Are you an independent web-developer?

Is there anyone here who lives in the U.S. and works entirely as an independent web-developer?

(In other words, you run your own business, and do not have a regular 9-to-5 job.)

If so, how is business?

It seems to me that is would be really hard to make a sustainable living in the U.S. building websites for people if you are an independent small-business…

In US and in every country. But guess what? Some pepple make it :slight_smile:


Not sure what your response means…

There are plenty of people who do. They charge enough to make up for the downtimes, paying for their own insurance, and retirement.

I don’t do it and I couldn’t do it. I need a steady paycheck.

It means that the basic problems that any freelancer faces are the same in every country. And in every country you’ll find lots of people that do it successfully… and thousands and thousands that don’t.

Same as with any business isn’t it?
For example, “Every 9 out of ten restaurants fail within the first year”
So, OK, 90% fail, that sure isn’t encouraging.
Then again, 10% make it past the first year, so it isn’t a completely vain and useless hope to at least give it a try

If my chances were 1 in 10 I’d go for it.

If my chance were the same as making the NBA (i.e. professional basketball), then I wouldn’t.

So how skilled are you? And how professional are you? Do you really provide quality service? And how good are you at market yourself?

Those are questions that you need to aswer if you’re thinking about having your own business

It was discouraging to hear in another thread…


Part of me says @Oddz is right on. And yet the entrepreneur in me says, “There’s gold in dem dair hills!!” :sunglasses:

I don’t mean to be discouraging, but the fact that you’ve admitted to avoiding learning JS isn’t helping your cause if you’re trying to make it as a freelance web developer. The competition is big, and you should think about skilling up if you hope to get a share of the work.


If you really understand IT, then you realize there are no easy answers to those questions.

I have been in the business and IT worlds for over a quarter of a century. Do I know a few things about computers? Um, yeah.

But then according to @RyanReese - who has been in IT for a few years…

So there you go! :smile:

I am an expert in lots of areas of IT and business, but…

1.) Can I recover from a late-in-life job loss? I’m not sure…

2.) Are my skills transferable to the next employer? I’m not sure…

3.) Can I convince some small business that all of my years of business and IT knowledge is worth more than a $500 WordPress site? I’m not sure…

4.) How can I indeed convince other people (businesses) that I am worth $______ so that I meet my family financial responsibilities that my former job used to easily cover? I’m not sure…

That is why I am here!

I’ve technically only had a professional job in this for 10 months (then 2-3 single page coding I’ve done freelancing over the course of 2ish years.)

I just started young (8ish years ago) and stayed on these forums to learn (and read a lot / test.)

Purely my opinion. Others would disagree, I’m sure.

Been doing this since I was 16 and now 43. I can definitively say that I’m not an expert on anything. But I’ve been freelancing for more than 10 years. Not always web development.

For the record I said…

1.) I wasn’t a fan of JavaScript

2.) In the past it wasn’t my first priority to learn

3.) But that I indeed want to learn it.

If I had 5 years of JavaScript under my nelt that would be quite nice considering my recent life changes, but it didn’t work out that way.

Based on that, the question becomes… What is the best way to utilize my time?

@RyanReese says I can learn Responsive Design with no JavaScript and just brushing up on my HTML and CSS in a RWD kind of way. (That is encouraging!)

And @chrisofarabia, gave me links to some seemingly awesome RWD books. Thanks Chris!

Now, what skills do I need to land enough small businesses to keep paying my bills and keep my family off the street? I don’t know.

But I am hoping that I have all of the basic knowledge I need, it is more a matter of “Dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s”. But who knows?!

That would be enough if you’re great at selling. Then you could subcontract the job (although you still need to know enough to control the quality)

I think you could cream me with your HTML and CSS knowledge, @RyanReese.

But in my free time I have been building a website that is as large as some we had at work. Multi-million dollar projects. So I know I can code. (And I can do the PHP and MySQL and site design that not many front-end developers can.)

I envy your youth and savvy in all things new in IT and your solid command of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Responsive Design.

You are way ahead of me in those areas!

But in my honest opinion, if you came to me and said, “Mikey, my wife and I have a great idea for a business. Can you help us take our dream and turn it into a profitable business?”, then I feel I can compete with anyone on SitePoint.

Of course, if being smart and hard-working was all it took, then I wouldn’t be here talking to you right now, because I would still have my job!

But life is NOT fair…

That’s a gross understatement :exclamation:

Have you much experience with using IDEs and version control (eg. SVN, GitHub) ?

Do you have any public repos that could serve as examples of your skills?


I have been coding in NetBeans for maybe 6 years now. I have not gotten around to learning version control, and I want to and know I need to, but per our earlier conversations - I am spread so thin as it it is, I just can’t keep up!

Well, ironically, this business and website I was trying to start was 95% done before I lost my job. The only thing missing is great content for which I have all the ideas and outlines, but it takes TIME to write.

Things are so bad that we have no money to pay for food and housing at the end of July.

And as you know from my other thread - Total SEO failure - I am getting my ass kicked trying to help this small business grow their business on and offline.

How can I make money when I come across like such a dope?

I think my future looks very bright. But I question if I can ever get there considering the insurmountable situation I am in.

Trying to start growing your portfolio as an independent web-developer with a small auto mechanic is probably not a great place to start, but it was the only opportunity I was presented with, and it did get us through June. Sadly, unless I get him some business coming in by next week, the party is over with him!

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