Three Easy Ways to Find Web Development & Design Work

Working as a freelance web designer or developer has its perks: you get to set your own prices, your own hours, you don’t have anyone to answer to between yourself and your client, and that is done as equals and not as a boss to an employee. Not to mention the time and gas you save on commuting by working at home. You can even take your work with you anywhere. It is a dream for many.

But there is still one issue, and that is finding work. Over time, you will likely end up being hired from word of mouth referrals from other clients, and you won’t have to search out jobs very often. But until that day, it can be stressful constantly looking for a project to get you through the month’s bills, especially if you have finished off something without a continued contract in place.

Luckily, there are a number of ways that you can find work fast, sometimes in a competitive way that will ensure the best possible price for you. Three of them are methods you should put in your permanent arsenal, to aid you any time you find yourself needing something that pays.

1. Portfolio Sites

Portfolio sites

When someone is looking for a developer, they will often go somewhere that allows a portfolio to be uploaded for them to peruse. These are a fantastic way to get noticed, as it allows you to put your best work right there for you to see. Links, screenshots, a resume and contact information will be uploaded onto the site, and if they are interested they will contact you. Some even have an on-site escrow service for you to use, to protect yourself when dealing with a new client.

A good example of a portfolio site is Sortfolio.

2. Job Boards or Forums

Job Boards or Forums

A popular way of finding positions is through a job board or a specialty forum, where clients will post ads about their needs, and you can contact them to apply. One thing to remember is that these are often not moderated fully, and so taking a position is at your own discretion. However, if you protect yourself by using common sense and asking yourself if an offer is too good to be true, you will usually find trustworthy and well paying project holders needing a site developed.

A good job board is Smashing Jobs, named after Smashing Magazine, the popular developers resource that created the site. Occasionally, web master forums like Digital Point might have other developers who are looking to outsource work.

3. Join a Design Contest

Design contests

Not all competitions for jobs have to be based on a bidding system. Contest sites will allow clients to post projects and take a look out of what different developers have as a plan. The sample that catches their eye wins, and you get both the prize and the chance at a larger contract. Not to mention, other people can see who won in the past, which might give you further work.

Sonia Mansfield is the content editor for PsPrint and editor of PsPrint Design Blog. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company specializing in sticker printing. You can follow PsPrint on Twitter @PsPrint

cc licensed flickr photo shared by UggBoy♥UggGirl


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  • Connie Myres

    I like the idea of putting your work on a portfolio site. If I was looking for a Web designer, that’s one of the first places I’d look.

  • dumazz

    An effective way to attract orders, work is to conduct your own blog with content and promotion wartościwą own works on social networking sites. I just need to hard to be careful what is written, so you do not hurt. Good post. As usual.

  • Butch V.

    Nice Post! Being a recent college graduate in multimedia focusing on website design it is going to take me some extra effort to get noticed in this industry. I already have a portfolio site up but I am doing more to get noticed. Thanks for the pointers!

  • Bridgend Web Design

    Spec work is a curse on the design industry. Advising web designers to participate in exploitative crowdsourcing “contests” like those run by 99designs is damaging to the careers of designers and to the web design profession as a whole. I’d strongly advise you to check out the No!Spec project.

  • very interesting i like it