Can you make a living online as a web developer? if yes what do you sell?

Discussion in 'Programming' started by GodThor, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. GodThor

    GodThor Regular Member

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    Web developing is very confusing, I see that there is a lot of demand and incomes of around 80k-100k per year but I assume those incomes are for real life local large companies only? It looks like online is in a bad spot because there are people from third world countries who do the same work for peanuts and it's easy to build a site. Even then I'm not sure why large companies wouldn't hire programmers from third world countries since most of web dev work does not require your presence. Am I wrong?

    My country is very expensive especially when it comes to business, I would need to make 2k per month online and even then my life wouldn't really be great. I guess programming is viable for me only in a company that resides in my country? What could I possibly sell online in order to survive? what do programmers sell to others? building sites only? why would someone hire a programmer instead of make the site himself? I just can't see how this thing is viable online.

    I don't understand what is a realistic expectation with this proffesion.
     
  2. SpoonFeeder

    SpoonFeeder Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    You can easily make 100k per year even as a freelancer. I get a minimum of 5k worth of projects every month and if I work over time, I could easily make 15k per month as a programmer and it includes web development as well.

    True. I'm from a third world country but I don't undercut my pricing to get the job. My rate is very similar to what a company/freelancer from US/Germany charge their clients. It all depends how much you're good at what you do.

    Those large companies usually outsource the projects to IT companies in 3rd world countries.

    Nope.

    SAAS/PAAS/IAAS/DAAS

    If you can build a Lamborghini in your basement, a Falcon rocket in your garage, then every mom and pop will build the site themselves. Did you build your house yourself manufacturing all the materials required to build your house in your kitchen?

    Get a degree in Economics.
     
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  3. SimpleWeb

    SimpleWeb Registered Member

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    I do freelance web design and make $50K+ easily/year.

    Get good at what you do. Treat your clients good. Word of mouth is the best marketing.
     
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  4. GodThor

    GodThor Regular Member

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    Thanks for the answer, very informative

    As for this, isn't shopify or wordpress enough for the majority? are there site demands that go far beyond of what you can get from these platforms?
     
  5. jadsn

    jadsn Power Member

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    I used to think the same until I got out there and saw small - medium sized agencies charging 20k - 50k for Shopify/Wordpress sites. These business owners don't have the time and energy to learn these platforms, let alone make their website look professionally designed. Of course to be charging that kind of rate you should be great at networking and have a decent portfolio under your belt.
     
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  6. social engineer

    social engineer Regular Member

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    Honestly most people don't want to hire third worlders if they can avoid it.

    I'm British and although my degree is in fisheries / aquaculture science i make a full time income from freelance web dev and bot programming.

    I have a few side hustles with bots i run but the majority of stuff i do is freelance work.

    You can out play a third worlder because you can meet a client. I reguarly travel to london and meet clients I've even flown to the US a couple of times.

    Its pretty hard for people in third world countries to get visa's to the states and western countries. I also have the advantage that americans here a british private school accent instantly think your intelligent ;)

    I disagree with this entirely a lot of projects are so sensitive that you have to develop things in house.

    The aquaculture research niche is like this because the chineese will try and steal everything. I know 3 british aquaculture companies which have gone bust because the chinese have stolen their tech.
     
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  7. protonx85

    protonx85 Newbie

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    Wow. Just wow. I mean if you know your stuff you can build that stuff from the ground-up especially with WooCommerce and WordPress and it takes some time, but 50k worth of time? You heard about this, freelanced them underneath the agencies? That is truly awesome if so, good for you
     
  8. Rafael Marques

    Rafael Marques Registered Member

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    It's not about third world country. One simply don't outsource if it makes sense. As simple as that...

    Software engineering is hard, and it can suck it get the wrong people doing the job, it can be a brazilian, an american or anyone else...

    And about visa, I can speak as a brazilian: it's to easy to get one for almost anywhere, as long as you have someone hiring you there. US is harder, but europe, canada, etc are very easy ...
     
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  9. lacifitra

    lacifitra Power Member

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    There's a guy making 150k/year with fucking WordPress development. Just don't undersell yourself and work on your self-esteem, constantly questoning things like that will prevent you from moving forward.
     
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  10. protonx85

    protonx85 Newbie

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    Okay, thread closed.
     
  11. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    One of the best posts I've read in a while.
     
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  12. montscrew

    montscrew Newbie

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    Check devops/backend/frontend roadmaps
     
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  13. DigitalWizard

    DigitalWizard Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I do website development, application development, and provide hosting services to my clients. It's taken me about a year to build up my business but it can be very profitable.
     
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  14. jadsn

    jadsn Power Member

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    I've rarely freelanced in web dev since that's not my specialty, but I've been subcontracted and learned how much the agency's contracts were actually worth after (I was getting roughly 10% of that). Marketing (SEO, PPC, Social, Email, etc.) is also worth a pretty penny too, so you could take on a web dev job and make some decent recurring revenue offering these services.
     
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  15. mariopepper

    mariopepper Newbie

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    How many years of experience do you have?
     
  16. SimpleWeb

    SimpleWeb Registered Member

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    On-off for 5-6 years, but only about 1 year or so doing it seriously and developing lots.
     
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  17. Gogol

    Gogol Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Well here's some practical experience. Most of the online projects in freelance sites like upwork, guru etc are bullshit. All of them seem to need bugatti Veyron for the price of a tata nano (google it ;) ). Once upon a time, I didn't have a choice and I had to do those projects because I needed money. Even in bhw, most of the guys won't even reply if you are asking $100 for a bot which takes 10 hours to code (broke ehh?). This is the sad truth. By the way, this is also the reason why i don't sell in bhw. Mostly, it's a waste of time (no offense sorry) if you are selling web development related services.

    So, what I ultimately ended up doing is stopped working in fixed budget projects and started charging hourly. For example, I would charge $15/h minimum. That did improve the pay quite a bit.

    I ultimately ended up being hired by one of my clients as they loved my work and they pay me well enough to live well in a third world country.

    What I would recommend you to do is either get a job as a developer in some company, or charge your clients hourly.

    Still, 5k a month would be a dream for me lol..
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  18. TonyToan

    TonyToan Newbie

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    Sorry, but may I ask what is your skillset? HTML, CSS, Javascript and React ?
     
  19. mariopepper

    mariopepper Newbie

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    that is great as for me
     
  20. davids355

    davids355 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Great post, and it is interesting what you mentioned about charging similar rates to freelancers from US/Germany. That is really the great thing that the internet has done - its levelled the playing field and it means everyone can charge the same rate regardless of where they are located, rather than people in third world countries getting exploited.

    OP, if you are seeing providers undercutting fair rates its more likely that their work is going to be of a lower quality, rather than being a result of their physical location.

    Sure, you might be able to get more money in development if you are picking up clients locally, but clearly from the above post you can see that still decent money can be made as an online freelancer. I am sure it will depend on your skill set because I know that when it comes to web development for example, there is a huge difference between the skills of someone who can create a wordpress site using a theme, and someone who can develop a feature rich site with custom back-end infrastructure and so on.
     
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