Register a Company
- Register your company with Lawpath in just 10 minutes.
- Simple step-by-step process with instructions
- On-demand phone, email and chat support
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
If you're an experienced web developer looking to branch out on your own, there are a few things you need to know about starting a web design business. Not only is there a lot of background work, such as getting your business plan and budget ready, but you'll also need to find out how to price your services and start building a customer base.
This guide will take you through all the elements you'll need for a successful web design business.
Firstly, you'll need experience as a web developer. You won't be able to build a successful business without the skills and experience to back it up. Make sure you have learnt the necessary programming languages and that your search engine optimisation (SEO) skills are up to scratch. Experience in UX design and graphic design will also come in handy.
You will be dealing with clients, so make sure your interpersonal and negotiation skills are effective. You will also need basic business skills, for example the ability to market your business and create a business budget.
Finally, you'll also need a concrete idea of the direction in which you want to take your business. Web design is a highly competitive field, so it's important to identify your target market before going any further.
You don't need a specific qualification to work as a web developer. You do need experience in building and managing websites as well as debugging technical issues with websites.
While useful, coding is not a required skill when starting. As you work with new clients, you can help build websites with the use of pre-built themes. Of course, as your work grows, you will need to upskill. If you don't already have a well-rounded web development skillset, here are some free online courses you can consider:
You can start your web developer business from home or at an office. You might also consider signing up to a coworking space. The main piece of equipment you need is a computer. You might also need:
There are also several software programs that can help you design and develop websites. You may want to consider the following:
Related: Compare business software online
When it comes to structuring your business, you need to decide how much financial responsibility and control over your business you wish to have. The three most common business structures in Australia are:
As a web developer, you will not only need to protect your business but also the creative work you've done. Some of the legal documents you'll need include:
As a general rule, website designers are paid hourly rates, although you might want to offer fixed prices, especially for big projects. The advantage of a fixed price is that the client knows how much your services will cost upfront, so you don't have to justify the amount of time spent on different elements of the project.
Depending on the website's features and level of customisation, a web developer can charge anywhere from $30 to $60 per hour. A whole website might cost between $1,000 to $5,000, but it can be more depending on the number of web pages created, animations and videos included, and extra features such as e-commerce solutions and ongoing website maintenance.
The average cost for a web developer differs by state, so take a look at your competitors' rates and their services. Some services offer a website package to provide customers with a fixed price.
One way to decide on an appropriate price is to work out your ideal hourly rate. Remember to consider your time, skills, education and the hard work you put into your project, not to mention any other overheads you have, when setting a price. You'll also need to pay tax on the money you earn, so factor this into your calculations.
You can also find plenty of handy hourly rate calculators online, such as this one from Clockify, to help work out your ideal rate.
Building out and improving your own website will be at the heart of your business. Your site will also act as your portfolio, meaning that it must include all the relevant details which will make potential clients choose your service.
If you don't have a large portfolio, create website mockup templates to show potential clients. You can also offer a discount or affiliate program to bloggers, influencers and clients.
Remember, there's no more simple and effective way to impress potential clients than to have a site that looks great and is easy to use. Your skills as a web designer will obviously come to the fore here, but you can also find freelancers on sites like Upwork and Fiverr to help with specific parts of the project. For example, you may want to hire a graphic designer to create a logo for your business.
You can also advertise your specialised web design skills on online marketplaces such as Upwork, Guru and Airtasker. These popular freelance platforms provide access to thousands of web design jobs, so they can be a very handy way to find new clients. However, they're usually quite competitive, so it may take a while to build your portfolio, and you'll also need to consider any commissions the platform charges on work you complete for clients.
There are several other ways you can market your business and build your customer base. Some of your options include:
One key factor you'll need to consider is how to successfully pitch your web design services to potential clients. To do that, you'll need to put together a website proposal for any contract you bid for.
A website proposal should include:
Creating website proposals can be a time-consuming process, but it's essential if you're going to attract new customers. To save time, you may want to put together a rough template to work from for each pitch – there are plenty of free templates available online to help you get started.
Do I need social media?
It's a good idea to have a social media presence for your business, but you don't need to be on every platform. The right platforms for your business will depend on the type of client you want to attract – some clients might find you on Instagram, others might be more likely to come across your profile on LinkedIn. Take a look at what social presence your competitors have and decide whether you should be there too. If not, consider alternative platforms.
What are the disadvantages of being a web developer?
Developing a website requires long hours of sitting in front of a computer screen. Without the right equipment, you could end up with nerve damage in your hands. There will also be weeks or months where you might have even to juggle several projects at a time. If you're working from home, you will need to be strict with setting a boundary between your work and home life.
How do I write a successful business plan for a website design business?
Writing a business plan is essential to help manage your web design career. You should:
These are the 9 best nappy bags you can buy right now in Australia.
Robinhood is set to go public as soon as June. Here's what you need to do to buy in from Australia.
We explain everything you need to make your own retro arcade machine, built around the super-flexible Raspberry Pi.
Finder's submission in response to the Inquiry into Future Directions for the Consumer Data Right.
Here’s where you can gain qualifications in hospitality at your own pace with an online course.
Discover how Square and Stripe can help you process your business payments.
Get expert legal advice on all your family and business matters in Sydney and the Central Coast with Turnbull Hill Lawyers.
Choose between two leading DNA testing companies who can help you map your ancestry and genetics.
We compare two of the leading merchant services on the market: Square and Shopify.
Discover the main differences between two leading DNA testing services, from pricing to privacy.
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.