According to Salary.com, the median income for a web designer is over $70,000 per year, with a range from $50,000 to nearly $100,000. As a result, many web design jobs are and will continue to be available.
The combination of high demand and lucrative income potential makes web design a popular home business idea. Although it’s easier than ever to build a website from templates and content management platforms, such as WordPress, many businesses still prefer to hire a web designer to build and manage their websites.
Becoming a Web Designer
Web designers aren’t required to have any specific training or certification as long as they have the skills to design a site. Web designers are part artist and part tech-geek.
Although it’s not necessarily a requirement, a knowledge of coding and programming can increase opportunities and income. Web designers should have:
- Ability to organize and structure the site for easy navigation.
- Understanding of color & font; how they can be used to enhance a site.
- Coding languages, such as CSS, Ruby, SQL, Python and/or ASP, can increase marketability and value.
- Web designers create the layout of a site that should be attractive while still able to serve the purpose of the site.
Pros of Starting a Web Design Business
There are many advantages to starting a web design business, one of which is high demand. Other pros include:
- You can be creative every day.
- Can easily be done from home or anywhere you have Internet access.
- You can easily expand the business into other areas, such as SEO, copywriting, web site maintenance, and other website related services.
- No specific educational requirements are needed, although certifications and training can increase your marketability.
Cons of Starting a Web Design Business
Like all other home-based ventures, there are a few downsides to running a web design company, such as:
- There’s a lot of competition.
- Newer, easier to use systems means many would-be clients are trying to create their own websites.
- The web is constantly evolving; so you’ll need to stay current on coding and software.
What You Need to Start a Web Design Businesses
It goes without saying that you should have the knowledge and experience in web design before starting a web design business. Once you have that, you’ll need:
- A home office that is quiet and free from distractions
- A menu of the services you’ll provide and what you’ll charge for them.
- A contract that outlines all the policies on how you work.
- A business plan, outlining your services, target market, and financial goals.
- A website of your own that not only represents your skills but offers a place to showcase your portfolio of work online.
- A high-speed Internet connection and perhaps server space for site hosting and testing
- Software for graphics, photos, and video, which may be free or cost hundreds of dollars
Another option for finding your first clients is through the freelance job websites that list freelance web design jobs. Once you have your business set up, the challenge will be to find that first client.
Be sure to gather testimonials and develop a program for getting referrals, as obtaining repeat and referral customers is the cheapest and most effective way to build your web design business.