Have you thought about becoming a freelance web designer? Are you currently working as a website developer in a large company, but long to start freelancing and working for yourself? If so, then you’re in the right place!
What is a Web Designer?
Web designers are IT creatives who enjoy crafting beautiful, useful websites with awesome layouts, colors, fonts and more. All of this is created through coding skills. A web designer comes with a mix of tech and aesthetic skills and talents used in combination.
This type of work can be a wonderful way to release the artist and coder inside. Not only that, but the web developer industry is loaded with work—it’s possible to work in large and small companies, or even as a freelancer, where you can be your own boss. You won’t lack for work, whether you choose to work in a company or on your own.
Reasons to Become a Freelance Web Designer
There are pros and cons to working for yourself. However, in this article, we’re going to stick with the major benefits of being a freelance web designer.
1). Work from anywhere: as a freelancer, you’re free to work where you want to. Whether you choose to work from home, the local coffee shack or even around the world, you choose where you work. As long as you have a stable internet connection available, you’re free to work from anywhere, even becoming digital nomad. Change up the location when you need inspiration or a fresh perspective—you’re in control and can do this as often as you choose.
2). Work when you want to: if you hate the 9-5 grind, then as a freelancer, you can set your own working hours. Maybe you’re more productive in the very early or late hours—that’s not a problem as long as you meet your deadlines. If you have clients in other time zones, you will be expected to work with them at some point during their working hours. Maybe you’ll have to set meetings that come late in the evening or early morning. Otherwise, you can choose to work when you’re at your best—no matter what time of day.
3). Work on what you enjoy: you’re in charge of choosing the projects you work on. No longer will you have to work on every type of project doled out by the company. You choose what you want to work on. Keep in mind that you’ll still have to occasionally take projects that aren’t your favorites. This is how the world works; however, you can set some rules for the types of projects you’ll accept. If a project doesn’t fit within the rules, don’t take it. You’re in charge!
4). Be your own boss: speaking of being in charge—you’ll be the boss if you become a freelance web developer. Avoid office politics, working with a maniacal manager or boss and unpleasant colleagues. As a freelancer, you’re in charge of who you work with, the types of projects you’ll accept, etc.
5). Earn more as a freelancer: as an entrepreneur, you’ll be able to set your own income goals, rather than accepting what a company chooses to pay you. You’ll have the opportunity to earn more and set your own rates. Freelancers can charge premium rates for their skills and talents to cover their expenses—everything from equipment to insurance. As your business grows, you can increase your rates, so your earning potential has a future, rather than staying stagnate in a regular job.
6). Enough work for everyone: the Internet is constantly expanding and with expansion websites continue to evolve and change over time. For you, as a website designer, this means you’ll never lack for work—there’s more than enough for everyone! Demand continues to grow for skilled and talented web developers. You’ll be very busy!
7). More creativity and innovation: the ability to choose the projects you enjoy gives you more creative and innovative license. You’ll be able to work on a wide variety of projects and doing so will also add to your portfolio. What could be better than that?
8). Choose your clients: as a freelancer, you’ll be free to choose who you work with. If a client is difficult, finish the project (always doing your best and finishing on time), then choose not to work with them again. On the other side, if you have a wonderful client you enjoy working with, it’s possible to take on additional projects with them. As you gain freelancing skills, you’ll also start to get a feel for choosing clients to work with. You’re in control and can work with anyone you want…or not.
9). Learn as you go; learn what you want: this is another exciting reason to become a web designer. You can learn as you earn. When you’re ready, you’ll have the freedom to learn additional skills and talents. Maybe you don’t have the opportunity for college or university classes on web design and development. That’s OK—there are plenty of resources available online to help you learn the ropes. No formal degree is needed to be a web developer. Just read, practice, take online courses to improve your skills—at your own pace, all as you provide freelance services.
10). Make a difference for your clients: when you’re working on your own, you have more freedom to work with clients in the way that’s best for you and them. You’ll also have the ability to work on current and developing design modes, rather than using outdated methods and designs. Keeping a business’s website current and fresh can mean the difference between failing or succeeding with their online visitors and customers. Think of an ecommerce site for instance—customers will quickly leave a site that looks outdated and/or doesn’t work correctly. This can cause a loss of income for the business. Instead, with a fresh, current and updated site that works, customers will stay and buy, which increases sales. You have the chance to make a valuable difference for your clients and their businesses.
11). The work is exciting and challenging: working as a creative can be both exciting and challenging. Each project will be different and new, providing you with challenges that can actually improve your skills and talents. You’ll never be bored!
12). Create your own specialty: working within a specific niche is often the way freelancers find the most income. Choose a specialty you enjoy, such as updating current websites, social media designs, etc. Not only will you increase your income, but you may also increase your potential for getting more and varied types of projects. Once you’ve chosen a specialty, remember you have the freedom to also take projects outside that area. You’ll have more flexibility. You’re the boss, after all!
13). Set your own deadlines: as a freelancer, you’ll also have the ability to set your own deadlines on projects. Of course, you’ll need to keep in mind your client’s needs, too. Still, you’ll have more freedom to work with your client on setting deadlines, while keeping the creative juices flowing in the project.
14). Take control of your future: with the ever-expanding need for web developers, you are in control of your growth. Maybe at some point you’ll even decide to create a company with your own staff. All of this is possible when you’re a freelancer.
15). Learn business skills as you work: not only will your coding and design skills improve, but you’ll also be learning valuable business skills as you work. You’ll become familiar with accounting and finance, marketing (to gain more clients), sales (building relationship with potential clients), etc. These are all valuable skills—and best of all, you never lose them! Whatever you learn will stay with you to be applied in other areas, not just business. And if you decide to go back to a regular job at some point, you’ll have gained experience and skills that make you more valuable to the company.
These are some of the main benefits you can enjoy as a freelance web designer. What’s not to like? Be your own boss, learn as you earn, and more. Even if you choose to freelance for a short time, the skills and experience will be invaluable in your next job.
We hope this short guide has given you something to consider and that the information will help you make the decision to move into working as a freelance web developer. Let us know if you have any questions!
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.