How to Become a Web Developer: complete guide

How to become a web developer? Behind the construction of a site, there are computer languages, and behind computer languages, there is often a web developer. So, if you’re wondering how to become a web developer, these steps will guide you towards your goal.

What is the meaning of web developer? It is someone who deals with the construction of digital platforms, not only sites but also, for example, templates and plugins for WordPress or other CMS (Content Management Systems). In practice, he is the one who works with the most common programming languages for the creation of web pages, such as Html; CSS; Php, and other codes.

It is a technical profession, but even a web developer cannot do without a knowledge of digital marketing. First of all, being often self-employed, he must be able to sell his skills, create a business network, and do personal branding. Furthermore, he will often have to interface with other digital marketing figures or create sites that must manage their traffic well, being careful to insert those elements that can finalize a possible conversion (eg contact form). Learning to become a web developer requires dedication and continuous learning.

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To provide you with more insights into what it takes to pursue a career as a web developer, we have interviewed Nicola Klemenc.

Interview with a web developer specialist

We talk about it with Nicola Klemenc, web developer, and freelance WordPress specialist, a professional who has been doing this job for several years now. I asked Nicola what does and what is a web developer, also focusing on what are the aspects of working on your own and the possible salary of a web developer. Learning how to become a web developer involves mastering programming languages.

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Who is and what does the web developer do?

nicola klemencThis is a very interesting but also difficult question because in reality today the web developer can cover various roles including the WordPress specialist. The web developer is the professional who is between the idea of a project and the project itself. In this position, he can play a purely technical role, i.e. technically build an already-designed site. Wondering how to become a web developer? Start with building a strong foundation in coding.

Or a customer may not know how he wants his final product, so he turns to the web developer as a consultant, asking for his opinion already in the conception phase of his online platform. In essence, the web developer transforms ideas into digital projects and can work in different contexts. When he works in a company, he will almost always play a very definitive role, so he is part of a structured process and will always have to use the same technology.

Instead, if he works as a freelancer, the web developer must also be skilled in marketing, because he must adapt to the market, or choose and specialize in a sector that has potential and which, therefore, can be quite lucrative. Discovering how to become a web developer begins with practicing coding regularly.

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How important is WordPress in your business?

nicola klemencWordPress is omnipresent . Although in recent years we have seen an explosion of other different technologies and solutions, in the specific sector of small and medium-sized businesses, the one in which I work, WordPress is almost universally used as the default solution for having an online presence.

I also use it a lot when I collaborate with web agencies because WordPress is extremely useful even when you need a specialized solution, to a well-defined and very difficult problem to solve. So, I would say that eighty percent of my activities, both in terms of time and turnover, are related to WordPress. How to become a web developer includes exploring frameworks and libraries for efficient development.

In these cases, I rarely have to play the role of developer, but I often use a consultancy service, because this platform is very versatile, and solutions can be found for almost all problems. So maybe it’s not necessary to go and develop new things. Ultimately I would say that it is essential. Learning how to become a web developer entails joining coding communities and attending workshops.

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What skills should a web developer have, concerning digital marketing?

nicola klemencI believe that skills in digital marketing are those shared by all freelancers. In my specific case, I have to be careful of two aspects. First of all, in terms of inbound marketing, clearly and definitively evaluate where I will go to work and how I will present myself to the market, choosing my niche and trying to understand how many potential customers will call me. Having more incoming customers allows me to choose the ones that suit me best.

This possibility is important because it translates into more satisfied customers, given that I will be able to follow each project in the best possible way. Secondly, the choice of one’s niche is connected with the complexity of the work: the web developer’s profession is very broad, therefore in addition to the professional activity to be carried out in the standard eight hours of work, it is necessary to consider the time to be used for studying, however, this update must be targeted because it is not possible to know everything.

This connects to the services that you decide to offer, based on what the market requires: for example, a web developer can devote himself to programming themes for WordPress, or customizing WooCommerce, the plugin dedicated to E-commerce. If a professional decides to specialize in these fields, he will have to spend two or three hours studying those specific technologies, becoming very knowledgeable in the subject, to offer a stellar service compared to the competition. How to become a web developer involves creating a portfolio showcasing your projects.

