New freelance web designers and developers have a choice between freelance sites where you have to compete globally, versus securing web development contracts from local business. But what are the Pros and Cons?
The Job market can be kind of tough, especially when you’re new and don’t have much experience or reputation to bank on. But thanks to technology and the internet, freelancers can work on jobs all over the world and in many different markets. We’re talking about freelance sites like Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer, etc, etc. where you can bid on contracts against people all over the world and how some freelancers have chosen to work in the global market over local businesses.
Pros & Cons: One big con would be that, “if you’re not in India or Bangladesh or if you’re in a richer country where your cost of living is much higher, so you have to charge more…if you’re in the West and you got to compete against people in India and Africa or wherever else on the contracts, it could be daunting. But even on those sites, if you position yourself properly -you develop a reputation, etc, you learn the pricing models <shameless promo>, I talk about this in my freelance course- you can compete, even in New York city with people in Bangladesh.” Btw, another advantage to the freelancer sites is when you bid on jobs, you can offer to do them for free, just to get your experience and start building that reputation.
Local jobs, on the other hand offer much less competition. “Because it’s a local business: likely a small business, <they> are less likely to deal with people overseas because they don’t trust it, they don’t know, they don’t know how to deal with them, they don’t know how to assess anything…they’d rather deal with local talent because they can actually communicate with them, in their language and there is a cultural alignment as well, but you have to go out there and put yourself out there.
I don’t know if you’ve been keeping score or not but unless you’re leaning really hard to one side, they both seem to have their faults and potential upsides, so we’ve come up with a strategy, “first do your foundations, one or two projects, then do a couple of freebie contracts whether it be local or use one of those online sites <Upwork, Freelancer, etc.>,then I would start cultivating both: online and if you can cultivate local business, do that as well.”
The VLOG goes into heavy detail about this subject and is definitely worth you time to check out. No matter which side you pick or even if you decide to do both, just get out there and get what’s yours. -Enjoy!
Complex development can linger in production, as you work on the last 5% of the job.
So you’ve got your project, your app – mobile or web, etc. ready to go and you’re almost done, “You’ve got the end and use case defined, meaning people can run through your system, you’ve got the UX defined, you got your UI in place…now at this point you’ve got just 5% left -so you figure, ‘we’re going to crack this thing out in a month…or a week depending on the scope of the thing over all- but what you’re going to find is that last 5% lingers…” Oh yes, ladies and gentleman, like a fart left in the back of an airplane bathroom…it lingers.
Light at the End of the Tunnel To get that crucial 5% working from end to end takes longer than you think and that is just par for the course. “[You’ll] find all these little things: this has to be fixed here, that has to be fixed here…this is normal. Keep that in mind when you’re first getting into the game, especially when you’re dealing with clients, and you’re building their system; you’ve got to account for that last bit of back and forth.”
So there it is my weary devs… Check out the VLOG for the some more insight into ‘the forced march of the last 5%’ and just know that it’s normal and to always account for the back and forth between you and the client when you hit that last 5%… -Enjoy!
Heads up! This is going to be geared to our courses (specifically our web development course), but you can definitely take advantage of the information we’ll be providing…but it works best with our courses 🙂
So, when should you start freelancing after taking our developer course? “This is what I’d do: you finished my full stack course, you do all the foundations training, you do the first few projects that I suggest on the project section, and then the thing which you should do at this point is if you got my freelance course, you should read the first few chapters of the freelance course which gives you the framework to setup your freelance business. Then you have to complete your web design training as a padawan web designer or web developer-junior: what you do is you go out there and you do one or two small…SMALL projects as a freelancer for some independent company/third party.” Consider this your final exam cuz you’re going to be out there doing work AND communicating with clients! “…And if you have our freelance course, you’re going to get all the templates, the contracts, the initial proposal templates, etc…”
So there you have it. The VLOG goes into even more detail and you can even hear about how Stef got started out as a freelancer, having no idea how to build a CRUD based application and what he did. Thanks for listening to our shameless promos and if you’ve had your interest peaked by what it is we offer, check out our courses, it’s definitely worth your time. -Enjoy!
Wix is another tool that web designers can use to build out simple client websites and for some client websites, using Wix just makes sense.
When it comes to building websites for clients most devs will turn to CMS giant WordPress but there are other less complicated web-builders out there like Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, etc. that generally let you create websites easily at the cost of versatility. And that’s not altogether a bad thing, depending on what the client’s needs are.
And from these sites that offer simplicity and ease have risen freelancers in their own right. “If you look at Wix today or shopify…even though they’re much easier to use than, let’s say building from scratch: using a template or something, it’s still something that many small business owners don’t want to tackle. …In terms of freelance work, I call it becoming a web professional. A web professional is not necessarily somebody who is a developer (although they could be), …[It’s] somebody who knows how to put up websites, knows the different options; knows how to build from scratch, …you understand when those types of builders make sense, …hosting options, …domain names …this is what a web professional brings to the table.”
