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How to Become A Web Developer

Intro

web developer

If you enjoy using the internet and you have a savvy knack for design and maths, becoming a web developer might just be your ideal career. Read ahead to learn everything you need to know about becoming a web developer.

What Is A Web Developer?

Web developers are highly specialised programmers who are trained and skilled in developing world wide web applications. Simply put, they design the webpages and applications that are run through HTTP from Web servers to browsers. They basically design the Internet the way we see it! 

Web developers play many different roles online. They help to envision, create, design, and maintain the websites that you use every day. This can include developing the basic look and feel of the website - its layout - or the design of advanced website features.

What Does A Web Developer Do?

If you are thinking about a career in web development, start by thinking about the ways in which you will be responsible for presenting a wide and diverse roster of clients’ ideas, products and services to people using the Internet. You help to do this by designing fully functional, attractive, and easy to use websites, and maintaining them over the short and long term.

Some web developers also offer services meant to help clients target specific audiences and gain more page views. These services can include SEO (search engine optimisation) that helps them get found online by potential clients. Don’t underestimate the importance of this part of the role; your prowess as an SEO whiz can really help to impress a client by demonstrating your value and extra worth over other web developers.

When you meet with a new client you will likely want to show them a portfolio of your existing work. It's a smart idea to keep an ever changing and current portfolio of the successfully completed websites you have programmed for other clients. This way you can show potential clients exactly what you can do and why your services are such a good value when compared to others.

After you have landed the client and decided on a timescale and budget for the upcoming website project, you can discuss with them how best to keep their website up-to-date and fully functional. This will include troubleshooting the problems that come up on a day-to-day basis as well as installing new updates and functionality to keep everything running smoothly on a long-term basis.

What Are The Working Hours Of A Web Developer?

Web developers often work in a freelance capacity. While some web developers do work for established companies as part of the "in house" team, many work on their own terms as sole traders. If the latter is the case, you will set and keep your own hours. While you might need to be available during office hours to provide tech support and participate in meetings with your clients, you are often free to decide exactly when, where, and how often you want to work.

Some web developers have multiple clients and work 18 hours Day! However many developers keep normal business hours and strike a healthy and rewarding work/life balance.

What Skills Does A Web Developer Need?

If you are thinking about becoming a web programmer or developer there are a lot of skills you need to acquire. It's well worth your time however, because this industry is projected to grow a whopping 15% between 2018 and 2026. While experience in a gene love of programming is a must here are seven other important web developer skills anyone considering this career means:

1. HTML/CSS



HTML stands for Hypertext Mark Up Language, the most standard mark up language in the coding world. HTML is the backbone of pretty much every page you view on the Internet. While this is the skeleton, but the flesh is really CSS, Cascading Style Sheets. CSS makes the pages "look” the way that they do. This includes fonts, colours, spacing, and layout.

2. JavaScript



HTML and CSS are your basics for creating a website, but if you want to get really advanced and create spectacular sites, you need to learn JavaScript. JavaScript is a higher level programming language then HTML, and it makes websites easier to use, more attractive, and more interactive. As a web programmer you can only get so far without mastering Javascript, so this is a valuable skill to prioritise.

3. Photoshop



Now that you have the programming languages under your belt, it's time to get more advanced. Any web developer needs to understand Photoshop. This program helps you express your creativity with banners, logos, and vibrant exciting photos. You can make your clients’ products and services look even better once you can harness the power of Photoshop, not to mention the fact that you can raise your rates and charge more for these services.

4. WordPress



While there are many other online platforms for building websites out there, WordPress is the most important platform online. More than 25% of websites online are built with WordPress! At its most basic, WordPress is a free content management system, but it can be so much more than that. Many beginners host their sites on WordPress, as do some of the most advanced website developers on the planet. Wordpress helps you design and maintain fully functional and attractive websites for your clients, and understanding it inside and out will help you on your web development journey.

5. SEO



SEO stands for search engine optimisation, and it is one of the most important concepts you need to understand as a web developer. After all, what's the point of designing a beautiful and responsive website if no one ever finds it? Search engine optimisation helps you drive traffic to a website by utilising specific keywords and design in order to help your site show up more effectively on online search engines. Of course, Google is the most important search engine out there today, and so a lot of contemporary SEO focuses on how to best design and write your websites so that Google ranks them as high as possible.

6. Responsive Design



People today are far more likely to access certain websites on their mobile devices than on a traditional PC or laptop. That means that the website you create need to appear and respond intuitively on mobile phones and tablets. It has been estimated that 60% of all searches are done on mobile phones – you need to understand exactly how sites show up best on devices.

How Much Does A Web Developer Earn?

As with any freelancing career, the amount of money you earn really depends on the amount of time and effort you put into your career. That said, if you promote yourself well and do excellent work, you would likely make more than someone who takes on only a few clients per year and does the bare minimum to get the job done to a mediocre standard. You get back what you put in!

If you work in house for a corporation, your salary can range from about £30,000 per year upwards to 6 figures, depending on your experience and the overall success of your firm. For freelancers, there is really no cap on income. If you send attractive proposals and do excellent work, you can make a good living. There are freelancers out there who make more than 6 figures per year designing and maintaining spectacular websites for a roster of clients, and who hire their own team to help them maintain everything and keep things running smoothly.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Become A Web Developer?

In order to become a web developer, you do not need any specific qualifications, just a keen love of programming and a lot of experience. That said, education and qualifications are always a good idea! Not only will they help you to learn more about your chosen industry, they show potential employers that you have dedication and knowledge in your field. Many colleges and universities offer classes in visual design, SEO, HTML, Photoshop, and JavaScript. Basic copywriting and photo editing skills are also very useful.

Of course, the best way to learn about web development is online. After all, this is the medium and platform that you will be working on in your career, so it is also the best place to gain your education. Home learning web development courses represent a great value, and are a good investment in your future career.

What Are The Career Advancement Opportunities For A Web Developer?

There are untold career advancement opportunities for web developers. The sky truly is the limit in this career, and with training and experience you can gain bigger and better clients. While you might find yourself starting with small time clients and just a few sites to build and maintain, you can soon build your portfolio. Specialising in certain aspects of web development (i.e. responsiveness or SEO) can make you an indispensible resource and help you to earn more money and land even bigger contracts.

Summary

If you are looking for a satisfying and lucrative career, web development could be just the thing you’re after. Online courses can help you to gain the skills and confidence you need to embark on a career as a web developer and smash your financial goals.