A Quick Overview of Starting A Website Design Business
In our world of fast-paced technology, website designers are in high demand.
A normal day for a web designer may start with planning the layout of a new website.
Afterward, you may code and format any text and edit any images. Later that day you may have a meeting with another client to develop a big picture idea of their website needs, or to finalize small details.
There are a few things to consider before starting. First, decide whether to have an office. Most work can be done on a laptop, anywhere. However, having an office to hold meetings in can bring credibility to your work.
You may want to consider earning certifications in specific programs. This may not be important to smaller clients but larger organizations may require it.
Also, familiarize yourself with multiple programs like Photoshop, WordPress, Dreamweaver, and others. The larger your skill set the more you can do.
- Organizing and tracking projects
- Coding websites
- Editing Images
- Designing logos (possibly)
- Inserting or creating web content
- A knowledge of layout design
- A knowledge of Typography
- A sense of color coordination
- Understanding of search engines guideline is a plus
- Understanding of W3C
- Basic understanding of server management
- Basic understanding of IT and/or Internet communications
- Good understanding of computer hardware and software
- Good organizational skills and attention to detail
- A working knowledge of software such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, WordPress, Ruby on Rails, PHP, SQL. etc.
- List of Common Business Skills
Employee & Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase Or In The Future:
- Web designers
- Advertising specialists
- Content writers
- Common Staff Positions Needed To Run Some Businesses
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:
General Hours of Operation: Generally speaking, you can work anytime, with the exception of meeting clients, which normally falls within the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future:
- A quality laptop or desktop PC with a lot of hard drive space
- External hard drives for backup copies of sites
- Digital camera
- Software (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc.)
- Your own quality website
- Scanner for photos and slides
- Video equipment
- DVD/copy equipment to save websites as backup
- Quality desktop PC or Mac with lots of memory
- Servers (possibly)
- List of Essential office Equipment
Monthly Expenses To Consider:
- High-Speed Internet access
- Web domain fees
- Software Fees
- Hosting Fees
- Online Backup Storage Fees
- List of Common Monthly Expenses
Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:
Entrepreneur Magazine estimates that a web design business startup can run between $2,000 and $10,000 USD. However, this is to purchase all equipment and software. More than likely, you already own most of the necessities.
Pros and Cons:
- You are your own boss
- You get to be very creative
- Your hours are your own
- A stable industry with growth potential
- You can charge maintenance fees for maintaining the client’s website
- You can work from almost anywhere you have internet access
- It may be hard to satisfy some clients, because they may not know what type of design they want
- You may be under very tight deadlines
- It is a competitive industry
Type of Customers You Need to Attract:
Clients will include small businesses, non-profit organizations, and community groups.
According to A List Apart, a group that surveyed web designers, about 50% of all web designers have a bachelor’s degree and about 66% had a bachelor’s or higher. However, nearly 50% of web designers said that their majors were not relevant to web design.
A List Apart also noted that the majority of startup web designers earned between $20,000 and $60,000 USD a year.
For the most current statistics in the web design field, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Website design can be extremely lucrative, with the average site design charge being around $500 for a 10-page site. The more complex sites are naturally more money.
You can make an additional average of $15-35/month if you also provide website hosting for a simple website.