Don’t call Wix and the other builders a niche – I’ve been here for years, rockin’ my peers, puttin’ others in fear…okay seriously though, “…because it’s such a huge demand, this type of freelancer is gonna make a lot of money because there’s so many small businesses out there who are positioned on the web in some form or another and they don’t have all this knowledge, they don’t understand the differences between these different platforms and they’re probably not aware of most of these platforms…”
So should you consider using Wix, shopify, etc when choosing how to service client(s) demands over WordPress? “So your job as a consultant/web professional is to direct them in the right direction. Shopify, Wix, SquareSpace, etc. they’re not competition, they’re not taking away from web design and development, they are just tools in your toolbox. …Go in there first [and] talk to your client: see what their needs are and then you as a web professional can determine whether or not the Wix platform can support that.” As previously mentioned, “the thing about these web builders… they’re typically limited: the simplification comes at the cost of flexibility. …When you simplify you usually remove options that you have on the table. So you have to determine whether you need those options or not; maybe you don’t/maybe you do…”. Hey, we never said it was gonna be easy…
The VLOG goes into a way better explanation, you should check it out. And maybe while you’re at it <shameless promo> check out the really cool and thoughtfully put together courses that we offer. Whether is freelancing, or learning web development, you’ll be taking advantage of almost 3 decades of experience in all these subjects AND if you click here, you can take advantage of a super deal! We’ve teamed up with InMotion hosting for a really amazing offer where they essentially pay for you to take my course and learn how to become a web developer. Links to all these offers are below as well. -Enjoy!
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world and they just released a new major update.
With over 30% of the world’s websites running on WordPress and something akin to 80% of small businesses, it’s safe to say that this content management system (CMS) is a pretty big deal. Which also makes it a huge opportunity for freelancers to become ‘WordPress professionals’ – someone who provides services on the site to those businesses.
WordPress recently released version 5.2, named “Jaco” in honor of renowned and revolutionary jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, and it’s available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. For those of you not familiar with the CMS giant – TaDa! – and for those of you that just wanna check it out for yourself –Abracadabra!– but we’ll be looking at a couple key/cool updates. Full disclosure, we use WordPress…why? “Because dealing with the headaches of creating your own CMS or your own sites…”, it’s just easier with WordPress.
–PHP Error Detection: You’ll be able to fix fatal errors – like the white screen of death – without requiring ‘developer time’. Also, if your plug-ins and themes go haywire, there’s a recovery mode that you can enter into.
–Accessibility Updates: If you’re using a screen reader of other accessibility technologies, there’s a more seamless integration and more “contextual awareness and keyboard navigation flow”.
–Heads up: *If you are running an old version of PHP (less than 5.6.20), update your PHP before installing 5.2.
Of course, please check out the link above for a list of all things new and shiny, not to mention the VLOG for a more robust pass at this new version. On a side note click here for a really cool offer. We’ve teamed up with InMotion hosting and they’re essentially going to pay for you to take my course and learn how to become a web developer. Links to the offer and my courses are down below. -Enjoy!
OR ‘how did I get started as a web developer?’ OR ‘you kids today don’t know how good you’ve got it…’
Gather round the fire again, younglings, it’s story time. Some of you have been asking how I got my start as a web developer…well now, I reckon I can’t remember that far back (and every time I try, I see quick flashes of people with pitchforks and dragons: greedy and terrible), but I’ll try fer ya…!
It was the 1990’s…’94 to be exact and I had no idea what a website was. In fact, I wasn’t even working anywhere near computers…I did have my own business but you’ll have to checkout the VLOG to find out what is was (mostly cuz I forget…).
You can stick around to the end of the VLOG or click here for a really cool offer. We’ve teamed up with InMotion hosting for a really amazing offer where they essentially pay for you to take my course and learn how to become a web developer. Links to the offer and my courses are down below, but this is a really great opportunity and who knows, maybe one day you’ll be telling the story of how YOU got your start. -Enjoy!
Selling online is really the future of selling; no question. So, is getting into a niche eCommerce business the way to go?
Niches historically have their highs and lows, depending on subject matter. A niche band that your buddy introduced you to might be music to your ears, but perhaps that band isn’t making a lot of money at shows because only a hand full of people who really appreciate what they do turn out…
On the other hand, finding a niche in eCommerce that you can fill would be a good thing. “Niche is the key to success, because if it’s not niche then you’re going to be competing with a lot of big players (possibly), meaning bigger companies or you’re just gonna have a lot of competition.” This is gonna be a shameless plug, but we go into this in better detail in our ‘Complete Entrepreneur’ course that we offer (link below).
