How to Become a Freelance Web Developer?

How to Become a Freelance Web Developer?

The need for good and qualified developers is growing faster than other occupations. Despite there being 27.7 million web developers worldwide, this number still falls short of meeting the demand. This makes freelancing an attractive and lucrative career path for web developers. 

Freelancing gives you a chance to explore different areas and find where your skills are needed the most. It lets you work flexibly and maximize your profits. It can also be an incredible way to find good job opportunities. 

As remote staffing specialists with years of experience linking businesses with top-notch developers, we're here to guide you. We'll show you the ropes of becoming a successful freelance web developer, but before we dive into that…

Why Consider Freelance Web Development?

Web developers often consider freelance web development for a variety of reasons. Freelancing in web development can offer several advantages and opportunities, which make it an appealing option for those starting in the field.

Build Craft Faster

Developers can improve their skills with a freelancing career because of:

  1. The Variety Of Projects

    Successful freelance web developers get a chance to work on a diverse range of projects. While there's no strict limit to the number of clients a freelancer can have, according to the State of Digital, the average number of clients they typically handle is 14.

    So, freelance developers can be hired to create an eCommerce website for a startup business one day and develop a blog for a travel enthusiast the next. This exposes them to different technologies, industries, and challenges, significantly accelerating their learning curve.
  1. Constant Learning

    Freelancing allows developers to sharpen their skills and expand their knowledge. They often face new and exciting challenges, like integrating technologies or handling unique design requirements. It exposes them to broader challenges, keeping them updated with industry trends. 

Enjoy Freelancer Benefits

Beyond skill development, the freelance business also allows developers to have:

  1. Flexible Work Schedules

    Freelance developers can set their schedules and decide when they want to work. They have the freedom to design their workdays to suit what they prefer. For instance, they can work early in the morning or late at night. They can also work anywhere in the world, whether at home or while traveling, giving them that work-life balance.
  1. Diverse Clientele

    Freelancers often work with clients from various backgrounds, locations, and industries. This diversity can be incredibly rewarding, exposing them to different cultures, perspectives, and business plans and practices. It broadens their horizons and allows them to build a versatile portfolio that showcases their adaptability.

Be Their Own Boss

Through freelancing, web developers get: 

  1. Higher Earning Potential

They have more control over what they earn. Freelance web developers can set rates based on their skills and market demand.

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a freelance web developer is:

A freelancer’s earning potential is not limited by a fixed salary. As they gain experience and build a strong reputation, they can increase their rates, potentially earning more than in a traditional job.

  1. Autonomy and Creative Freedom

    As freelance developers, they can choose projects that align with their interests and values. They’re not limited to someone else's vision or a corporate agenda. This autonomy allows them to pursue exciting projects and bring out their best work.

    Imagine a freelance web developer who is passionate about eco-friendly initiatives. They can actively seek clients who share their values and are involved in sustainability projects. This allows them to contribute to causes they believe in while doing what they love.

    Freelance web development offers exciting opportunities. But it’s safe to say that it’s not for everyone. For those looking to build a career while enjoying the benefits of independence, they can take on this challenge.

How To Become A Freelance Web Developer In 6 Steps

This step-by-step guide can help aspiring developers start freelancing:

Step 1: Find A Niche

A web developer can start freelancing by finding a niche—an area of specialization. This could be anything from e-commerce websites to content management systems or even front-end design. 

When freelancing as a web developer, having a solid foundation in web development is crucial. They must get familiar with key programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It can also benefit them to learn about frameworks and content management systems. By continuously improving and updating skills, freelance web developers can stay ahead of their competition.

Step 2: Build A Portfolio

A portfolio acts as a calling card for freelance web developers. It's where potential clients can see a developer’s past work and assess their abilities. So when building a portfolio, freelance web developers should: 

  • Aim for quality over quantity. 
  • Select projects that showcase their versatility and expertise. 
  • Include a variety of websites they’ve worked with (different designs, functionalities, and target audiences).
  • Provide detailed descriptions of each project (including challenges faced and solutions implemented).
  • Create a portfolio website (including contact information and other necessary details)

Creating a robust portfolio is a must to succeed as a freelance web developer. They should start by working on personal projects or volunteering for non-profit organizations. 

