Introduction to becoming a freelance web designer

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Freelance web designers have become a highly in-demand asset to businesses in recent years. With many businesses going fully online and new online businesses emerging by the day, all needing a website in order to promote and sell their services or products, there is certainly no shortage of work for freelance web designers, and the demand continues to rise.

Whether a business wants to create a new game, interactive site, or website upgrade, freelance web designers are required now more than ever to help with these projects and with transforming businesses. As a lot of these web design requirements are often project based too, some businesses will tend to look to freelance web designers to come on board and help with the work rather than hiring a permanent web designer. Especially smaller businesses that do not have as many ongoing web design requirements.

Many business owners now rely on freelance web designers to help renovate their brand, give creative ideas, and bring businesses to life with the use of advanced technology.

Why become a freelance web designer?

Many people may wonder, why is now the right time to become a freelance web designer? Other than the high demand for front and back-end designers, there are many other benefits to advancing in this creative career. Some of the benefits of becoming a freelance web designer are:

  • Work to your own schedule

  • Pick who your clients are

  • Develop technical skills

  • Show off your creativity

  • Take a variety of web design paths

  • A good daily rate

Being a freelancer enables you to work flexible hours, which can suit freelance web designers in particular as web design is a long process and can often take several weeks to complete certain tasks. By choosing your hours and also who your clients are, you’re able to balance your work schedule as you wish.

Developing technical skills will make you stand out from your competition as a freelance web designer; having both front-end and back-end web design skills will expand the number of web design jobs you are suitable for, as well as give you the opportunity to explore different web design paths and enjoy a varied career.

With the high demand, freelance web designers can also take this opportunity to set a great daily rate which will only increase with experience and demand. Freelance web design is expected to become one of the best well-paid creative jobs with its continued growth and demand.

What do freelance web designers get paid?

Depending on experience, freelance web designers can set a good daily rate and can even start to charge more as the demand and their experience continues to climb. For start-up freelancers, you can expect to earn between £70-250 per day. You’ll get more confident in your work and increase your skillset, permitting you to charge more as you progress. As a mid-freelance web developer, you are more likely to set your daily rate between £250-500, and £500+ for more advanced freelance web designers – more likely those who can provide both front and back-end web design.

Although a front-end and back-end web designer can often earn roughly the same rates, it is thought that back-end web designers could earn significantly more in the future due to longer hours and more complex design work.

How do I decide what type of freelance web designer I want to be?

It is important to understand the different aspects of web design; the production of the website, and the maintenance of the website. Whether you are a creative individual or want to be behind the architecture, it is good to establish which niche you want to develop your freelance web design career in.

This provides an opportunity to create a portfolio so you can show off your web designs. Building a portfolio will illustrate your work to clients and other freelancers who may be interested in working with you. It is a bonus if you can use your web design skills to create a separate website for your portfolio. This will highlight your ability to use particular software and an artistic style.

When finding your niche, find it in something that you enjoy doing and are also good at. If you think of yourself as a technical individual, back-end web designing would be an advantageous route for you, whereas freelancers with a more creative approach can venture out into the front-end of design.

How do I become a freelance back-end web designer?

Back-end web designing is a complex way of managing a website, consisting of a server, application, and database. By being in the back-end, you are responsible for joining these three together to efficiently run the website.

It is important to be competent in different programming designs, this will look great on your portfolio if you have a variety of programming languages, and even practice in your spare time to demonstrate eagerness and consistency. This is also a good way to illustrate your fluency in each skill; if a client is looking for a back-end designer with a particular skill then this could be the perfect way to connect with them. Although finding a niche is a great way to interact and collaborate, it is important to know how both ends of web design work in case it is needed.

Some of the skills needed to become a back-end freelancer web designer are:

  • HTML

  • JavaScript

  • Coding

  • Programming languages such as Python

  • Business skills

Whilst these skills are essential for back-end freelance web designers, front-end freelance web designers will often need some of these skills too.

How do I become a freelance front-end web designer?

Becoming a freelance front-end web designer means that your work is the first piece of information that anyone will see when clicking on the website. Your main responsibility is to ensure that users can easily interact with a website, through a combination of technology, design and programming.

Freelance front-end web designers are commonly hired to help improve existing websites with their design and user experience. Making sure that a website flows by creating and using software that will support this, fixing bugs and testing for usability are just some of the day-to-day tasks of a front-end developer. Freelance front-end web designers initially deal with the visitor side of the website, making sure that it is accessible and up to the client’s standards. But what abilities are needed for this?

Some of the skills needed to become a front-end freelancer web designer are:

  • HTML

  • JavaScript

  • CSS

  • Framework design

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

  • WPO (Web Performance Optimization)

How to stand out as a freelance web designer

To stand out as a freelance web designer, it is key to develop your personal brand. Your personal brand should also reflect your niche, as choosing an area of web design or skills to specialise in will help you to set yourself apart and attract clients.

Social media platforms can help you attract clients too, as well as helping you to keep past and current clients up to date with your work and availability, portray your creative side, and show what skills you have.

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