Are you a web developer who is currently thinking of striking out on your own? The prospect of freelance success is a tempting one – but make no mistake, it’s a tough world out there. To help you make the right decision, we thought we would go through a few of the advantages and disadvantages of freelancing as a web developer. Let’s take a closer look.


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Pro: You define your success

If you have web development skills, you will always be in demand. The trick is to be available to serve that market, and always exceed expectations. If you can do these simple things, you will succeed. Of course, there is a lot that goes alongside this that you will need to learn – customer service, marketing, sales, for example. But it’s all down to you – your career prospects are in your hands.

Con: It’s not just web development

As we mentioned above, when you set up as a freelancer there is a lot more to do than just code all day long. You will have to market yourself, spend time approaching prospects and do basic admin. You’ll need to spend a lot of time earning no money, while you catch up with paperwork or work on your new marketing campaign. And, in the early days especially, it can be tough to get a break.

Pro: Something new every day

If you are a competent developer, you will find that every job is different. One day you might be using an SPI programmer to verify Flash Serial chips. The next you could be putting your JavaScript skills to good use. The point is, the more skills you have, the better and more varied your jobs will be.


Cons: It takes determination

You have to push yourself if you want to succeed as a freelancer. And unless you have the drive and determination to make a success of yourself, we advise against it. That said, if you feel you have what it takes and can put 100% into every day, there could be no stopping you.

Pro: It’s a gateway to more learning

You are always learning as a developer. But when you work for a bigger company, your education will be restricted to what you do. Going freelance, you can choose any path you wish. As long as you put the hours in, freelancing can be an enabler for moving into more exciting areas.


Con: You can’t sit on your laurels

While all those opportunities for learning should be a benefit, they can also be a weight around your neck. The truth is that to succeed as a freelance developer, you have to keep learning. It’s not an option – it’s business critical. Failure to move with the times can kill your business stone dead. You cannot afford to limit yourself in any way, which can prove too taxing for some.

OK, so there you have it – some of the pros and cons of freelancing as a developer. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.