Web Design - Is setting up a business worthwhile?


Hi Guys,

Just wanted your feedback in regards to web design and the future. I have been studying html and css for the past year or so and have had some lessons in Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Its been really trying and quite difficult at times (especially studying Dreamweaver) but I am finally understanding how it all works and really do love it. I am learning every day and uping my skills in Wordpress, Flash and other relevant programs too. Once I'm 100% confident in doing what I do I want to start my own web design business but at the same time I'm wondering if it is really a lucrative business to go into. :icon_confused:

Reason being is that I have come across companies offering free web design, free logo design and free banner design. I already have but don't want to expend all my engergy on something that is not going to be profitable at the end of the day. I am doing my own reseach into this but wanted to know your opinions too.

Your feedback is appreciated. :icon_biggrin:
There will always be clients who just want to get the cheapest options or look for free alternatives, so don't focus your attention and energy towards those ones, but pick the ones who are serious and know they'll get a better service elsewhere. If you're good enough, you'll slowly start to pick up work so just ensure that you're consistently producing high quality jobs in order to get referrals, build up an impressive portfolio and use that to get more work; it can be a spiral effect.

If you say that you love doing it and have an enthusiasm for it, then go for it! Doing something that you enjoy will be more productive than not, and you'll certainly need that enthusiasm when you're up late trying to work out why something isn't quite going right.

In terms of developing your skills, I think if you're focusing on websites then you'll need to have a more extensive knowledge than just HTML and CSS, though it is an essential starting point. I'd suggest that you try and wean yourself away from Dreamweaver where you can, or at least to stick to the code view if possible (that's if you don't already, of course!), and try to extend your knowledge into PHP and MySQL etc.

It's also increasingly useful to be familiar with content management systems which, presumably, you'll find to be a lot easier the more PHP knowledge you have, too. Maybe pick one of Joomla, WordPress, ModX etc (there are plenty out there to pick from, so have a good look around) and master those. Sometimes being able to knock up a decent WordPress site fairly swiftly will help you with some of the more low-key jobs where the client simply wants a nice brochure site with nothing flashy that they can have control over, so it's a good chance to target another type of customer and budget.

Good luck though, as I say, if it's something you enjoy then you're already in a good position. Keep at it and the more you do, the more you'll learn :icon_smile:
I manage to make a decent enough living from web design. I know I'm never going to be rich doing it but there are plenty of customers out there who understand they get a better quality of website with bespoke design/development. There are plenty of advantages in using someone who understands the web rather than a 'free site builder', just work out what these advantages are and then position yourself that way.
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Hi Dedwardp and Corrosive and thank you for taking time to feedback to me.

I will continue to study and learn as much as I can as that is all that I know at the moment. I admit that I do wonder about the wysiwyg/free web design market that I might be missing out on though. I guess that I still have a hell of a lot more researching to do. Thanking you again guys :icon_hug:
Hi Dedwardp and Corrosive and thank you for taking time to feedback to me.

I will continue to study and learn as much as I can as that is all that I know at the moment. I admit that I do wonder about the wysiwyg/free web design market that I might be missing out on though. I guess that I still have a hell of a lot more researching to do. Thanking you again guys :icon_hug:

Again, I think it's something you can try and target though if you would want to. Once you're particularly familiar with something like WordPress you can put together quick solutions for people who want a small brochure site and don't mind if it looks fairly generic. It won't take too long and would help you to cater towards the more budget end of the scale as a supplement to your main projects.

Starting your own web design business might seem an overwhelming task, specifically in the running economic. After all, you will be challenged against Other good companies with remarkable portfolios and hard experience. The secret is to never give up.

- Having the Good boldness
- Choose on the numeral of hours that you will commit to your web design business and switch to them.
- Create long-term client relations.
- (Networking) Do not border your business relations to professionals in your field
- Start Blogging
- Upgrade Technical skills

It's certainly not as lucrative as it used to be. However to get the most out of it you need to target the bits of it where demand is growing and there is an excitement. Take Wordpress for example - that's rapidly becoming the CMS of choice for a lot of SME's so you could specialise in that.

If you want to target companies further up the food chain, then Drupal is a good CMS for projects with a lot of complex functionality required.

On the Microsoft front, .NET developers make very good money - if you have a programmatic mind then spend a couple of years working on that and you could look forward to rates well above anything else in the web development sector.

Find out what you are good at - is it design, or is development? Pair up with someone else who compliments your skill set. If you want to make money, always look to grow. The ultimate aim should be to build up a strong client base with talented staff and sell the business - that's the point where you can actually make some money out of it.
I agree with Dedwardp, if you are passionate about doing something and enjoy it, then that will shine through in your work, and clients will recognise the benefits of choosing you (a person who cares about high quality Web Design) rather than those offering it free (most likely below average Web Design because they probably don't care or take pride in it!). My friend has been setting up a web design busienss for some time now as a side line to his full time job, it's taken patience on his part but he's finally starting to get his portfolio website ranked in search engines (essential) and companies are recognising the quality of his work over others. Another piece of advice I'd give, make sure you price yourself correctly, don't lower your price because you are worried about the competition - some of the larger companies have a budget and they are looking for someone to produce a piece of work for that budget, not lower than. If you try to be the lowest price to win the work, it could count against you because it will make them doubt your abilities - the trick is to try and bring your estimate/proposal in at the middle of their budget, and in theory in the middle of all the other estimates they received. Be Confident! And they will see that confidence as experience, assurity and knowledge of the work and industry you are in. Good luck :)
Good thread. I would like to add my view on it too. You can start your own web design business online and promote is, do SEO and all that staff which will provide you more traffic and thus clients. I have recently started an web design business and I must say Iknow much about CSS and html, but I mostly concentrate on Joomla or Wordpress as they give you a much quiker way of designing and cempleting a website from scratch. Share some of your designs with us here!
Few points about future of website design

-A Look into Trends
-Design Trends Now and In The Future
-Development Trends that Will Likely Continue
-Future Web Design Business
-Less Clients and Fewer Custom Websites
-Non-Local Business
-Future Personal Projects
-Business Finances