089 · How to Become a Freelance Website Creator in 2024?

Becoming a freelance website creator and earning money has never been easier, especially with the emergence of free tools available online today. That’s not to say you don’t need any skills at all, but you could already start this business without mastering any web languages. In this article, we’ll look at how to get started and what skills you should quickly acquire (if you don’t already have them).

What is a website creator?

This activity is aimed at a specific category of people, but to make sure you understand what we’re talking about, you need to know that there are all kinds of professions linked to website creation, and that they are sometimes confused with each other. Among the most common are:

  • The web developer knows different programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, SQL, etc., and is capable of creating the structure of complex sites, including database management, etc.
  • The web designer also masters certain web languages, especially UX-oriented (CSS, JS, etc.), and is primarily concerned with visual design and user interface. He usually works in close collaboration with the web developer.
  • The webmaster, on the other hand, is responsible for maintaining, updating, and ensuring the smooth running of a website, and is generally familiar with the web languages of the previous two functions.

All these professions require years of study before they can be mastered. The activity I’m proposing in this article, on the other hand, is far less demanding as it will enable you to create websites for customers—but without necessarily knowing any of the above-mentioned languages (at least, not right away).

It’s for this reason that I’ll refer to you here as a “website creator” rather than a developer or webmaster as this article is aimed at those who wish to create sites without having all the required skills. And it’s possible today because there are all kinds of tools available to help you as we’ll see in more detail.

But don’t be fooled by the fact that you can set up a site without any knowledge and start earning money easily. You’ll still have to go through a learning phase, but I’ll come back to that later.

What are the best tools to use?

I’m going to start by introducing you to the “No-Code” creation tools because they’re the key to putting this idea into practice quickly. There are many of them, and they allow you to create different types of site (static or dynamic, blog, showcase, e-shop…). So, there are many options open to you, depending on your skills, your preferences, and the specific needs of your customers. I’m going to give you a non-exhaustive list of these tools, but first, let’s take a look at…

What are “themes” and “plugins”?

You’ll often come across these two terms when you start building your first websites via one of the platforms I’m going to talk about, but also in this article. So, I thought it would be useful to give you a quick explanation of what they are.

  • A “theme“, also known as a “template”, is a predefined design model that determines the visual appearance (or “dressing”) and layout of your website. It defines the graphic style, colors, fonts, and placement of the elements that make up your pages. Themes allow you to customize the look of your site and modify options without having to manually code each element.
  • Plugins“, also known as “apps” on certain platforms, are software extensions that you can “graft” onto your site to add extra functionality and features. For example, they can be used to integrate contact forms, image galleries, social network sharing buttons, SEO optimization, and much more. So, they extend your website’s basic capabilities without requiring any programming knowledge.

Also, note that there are both free and paid versions of both.

Let’s take a look now at the different types of tools available to you:

1Website Builders

These platforms are ideal for people who don’t have coding or design skills but still want to create professional, aesthetically pleasing sites. They work primarily through a fully visual and intuitive interface, enabling you to select, add, delete, and move elements on a page simply by dragging them with the mouse to where you want them (drag ‘n drop).

In addition to this ease of interaction, these platforms offer a wide choice of ready-to-use templates. These templates provide a solid base that you can then customize according to your preferences, to quickly and easily create a site that meets your customers’ needs.

Wix is particularly renowned for its versatility. It offers a comprehensive interface and an extensive template library. Wix is suitable for almost any type of website, from personal blogs to online stores.

Weebly is also ideal for beginners. It offers an elegant and practical interface and is considered by some to be simpler and more intuitive than some of its competitors.

Squarespace is known for its elegant designs and is particularly popular with artists, photographers, and online stores looking to showcase their products in a visually appealing, professional setting.

Shopify is entirely dedicated to e-commerce. It’s the platform of choice for those wishing to create a robust and secure online store. What’s more, Shopify offers a host of specific tools for sales, inventory tracking, payment management, and more.

Wix Editor Wix is an example of a “website builder” that makes creating a website quick and easy!

