Ted Hickman

Starting a Successful Web Design Business at Home

While building your own website is now easier than ever, thanks to content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Wix or Webflow, some people just don’t have the time, or the eye for it. That’s why web designers are still in high demand, with an average yearly salary of $70 000. The high demand and reasonable income make web design a very attractive option for a home business.

How to Become a Web Designer

Originally, web designers handled the look and feel of a website only. These days, however, if you take the example of firms such as WebCitz (or similar ones), even if they are creating a website for municipal purposes, they are helping the people in that specific industry to extend this role into web building, which means building the functionality, managing the CMS and maintaining the website. You don’t need any qualifications to become a web designer. These are some skills that will be required:

  • An eye for, and ability to design a website’s layout and functionality. It should be organised and structured in a way that is easy to navigate and user friendly.
  • An understanding of colours and fonts and how they enhance a website. 
  • An understanding of code and programming is helpful in getting more work, but not 100% necessary as most CMSs have visual builders. These include CSS, HTML, Java, Python, PHP, Python, SQL and Ruby.

What You’ll Need:

Once you have the knowledge and experience, you need to set up your business. To do that, you’ll need a few things:

  • A home workspace with no distractions.
  • Hardware – computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, scanner, printer, digital camera, and most importantly, a coffee machine!
  • Software for creating graphics and editing videos and images. There are some free applications, but you should eventually invest in high quality paid software.
  • A high-speed internet connection. It’s also a good idea to have server space for hosting and testing.
  • A list of services and what you charge for them.
  • A contract that outlines your policies and practices.
  • A business plan – outline your services, goals, and target market.
  • A marketing plan that shows your target market and how you plan to reach it.
  • A website to showcase your ability and act as a portfolio of your work. Anything that makes people want to click here to hire you.
  • Marketing materials – business cards, brochures, digital adverts, etc.
  • A network for referrals – This includes past clients and other people in the industry. As a designer, it helps to have connections who work in copywriting, graphic design, etc. to call on when your client needs any of these skills. They, in turn, will be able to refer their own clients to you when they need a web designer.

Get The Job

The final step once you’re set up is finding your first client. The most efficient way to do that is through your referral network, but you might also land one through your promotional material, social media, or simply from your website. You could also use one of the various freelancer platforms, like Freelancer or Upwork, to find clients. A great place to connect with clients and build your network is LinkedIn.

We wish you the best of luck in starting this journey!

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