In the modern world of Information Technology invites people regardless of boundary and clocks. Now in this time this idea and freelancing have become a desirable occupation for many. How do we, the web developers, fit in here? The availability of 100,000+ freelance web developer jobs paying professionals an average of $50,000 over the year makes it clear. Why more are yearning for becoming a freelance web developer.
Do you want to become a freelance web developer? Maybe, you felt the same way but never got to know how. Well, read this article, and you’ll be there in no time.
14 Steps to Become a Freelance Web Developer
We’ve clarified the steps with as much relevant information you need. Try to understand the message of each step, and work your way till the end.
Begin with the HTML and CSS
Thousands of web developers can work their way up to great accomplishments without paying deep attention to front-end languages such as HTML and CSS. But those with little to zero understanding of the profession shouldn’t risk ignoring them. These languages aren’t complex at all and shouldn’t take one more than 4-6 months to learn.
It’s the language that makes web pages viewable. Being free and supported by all browsers, it’s the most search engine friendly language for professionals who find it easy to master and edit. It’s going to be the building block of anything on the web, no matter which language you’ll be working with. The best part is you can integrate HTML codes with other programming languages.
CSS, a style sheet language, is applied to style whatever presentation is intended for a webpage. Look at the color/style of the text! Look at some animation/effects that the different elements of a web page show! That’s what CSS does.
Understanding Responsiveness: Bootstrap
The web pages that we see these days are easy to access from all devices, and they appear exactly the way we want them on a Smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. What do you think works behind this adaptability? The pages not responsiveness to the screen size of our devices, we wouldn’t visit most of them more than once or twice.
A part of CSS is the media query which once used to be essential. But now, we’ve better ways to do that. Here comes the beauty of Bootstrap which is actually a CSS framework developed by Twitter. You don’t have to memorize the entire library of codes and properties. Try to grab the most frequently useful ones first.
For a better foundation, you can complete a personal project to see how you’re playing with the newfound resources inside your brain.
This scripting language has a world of its own, and it would take one year to be an expert. But for you as a web developer, understanding the fundamentals like functions, operators, and other basics should be enough.
Learn One CMS at Least: WordPress
WordPress is arguably the most popular and easiest of all content management systems used by more than half of the world’s all websites. Apart from building a fully functional website, you can manage your content and maintain the site with a little effort and almost no programming skills. Other popular CMSs can be Joomla, Magento, etc. You can learn them at this stage or take on them as part of your profession at a later period.
However, some understanding of PHP is desirable because the CMS is authored in this language. Unless you plan on developing your programming skills in another great language, PHP gives you a wonderful way to break into the world of back-end programming.
Know as Much as You Can About Database
It’s a computer program that stores and organizes data, and reports information. You need to put all your information into specified fields or categories so that you can analyze and organize the recorded data efficiently. Management of the data through the web is what makes it so essential since most websites using databases deal with user information.
As in programming, several choices are available in this case too. One of the most popular database management systems is MySQL. It may take you up to a month to learn how to work.
So, the path to web development is now open to you. It’s time you invest your time in something very specific because this one choice will help you shape your career. We’re talking about a particular programming skill which you should learn from the core and acquire more than just the basics.
Be More Specific
You’re aware of the paths ahead of you. Now is the time to catch the trend. Remember that prolonged duration of learning may affect your spirit. Here’s a list of some important languages. It’s based on a survey that reveals what percentage of employers/organizations need which language and what percentage of learners knows the language.
|(%) of Organizations Need
|(%) of Learners Know
Looking at this table, you can find out the competition in each field and choose yours accordingly.
Now, another hard part! Should you spend a dime to learn? Even without trying all the free resources? You can access thousands of free tutorials on some popular websites to learn each of the above languages. Once you can find a way around any of them; you can opt-in for some paid courses.
After you’ve finished the learning phase as recommended, you should focus on getting a job that will help you hone the skills, evaluate yourself, and make you alive in the profession. Let’s check out your options.
Available Roles for Web Developers
Web development allows professionals to assume four different roles. A concise overview of those areas and freelance web developer salary for each of them are as follows.
It’s all about mobile application development using Java, Objective-C, Swift, etc. People with a technical background should be able to benefit from A YEAR of practical working experience in mobile app development.
- Average Salary: $42,000-$125,000 ($20-$60 Per Hour)
The scope of these jobs can be far wider than you can imagine since you might be in charge of both front-end and back-end tasks plus all stages of software development. This role is not for those looking for a quick entry into the marketplace. At least A FEW YEARS of true dedication is needed.
Average Salary: $52,000-$170,000 ($25-$80 Per Hour)
Not as complex and functionally detailed as full-stack responsibilities, front-end positions, often defined as web designer jobs, mostly involve the conversion of specific data to the visual or graphical interface. The languages that you need to learn for this are pretty simple and require only HALF A YEAR.
But, a few months more will be needed if you really want to go deeper into them. After all, it sounds like the kind of line you with a passion for growing big quickly want to try.
- Average Salary: $21,000-$105,000 ($10-$50 Per Hour)
Close to full-stack responsibilities, back-end positions typically involve the functionality and interactivity of a web application or site. Popular languages in this area are Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, etc.
To be conversant with this particular avenue, you need at least A YEAR of consistent adherence and a lifetime of commitment if a long-term career is in your mind.