2AI-assisted tools

These platforms for website creation use artificial intelligence to automate and personalize the creation process. They analyze user needs and preferences to generate an optimized design and structure. Here are just a few of the notable platforms that use AI:

Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) is a plugin offered by the Wix platform, which I’ve already mentioned. It uses artificial intelligence to provide a tailor-made website creation experience. First, you’ll be asked to answer a few basic questions, and in return, you’ll receive a complete, functional site with a design tailored to your needs.

GetResponse AI Website Builder is an extension of the popular GetResponse marketing platform, offering AI-based technology for the creation of visually appealing and functional websites. The solution encompasses not only site creation but also landing page design and social media integration. Thanks to its AI assistant, it assesses your specific needs, field of activity, and other characteristics to establish a solid foundation that you can then customize.

GoDaddy is best known for domain name registration and web hosting but also offers solutions for building websites. And these recently include AI tools that facilitate the creation of adaptive sites, offer content optimization, and also support digital marketing. Called Framer, its main strength lies in its seamless integration with GoDaddy’s many other services.

Framer is positioned as a high-end prototyping solution for designers, emphasizing interaction and animation. Beyond its visual tools, Framer integrates artificial intelligence to suggest improvements, help optimize the user experience, and ensure that each prototype comes as close as possible to the designer’s vision.

Unbounce allows you to create visually appealing landing pages that are effective in terms of conversion. As you use it, the artificial intelligence adapts and perfects its optimization methods. Unbounce analyzes visitor behavior, measures conversions, and offers instant improvements without the need for technical expertise.

10Web merges the flexibility of WordPress with the simplicity of an AI-powered website builder. In just a few minutes, this innovative tool can generate a WordPress site, reducing hours of work. What’s more, 10Web offers solutions for web hosting, automatic backup, image generation and optimization, and other functions essential to the smooth running of a WP site.

3CMS

CMS (Content Management System) offer greater flexibility than website builders, and are particularly useful for “dynamic” sites that need to be regularly updated with new content. On the other hand, they are a little more technical and require a learning curve for beginners, but remain the solutions offering the most freedom in terms of creativity and functionality.

WordPress is undoubtedly the king of CMSs, and the most widely used in the world. It’s highly regarded for its flexibility and vast library of plugins and themes, enabling you to create a site with virtually no limits. Originally designed for blogging, it’s perfectly suited to all kinds of sites, from portfolios to online stores. What’s more, there are “page builders” like Elementor, Divi or WPBakery, which allow you to build your pages in the style of a website builder. I’ve written an entire article on WordPress, so don’t hesitate to read it if you’re interested in this solution.

Un screen de Elementor Elementor is a WordPress plugin for creating websites via a user-friendly, intuitive drag-and-drop interface.

Joomla is another CMS that also offers a combination of power and flexibility. It’s particularly well suited to community sites or platforms requiring complex access rights. It has a strong community and offers numerous plugins to enhance its basic functionality.

Drupal is more suited to those looking for a robust, highly customizable alternative. Although a little more technical, it is perfectly suited to complex sites or web platforms requiring tailor-made solutions.

Adobe Commerce (ex: Magento) is a powerful CMS for those wishing to create large-scale online stores. It offers a multitude of e-commerce functionalities, but also requires a certain amount of technical training before it can be used to its full potential.

Most of the solutions described here are available as free (but limited) or trial versions, so you can test the ones that seem most interesting to you. Note also that all are suitable for creating basic projects but may require specific skills for more advanced customization or for more complex and ambitious projects.

What skills are required?

The solutions I’ve just presented can help you create a website without any particular prior knowledge, but does that mean you can work from the comfort of your hammock, just waiting for the money to roll in? As you can imagine, no. There’s a lot more to creating a website than simply filling pages with text and images.

So, what do you need to learn? Well, that depends on the services you offer. If you only offer to create a basic site, with “Lorem Ipsum” text, and leave the rest to the customer, you won’t have much to learn, but you won’t have many customers, and you won’t make much money. On the other hand, if you want to position yourself as an experienced web creator and offer your customers a full range of services, you’ll need a number of skills.

