Did you know that freelance web developers earn as much as $1000 per hour? With everyone turning to the shifting to virtual softwares and apps for everyday requirements, the demand for developers and coders is increasing by the day. Which means, people are willing to pay good money for web developing gigs online.
However, working as a web developer in the freelance sector is not a bed of roses. Apart from the benefits, you’ll come across many challenges until you can consider yourself successful.
Nevertheless, who doesn’t like to work on their terms, with all the creative freedom they want? If you’re seriously thinking to become a freelance web developer, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of pros and cons of web development for you to make a calculated decision for yourself.
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Pros of Freelance Web Development
The benefits of being a freelance web developer are endless. As we mentioned, web development jobs are easy to come by if you have the right skill set and know how to pitch clients. Also, you’ll get workplace freedom and time flexibility.
Here’s a list of pros that’s sure to pump you up for freelancing today.
You can set your working hours yourself according to your preference, and no one bats an eye.
That doesn’t mean that you can stay in bed for hours at a stretch. If you’re new in the field and struggling to find your place, you might have to complete freelance gigs at odd hours.
However, once you’re established in your field and have a fixed client list and routine to go by, you can deviate as much as you want from the typical 9-5 schedule.
If you’re taking up freelance web developing gigs from online freelance platforms, you know that every project requires its own time. Freelancing makes it easy as you can prioritize your tasks and assign the time slots necessary to get your work done on time.
If you’re building your own freelance web developer portfolio, you probably know that web development requires a lot of time and effort. While working a full-time office job, strict deadlines, time limitations, and co-worker distractions may not allow you to give your full concentration to your project.
At home, things are different. As a freelancer, you’re in your own space where you can spread your wings.
We’re not saying that there won’t be any distractions or deadlines, but here, you can manage them properly, to not hinder your work schedule.
Besides that, without any hours wasted on long lunch breaks, traffic during a commute, and unnecessary chatter, you can use that time to improve your app or website and conduct extra checks to impress your client.
Balance Out Your Life
As a freelance web developer, you can easily find time for your loved ones and those who need your care the most. That doesn’t mean you won’t be busy. You just won’t have to follow the rules assigned by someone else.
You can adjust your hours according to when you’re most productive and leave time slots of activities such as interacting with your kids, feeding your pets, or completing your share of household chores.
Besides that, as a freelancer, you’ll accommodate any immediate needs and emergencies regarding your family and friends. Simply said, you’ll be there when they need you, instead of begging time off from the H.R department.
Also, even if you’re prioritizing something over your work, you can be stress-free and finish it later, if you plan well. Unlike a corporate environment where you’ll face deadline-induce pressure if you entertain any other responsibilities during work hours.
Cut Out the Stress
Another great advantage of taking up freelance web development gigs online is that you can direct your full concentration towards your work.
When you wake up in the morning, you don’t have to worry about setting your outfit according to the dress code, ironing your clothes, or leaving a time margin for traffic and the line at the gas station.
All you have to do is get out of bed, wear what you’re comfortable in, have a hearty breakfast, and get started.
Look at it this way; on average; the nearest workplace is usually 10-20 minutes away, which becomes a 25-30 min commute during peak hours. These means, office workers spend approximately 60 minutes per day, 500 minutes weekly, and about 1500 minutes a month moving to and from their workplace. That’s more than a full day wasted every month.
Peak time traffic also creates a mental burden on your head.
Although you’ll have to dress up formally for an occasional meeting for a freelance client and appear on time for specific commitments, the pressure won’t be there every day.
Increased Income Rates
Believe it or not, working on freelance gigs as a web developer can pay more than working as a dedicated developer for a company.
Bear with us, you see, in the corporate world, you agree to a specific salary for the time you give to the company. It might be an hourly rate, weekly, or monthly.
Now, your rate here is set according to your time, not for the value, you put into that time. As a web developer, you know that every client and every project is different. If you’re working a full-time job, you don’t usually get paid extra for a challenging task, or a unique idea that you put across.
If you’re working as a freelancer, you can actually do that and increase your earnings. Here’s how. You can bid individually for each project according to the work and effort it requires.
Similarly, you can choose projects that you feel will pay well and enhance your work portfolio. This way, you can increase your income as you gain more experience and grow as a professional web developer.
