Becoming a freelance web developer is a high-demand skill, as it is also mentioned in the in-demand skills for Upwork in 2023. Moreover, people are more likely to work remotely on full time job or part time instead of rushing toward their cubicle-size offices in the upcoming years.
It is predicted that there will be 36.6 million American employees including web developers working remotely by 2025, as reported by Zippia. Freelancing as a web developer is quite a different skill. As a freelance web developer, your chaos will be different. You’ll work on pitching clients, managing, and other operations.
Web development is also indispensable and beneficial for small businesses and organizations. SEO, business leads, and user-friendly websites are the benefits of web developers in an organization and industry.
This article will take you through 15 tips for freelance web developers in 2023.
Who is a Freelance web developer?
A freelance web developer is a sole proprietor who works individually from home or café on different freelance platforms. They offer services such as web hosting, software development, web design, and support & maintenance.
Web developers have programming skills, managing complex data, and designing websites. As a freelancer, you must define your rates, area of expertise, work schedule, and what type of clients you want to work with.
Furthermore, if you are a new web developer or want to become a freelance web, I personally recommend you charge lower than the market rates if you are a beginner. Reach out to small businesses pitch them your services and tell them about your web development process as well as the benefits of great websites for businesses.
Tips for Becoming a Successful Freelance Web Developer
1- Find a specific niche to become a freelance web developer
Before starting your freelance journey as a web developer, the initial step is to learn about Web Development and learn about a particular niche. You can enroll in a course on Udemy, Coursera, and many other websites. Moreover, you can also learn it from YouTube for free. There are many tutorials for web development.
Also, it’s not about “just” doing the course but also keep ongoing learning the latest trends and the best programming languages in 2023.
ReactJS, NodeJS, Swift, Ruby, and some others are the latest programming languages and frameworks to learn and become a web developer in 2023.
2- Choose your development stack
Our second tip on the table is to define your services and expertise for freelancing. many web developers offer multiple services in the beginning instead of working on one programming language. Due to this, they failed to produce quality and delivery on time.
As a web designer or web developer in 2023, you should focus on one particular niche and work on web development jobs related to that niche. Let’s discuss this further:
Front end development
You will be hired as a front-end web developer to design a user-friendly website. It is one of the core skills to learn. You can design these graphical user interfaces using programming languages such as Java, HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), and basic CSS knowledge.
Moreover, working according to the client’s expectations and the website preference in mind. Make sure the site is easy to understand and navigate for the users. WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are common tools for front-end development or CMS development. You can apply for web developer jobs by learning these popular CMS.
Not only programming skills but to be an expert front-end web developer, you should also learn the nuances of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and project management tools to deploy a complete website on the web server for your client.
Back-end development Web developers
As a backend web developer, you will be responsible for the website’s infrastructure. It involves a database, cores, APIs, and others. Furthermore, these developers work with the server side of the website.
Also, backend developers create a robust website architecture and ensure data integrity and consistency. We won’t be able to see backend developers’ work until we have the authority to do so.
To hone backend development, you’ll have to master different programming languages such as Python, PHP, MySQL, JS, and Java. Also, the frameworks associated with any of these languages.
Moreover, the algorithms and data structures involve stacks, queues, sorting, and searching. As a backend developer, you can find projects on job sites like Linkedin, and freelance marketplaces to work and fill your bank account.
Full-stack Web development
Web development means the creation of a complete frontend and backend of your website. The full development is the combination of backend and front-end development, also the database.
To master this, you’ll need to learn all the nuances of backend and front-development technologies and languages. However, modern website builder tools like WordPress, wix and Squarespace makes web development easier.
3- Practice and Build a strong portfolio
In the early days of the learning process, I recommend you practice and build anything on your computer. You can also work for your friends for FREE to get hands-on experience in web development.
You can start freelancing anytime. However, it’s important for you to have enough experience to work with potential clients. It will also help you make your portfolio better so you can have some past projects to display your client.
4- Valuable Skills for a freelance web developer
As a professional web developer, it would help you a lot if you had all the other valuable skills. It will help you in delivering professional work to your client. They are also important for your freelance career as a web developer.
Responsive design, testing & debugging, backend command, search engine optimization, and some copywriting fall in the technical skills category.
A responsive design is indispensable for a website. You should have the skills to design a flexible website for users to operate on desktops and mobiles.
Moreover, you must also be able to identify a website’s and mobile application’s efficiency. That said, you should be able to debug a website and identify any errors. Also, test the website’s efficiency and user-friendliness. Google page speed insight and GTmetrix are a great tools for testing and improving your end products
As mentioned above, you should understand the front-end and back-end concepts as a full-stack developer.
Professional or soft skills will make you stand out as an expert web developer and pitch more clients. Technical and other skills are great, but you should also focus on soft skills. One of the soft skills is work ethic, effective communication, attention to detail and delivering before deadlines.
You should display good discipline and professionalism to your clients as a freelancer. This way, you can win their loyalty and trust, which will result in long-term collaboration.
Furthermore, it would be best if you also learn about analytical skills. Also, maintain a good grip on your communication skills, which will benefit you in having conversations with your clients.
Business skills are important in your freelancing career. You can develop your team and start outsourcing your work, but make sure you hire experienced and hand-vetted developers for your team.
Moreover, you should also keep taxes in mind before starting your journey. Also, count your earnings for each month and analyze your business. In addition, you should also maintain a strategy for your business and learn how to close deals with other businesses.
4- Stay up to date with the latest technologies
It’s not always about practicing your old-fashioned web development skills. It would be best if you keep yourself updated with the latest technologies. That way, you can compete with the market as a freelance web developer.