  • Aesthetic sense: The design of a website must be attractive. A good knowledge of the principles of web design, such as layout, typography, and color palette, is essential. Although site builders offer ready-made templates, knowing how to customize them is no less crucial.
  • Optimization for mobile devices: More than half of all users worldwide use their smartphones or tablets to go online. It’s therefore important to know how to adapt each element of your websites (with Media Queries) so that they display optimally on all types of screens.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): A beautiful website is only useful if it’s seen. Understanding the basics of SEO will enable you to ensure better visibility for your customers’ sites on Google and other search engines. Without SEO, your sites will be condemned to wander in web limbo, beyond the tenth page of search results where no one ever ventures.
  • Copywriting skills: Text is another vital element in website creation. If you can offer high-quality writing or even copywriting (persuasive writing) services, this will add immense value to your offering.
  • Knowledge of digital marketing basics: If you understand how online advertising, social media, and e-mail marketing work, you’ll be able to advise your customers on how to promote their site once it’s online.
  • Communication and customer service: Perhaps one of the most underrated skills, but no less important. You should be able to communicate effectively with your customers, understand, and manage their expectations, and then above all resolve technical and other problems that may arise unexpectedly.

Although today’s tools simplify the various creation processes, being a website creator requires acquiring at least the basics of a combination of technical, creative, and interpersonal skills. By investing in these skills, you’ll not only be able to meet your customers’ needs but also stand out in a highly competitive market.

So, if you’re really passionate about website creation, I suggest you quickly acquire all the knowledge you need to go from complete newbie to a true, effective, and credible professional. You could start by learning basic languages such as HTML and CSS, which are the easiest to learn and can be mastered in just a few days. Then, gradually, JavaScript, PHP, and so on.

At the same time, learning web design and knowing how to apply it optimally will enable you to master the final rendering of each of your websites, improve their visual appearance, and keep them in line with current trends. This will boost your creativity and, above all, the number of customers interested in your services, and therefore your sales.

Finally, you can also learn how to manage a web hosting space, use an FTP client, buy a domain name, SEO, digital marketing, and all the other elements that will enable you to provide services worthy of a true web developer or web designer.

The main web languages

Just for your information, let’s take a quick look at the most commonly used languages on the web and their uses. There are many more, but these (especially the first 4) are the main ones you should learn first:

  • HTML (HyperText Markup Language): This is the cornerstone of the web, the standard language used to create the very structure of web sites. It defines the content of a web page in the form of headings, paragraphs, text, links, lists, and so on. This means that virtually every web page you see, even those generated by a website builder or AI, is rendered from HTML (and CSS) code at one level or another. Additionally, it’s very simple and therefore quick to learn.
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): While HTML structures content, CSS is used to style that content. HTML and CSS are like Siamese twins, inseparable. CSS is used to define elements such as color, font size, spacing, and many other aspects of design. It’s also fairly easy to learn although it contains more elements and therefore requires a little more time.
  • JavaScript (JS): This is a programming language for adding interactive features to a website. Transition effects, pop-ups, forms, and other dynamic elements on a web page are often made possible by JS. There’s also a JS library called jQuery which, in my opinion, greatly simplifies its use, but there it’ll be up to you.
  • PHP/SQL: PHP is a server-side scripting language used to develop dynamic web applications. It can interact with databases, and this is where SQL (Structured Query Language) comes into play as it is a language for managing and manipulating these databases.
  • Python: This is a versatile programming language. In web development, Python is used via frameworks such as Django or Flask to build web applications. Its clear syntax and powerful standard library make it popular with developers.
  • Ruby: This object-oriented programming language is renowned for its simplicity and productivity. The Ruby on Rails framework, or simply Rails, is used to develop web applications in Ruby.

Each of these languages has its own strengths, particularities, and areas of application. The choice of language often depends on the project, its specific needs, and your customers’ preferences. However, a combined knowledge of several of these languages will be of great benefit to you as it offers greater flexibility and enables you to tackle a wide variety of projects.

How can I quickly learn to create websites?