- Average Salary: $52,000-$145,000 ($25-$60 Per Hour)
These figures aren’t always accurate. They vary from marketplace to marketplace, client to client, and project to project. Also, the pay rate received by freelance developers can be slightly lower than the one drawn by in-house professionals. Again, faster turnaround time may translate into higher pay rates.
Name Your Brand Legally and Verbally
It’s time you would go official. At least, get yourself an official identity without attending the office. Contact a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and draw up a proper structure. Register the name in the location you want to work from. Your home location is preferable. Avail a Federal EIN if possible and gets the schedules for paying tax. Get your liability insurance too while you can.
Create a thorough business plan and get informed of the requirements and legal guidelines provided by the US Small Business Administration (SBA). These steps may seem to be too relevant to follow at this stage, but they’ll certainly pay off, especially if you ever want to secure finances.
Connect with Freelance Programming Communities
No approvals from experts! No testimonials from clients! Building a good name can’t be more difficult. But, connecting with fellow freelancers who are living off real projects gives you the boon. Don’t feel shy or afraid to show what you’ve done.
Whenever something gets the better of you, there’re thousands of buddies to look up to. Similarly, you can be a friend to somebody who is younger than you in this line of work.
People out there would always appreciate your efforts to solve their problems. This gives you the chance to have a taste of the real job.
Complete More Projects and Build a Portfolio
Did we suggest you build your own website? It’s never too late. Plan a design that showcases both your coding skills and portfolio harmoniously. Try to integrate features to demonstrate how you’ve assisted newbie (from the communities) to solve their problems. Include examples of your cooperation with formidable and respected professionals on any project/task if possible.
In your description, tell a story that informs clients how you can be of any assistance. It may be hard in the unfathomed realm of web development, but you can expect to get past the “no experience…no jobs” hurdle.
Reach the Target Market
Since you’ve chosen to be a freelance web developer, you can find your clients in two ways with each presenting different challenges and techniques.
- Direct Contact
- A freelance marketplace
Making direct contacts means you can meet prospects using emails, calls, or face-to-face conversations upon invitation or at a business/social gathering. Potential clients are usually the local small businesses with no websites, non-profit companies with inactive or non-functional websites, or sales companies with no online channels.
Dozens of places on the web are inviting professionals to apply on the available jobs, complete them, get paid, and contribute to them for greater growth.
Toptal, Freelancer, Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Guru, Fiverr, Hired, etc. are some of the top websites you can sign up for. Less conventional yet very useful, GitHub Jobs and Stack Overflow Job Board can also be great if you’ve some experience.
These platforms require that you pass some skills tests, complete the profile with the required information, identify yourself validly, and apply for the jobs that are suitable for you.
This particular field demands one more thing: prolonged adherence throughout the day. You never know when your expected job will be available. Chances of getting hired become thin if you fail to apply within just a few minutes or an hour. It may hurt your daily schedule if you’re a part-time contractor and involved in something else simultaneously. However, you’ll get along nicely after some time.
Try to Earn 100% Client Satisfaction
No exceptions, please! Jobs from clients are the central source of your energy as a freelance developer. Do your best whatever you’ll be doing. Try to build these five characteristics if you don’t already have them.
- Maintain regular COMMUNICATION (on a routine as the client suggests throughout the project).
- Be HONEST and STRAIGHTFORWARD while discussing the BUDGET, SCOPE, ISSUES, and POSSIBILITIES.
- Avoid agreeing on ANYTHING that you’re yet to understand fully.
- Maintain DEADLINE. It’s IMPORTANT because the client shouldn’t await your response for a time longer than expected!
- Deliver as you PROMISE.
Learn from Mistakes and Keep Improving Your Freelance Coding Skills
Mistakes aren’t sins! We all make some of them one time or another. Use the facts you’ve learned from them as your catalyst for a better formation of your skills.
You can’t really presume to meet the end of anything. This arena is evolving fast just like our real world. Look back and find how our ancestors used to travel. We couldn’t be any faster if not for our continued efforts to improve.
We couldn’t enjoy the charms of millions of websites if we had to sit idle with Rasmus Lerdorf’s original PHP version. Similarly, we wouldn’t have the beauty of billions of devices if J2SE 1.2 (Playground) were the only thing we had to hold on to.
These early releases might not be fully replaceable, but a lot of additions, changes, and modifications have been brought. So, don’t stop at where you’re now!
Keep Enriching Your Portfolio
Each project you complete should add one mark to your work history. Be a little judgmental on this.
Maybe, you’ve worked on a specific segment of a project. You might have fixed a very annoying issue. This might have made your client happy, and you know that. Why don’t you add this? Believe us, it’s going to make your portfolio worth reading.
Most clients wouldn’t be interested in checking the part that tells you built something from scratch. Rather, their focus would be on somewhere that tells you helped others solve their problems. We know it’s repetitive, but it’s worth it!
Maintain Your Clientele
No secret keys to unlock this door! All of them have been described above (Earn 100% Client Satisfaction), in case you haven’t noticed!
One Piece of Advice: Don’t try to secure more jobs than you can complete successfully and on time!
That’s the journey a wan be freelance web developer needs to undertake. Feeling confident? We, of all coders, have been there. After you finish learning, it’ll be sweet. If you continue to walk along, the reward can be sweeter! Send a message if you’ve more in mind!