Pro-tip: Building a diverse portfolio not only showcases web development skills but also builds confidence.

Step 3: Create A Personal Brand

Crafting a personal brand
is crucial. It's how freelance developers present their skills to their potential clients. To start, they should develop a professional website showcasing an impressive portfolio, skills, and client testimonials. A strong online presence can attract clients even before reaching out to them.

Step 4: Get Organized

Aside from the work they are tasked with, freelance web developers will also handle their own administrative tasks. This is why they must be organized with their schedules, finances, and contracts. They can use project management tools and apps to streamline their workflow and ensure efficiency.

Step 5: Build Up On More Experience

In web development, the learning never stops. The field constantly evolves, with new technologies and trends always emerging. So, taking on challenging projects helps build experience and skills. Aspiring freelance developers can start with smaller gigs to gain experience and gradually move on to larger, more complex projects.

Step 6: Be Brave

Freelancing requires a lot of courage. It’s not for everyone, and some uncertainties accompany it. For instance, freelance developers need to market their work continuously. They must reach out consistently to potential clients and push boundaries to take on new challenges. 

More importantly, they have to network within the industry. Networking is not just about handing out business cards and making small talk. It's about building genuine connections and nurturing relationships. 

Being a freelance web developer certainly has its difficulties. As one would say, it’s not for the weak-hearted. 

What's The Difference Between A Freelancer And A Full-Time Employee?

Freelance and full-time work are two different ways of working as a web developer. They both have their pros and cons depending on preferences and goals. 

For those looking to hire a freelance web developer, here are some of the main differences between them:

The 9 To 5 vs. Anytime

Full-time employees
work according to a fixed schedule set by employers. They report to work at a certain time, take breaks at a certain time, and leave work at a certain time. They will also have to follow the rules and policies of their company.

Freelancers have more flexibility in their schedules. They work whenever, wherever, and however they want. They also set their own rules and policies for their work.

Office-Bound Employee vs. Digital Nomad

Full-time employees
work in an office environment with their colleagues and managers. They commute daily to work, deal with office politics, and cope with distractions and interruptions.

On the other hand, freelancers can work remotely from anywhere in the world. They have the option to travel, explore, and experience different cultures and lifestyles. They can work in an environment of their choosing, whether at home, a coffee shop, or a co-working space.

Steady Paycheck vs. Variable Income

Full-time employees
have a steady paycheck every month. They know how much money they will make and when they will get paid. They also have benefits like health insurance and paid leave.

Freelancers have a variable income every month. Their earnings will depend on how many projects they complete and how much they charge. They also have to pay for their own expenses like taxes, insurance, and equipment.

Working As A Team vs. A Team Of One

Full-time employees
work with other developers, designers, and managers. They collaborate, communicate, and coordinate with them on various tasks and projects. They also have to follow a company's code standards and best practices.

Freelancers work as a team of one. They have to handle all aspects of their work, from coding, designing, testing, debugging, deploying, and maintaining websites. Freelancers also have to choose their own code standards and best practices.

Assigned Work vs. Choosing Own Projects

Full-time employees
must work on the projects that employers or clients assign. They may have little say or choice in what kind of projects they work on or how they work on them.

Freelancers have more freedom and control over their projects. They can choose the development projects that interest them, suit their skills, and match their goals. Freelancers can also decide how they work on a project.

Company Code Best Practices Vs. Choosing Your Own

Full-time employees
must follow a company's code best practices. These rules and guidelines ensure their work's quality, consistency, and security. Full-time employees may not agree with some of these practices or find them outdated or inefficient.

Freelancers have more autonomy and creativity over their code best practices. They can choose what works for them and their projects. They can also experiment with new technologies, frameworks, and tools.

Someone Else’s Goals Vs. Defining Own Success

Full-time employees
work towards someone else’s goals and vision. Their company can have its own objectives and expectations for their projects, which may not align with the employee’s goals or vision.

Freelancers define their success and vision. They set their own goals and objectives and can measure their progress and achievements.