See Related: How to be a Freelance Illustrator
Cons of Freelance Web Development
Now that you’ve been through our list of pros for freelance web development, you’re probably ready to start surfing freelance gigs online. Well, don’t do that too soon.
You see, there are always two sides to a coin. The same goes for freelancing. There are some disadvantages to this work format that might be a turnoff for you. Here’s a list of cons for freelance web development, so you get an honest representation and don’t make a hasty decision.
Becoming Your Own Boss
This is one of the significant downfalls faced even by the most talented professionals in their field. While working as a freelancer from your comfort zone, you become your own boss. Sounds great, but sometimes, it’s not.
Being your boss means you’re in charge of your freelance work discipline. Even the most committed workers have days when they slack off if they know there’s no one watching over them.
Don’t get us wrong. It’s ok to prioritize some me-time on bad days, but it shouldn’t become a frequent instance that hinders your workflow. You can combat this by creating a rigid schedule, or a professional work environment. This may eliminate any laziness and distractions from work.
Another aspect is that when you’re your own boss, you miss out on learning and improvement from mentors and seniors. Structured learning is a great advantage of working with an esteemed organization.
A great idea is to start with working a full-time job, keeping your freelancing dream in mind. Absorb whatever you can learn in that phase and use those skills when you work as a freelance developer.
Disintegrating Social Life
Normally, there are two basic parts of a person’s life, professional and personal.
As a freelancer, your relationships connected to your professional life are mostly temporary, and you’re not likely to meet any of your clients in person. Also, you’ll rarely get a chance to work in a collaborative effort with a team.
Meaning, the professional relationships in your life will become non-existent. Your social interactions will become limited to your close friends and family. If you’re an introvert who doesn’t like extensive contact, that might sound great to you. But for people who love to reach out and create lasting friendships, this might be a long-term issue to freelance web development.
Wait, this doesn’t mean there is no way out. There are many online freelancing communities where you can reach out to fellow web developers and share your work experiences.
You can also indulge in some volunteering work to enhance social interaction by contributing to a good cause.
Who knew you could end up overworking without a strict boss over your head. But yes, meeting your own deadlines is more difficult than working for your company.
The main reason for this is that when you’re working for a client as a freelancer, the pressure is on you.
Also, to keep your ratings up on any freelancing sites, you have to maintain a flawless work record. Or else, you may turn off any potential future clients.
This might make you work overtime at odd hours to keep up with the pressure.
Taking Up Managerial Tasks
Right now, you’re probably thinking that freelance web development is just another work-from-home job. Well, you’re in for a surprise.
Freelancing is not just a job you conduct for another person, it’s your own business. Not only do you have to complete your web development projects, which will require most of your time, but you will also have to take up other tasks to keep your workflow going.
This includes, writing resumes, looking for clients, branding yourself, managing your work schedule, meeting with clients, improving your skills, and managing your finances.
These might sound like mundane tasks, but they’re essential to your success as a freelance developer. Most freelancers who are well-trained developers lose track when they fail at these tasks and end up taking their old jobs again.
However, this is a chance to grow professionally. You can hire a small team to complete these tasks when you generate enough income. This way, you can go from being a freelancer to a well-managed business start-up.
Putting Up With Clients
This is perhaps the most daunting disadvantage of working as a freelancer, the uncertainty. It’s almost impossible to figure out whether a client is legitimate or a scammer until you fall into a trap.
Besides that, even if a client is not a scammer, you may still have issues communicating with him, or getting your payment on time.
A good idea is to charge your payment upfront before you start working on a project. Most clients won’t agree to this if you’re a newbie. But, as an established freelance developer, you can easily add this to your requirements.
This way, you won’t have to face any foul play after the project is done. Also, if it is a big project, you can ask for at least 50% payment upfront and 50% on completion.
After listing our pros and cons for freelance web development, we’ll answer the question that’s bugging you. Is freelance web development worth it?
Well, it entirely depends on your lifestyle and personality. If you’re a focused multi-tasker who can excel at creating his own business freelancing is for you.
However, if you think a steady full-time job is better for your mindset go for that. But according to us, the hustle of freelancing always pays off in the end if done correctly.