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What are the marketing aspects to consider in a site?

nicola klemencIt depends on the type of site I’m working on. For example, if it is a showcase site, very advanced reasoning in terms of marketing will not be made. For all other cases, I expect there to be a minimum of useful elements for a marketing funnel, or in any case that can structure a path that transforms the user into a customer.

For example, I recommend writing from an SEO perspective for positioning, a possibility of contact via a form, a very useful operation that the customer often does not think about, because they are convinced that it is enough to write the email in the contact section. Seeking guidance from experienced developers is valuable when learning how to become a web developer.

Or I can recommend plugins that can benefit a marketing strategy. I don’t directly take care of the client’s promotional strategy, because this is very demanding, you need to study its objectives, understand how it works and know how to implement it, furthermore, it would take an additional budget to have room for maneuver and call in other professionals for help.

Every time I work on a site I rely on a series of elements that must always be there, at a marketing level, from contacts to social sharing, and I try to offer each client a little advice in these terms. But as far as a real strategy is concerned, the discussion would become too broad and articulated. How to become a web developer requires problem-solving skills and attention to detail.

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Which professionals does a web developer interact with?

nicola klemencThe web developer interfaces with all digital professionals, so it depends on the niche you’re working in. For example, a web developer can collaborate exclusively with agencies that create showcase sites, in which case there will be enough work to fill the whole week, however, in terms of marketing, the interaction will be more limited. But years ago I worked with a remarketing company instead, so interacting with other digital marketing professionals was the order of the day.

In any case, as a freelancer, the web developer collaborates with various agencies, so there will always be times when he will work closely with:

Therefore it is advisable to have a smattering of digital marketing, to understand the terminology and the processes on which one is working. Even just to be able to implement, without unpacking, a solution designed by another professional in a certain way. There are interactions and, I am convinced, there will be more and more: because the internet is becoming a commercial tool useful for sales, marketing must therefore be a priority.

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How much could a web developer earn?

nicola klemencAlso in this case a question with a very complex answer. We can speak of average but we must bear in mind that there is a very wide range. By now I have been working as a web developer for several years, I noticed that at the beginning it is necessary to understand how the various aspects of the profession work, first of all, you need to know the various languages (Html; Css; Php), but these are nonetheless technologies excessively difficult: after a few months of study, you can become productive.

However, there are other aspects to consider below, for example, marketing, which we have already discussed above. In my opinion, it is essential to know how to sell.

Do you need a degree to be a web developer

To return to the question, you can easily stay on the thousand or €2000 per month. It is also possible to exceed this figure: I know people who are close to $10000 a month. But working only as a web developer is a difficult task, in this case, you have to find the right customers, as well as the exact activities to carry out with these customers; otherwise, you end up working 20 hours a day. So the figure is variable but, of course, the work of the web developer has potential.

So if a person decides to earn more than an average salary, he can always consider turning into a company: dealing for example with the creation of themes and plugins for WordPress, a market in which there is currently a lot of demand; or by building all those technologies that implement the WordPress world. Ultimately you can earn quite well, but you have to work a lot in terms of marketing, communication, time management, and efficiency of your work processes.

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What opportunities can you have working on your own?

nicola klemencToday there are certainly many opportunities. 2020 will go down in history for all that has happened, nevertheless, at a professional level, it has been a very intense year because, by moving everything online, there has been a surge in the demand for digital professionals. This a request that in my opinion will continue to increase, because once these dynamics are implemented, there will be a change of perspective on a collective level.

Consequently, the opportunities are there, but they must be grasped with a certain attention, in the sense that one must be ready not only on a technical level, i.e. knowledge of technology and tools but also on a human level and in interpersonal communication.

In the end, we must always remember that we are dealing with people, so in terms of marketing it is necessary to know how to promote yourself to an audience that you do not yet know, while through networking you can build individual relationships with the right professionals to collaborate with. So ultimately, there are many opportunities, but it’s important to know how to communicate, both publicly and individually. Opportunities must also be developed, cultivated, and chosen with care.

Conclusion

I found Nicola Klement’s words about a profession that is increasingly riding the digital wave very interesting. I understood how complex the path to becoming a web developer is and how even such a technical figure needs to know the dynamics of digital marketing, both to promote one’s skills and because those who commission their work use the web for promotional reasons.

Just like the web developer, each professional who works on the internet must often interface with other digital marketing figures, as well as know at least the essential elements of this field, to be able to achieve the conversion objectives of each customer.

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