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Is web site development a dead market?


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#1 Ubernoober13

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:03 AM

I am currently a rising senior student in high school and thinking about double majoring in Comp Sci & Computer Engineering in college. I was thinking about learning the ins and outs of web development before I went off to college and maybe be able to make a little extra cash freelancing during college making websites. When I talk to people who work with computer for a living but not necessarily web development, they all tell me that everyone just finds templates that they like and then just tweek those to the way they want it. Is that how it works in web development or do they not really know what they are talking about?I understand "don't reinvent the wheel" and try to find things you like in online tutorials/plugins and use those.

 

Is there still a profit to be made for web developers from a freelancers point of view or has everyone just moved on to using a template and being happy at that? Is this my best option for making some side cash during college or are there better things for me to learn code wise( I know a job is the best option)



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#2 groovicus

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:15 AM

As someone that develops web apps for a living, there is absolutely money to be made in web-based development. The problem is that most people want incredibly complex web sites, but expect such a thing to cost a couple of hundred dollars. I am working on a web site now (which does utilize some 3rd party libraries) that I have well over 300 hrs into, and all I have at this point is a working demo. I guess that I am going to have well over 1000 hrs into the project before I am done. If I were doing this site for someone else, I would have to charge twenty to thirty thousand dollars.

 

If your intent is to make some extra cash, then you are going to have to stick to simple web pages, especially since you don't know anything. I have charged anywhere from $50 to $200 per page, depending on the complexity.

 

For the record, no, not everybody just uses templates and alters them to their liking. I write code from scratch 95% of the time, and when I do not, it is because I am using a simple library like jQuery to handle cross-browser issues, and asynchronous requests. Some groups that I work with though rely heavily on frameworks, although I can point out where the use of a particular framework cost the company a lot of money because some versions were not backwards compatible. Every time the framework was updated, our code base had to be upgraded also. There are ups and downs to both ways.



#3 Ubernoober13

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:54 AM

If your intent is to make some extra cash, then you are going to have to stick to simple web pages, especially since you don't know anything. I have charged anywhere from $50 to $200 per page, depending on the complexity.

 

Well I have a year to learn what I am really doing before I would start trying to make a few extra bucks out of it. When you say page you mean each page not each website right? Where do you think I should start with developing web sites? Should I learn each language one by one or try to mix them all in at the same time? I know I am typically not suppose to ask for tutorials but any sort of books or websites I might want to check out?


Edited by Ubernoober13, 22 July 2013 - 11:55 AM.


#4 groovicus

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 04:55 PM

You can't create a web page without HTML, so that is pretty much where you start.



#5 bluelogic

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 05:43 AM

its becoming comodified which is why i moved out of it and into seo.

 

There will always be a market for good web developers - the key there is good. You will need to stay on top of your field, move up into management asap and eventually start your own business (which you will sell when you retire).

 

Dont forget that developers now work across web, mobile and desktop so theres plenty of scope for this type of skill.



#6 terlan

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 11:02 AM

There is still a lot of scope for a canny freelancer to make some money on the side or as a full time career. Many smaller local companies have no or just a basic web presence and dont have the time to stay on top of it. Most will have basic static websites that are out dated or not mobile compatible, it's a fairly easy task to convert a basic site to a mobile compatible site, using jquery mobile or similar. Aim for that market at the beginning, that way your not trying to sell them something they already have, your sellling them an upgrade.  If I was starting out fresh again in web development, I'd head straight at the mobile website / app development route.



#7 ummhasan

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:37 PM

Well, I agree with the previous posts; however, as a 3rd year current student in Web Development, a 1 yr certificate in Web development before that, and about 10+ years experience in x/HTML and CSS, I'd like to first point out that many people confuse Web site design with web site development.

 

Web site design is more on the artistic side, graphics, layout, colors, fonts, etc.

 

Web site development can include those things and frequently does, but, it's more geared towards programming or scripting. You can also divide this into Front end and Back end development - a developer who strictly deals with back end development using languages like PHP, SQL, mySQL, Ruby on Rails, C, C#, C++, etc to develop web applications. Whereas a front end developer deals more with scripting for the client side using languages like javascript, jquery, asp, visual basic, and the like to develop nice user interfaces, forms, handing form submissions, making things 'come to life' on the page, maybe getting expert in some of the very cool image transitions HTML5 can do, etc.

 

There is surely a market for both developers and designers out there but freelancing (which is all I do right now for friends, our religious organization, myself, my husbands business in the past, etc) can't get you too much. Why? Because in order to build those complex sites talked about in the first post, you need a TEAM of developers and designers and much much more!

