Wanting to do some website design for extra cash

Hi, my name is Daniel and I’m 15 years old. I’ve had a limited amount of experience pertaining to website design in a computer class I had, but it’s nothing much. After seeing the new Surface Pro 4 release, and the fact that my iPad Mini is slowing down, I’ve decided it’s time to get an upgrade. I need a way to earn money while still being in control of my hours while balancing school and sports. I have little to no coding experience, but I am willing to learn. I am a very quick learner. I managed to teach myself to use Blender 3D (with one tutorial or so) and model everything in this scene all within two days.

I did a similar project with Photoshop. Right now, I plan on reaching out to local businesses and offering to make them websites using some nice templates and plugins for WordPress. I don’t intend on ripping anyone off and want to deliver quality work. I don’t see a point in speding time on something to ultimately deliver a bad product and recieve a bad reputation. Currently I am thinking of charging a price of $200 per website. Would this be too high factoring my experience and the fact I’m using a template? Another question I have is this; If I make a WordPress website, and the domain is www.example.wordpress.com, what can I do to get a domain that my client wants but have them pay monthly for the domain? Would they simply have to go through the process themselves? I want to be able to give them the website with the custom domain, but I don’t want to be the one paying for the domain. I also don’t want them to have to trust me with their credit card information. And factoring my age, do you think that will be a problem? I appreciate any feeback I recieve.

You need to research about starting your own business. It’s not just about websites. Your age is not the problem (therebelution.com). Your inexperience is. Start working on expanding your knowledge of HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and business matters.

All to often people such as yourself think of building websites as a hobby rather than a business. The second you begin selling services you are offering a service which is a business. Like any business there are some basic things you should know before offering those services.

To be frank you are not equipped to run web business. As a matter of fact I’m insulted by fact you’re even considering it. Regardless of what you think is a “quick way to make money”. I know you’re thinking that offering your “services” for pennies on the dollar makes up for your lack of experience and knowledge but in my opinion it does not.

People such as yourself in every industry degrade the entire profession. I don’t know if it is just foolishness or an overall lack of appreciation for offering quality work but none the less it is a plague.

and… if you respond with “I’m only 15” I’m going to tell you if you want to act like an adult than you better be prepared to be treated like one. Regardless of age someone asking the questions you are is hardly equipped to be an intern let alone run their own business and offer professional services.

It is just disgusting how the adundance of “freelance” websites has advanced this notion that working independently for clients is not an actual business.

Having said that if the web industry does interest you than learn it. However, you are doing the industry a complete disservice by offering services which you are not prepared to complete well, with any level of integrity.

You will obviously do as you want but I will be the last one to foster such foolish behavior.

Oh… and there is a misconception that you can learn things this way. I disagree. A client isn’t going to know about anything related to the web. So although you might by chance create passable work that by no means that it is adequate. Without anyone shadowing you it is essentially the blind leading the blind…

It seems like in most cases with exception the thought is – “I will just hit x freelance site and find some schmuck to hussle…”. Which ironically is what I believe both sides are typically thinking on these “freelance” sites which is why they are so “successful”.

10 years is the magic number. 10 years working in some type of professional department is what is needed to become a competent, independent freelancer.

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I just want to point out that you’re on a site founded by a 14 year old.


Nothing to do with age everything to do with the lack of experience and questions in general. Like I said with those questions whether you’re 10 or 40 I would tell you the same thing.

Also from a business stand-point are you condoning working under the table, illegally. I mean the chances that this person knows how to document and pay taxes for his business is little to none unless accepted by an adult. I mean “quick extra cash” typically means – “Make money illegally under the table without paying taxes” right? Which is as I said before is not professional and not suited to run a business. Unless you disagree. I guess unless you are working in a country which does not require tax documents…

I live in the US. You have to make more than $10,000 in a year before you have to file taxes. Then there are other laws for hobbies that make money and side income. But, I don’t think that’s relevant here.

I’d assume most countries have similar laws.

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Hi Daniel, welcome to the forum

I think a more important consideration is that AFAIK - IANAL - contracts made with minors are unenforceable.

In any case, I understand how happening upon an app and being able to do wondrous things with it can set off a “spark”. I think this is a good thing.

@Spracky have you put together a website for yourself yet?
Dreams are a good thing and life can feel flat without them, but I think you should get a good portfolio and with it the experience before you get too set on any particular business goal. Who knows, you may find you prefer Graphics over Development or Design along the way.

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Hey everybody, thanks for the responses and constructive criticism. At this point, I don’t think website design is for me. Contrary to what Oddz siad, my work would be legal, but I think my inexperience in this field is a good reason I should keep away from it as a career for the time being. I’m currently looking into doing something on a smaller scale like logo design. I understand that a lot more goes into logo design than just throwing something together, but designing a logo would put a lot less responsibility on my shoulders. Right now, the last thing I want to do is undercut freelancers who actually have the experience and deserve the client. I feel like the way I worded the title to this thread was a little misleading as well, as I don’t just plan on finding some chump and giving him a crappy website to get my money and run, that doesn’t follow my moral compass.

@oddz yes, I do expect you to treat me as an adult and I respect you for doing so. I’m sick of teenagers in this generation who behave like children and lack maturity, and I refuse to be one of them. Again, I appreciate your response and criticism and will make sure to remeber it in the future.

Thanks again everyone!


Right now, the last thing I want to do is undercut freelancers who actually have the experience and deserve the client.

If you can land a client, then you deserve that client. For the $100-200 range, setting up a SquareSpace for someone or guiding them through the process of managing it would not be out of the question. And making sure all they had access to their business on Google and Yelp and whatever else is very important. As bad as that may sound to some people, most small businesses don’t care about their website but would like one. If they cared too much, they wouldn’t be hiring a teenager for a fraction of what a more establish professional would cost.

But, if you don’t feel comfortable that’s fine too. Build stuff for yourself, I’m sure you have lots of ideas for sites or software that would be cool. Figure out how to make them happen.

Raising 1K a month churning out a wp site isn’t really unrealistic. With some good sales skills that is easily accomplishable.

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The likes of fiverr.com will get you some clients… rates are rather competitive though

But the question is, could that be accomplished if I’m using templates (even if they may be premium) and have a basic knowledge of PHP? I just googled “local businesses” and went to their websites. Even with a WP template website, I could make it look 100x nicer. The problem comes in when I start dealing with domains…

I don’t think I’m down with designing websites for $5 though… Just the fact that it devalues the website design business itself is a turn off.

Just explain to your clients that they will need to register their own domain (and presumably also take out their own hosting). You can always tell them that this is to their benefit, because then renewal notices will go straight to the client, and they won’t need to worry about you remembering to renew. It also means they remain firmly in control of their own site.

you dont have to design for $5… you add extra gig features… a simple css/html fix may get 5-10 bux… bitta js/jq can pay 10-70+ …all depends who your dealing with and what they want

Its not the age, but its the experience that matters the most. Everyone wants to have an extra income and I salute you because you have that type of goal at a young age. But before you do it, I guess you can do some research try to read content that will help you to improve on your chosen craft. Remember learning is a continuous process if you wanna acquire new knowledge then you must have the motivation to learn. Entering a field on web designing will be hard since there are a lot of company or people there that has a broader idea about the said subject. But of course at the end of the day its your choice.


Have you started promoting yourself and your skills? Marketing recognition takes a long time.

Have you got your own website, portfolio and blog? If not there are many free ones available which are handy as starters and for the learning experience.

Also learning to analyse and utilise your web site statistics is essential.


People and communication skills are also vitally important when trying to convince the client that you’re the right person for the job.

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