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Freelance Web Developer Salary: How Much Does a Website Designer Make?



For any business, new or old, a website is an essential tool to reach customers. A business is represented by its website, and it is important to make a good first impression. With businesses eager to expand their online presence, many are making websites their top priority. 

This is where web developers come in. A web developer’s job is to create websites from scratch, taking into consideration technical aspects such as performance and speed, as well as the needs of the client.

What Is Freelancing?

Freelancing is a type of self-employment where the individual is not committed to any one company or organization. Freelancers are contract workers, rather than employees of a company. They take up projects as they see fit, instead of when a company or boss instructs them to do so.

Freelancing allows for a flexible work environment with more freedom of scheduling. Freelancers get to decide their own working hours and can also choose how much they want to work. If this work-life balance appeals to you, then freelancing may be a good option.

What Is Web Development?

Web development can be described as the development of fast, efficient, and secure web apps. Web development is a vast domain in itself and can further be differentiated into two subcategories.

Front End Development. Front end development or client-side development is concerned with the development and design of websites. It deals with the part that the users can visually see on their devices and it makes use of languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Back-end Development. Back-end development or server-side development deals with the development and optimization of the server. A back-end developer’s job is to optimize the servers, write scripts, and make sure that the data is fetched to the clients with low latency. Some common languages used in back-end development include Java, PHP, and Python.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Become a Freelance Web Developer

The demand for web developers has been growing rapidly and is estimated to increase more in the coming years. The world is continually adapting to a more digital era.

Web developers generally handle both the server-side logic and front-end logic. Server-side involves operations performed by a server in a server-client relationship, while front-end development consists of converting data to a graphical interface.

If you are interested in a career in freelance web development, below are a few tips to get started.

  1. Develop a strong knowledge base. Having a comprehensive knowledge of various programming languages is extremely important when it comes to pursuing a career as a freelance web developer.


    This will improve your resume and portfolio, which will help you land more advanced and lucrative projects. Expertise in your field combined with some experience in the industry will help you get started.

  2. Find your forte. As much as it is important to have all the basic skills necessary to becoming a developer, it is also crucial that you find your niche. This will help set you apart from other freelancers. Work on your skills and do not limit yourself to what you already know. Keep learning and upgrading your skills. 

    Once you have found your strengths, make them part of your brand. This will let clients know that you are the best in your chosen area of specialization. It is also important to stay current with ongoing trends and technologies in web development. Be sure to learn new coding languages and stay on top of your game.

  3. Build yourself up as a freelancer. It is now time to put yourself out there. Create a portfolio detailing your skills to attract potential clients. Build your brand around your strengths and talents, and prepare samples of your work to show to potential employers. Use your portfolio to present yourself and your best work.

    Once you’ve established yourself as a freelancer, it is important to develop your brand. Showcase your work and build a network of potential future clients. People skills are very important at this stage. Never skip an opportunity to meet new people in your field.

    Networking combined with advertising will help you create a strong network and will make people aware of your brand. Use the internet and social media platforms to help get your brand out there.

  4. Get organized. Being a freelance web developer isn’t just about being the best programmer. When you decide to choose freelancing over traditional employment, you’re no longer just a web developer, but also a businessman, salesperson, and manager, all in one.

    This means you must organize your own workload and finances. Seeking advice from other freelancers is a great way to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed.

  5. Experience. While you’re establishing your brand, gaining experience should be your main goal. As you start, you should take on any projects you are offered.

    The more experience you have, the better your chances will be of gaining new clients. Experience is highly valued in the job market, so do not underestimate its power.

Freelance Web Developer Salaries: Junior vs Senior Web Developer Pay

In terms of salary, experience matters a lot for web developers. Junior web developers naturally have a lower salary than senior developers. An associate degree, and some coding experience, is enough to land a job as a junior web developer. 

Senior web developers carry out web development tasks and often take a managerial role to manage junior web developers. Below are some estimates on the salary and job outlook for both junior and senior web developers.

Estimated Salary of a Junior Web Developer

  • Zippia. According to Zippia, a junior developer will make an average salary of $61,000 per year, with salaries ranging from $48,000 to $79,000 per year.

  • Glassdoor. Glassdoor reports an average base salary of $58,832 per year, with the spectrum going as low as $38,000 and as high as $95,000.

  • Ziprecruiter. This website says that junior web developer salaries can be as high as $77,500 and as low as $22,500, with most making between $40,000 to $61,500.

Estimated Salary of a Senior Web Developer

  • Zippia. Zippia reports that senior web developers are paid an average salary of $100,000 per year, with a low of $80,000 and a high of $127,000 per year.

  • Glassdoor. Glassdoor estimates senior developers bring in an average of $87,712 annually, with highs reaching $139,000 per year.

  • Ziprecruiter. Ziprecruiter sees most experienced developers bringing in salaries of between $86,500 and $123,500 per year.

Web Developer Salaries by Language

Which programming languages you are skilled in will also play a part in how much you earn. It is important to note which languages will pay more and to keep track of how the industry is changing, as some of these languages will become less popular over time.

  • CSS is used for illustrating web pages and sites. It includes colors, fonts, and layouts. This language will lead to an average salary of $69,000 per year.

  • HTML is used to create structured content. It is associated with an average salary of $69,000 per year.

  • PHP is a server-side scripting language that is used to build databases and manage dynamic content. It can lead to an average salary of $70,000 per year.

  • SQL is used in relational databases. It can bring a salary of $78,000 annually.

  • JavaScript is dynamic and lightweight and is commonly used in web pages. Knowledge of this language can lead to an average salary of $82,000 per year.

  • C# is used to develop web, desktop and mobile apps. It can bring a salary of $82,000.

  • C++ is a popular language for designing high-performance websites. It works on machine code, so it is more efficient than some other coding languages. It can bring you $87,000 per year.

  • C is a general-purpose language that has numerous applications and can lead to a salary of $90,000 per year.

  • Java is used for building complex, secure web applications. Learning this language could land you $90,000 annually.

  • Python is used for building the server-side of a web application and is associated with a salary of about $90,000 per year.

  • Perl is used for a wide range of tasks, from web development to network programming. It can bring in a salary of $93,000 per year.

  • Ruby is a dynamic, object-oriented scripting language, and can get you $94,000 annually.

  • Rust is multi-paradigm programming designed for performance and safety. It can draw a salary of about $96,000 per year.

  • Kotlin is a flexible programming language that has server-side and client-side applications. It can bring in $99,000 per year.

  • Go is a developer-friendly tool that delivers on speed and security. It is associated with an average salary of $115,000 per year.

  • Scala was developed to overcome the limitations of Java by combining elements of PHP and Java. Learning this language can help you bring in a salary of $116,000.

Should You Become a Freelance Web Developer?

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Becoming a freelance web developer is easy if you are committed to learning and finding clients.



Working as a freelance web developer requires that you meet certain skills and requirements. You should have a solid command of a variety of programming languages, like HTML, CSS, C++, JavaScript, and PHP. You also should brush up on server-side languages like Python, Java, and Ruby.

Your experience as a web developer and your knowledge about the industry and current technology can give you an edge over others competing for the same clients.

However, freelancing is not only about having skills in your chosen field. It is also heavily dependent on how you perform as a business person. It is essential to have a wide network of contacts and to advertise your brand.

Managing your resources and time efficiently, and presenting your skills and work in an appealing way will help you succeed as a freelance web developer.

In summary, freelance web development is an amalgamation of technical skills and soft skills. If you excel in both of these areas and have all of the required qualities, then freelance web development is an excellent career option.

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