellow freelancers and potential clients at the same time.

How to Find Freelance Web Developer Jobs?

You may want to start your search for work by signing up for freelance platforms. There are a large number of job listings on freelance platforms for web development jobs.

New platforms are emerging to streamline the freelancer-client relationship. In addition, they make it easier for you to focus your job search by narrowing down your options. You can filter job options based on your skills and set up job alerts for projects that you are interested in.

How Much Does a Freelance Web Developer Make $?

According to a report, the average yearly salary for a US-based freelance web developer is $72,208, which is approximately $35 an hour. In general, the salaries of full-stack developers and back-end developers are generally higher than those of front-end developers.

You should consider several factors before pricing your services. It is important to consider your level of expertise, previous work experience, location and the complexity of the project.

Consider the following approaches if you are unsure how much to charge for your services:

Pricing penetration. This pricing option allows you to set lower rates than other freelancers in your niche if you lack expertise or experience.

Rates based on time. In terms of pricing services, this is the simplest method for new freelancers. Depending on the project requirements, you can request to be paid hourly or daily. If you use this tactic, you’ll earn more the more you work.

It’s called project-based pricing. This method allows you to establish a budget before you begin the work with your client. Therefore, estimating the time and effort required to complete the project is essential for this strategy. Make sure to review the description of the project to avoid working overtime.

Special pricing. If you are not ready to ask for premium or project-based rates, use this pricing tactic to break into the freelance market. This will give your clients the impression that they are paying a special price for your services.

As an alternative, reach out to your network of freelancer friends to get an idea. If you don’t know any, look online for ideas. It is possible to find a variety of pricing approaches and pitching methods shared by other freelancers in online communities, forums, and personal blogs.

Benefits of Being a Freelance Web Developer

Freelancing is the perfect job for those who want to be their own bosses. Freelance web development has a number of benefits:

The ability to work from anywhere at any time. Freelancers have the advantage of being able to work at any time. You can also work from a coworking space, a coffee shop, or even your home. As a general rule, you can use any location that has an internet connection as your office.

You are free to choose your projects. If you are freelancing, you can choose your clients and projects accordingly. You’re not obligated to accept a project from a client you’re uncomfortable working with.

It’s your choice. In addition to selecting projects that are a good match for your talents and interests, freelancing allows you to control the flow and direction of your efforts. A freelance web developer can also work on other projects or contribute to open-source projects.

Control over finances. Freelancers have complete control over their rates and the project quotes they provide to their clients. By earning what you’re worth and managing your income, you can achieve financial independence.

Cons of Freelance Web Development

However, there are also a few cons to being a freelance web developer, including:

Instability of finances. As a freelancer, you can never be sure when your next paycheck will arrive. It is not a guarantee that you will be financially stable over time. Your earnings may differ from those of your previous project.

You have a busy solo work that can sometimes be extremely challenging. At some point in your career, you will have to manage a lot of things, such as meeting deadlines, writing proposals, and maintaining a website.

Competitive environment. You may find it difficult at first to stand out from the crowd as a freelancer. Many other web developers provide similar services. Several companies prefer to hire freelance web developers with impressive portfolios.

Working as a freelance web developer has its advantages and disadvantages. Every job comes with its challenges. Knowing how to deal with the challenges at hand is the most important part.

How To Maintain a Work-Life Balance in Freelancing

It is very important to maintain a balance between your professional and personal lives. In this way, you will reduce psychological stress and prevent burnout.

When formulating a good work-life balance, keep in mind that what works for one freelancer might not work for you. Take the time to understand yourself better. Take the time to reflect on your capabilities and limits, and prioritize your mental and physical well-being.

These are some tips to help you achieve a work-life balance that works for you:

  • Schedule your work time consistently. Freelance web development gives you the freedom to choose your own schedule. When it comes to work, be self-disciplined. Set fixed working hours to create a stress-free workplace.
  • Develop a work schedule. You will manage many projects as a freelancer while trying to secure new clients at the same time. It is therefore important to plan your work ahead of time. A good schedule will help ensure timely project delivery, which is crucial for maintaining your reputation.
  • Take regular breaks. Whenever possible, take short breaks. Long periods of sitting may make it difficult to concentrate. You can better prepare for upcoming tasks by taking some time to relax.
  • Determine your availability. You don’t need to be available 24 hours a day. Your clients may assume they can reach you at any time. Let them know when you are available. Additionally, consider having a business phone number.
  • Take care of yourself. Poor posture and stress can seriously harm your health. For a healthy lifestyle, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat right.
  • Decline projects when necessary. Be aware of your limitations. Whenever you are already overburdened, you should learn how to refuse a project. If you need to take on another job, consider what you need to do and if you have the resources to do so.
  • Plan your week ahead. Prepare your schedule and plan your week ahead of time to avoid being overworked. Plan your daily to-do list to include your business engagements as well as your personal needs. You can use the list to manage your time and stay on top of your schedule.

Conclusion

As a freelancer, you can execute any project with complete creative control. Working in a modern work style allows you to choose what projects you want to take on. Nevertheless, becoming a successful freelance web developer takes time. You will have to put in a lot of time and effort.

You must possess a blend of technical, soft, and business skills regardless of the type of web development you specialize in. As a freelance web developer, these qualities will substantially increase your profits. It is more likely that clients will choose you if you have a wide range of skills.

Look for job listings online and offline, such as through WordPress development agencies, to locate freelance web development projects. Joining freelance platforms and reaching out to local businesses and acquaintances will increase your chances.

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