Freelance web developers are essentially running their own business. Unlike full-time employees, freelancers must navigate the ebb and flow of income and manage their own taxes and insurance.

Ultimately, deciding to be a freelancer or to work a full-time job depends on the web developer’s preferences and priorities. 

But for employers like you, there is an alternative way to attract web developers into working full-time with you while enjoying almost the same benefits as a freelancer.

The Alternative: Remote Staffing

Traditional employment models are no longer the sole option in today’s business landscape. Remote staffing with companies like MultiplyMii has become a dynamic approach that combines the benefits of full-time employment with the flexibility of freelancing. 

A New Way Of Working

In a world where the way we work is evolving, businesses and professionals seek alternatives that offer stability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. And remote staffing is the answer. It bridges the gap between traditional employment and freelancing.

Take MultiplyMii, for example. We offer a fresh perspective and innovative solutions that benefit employers and employees. Businesses can tap into a diverse talent pool, reduce labor costs by up to 83%, and adapt to changing demands without the burden of extensive overhead. By partnering with us, explore the possibilities of remote staffing and experience the future of work.

What Kind of Education and Skills are Required To be a Web Developer?

Whether you’re a business looking to hire a web developer or an aspiring developer, it’s important to understand the education and skills needed to succeed in this field. 

  1. Formal Education vs. Self-Learning

    63.8% of all developers are self-taught
    . While a formal education is not always required to become a web developer, it can provide a solid foundation and enhance prospects in the field.

    A degree in computer science or a related discipline can give an understanding of programming concepts, algorithms, and software development practices. Pursuing certifications in specific web development technologies can demonstrate your expertise and dedication to potential clients.
  1. Continual Learning

    However, the field of web development is ever-evolving, and continuous learning and self-improvement are vital to stay ahead. Building and expanding skills in coding languages, frameworks, and content management systems is crucial.
  1. Programming Languages

    Web developers should be proficient in programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as these are the building blocks of web development. Familiarity with backend languages like Python, Ruby, or PHP may also be required, depending on the project.
  1. Front-End And Back-End Development

    Candidates should have a well-rounded skill set. They should have both front-end web development (user interface) and back-end (server-side) web development expertise. This makes sure they can create complete, functional web applications.
  1. Problem-Solving Abilities

    Web development often involves solving complex problems, from debugging code to optimizing website performance. Seek candidates with strong problem-solving skills and a knack for troubleshooting.
  1. Soft Skills

    Effective communication, teamwork, and adaptability are essential soft skills for web developers. These skills enable them to collaborate with colleagues, understand project requirements, and adapt to changing project scopes.

    Moreover, staying updated with industry trends, following online tutorials, attending workshops, and participating in open-source projects can help you sharpen your skills and stay competitive in the market.

Build A Trusted Web Development Team Within Your Reach

A dependable web development team is essential for businesses of all sizes. 

Whether you're a startup or an established company seeking to enhance your digital offerings, MultiplyMii is here to be your trusted partner in assembling a skilled and reliable web development team.

We take pride in the quality of talent we deliver to our clients. 

Each web developer in our network undergoes a rigorous recruitment process, ensuring they meet the highest standards of professionalism and expertise.

Say goodbye to the hassles of traditional hiring and embrace the efficiency and quality that MultiplyMii brings to the table. 

Book a discovery call with us today!

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From a dedicated recruitment specialist

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a freelance web developer do?

A freelance web developer is a web developer who offers their services on a contract basis. These professionals:

  • Designs and develops websites according to client specifications and requirements.
  • Codes and programs website functionality using languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP.
  • Integrates multimedia elements into web pages, such as images, videos, and animations.
  • Ensures websites are responsive, user-friendly, and optimized for various devices and browsers.
  • Collaborates with clients to understand their needs, provide solutions, and deliver high-quality web projects.
  • Tests websites for functionality, performance, and security and makes necessary adjustments or fixes.
  • Provides ongoing support, maintenance, and updates for existing websites as needed.
Can a web developer become a freelancer?

Yes, web developers can transition to freelancing and work independently as freelance web developers. Many web developers choose to freelance for the flexibility it offers, the ability to work on diverse projects, and the potential for higher earnings.