6 Steps on How to Freelance Web Design

A flexible work schedule you create yourself. The ability to take on projects that interest you. Remote work that allows you to live anywhere in the world.

All of these perks are part of one job description: freelance web designer.

If you want to feel as free as Aladdin soaring on his Magic Carpet, learning how to freelance web design may be for you! Let’s dive into the world of a freelance web designer—including a step-by-step approach to being a successful one.

What is Freelance Web Design?

To start, we need to answer the questions, What is web design and what do web designers do? In short, a website designer comes up with ideas for how a website should look, then works to make that vision a reality.

Website design deals with a website’s appearance, its user interface, some back-end technical aspects, and more. It’s a fascinating, ever-changing field. What a web designer does shifts day by day, but one thing is for sure: it’s never a dull moment!

Many web designers work solely for one business as an in-house designer. Their job is typically to conceptualize, build, and maintain that company’s website every day.

On the other hand, freelance web design allows a website designer to create websites for a multitude of clients. Instead of working for a single company, freelancers take on projects from different sources. Freelance website designers are not bound to an office or specific location and can work from home or travel the globe.

Freelance work allows a web designer to decide how much time they want to spend working, meaning it can be a very lucrative profession. But it can also be tough to start. That’s why we’ve put together some useful tips to help you flourish in this exciting career.

How to Succeed as a Freelance Web Designer

Freelance web design may not be for everyone, but for those who decide to take the plunge and set off independently, a whole new world of possibilities opens up. Below are six steps to help you succeed as a freelance website designer.

#1 Learn the Skills

First and foremost, you need to be well-rounded in all things web design. Because you’re in charge of finding work for yourself, you have to impress potential clients. That means learning all of the skills tied to website design, including:

  • Coding – All back-end web design (and some front-end aspects) requires knowledge of programming languages. Any web designer worth their salt should know how to code in languages like HTML, CSS, Processing, and more.
  • Graphic Design – While all designers have their specialties, freelancers should be comfortable with image editing software (such as Photoshop) and have knowledge of typography, color theory, and other visual design concepts.
  • UI/UX – These acronyms, which stand for user interface design and user experience design, are vital to the work of a freelance web designer. UI and UX boil down to making websites efficient and user-friendly. Learning these concepts requires the study and implementation of data to improve website usability.

#2 Practice

Once you’ve learned the basics of web design, it’s time to practice, practice, practice! Clients hiring freelance web designers seek out the best of the best, so it pays to master the above skills through trial and error. 

Try making a fake website for a made-up product, or offer your skills to friends and family at a reduced rate for more real-world experience. By the time you’re ready to take on clients, you’ll have enough merit to impress them. 

#3 Be a People Person

One of the most crucial skills to learn as a freelance designer has nothing to do with building websites. Perfecting your interpersonal skills is just as important as being a talented designer—if not more so.

If a client enjoys working with you, they’ll come back for more. 

Be friendly, reliable, and flexible. Work hard, and you’ll be rewarded with more opportunities. Plus, you’ll make a few friends along the way!

#4 Network

Freelance web designers rely on word-of-mouth to grow their business—especially in the beginning. That’s why a successful freelancer is always hustling to meet new people and potential clients.

Work to build a professional network through friends, past clients, and community members. The more extensive your network, the more chances you have to work on new projects.

#5 Market Yourself

When you’re a freelancer, you’re essentially a tiny company of one person. That means you’ll have to market your little company to prospective clients if you want to make money.

It’s a great idea to create your own portfolio website so you can show off your skills. Consider making business cards to hand out at events and direct people to your portfolio. 

#6 Make Yourself a Schedule

One of the best parts of being a freelancer is the flexible work schedule. But for those who struggle without structure, try creating some for yourself! You can block out time in your day to work, give yourself breaks, and book meetings with clients.

Making a schedule keeps you organized, on track, and prepared for any future opportunities.

Ready to Begin?

Is the freelance web designer lifestyle starting to draw you in? If so, your first step is to learn and then practice, practice, practice! 

When it comes to learning how to code, Disney CodeIllusion is the place to do it! With over 100 interactive lessons on Web Design, Media Art, and so much more, Disney CodeIllusion is a “no-stuck” learning experience for the budding programmer. Kids and adults alike can practice fundamental coding skills in a fun, intuitive RPG environment.

With a higher completion rate than most other online programs, Disney CodeIllusion is ideal for future freelance web designers. Start your free trial today!

If you’re in search of additional information on web design in particular, continue our blog answering the frequent question of “What is the difference between web design and web development?


  1. ThoughtCo. The Benefits of Being a Freelance Web Designer. https://www.thoughtco.com/pros-cons-freelance-web-design-3467516