Freelance Web Designer Job Description
Freelance web designers create websites for clients based on their needs and specifications. They service clients from a wide range of industries, as their skills aren’t limited to one field. This is a skilled position that requires obsessive attention to detail and deft client management. Freelance web designers aren’t bound by traditional working hours or office environments. While some choose to work regular office hours in a traditional office setting, many others choose to work from home at any time they prefer. Freelance web designers typically don’t have direct managers; however, they do report directly to their clients.
Freelance Web Designer Duties and Responsibilities
Specific job duties for freelance web designers vary between clients and projects. However, there are several core tasks common to all freelance web designers:
The main responsibility of a freelance web designer is to design and build websites to the client’s specifications. This often involves sketching basic concepts, creating draft websites, and making revisions as requested by the client.
Promote and Market Services
Since freelance web designers don’t work for a corporation or other business, they’re responsible for their own promotion and marketing. Many freelance web designers create their own websites and actively look for new clients.
Submit Invoices and Collect Payment
After completing a project, freelance web designers submit invoices to their clients and collect the appropriate payment from them. This responsibility often includes creating and delivering price quotes based on a project’s needs.
Find and Manage Clients
Freelance web designers are responsible for finding new clients and managing their active clients. This involves keeping tight deadlines for every project and de-escalating conflict or scheduling differences.
Track Accounting Information
Since freelance web designers are responsible for collecting payments from clients, they’re often also responsible for tracking all their accounting information. While some freelance web designers hire accountants, many handle all accounting responsibilities themselves.
Freelance Web Designer Skills and Qualifications
Freelance web designers have the technical know-how to create websites that function well and look great. They’re also good at working with people and know how to market their skills. Although it isn’t required that freelance web designers have any formal education or experience, they still benefit from both. Successful freelance web designers also have the following skills:
- Client management – freelance web designers manage their own clients. As such, they are skilled at keeping deadlines, communicating problems, and sending invoices
- Marketing – successful freelance web designers use SEO, email, and portfolios to market themselves and find new clients
- Attention to detail – designing a fully functional website involves a lot of moving parts. Freelance web designers are obsessed with details, and they know how to find even the smallest errors so they can promptly fix them
- Communication skills – since freelance web designers are responsible for managing their clients, they are also very skilled at communication and keeping clients in the loop
Tools of the Trade
Freelance web designers use the following tools in their daily routines:
- Web design software (WordPress, Adobe Dreamweaver)
- Graphic design software (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Gimp)
- Accounting software (Freshbooks, Zoho, QuickBooks)
- Payment software (PayPal, Venmo)
Freelance Web Designer Education and Training
Many freelance web designers don’t have any kind of formal education. Instead, many teach themselves how to design websites. However, a formal education can help kickstart a career in this field. Either way, it’s important to clients that the freelance web designers they hire have a portfolio that demonstrates their level of experience and expertise.
Freelance Web Designer Salary Outlook
The salary for freelance web designers can vary greatly depending on how many clients they service. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a freelance web designer working full time can expect to make a median annual salary of around $68,000. Those who take on fewer clients earn as little as $36,000 per year, while those who work with more clients may earn as much as $122,000.
With the rise of technology and the internet, the job market for freelance web designers has grown considerably in recent years, and it’s expected to continue growing over the next decade. In fact, the BLS reports that web designers can expect a 15 percent field increase by 2026, which is much higher than the average growth rate.
Check out some of these helpful resources as you continue learning more about the freelance web designer position:
Web Designer News – this website presents a curated collection of articles, blog posts, and other websites all about web design. You can filter posts based on topic, which makes this website highly useful for anyone looking to learn more about web development
Designers Talk – this popular LinkedIn group brings together a variety of different designers, including web and graphic designers. With over 170,000 members, it’s the perfect place to learn more about the field and start networking with other web design professionals
Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited – with over 1,000 reviews on Amazon and a rating of 4.5 stars, this book is a great resource for anyone new or experienced in the field. It focuses mainly on website usability and helps readers understand intuitive navigation and information design
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites – this all-encompassing guide to HTML and CSS, essential programming languages for building websites, makes these languages accessible to everyone who wants to learn more about web development and design
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