This post may contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Please read the disclosure for more info.
The era of the internet has boomed and with that, many businesses need a website. Many local businesses still don’t have a website which is a problem that needs to be solved. Offering a web design solution could benefit the client as well as help you make side income or full time income. Having a websites allows potential customers to learn more about the business and helps build trust. When the website is set up correctly, it can also lead to more sales. The average web design cost is around $3,000 and can quickly scale up depending on the complexity.
Now you’re probably wondering how you would even make money designing websites when you don’t even know how to code? You don’t need to worry about that anymore as you no longer need to know how to code in order to make a website in this era. There are many page builders that build websites without knowing how to code. These page builders make it easy to build simple websites. It’s more than enough to handle the average client website. All you need to have is a little design style and know how to resize images to start.
How to get started creating your own website and portfolio pieces
In order to start making money designing websites, you’ll have to have a website of your own so you can put your portfolio together. You can spend time creating website design mockups for your portfolio, but a better way to build up your portfolio website is to find someone or several businesses who need a website. You can do their website for free, or charge a small fee. Of course disclose to them that you are still new at this, which is why your rates are still low. Charging a small fee allows you to make a little bit of money while you are learning how to create websites still. This income could also pay back your initial cost to start this business. You can also get testimonials from these clients that you can place on your own portfolio website. In fact, the testimonial is crucial in building credibility.
Tools needed to start making money designing websites
The first step to designing your own website is by coming up with your business name so that you can get your domain name. An easy way to do this would be to just use your name. You can get a domain name through Namecheap.
You will then need to sign up for web hosting with SiteGround. Hosting starts at $3.95 a month. This business is cheaper than a cup of coffee to start! When buying hosting with SiteGround, you’ll also be able to have your own email account at your own domain, which will make your new business look more professional. They have amazing customer service and provide free SSL. I’ve been making websites forever and I’ve had my fair share in trying out different hosting companies. SiteGround has been the most reliable. My uptime is always up, unlike some other hosting companies I’ve had before. You don’t ever want your website or your clients website to be down! Get your website hosting for $3.95/month here.
The next step is getting a page builder with Elegant Themes called Divi. You can try Divi for 30 days and check out how super easy it is to use here. You’ll be using Divi to build WordPress websites for your portfolio site as well as for all your clients. Divi also provides already made templates for different businesses which makes it really easy for the designer to start making a website for a specific business type. Every week, Elegant Themes release new templates and tutorials, which makes it very convenient for the designer as there is always something fresh and new to work with. Once you have signed up with Elegant Themes, download the Divi file from your dashboard.
Setting up your Divi theme with WordPress
From your SiteGround dashboard, under My Account, you’ll want to go to your Cpanel. In your Cpanel, look for WordPress and click the link. Click ‘Install Now’ from the WordPress page. Set up your install.
Once you have installed WordPress successful to your hosting, you can access your WordPress dashboard from your domain.com/wp-admin. Login to your WordPress site. From here, you want to head to click Appearance on the left menu. Then click ‘Add New’ and upload your Divi zip file from Elegant Themes. Set it as your active theme. Now you have Divi installed on your own domain! It should look like this from your themes dashboard.
To design a new page, just click pages from the dashboard. When you add a new page, there will be a purple button that says ‘Use the Divi Builder’. Click that button and you will be able to start designing your page. It will look like the image below.
Click To add those newly created pages to the menu bar, simply go to the dashboard and on the left side click ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Menus’. You just then add those created pages to the menu.
How to make residual income with web design
As a freelancer, a bulk of your income will come from active income. This form of income means that you have to keep signing on new website clients to make your income. What happens when business is slow though? You’ll want to create a way to make residual income so that you’ll still have income coming in monthly even though business is slow. A good way to make money designing websites is by offering maintenance and backup services for your clients. This means that when you sign on a client, you can make it an option, or mandatory to have this service. You can charge anywhere from $100 to $200 a month for this type of service. If you already have 10 clients, that’s at least $1,000 monthly recurring income. Another way to create monthly residual income for your web design business is to charge a monthly hosting fee. You can buy hosting packages from SiteGround to resell to your clients. Check out the hosting reseller package here.
Other ways to make money designing websites
There are some other passive ways to make money designing websites for clients. You can have the client sign up for their own web hosting through your affiliate link with SiteGround where you will make a commission. Unlike offering the monthly hosting fee like the one mentioned above, signing up with the affiliate link is not a monthly residual. You can educate the client about email marketing and sales funnels and have them sign up for ActiveCampaign for their email service as well as ClickFunnels for their sales funnels. Both of these affiliate programs are monthly residual so long as the client continues to pay for their service. There are so many other possibilities with adding a passive income to your website designing business and these are just a few examples.
How to scale your web design business
The final step is to turn your freelance business into a web design agency so that you can get your time freedom back. You’ll need to hire a team to do the time consuming work for you. You can hire a team to do everything for you or you can hire some team members, and keep doing the task that you love to do whether that be sales, managing your team, client interaction, etc. For more information in how to build an agency, you can read more about it through this blog post.