How to become a freelance web developer in 2024?

How to become a freelance web developer in 2023?

There has never been a better time to become a freelance web developer in human history than in 2023. The number of freelance web developers is exponentially increasing as more people love remote work. And more businesses are hiring freelance developers to cut costs and sail through the global economic storms.

The freedom of freelancing as a web developer is enormous, as you can work from home, in a coffee shop, or anywhere in the world. You have a business and don’t have to answer to any boss.

Are you a tech newbie who wants to get your first project and start your own freelancing business in 2023?

I made this article specially for you.

So what does being a freelance web developer means?

Who is a freelance web developer?

A freelance web developer is an independent professional who works for individuals or businesses on a short- or long-term basis to build, maintain, design, and optimize beautiful and user-friendly websites.

Freelance web developers are self-employed and are not hired by the staff of any IT company. They work on a contract basis and get paid per contract. As a web developer who runs a freelancing business, you have the luxury of working from anywhere. You are not restricted to resuming and leaving the office at any time. You determine when you resume and when you close.

To get contracts or jobs, freelance web developers reach out to potential clients on social media platforms like (LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook) or freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer or Toptal.

5 Benefits of being a freelance Web developer

There are many benefits of being a freelance web developer. However, here are 5 major benefits you stand to enjoy if you start a freelance business in web development today.

  1. Flexible schedule
  2. Better work-life balance
  3. Gain more technical skills working on challenging projects
  4. You are the boss
  5. Pay less tax

You are the boss

As a freelancer, you are your own boss. You decide how much you charge your clients and when, where and how you work. You also set deadlines for every project you manage. Nobody will be there to give you orders. You also have the freedom to choose your clients and other freelancers working with you.

Flexible schedule

Hired staff are expected to resume by 8 am and close by 5 pm. But as freelance workers, that is never your problem. You decide when you want to work based on your ability and personality. If you are always very active at night, you can work on your client project at night and rest during the day. You can also decide not to work on Fridays. Your clients don’t care. All they want to see is results and a functioning web application.

Better work-life balance

We live in a world where everyone is a workaholic and rarely has time for themselves and their families. No, they don’t wish to, but their career choice doesn’t give them the chance to strike balance between life and work properly.

Choosing a freelance career as a web developer gives you better work-life control. You have time for your kids, go to the gym and engage in more religious or spiritual activities. You have more power and control over your life and work because you create your own schedule.

Gain more technical skills working on challenging projects

Working as a freelancer may be intellectually challenging because no two days are ever the same, and you can learn many fascinating things and gain expertise on various topics. The intellectual diversity can be far more engaging than the monotonous daily grind of a full-time profession that has grown routine.

Pay less tax

The good news is that you probably qualify for several tax benefits as a self-employed web developer or independent contractor. This might entail using your home internet as a business cost or renting out a space in your home as an office specifically for your freelancing business needs. Before including any tax deductions for your freelance income on your return, it is essential to check your local tax laws or speak with a tax expert.

Learn how to make 6 figures as a freelance web developer.

Steps to start freelancing as a web developer?

There is a lot of money to make for a web developer interested in freelance work. However, as new freelance web developers who want to start a freelancing career. You should take certain steps to make it easy for your prospective client to give you that first project.

Here are some steps to start your freelance journey as a web developer.

  1. Pick a niche
  2. Pick a web stack (Front end or Backend web development)
  3. Learn web development skills
  4. Create a personal brand
  5. Build a portfolio website.
  6. Build up your experience
  7. Set your price range.
  8. Look for your clients.

Pick a niche

To be a successful freelance web developer, choose a niche. Do you want to focus on building portfolio websites, e-commerce websites, landing pages, etc? One of the big mistakes most freelance web developers make is that they don’t niche down when they are starting out.

Niching in the sense that they don’t decide the industry they would like to apply their web development skills. The problem with you not picking a particular niche is that you are directly competing with big freelance agencies and experienced developers who have gained more authority regarding freelance work.

So pick an industry and build web application portfolio projects relevant to your chosen industry.

Pick a web stack (Front end or Backend web development)

You need to decide the web stack you will be building. You might want to be a full-stack developer who knows both front-end web development and back-end. However, you must choose the one you will master and focus on. You can always spread your wings late, but for a start. Pick a web stack. You will likely see faster results when you focus on just one web stack.