The world is switching toward AI (Artificial Intelligence), and you need to learn how to tackle it. Back in 2020, AI usage in marketing increased from 29%(2018) to 84% in just two years, as reported by Forbes. According to it, B2B companies use AI chatbots to serve their customers.
This year, voice researchers will become a top trend, and tech tycoons will enter the market with new technologies and products, as 27% of the world’s popular uses voice search on mobile – reported by Google. In addition, the business and companies will be looking to optimize their products for voice research.
5- Build a strong portfolio
Establishing a web development portfolio is important to enhance your freelancing business. You can build your portfolio website, showcase your past work and promote your personal brand. In a portfolio, you can divide the frontend, backend, and full-stack development sections. This way, clients check your work more frequently.
During your learning process, you can try landing clients and offering them your services by demanding low prices. It will help you get good reviews – making your portfolio attractive.
Three things are needed for your own website. A website-building platform/ coding skills, a domain, and a hosting provider. You can add your client testimonials, recent projects, and more. It will attract prospective clients and give them a good business overview. Also, post about your certifications and college degrees on your portfolio website.
6- Networking and building relationships with other freelancers
As a freelance developer, you should also work on maintaining relationships with your existing clients. Check them out weekly, and monthly and have a conversation about their business. This way, you can close more deals with them.
Furthermore, you can also ask them to refer you to further clients who might need your service. On the other hand, networking plays an important role in your freelance business.
I myself call LinkedIn the hub for networking. Why? According to this report, eight individuals are hired every minute on this platform, and 90+ job applications are posted every second. You can connect with many businesses on this social media platform and start building your networks. You can also connect with other web developers and promote your services to them.
7- Provide exceptional customer service
To set up your own business as a web developer, you must provide beyond-average customer service to your clients. To maintain your current clients, you should start practicing and improving your skills daily.
Moreover, you can read and practice the latest trends for web development and enhance your skills. You can also cooperate with senior developers in your network and gain experience from them. If your service is up to the mark, it will also help you land future clients.
8- Manage your time effectively
One of the key secrets of successful web developers is time management. If you can’t handle multiple clients, you should make a schedule first. There are time-tracking tools available that you can use to track your freelance work. Here are some of the best time-tracking tools:
Toggl is a flexible and free time tracking tool for freelancers. It has over 5 million users from 120 countries. You can also purchase their premium versions, which start at $9/month.
Freshbooks is another great time-tracking tool you can use for free. It is also best for businesses, employees, and contractors.
Harvest is more than a time-tracking tool in which you can track your team’s performance and past project insights and have an idea about your future projects. You can use it on your mobile, desktop, and browser.
9- Diversify your skills and services
“Learning never exhausts the mind” – Leonardo Da Vinci
To compete in the market, diversifying your skills is important. There are many freelance developers, but companies hire those with more skills and who can deliver exceptional services.
You can also build your own personal website and present your web development skills to your clients. Try practicing your ideas on your site, which will help you furnish your skills. Moreover, you can create a team and assign them roles. This way, you can manage several clients at once without having any burden on your shoulders.
Furthermore, it is also important for you to expand your technical and other relevant services related to web development. You can learn about ON/OFF page SEO and optimize your clients’ websites.
10- Understanding your worth and setting clear boundaries
As mentioned, if you are a beginner web developer, you should charge less than the market rates. However, once you have a grip on your skills, it’s better to increase your prices for your upcoming web development projects.
It’s also great for the growth of your business. It depends on how much value you can provide to your clients. You can increase your rates gradually by providing exceptional services to your clients. You can earn $5,000 in a month to $20,000 depending on your worth and work efficiency.
10- Protect your Intellectual property
As a freelancer web developer or contractor, everything you create, even a plan or project, is your intellectual property. It would be best if you protect it. If you have created a design or unique web page, you must find the best way to protect it.
Filing patents and copyrights can offer you some security. However, it doesn’t guarantee that your design is protected. Your designs are always replicable. Moreover, you can also use Digital Marketing Management systems to protect it.
11- Stay Organized
Web development is a lucrative career, so it’s better for you to stay organized. It’s not about learning codes or getting expertise in a programming language. But it is also about managing your projects and delivering them to your clients.
As a full-time web developer, you can use time-tracking tools, as mentioned above. You can also use Google Calendar to manage your projects. It is available in 40+ languages.
12- Market your services as a freelance web developer
One of the best ways is to market yourself on the platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. You can get more clients and connect with firms and companies. Moreover, there are other ways to market yourself as a web developer. Let’s check them out:
Create a Blog
Blogging is an ideal way to market yourself. It will increase your reputation. Furthermore, it can also become a source of income besides your freelance career. According to a study by HubSpot, websites having blog gets 55% more traffic.
You can write blog posts or hire a content writer for your website to write blog posts on the importance of websites targeting different businesses like law firms, agencies, education, medical, etc.
Furthermore, it’s not about writing blog posts but optimizing for search engines. So, it’s necessary to implement SEO tactics on your website. You can guide your clients about your past projects and how you completed them.
Use social media
As mentioned, Facebook and LinkedIn are the hubs for marketers. 96% of B2C marketers and 91% of B2B marketers leverage Facebook for their products. You can promote your service in different Facebook groups by briefly describing your team and service.
Ask for Referrals
You can ask for referrals from other developers and even ask your clients to refer to further. You can contact companies and send them proposals with your CV and resume.
2023 is an ideal year for you to become a web developer. Freelancing as a web developer provides a perfect work-life balance; you can easily interact with your friends and family by working from home.
We have described the best tips for freelance web developers in the above article. You can ask for a referral, make your own personal brand on social media, and build your portfolio website.
If you want to read more about making money and freelancing, please visit Farazdev.com!