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4 Tips for Starting Out as a Freelance Web Developer


With all the business being done on the Internet, companies know how important a good web developer can be. Small businesses in particular can often not afford to have a web developer on staff, and turn to a freelancer. Because of this, opportunities are available to people skilled in web development. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Tip 1: Keep Up with the Technology

Internet technology changes quickly, and you need to keep constantly up-to-date with new developments. Learn to use as many web tools as you can, and always make sure to understand new developments in those tools. Don't fake any skills you don't possess. Remember that every job requiring a skill you don't possess is one less job that you'll be taking

Tip 2: Development Is Not Design

Understand there is a difference between web development and web design. Web development is the process of building a web page from the ground up. It's includes all of the back end programming that users will never see. As a web developer, you act as software engineer. Developing a web page can be as complicated as any sophisticated piece of programming.

Web design, on the other hand, is the layout of the web page. It is the construction everything on the web page the user sees. Being a good web developer does not automatically make you a good web designer. If your design skills are lacking, consider working side-by-side with a web designer, or enlist in some web design classes.

Tip 3: Price Competitively

Pricing is important. Don't charge too much and lose jobs to other freelance web developers, but also don't charge too little and not get paid the right amount for the amount of work you put into it. Research and see what other web developers in your area charge. Base your prices accordingly, but don't sell yourself short. You know how good your skills are. If you think you're worth a little extra than your competitors and can prove that to your clients, go ahead and charge what you're worth.

Tip 4: Make a Contract

It's a sad fact that some people will always try to take advantage of you. Working from home, without a company to stand behind you, makes you more vulnerable to that fact. When you work with a client, make sure you write up a contract. Always demand a partial payment up front. Clients will not always pay you once they have received their finished product. A payment up front ensures that you will have at least made some money for your time and effort.

Also, limit the number of revisions to the web site that you make for the client. Some clients will constantly be swayed by others' opinions and ask for more and more revisions. This leads to longer work time for the same pay. Limiting the number of revisions enables you to control how much work you do for the amount of pay you are receiving. If the customer wants more revisions after that, renegotiate a new contract with a new payment.

Remember this, you deserve to be paid appropriately for your time. Following these simple tips, you make the best product for your customer and receive appropriate compensation for your time and effort.

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