If you decide to join the league of freelance front-end developers. You should make a choice if you were coding or not. There are No-code or CRM platforms that make it easy to design websites for small businesses. Some popular ones include WordPress websites, Squarespace, Wix, etc.

Learn web development skills

Once you’ve chosen your web stack. Start learning. There are many resources and courses online that can help you get started with learning to be a freelance web developer without having to spend a dime.

Resources like Youtube, Freecodecamp, Odin Project, etc, are free. If you want more advanced courses on freelance web development, you can check out platforms like Udacity, Coursera, Edx and Udemy for courses that train you on different web development skills.

Also, you must learn by building portfolio projects related to your chosen niche.

Create a personal brand

You need to create a personal brand. Nobody will blow your trumpets if you can’t do it yourself. Let people know what you do both offline and online. You can leverage the power of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram etc.

Write blog posts, and create video contents and graphics that show you understand what it means to be a freelance web developer. Post your content on social media platforms. Go to where your prospective clients are and show them how much value you can offer using content. Create social media pages that post content related to the development, not the regular bants.

Build a Portfolio website

You need to build a portfolio website as a serious freelance web developer. Your portfolio website showcases your programming skills as a web developer and your portfolio projects. You can create blogs on your portfolio website and add links to your past work. Your online portfolio should also contain a list of your coding skills and all the tools you can use.

Build up your experience

You need to build your experience. Wait a minute! How can I gain experience when I’ve not gotten my first freelance job as a web developer? The truth is that you can create an experience for yourself. Build websites that are similar to what your clients will likely need. Then add those great websites to your portfolio website.

You can also walk up to local businesses and tell them you’ll help them build a website for free or cheaply. This way, you can gain experience. Once you have two to three new projects in your online portfolio, you can start reaching out to customers online and applying for freelance gigs.

If you don’t have projects in your portfolio as a freelance web developer, it will be difficult for your future clients to trust you. So you need to either build a project for your website and host the web pages or do it for a local business for a few bucks.

Set your price range

One secret of a successful freelance web developer is that you know how much to charge your clients. All clients are not equal, and you need to understand that you are competing with other freelancers and web developers who offer the same service. You will not want to lower your prices and end up hurting yourself. And you will not want to charge so much that you will lose customers to your competition.

Before determining your price range, you need to research how much the top and low earners in your field are charging. Most especially people within your experience bracket. You will not want to charge the same fee as a senior developer with over 10 years of experience.

You can also look at freelance platforms like Upwork to know how much other freelancers charge. Then let your price range be between the 50-75 percentile.

Look for your clients.

As a freelance web developer who is serious about getting his first freelance work. You need to go out there and look for potential clients. If you are starting out, I’d recommend you check out a freelance platform like Fiver, Upwork, Freelancer etc.

You must focus on building a good profile and consistently apply for jobs on these platforms. These platforms connect you with your potential clients, and they receive a commission in exchange.

You can also reach out to small businesses on social media platforms like Twitter and Linkedin to get your first job.

Tell me the difference between freelance and full-time work.


Can I start freelancing with HTML and CSS?

You can start freelancing as a web developer with only a knowledge of HTML and CSS. However, your chances of getting a high-paying client are low because you are against many developers who know so many tech stacks. Also, there are limits to jobs that you can take on since you cannot add functionalities to a web design project.

How to find work as a freelance web developer?

You can get freelance web developer jobs by speaking with local businesses around you or checking out job boards and freelance sites like Upwork and Fiverr for more customers.

How long does it take to become a freelance developer?

It takes about 6 months to become a freelance web developer. You have mastered all the coding and business skills required to build and manage a client’s websites during that time.

Can a beginner programmer freelance?

There are opportunities for every experience level of freelance programming. So, yes, you can freelance as a beginner programmer since there are many projects experienced web developers will not want to work on.

How much should a freelance developer charge?

Freelance developers charge between $10/hr – $300/hr for most projects. However, your rate for a project as a freelance web developer depends on your experience, location and network. To come up with a good price range, look at what other freelancers are charging and charge within that range.

Is freelance web development in 2023 worth it?

2023 is the best time to freelance as a freelance web developer. As many businesses believe it is cheaper to outsource some web application projects to freelance developers than hire a full-time programmer to do the job.

How much can a freelance web developer make?

A Freelance web developer can make as high as $200 000 on a project and as low as $100 on a project.