I'm currently a web developer, generally with the Python Django framework. What I do could be called full stack development. And, I'm looking to go freelance!

What I'm interested in learning about is people's experience with freelance development as opposed to design. I can rock Javascript, Bootstrap, and the rest as well as anybody but I am NOT a graphic designer. I can spin up web servers, databases, the like and I'm very interested in front-end development. Meaning I can make a website look nice, but I'm never going to be tweaking the curves in your logo.

From my limited samples I've seen a lot more requests for design than development jobs. My value is clear to me and, I may be biased here, I believe often more valuable than a straight-up designer but its seems to be a lot harder to sell even if only because its less visual.

Does anyone else have experience selling their value as a developer? What sort of clients are most looking for dev work? Any other pointers?

4 Answers 4


When someone needs a website, in most of the cases, they have no idea that there is a designer and a developer, or someone who can do both things, they just look for "someone who builds my good looking and functional website", without making much difference between web design or web development. They are completely unaware of your skills, they don't even know what is Python, Javascript, or an HTML form, they want the result.

So if you want to concentrate only on the development part you can still present yourself as "someone who is able to build a site", enstablish a collaboration with one or more freelance designer and then if someone will contact you asking for "web design job" (meaning the full development of the site from design to coding) you can talk and understand what the client needs, then you can communicate with your freelance designers, make them take care about the graphics and layout, and then when the design is approved you will start your part of the job, and the client will be happy, he will have what he needs, you will work on what you like to do and your designers will do the same.

In this way you will also be able to get development jobs from your freelance designers, if they want to concentrate on the graphic part they will use your skills for the coding, and vice versa.

You can also contact web agencies and offer yourself as a developer.

  • 1
    I would like to add to @Mario answer that you could also make use of websites that sell templates, and add the value of the template and the hours spent to implement to your invoice. Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 22:01

Following the @BehindTheSciences answer, you can also can have a look to the facebook pages of local companies and see if they have website. If not, you can contact them (if they are local, in person) and present them a "business plan" explaining why you think their company will improve by having a website like the want you have in mind.

Ideally, you could do this remotely with non-local companies, and contact them by email.

Best of luck :)


I personally don't have experience selling this, but I know some cases: you want to target small companies that need servers, forms... and they may be not expert on creating this. For example, look for local businesses in the following sectors: property/housing local companies, private doctors/dentist, hairdressers... even tattoo artist. Think about those small businesses that need to attract client by collecting their emails or offering clients the possibility to request quotations or event to create their profile in the website to being able to see their medical records and make appointments. You may need to look for them in your city, or search in Google to see if they already have social media.


You have not referenced location but I am thinking a similar question on startups exchange that I answered is likely to help you.


Note that rates are higher when you travel and work on a clients site, as opposed to working from home. I've been a freelancer as you call it since 1994 - Working from home brings problems of miscommunication with the customer and can lead to headaches. See another question I answered Client threatening legal action constantly

I'm not suggesting you do or do not work from home, but I'm just pointing out that the work can be rich but money is not free.

In Europe, most of my contracts have come from jobserve.com

Best of luck!

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