There are a multitude of ways to learn the different skills I mentioned in the previous chapter. The safest would be to go through a complete training course where you can benefit from structured teaching under the benevolent eye of a teacher who will be there to answer your questions.

But if you can’t wait to jump into this business and start making money, there are other options open to you. The rapid evolution of digital technology has made learning to create websites more accessible than ever, and there are plenty of resources for those looking to learn on their own. Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Online training: platforms such as Skillshare, Udemy, Coursera, or Codecademy offer comprehensive courses on web development, but also on other essential peripheral subjects. They are generally highly structured, progressive, and often accompanied by practical exercises. Some are paid for, others are free, and will enable you to acquire a solid knowledge base.
  • Books: Even in the digital age, books remain an invaluable resource. Titles such as “HTML & CSS: Design and Build Web Sites” by Jon Duckett or “HTML and CSS: QuickStart Guide” by David DuRocher can be excellent starting points. They offer an approach that allows you to learn at your own pace and can be a great complement to online training courses.
  • YouTube videos: Many developers share their know-how on YouTube. Channels such as “Traversy Media” or “The Net Ninja” offer tutorials for all levels. They offer a visual way of learning, which can be particularly useful for more complex concepts.
  • Specialized sites: Sites like MDN Web Docs, W3Schools or FreeCodeCamp are valuable resources. They offer tutorials, documentation, and exercises to help you put what you’re learning into practice. Direct immersion in practice is often the best way to consolidate what you’ve learned elsewhere.
  • Online communities: Forums like StackOverflow or Reddit allow you to ask questions and get answers from experts.
  • Personal projects: There’s nothing like putting things into practice. Creating your own learning site is a great way to get started.

But if you really want to learn and grow quickly, self-directed learning requires discipline and above all, perseverance. The key is to stay committed, practice regularly, and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you get stuck.

Udemy website Udemy propose toute sorte de formations liées à la création de site web !

How do you find your first customers?

In the beginning, you’ll mainly attract customers who don’t have the desire, the time, or the skills (even though it’s relatively simple) to create their own website using one of the No-Code tools I mentioned earlier. Then, with a bit of learning, hard work, and experience, you’ll be able to tackle more elaborate projects, responding to more specific and complex requests.

  • Freelancing platforms: Sites like Fiverr, UpWork, PeoplePerHour or ComeUp allow you to find clients looking for web designers. These platforms can be very competitive, but they offer the opportunity to work on a variety of projects. So, you can start there, specifying your areas of expertise and clearly detailing each service you offer. I’ve written an article on the subject, so go and read it.
  • Work for free (at first): If you have few or no references, consider doing a few projects for free or at a very reduced price for associations, fanclubs, or any other non-profit entity in need of this type of service. This will give you practical experience, and you’ll be able to add these projects to your portfolio.
  • Online presence: Create your own website to showcase your skills and integrate a portfolio. Be active on social networks, especially LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • Personal and professional networks: Tell your friends, family, and professional acquaintances about your new business. Word-of-mouth is one of the best forms of advertising, especially in the early stages. Chances are someone you know needs your services or knows someone who does.
  • Establish local partnerships: Later, when you’ve acquired enough skills and experience, work in collaboration with local communications or marketing agencies. They may subcontract certain projects or refer clients to you.

Over time, your skills will improve, your network will expand, and you’ll be able to position yourself as a trusted professional and get plenty of business. Never forget that every satisfied customer can become an ambassador for your services and bring you new customers. So, always try to remain professional and honest.

Site web de Comeup Fiverr is a great freelance platform to start your freelance business.

Tips and tricks

As I’ve become accustomed to doing for the last few articles now, let’s end this one with a series of tips and advice that should help you in various aspects of this business.