“…If you want to get into business go into niche or you go into an industry where there’s just a huge amount of demand that the demand outstrips the supply.” One of the reasons we recommend finding a niche on the web to fill, whether it be eCommerce, WordPress, etc. is that you don’t necessarily have to go to school to be able to jump in. We’re talk about 3-5 years of schooling here… for example, you don’t have to get a data science degree, or a software engineering degree. You can simply take a course…like the ones we offer…nudge, nudge, wink, wink… and be able to jump right in, get your experience, grow your reputation and make your living.
VLOG your face off and check out more in-depth reasons to find a niche market to go into and stick around til the end (or just jump to the end), to see Montreal in the winter…just in case you’ve had enough of this wonderful July heat and forgot about what comes next… -Enjoy!
Starting a business can be very exciting and it can also be very challenging. “You gotta figure out what the business model is going to be, …figure out what product or service you’re going to sell and how you’re going to deliver that product or service in an efficient manner so that you can make money.”
We’re going to give to the short version here but for the most robust version we recommend you check out our entrepreneur course, you won’t regret it. We cover everything from different business types to generating new ideas for businesses, etc, etc.
But that being said, let’s jump into it: Skillz that killz: No matter where or how you learn to code, it’s going to be one of your most important skills; almost like a superpower. Businesses need online presence and they more than likely are “going to be dependent on sort type of software.” See where we’re going with this? Even if you run a travel site, someone going to have to program your search engine and SEO (search engine optimization).
Keep an [eagle] eye out: You may hate your job, but guess what? You’ve probably been there for so long that you know all the ins and outs and what’s lacking and what needs improvement. You could develop an app or a technology that improves how that industry operates and suddenly you’re not working there anymore and now they’re one of your clients. Find your niche, learn everything you can about it and how you can improve it.
Hitting a wall is okay: If every business succeeded right out of the gate, then I guess everyone would be millionaires that had businesses and we’d all be…okay, I don’t know where I’m going with this but the point is it’s okay to hit walls or have little spills and make mistakes. “I believe that if you follow certain basic principles in business and you’re persistent and you manage your finances well; you manage your psychology well, it’s inevitable you will be successful. But you have to expect there’s going to be some work in the beginning…”.
The VLOG goes into a nice little car-chat about some of the ins-and-outs of your business venture but again, check out the link below to our outstanding and experience-based ‘complete entrepreneur’. It’s definitely worth your time.
What kind of highly complex and crazy work will you be doing? The answer may surprise you…
So what is the most common web developer job that is going to be out there in 2019? Are you gonna be building the next FACEBOOK from NODEjs or the next WordPress.com with PHP? The short answer is…maybe, but probably not…
“The most likely situation is you’re going to be working with small to medium sized businesses. Web developers will be building wordpress-based sites with custom mini apps, perhaps. You might be modifying shopify sites and deploying those for people.” Not as glamorous as you thought, is it? Well, it’s the truth…
Think of your standard web developer “…like a GP in the medical [professional]. You got medical doctors that are general practitioners, they don’t specialize in brain surgery, which would be kind of the equivalent of a NODEjs master or a PHP-Laravel master. The most common doctor out there is the GP (general practitioner): someone who takes care of most people’s medical needs. That is what a web professional is, you might do a Paypal integration, another day you might do a WordPress theme customizer…this is where a lot of the professional web-based jobs are gonna be.”
Don’t get us wrong, there’ going to be plenty of work building highly complex apps from scratch, “… but at the end of the day for every advanced app that’s built with NODEjs, there’s going to be five hundred, maybe thousands of jobs where you’re going to modify and build up a WordPress-based site, or work on a Shopify site for somebody.”
The VLOG really does this subject justice, including an answer to the common question of money. Specifically why does the NODEjs master make as much as the common web developer who’s just modifying Shopify or WordPress, etc. and it’s a good answer. -Enjoy!
We received an email from someone recently who hasn’t worked in the field for about 10 years now. They have a computer science degree and are wondering about our courses and what they need to get themselves seen in today’s market…
The advice in this VLOG is good for both people returning to the fold and for those just starting out, but I’m going to cherry-pick a few good starters to <hopefully> whet your appetite…
– “In the last ten years the big change in the web development field has been front-side development: HTML5, CSS3, etc. and how people work with front-side frameworks a lot more than they did 10 years ago…”
-Freelance work or not, you should have some sort of website up and running. Designer or code-monkey, get something that “legitimizes your profession”.
– Our courses (links at the bottom) teach the basics, it’s true, but we also teach how to build “simple but real-world projects”, that way you can launch right into it. So in other words, “you won’t be building facebook (yet), but definitely the beginnings of facebook.”
-As a freelancer PHP is a good way to go because a lot of small businesses use PHP, but you’ll also get a well rounded education on the “fundamentals”, so you can use whatever you need to get the work done efficiently and quickly.
There’s sooo much more that is touched on in the VLOG and you would really be doing yourself a favor to check it out. In the meantime, check out the links below to the courses we offer. Whether you’re the new kid on the block, curious about freelancing or a grizzled old veteran who just wants to sharpen their skills, we have something for everyone.