How do I build a successful web design business?
Web design is a fabulous industry. Successful web designers enjoy freedom to choose their own schedule, choose their clients, and work from anywhere in the world.
To build a successful web design business, you need both knowledge and experience:
- Knowledge — Most of the web design skills you need can be learned for free through various online resources and tutorials. These are the primary skills you need:
- Learn how to build a website: As a successful web design business, you need to know how to efficiently build a professional website. Practice on your own website for your web design business. Keep learning and growing as you take on more projects.
- Learn WordPress: Most web design businesses prefer WordPress as their go-to web design CMS platform. A Content Management System (CMS) makes it easier for you and your client to add and edit pages and content on a website.
- Learn Divi: Created by Elegant Themes, Divi is one of the world’s most popular visual web page builders available for WordPress. Divi makes building web pages a breeze.
- HTML (HyperText Markup Language) handles the core content and structure of a web page. CSS
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) gives a website style. Use CSS to design and beautify a website.
- PHP (Pre-Hypertext Protocol) lets your website interact with servers and databases to store and retrieve data.
- Learn responsive web design: Mobile accounts for about half of all website traffic. Have you ever browsed a website on a mobile device? Have you ever found a website difficult to navigate on the small screen? Responsive web design ensures a web page looks ideal on all screen sizes, from desktops down to smartphones. Divi and WordPress make responsive web design a breeze through built-in mobile editing tools.
- Learn SEO: Have you ever Googled something? Websites that are optimized for search engines rank better on Google search results. Resources like Google Search Docs and Moz are terrific places to start to learn SEO. SEO basically comes down to creating high-value content that people love, link to and share.
- Learn the popular trends: While it’s not necessary to learn every trend, it’s valuable to follow the ones that are here to stay. Software, hardware, design tools and trends come and go, but learn to embrace and pivot to the ones that stick.
- Experience — Creating a successful website design business requires gaining experience with each and every project.
- Grow your portfolio: Your digital portfolio is your resume. This is the proof of your design skills. Build every website with the intent of adding it to your portfolio. Highlight your best websites on your portfolio and leave off any sites you aren’t proud of.
- Collect positive reviews: Have you ever come across a 1-star product or business or one that doesn’t have any reviews? How did you perceive that product or business? For better or worse, consumers place a lot of weight on online reviews. Exceed the expectations of your clients and collect as many 5-star reviews as you can.
- Keep learning: Each website project will present unique challenges and problems to solve and overcome. The more websites you build, the more efficient and productive you’ll become. Learn as much as you can to expand your skillset and diversify your portfolio. Build websites for businesses in various industries. Small business clients will want to see what websites you’ve built for similar businesses in their industry.
- Network: Referral marketing and networking is the absolute best way to earn clients. Build a successful web design business by networking, meeting people and business owners, and connecting with fellow B2B (Business to Business) specialists like graphic designers, photographers, IT companies, marketing and advertising firms, content writers and editors, videographers, etc. These specialists can pass web design referrals to you, and you can recommend them to your clients for those specialized skills. Build synergy by nurturing these valuable relationships.
- Sell Website Maintenance Plans: Hosting and maintenance is essential for successful websites. Websites need updating, backing up, security patches, content changes, and more. These maintenance plans are necessary for your clients’ website to succeed, and they help generate recurring revenue for you.
Website design is a terrific business to be in. You can set your own schedule, work from anywhere in the world, and build recurring revenue through website maintenance plans. Build a successful web design business by continually increasing your knowledge, skillset and experience. Always be a student. Refine and optimize your systems and processes.
Best wishes on your web design business!