  • Be clear about what you’re offering so that there’s no ambiguity in your customers’ minds. Always advertise what you do (and is included in the service you offer) and especially what you don’t do (and therefore isn’t included).
  • Don’t be afraid to subcontract, especially in the early days when your skills are very limited. This will enable you to carry out certain projects and entrust the other part to someone more competent than you.
  • Once you’ve built your first sites, get them reviewed by friends or colleagues and ask them to be honest in their criticism.
  • Follow web design blogs and social network accounts to keep up to date with the latest trends. Also explore sites such as Behance or Dribbble for inspiration.
  • Keep a folder with examples of sites you’ve come across on the web and found interesting or inspiring.
  • After each successful project, ask your customer for a testimonial. Positive reviews can be a powerful marketing tool.
  • Offer a commission or discount for each referral. This way, your first customers can help you find others.
  • Create professional profiles on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook to show off your work and interact with a wider audience.
  • Prospect with local companies; they might be more inclined to work with someone from their area.
  • Scour the web for sites in need of refreshment or a complete overhaul, and send a short, polite email with a tempting offer.

Conclusion

As we’ve seen, it’s now possible to start a website design business without all the technical knowledge of a web developer or web designer. There are a multitude of solutions available today, such as website builders, CMSs, and even AI-assisted solutions, that will enable you to create websites for customers who don’t have the time or inclination to do it themselves.

But, hey, if you can just do what anyone else can do, don’t expect to earn the same salary as pros who have spent several years learning their trade. Hence the importance, if you want to make this your main activity, of training yourself fairly quickly by taking, for example, a few online courses via Skillshare, Udemy, or Codecademy, or even better going back to school to get a degree if you have the time and energy.

In the meantime, you can get started with “no-code” tools, which offer a gentle introduction and enable you to create aesthetically pleasing, functional sites without having to delve into the complexities of coding. But at the very least, learn the basics of web design, HTM/CSS/JS languages, and SEO as quickly as possible. That’s the minimum you need to gain some credibility in the eyes of your future customers.

EcoTips

Environmental and climate change issues are more than ever at the heart of the concerns of this 21st century, which is why I am proposing a few ideas that will enable you to limit the negative impact that the implementation of this idea could have.

These solutions that I suggest are sometimes largely insufficient to compensate for these negative impacts, such as carbon offsetting. Unfortunately, there is not always an ideal and 100% efficient solution, far from it. And if you have others, please do not hesitate to share them in the comments below.

Creating websites may seem to have no particular impact on the environment, but unfortunately, this is far from the case. The web, in its entirety, is responsible for 3.7% of greenhouse gas emissions, which are themselves largely responsible for the climate change we’re facing.

And this is mainly due to the energy consumption of servers and data centers. This is because they run non-stop to guarantee uninterrupted access to the websites and other types of data they host, generating huge quantities of CO2 every year.

What’s more, heavy websites, containing numerous high-resolution images, HD/4K videos, or complex scripts, require more energy to load, exacerbating their environmental impact.

You can mitigate these effects by optimizing site performance: Compress images without losing quality, use more streamlined code, avoid excessive use of resource-hungry animations and scripts, and above all, opt for eco-responsible hosting like Greengeeks, for example. These hosters are distinguished by their use of renewable energies or carbon offsets for emissions generated.

Pros

  • You can work from home or anywhere else as long as you have an Internet connection.
  • The use of No-Code tools makes it easier for you to create websites.
  • No need to learn all web languages.
  • You can learn the basics fairly quickly.

Cons

  • Without prior knowledge of HTML/CSS, basic web design, and SEO, your sites may not be very “professional”.
  • Requires discipline and willpower to follow training courses.
Disclaimer, please read this

Legal and administrative aspects of the ideas you'll find on Sweekr are rarely discussed because they vary greatly depending on the country you live in. I would advise you to check with your local adminitration before starting any business. Keep in mind that if you make money, the state will ask for "its share" in order to guarantee the proper functioning of schools, hospitals and other public services. Therefore, you will probably have to acquire a micro-entrepreneur status, or any other similar.

Please also note that there are currently NO affiliate links on Sweekr! This means that NO commission is charged when you make a purchase from any of the sites recommended here. Some links are optimized for performance testing only, and each recommendation reflects the opinions or evaluations of the writer of this article. And be sure you'll be notified if (and when) this situation ever changes.

This article could be completed or improved with your help. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any question, a relevant remark, a feedback, additional information or spotted any error.Go to comments

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