 

I also charge about $50 to $200 per page unless it's a close friend in which I charge a small $25 per page fee with a 5 page max, no apps, no special stuff, basically an informational site with some contact us forms, maybe a PayPal button or two if that's what they want. You will have to remember though that you need to be aware that word of mouth is what will get you new jobs and more money. Word of mouth doesn't go far if don't do a good job.

 

What should you learn first? HTML, HTML5, CSS3, javascript, jquery, and if you want to connect to a database, php or ruby on rails and sql or mysql.



#8 mikeroq

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:07 PM

You can go many ways, you can be strictly a designer and only work out of Photoshop. You can do the graphics and the front end. You can do just the back end, You can take other peoples graphic designs and code the front end. You can do it all! So many options are available. 

 

I would start with learning how to code the presentation using HTML and CSS. Also learn to make graphics for your layouts. Once you learn to make the front end, you can work on making the site more functional in the back end.

 

Most websites have their back end based on PHP usually using a MySQL database. This would be the easiest path to go as there are hundreds of thousands of tutorials for them.

 

For testing sites out that you make (that have a PHP back end) you can get web hosting, or you can run a web server on your computer. There are some pre-rolled options such as XAMPP and EasyPHP. You can also get down and dirty by installing Apache (the web server), PHP, and MySQL (database) yourself. 

 

Here are some resources to get you rolling.

w3schools.com - Tutorials

Pixel2Life - Many tutorials for Photoshop, web design, HTML, CSS, PHP, you name it

http://www.webplatform.org/

http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/1-introduction-to-the-web-standards-cur/#toc

http://www.sitepoint.com/

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs

http://www.webmonkey.com/

http://freelanceswitch.com/freelance-web-development/beginner-developer-resources/

 

There are massive amounts of information out there. Google is your friend. 


Edited by mikeroq, 11 September 2013 - 11:08 PM.


#9 ummhasan

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:20 PM

I agree with mikroq and the links he provided are great resources. The only thing I'd add is not to jump into servers until your very comfortable, especially with using Unix/Linux systems. You need to know at least some basic security to operate an Apache server and how to properly configure it. It can be thought of as working strictly in a DOS environment for someone who's only familiar with Windows. You need to know command line language. Sure there's programs out there that allow you to manage your apache server via a GUI interface but it's better to know what your doing.

#10 mikeroq

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:33 PM

I should have put in my post that running the web server on your computer is for development use and not to be used in a production environment. Just use it for testing your code if you do not have a hosting provider.

Edited by mikeroq, 11 September 2013 - 11:34 PM.


#11 ummhasan

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:36 PM

Yes, I should have thought of that too. as a testing environment. Thanks for that mikeroq

#12 mike_branco

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 02:31 PM

I absolutely think that there is still money to be made in web development. People who use templates and/or free websites to make a website are just going for a quick and easy, cheap way out. That being said, if that company ever expands, they are going to ultimately want to have a custom-built website that will handle their needs. Not only that, but as you said, you wanted to do it during college to make some extra bucks or over the summer before college and this would only help your efforts. Using HTML will only help you once you go on to learn computer programming languages in college. Finally, it is something very good to put on your resume!



#13 jhohn

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 06:33 AM

I also tend to think that there are a lot of opportunities to earn money by web development. It's quite a prosperous business and a carrier ladder could be marvelous: starting as a freelancer you can grow up to chief of web development department or a huge company. I wanted to learn website development aspects (html and css) too. And I'm going to start next year.



#14 annakieu541

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 01:59 AM

I am currently a rising senior student in high school and thinking about double majoring in Comp Sci & Computer Engineering in college. I was thinking about learning the ins and outs of web development before I went off to college and maybe be able to make a little extra cash freelancing during college making websites. When I talk to people who work with computer for a living but not necessarily web development, they all tell me that everyone just finds templates that they like and then just tweek those to the way they want it. Is that how it works in web development or do they not really know what they are talking about?I understand "don't reinvent the wheel" and try to find things you like in online tutorials/plugins and use those.

 

Is there still a profit to be made for web developers from a freelancers point of view or has everyone just moved on to using a template and being happy at that? Is this my best option for making some side cash during college or are there better things for me to learn code wise( I know a job is the best option)

You can't create a web page without HTML!



#15 trump_richard

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 12:48 AM

Website Development is a good career option even today. Its only that now-a-days everyone wants their websites to be built in a single day. CMS Platforms such as wordpress, joomla etc have made website development very easy and quick. But still you need to have some knowledge of HTML & CSS, so that you are able to tweak the design of ready-made templates available for free. So the best way is to learn these new CMS platforms.






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