View Full Version : Opinions please..

05 Oct 2005, 08:32 AM
Okay, so here is my situation. I am working for a games development company using Java (J2ME), and am wishing to change careers and become a freelance web developer/designer.

So far I have done some freelance work in my evenings. I have created a couple of e-commerce sites using both actinic and oscommerce, and I have done some work creating websites from static designs. However I have had virtually no experience in actually creating graphics for sites..

Is it naive to think that I will be able to make a living freelancing? Is it important to be creative/or have a good working knowledge of illustrator/photoshop/flash etc. I have a good understanding of CSS and HTML and a fair understanding of PHP, mySQL, and Javascript. But is this enough??

Also how easy is it to make a living freelancing? I have looked at the getafreelancer site, and most jobs seem to go ridiculously cheaply.. however i have managed to get work off freelancers.net, at a reasonable price. Any suggestions for good places for UK freelancers to start?

What a lot of questions...

05 Oct 2005, 01:52 PM
Most of the people I've talked to agree that is is very difficult to make a living off freelancing. It's mostly used by people as a kind of part-time job.
Knowing how to use CSS, HTML, PHP, etc. is all well and good, but if your websites don't have the visual appeal, you'll find it difficult to make money (perhaps becoming a freelance programmer would be a better idea?). I'm not saying knowing how to use PHP and javascript is useless, in fact, it's far from it (you can charge extra!) but making a visually appealing website is more important. And by visually appealing, I don't mean absolutely stonkingly brilliant graphics, I mean just enough creativity to make something look unique or 'pretty'. (This will probably spark a debate of Graphics vs. Coding, but really the number one thing a client will want is a website that looks nice).
Flash probably isnt as important (but again you can charge extra), and I'd recommend photoshop, but really it's up to you. Paint shop pro would probably be fine for most projects :D

The best place to start freelancing is in your local area. Contact new businesses in your area, ask friends if they know any businesses that are looking for web design, advertise in local newspapers, shop windows, etc. The best form of advertising is word of mouth.