If you’re looking for a career field with good pay, then becoming a web developer is an ideal course of action. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, in 2021, web developers earned a median annual salary of $78,300 per year, which comes to an hourly salary of $37.65. However, this is a nationwide average and developers in many cities can earn far more than this sum. The mean annual salary for a Denver web developer, for instance, is an impressive $93,320.
Furthermore, web developers are in high demand. At present, job growth in the field is set at 23%, which is much faster than average. The ongoing popularity of online commerce and increased use of mobile devices will only continue to increase the demand for professionals in this field. Online sales rose by 3% in 2020 alone, thanks in part to the COVID-19 lockdowns that made it difficult if not impossible for many people to shop in person. While these lockdowns are long gone, the e-commerce industry is steadily growing and experts estimate that there will be about 21,800 web developer job openings every year as current web developers either retire or change career paths.
What is Web Development?
Website development is, generally speaking, the process of setting up and maintaining websites. However, a developer’s job can vary depending on his or her expertise, an employer’s needs, and a client’s requirements. Some developers specialize in front-end website development, others handle back-end development, and still others do both.
Front-End Website Development
Front-end website development, also known as client-side web development, means handling all aspects of a site that will be viewed and used by a client. It often includes website design and layout but is not limited to this field as a Denver web designer may also be tasked with content creation, ensuring a site loads speedily and is compatible with mobile devices, adding plug-ins and payment options buttons, etc.
Back-End Website Development
Back-end website development does not produce showy results, but it is vital nonetheless. It includes data storage and network security to protect a site from cyberattacks, data storage. It also includes the coding that is required to ensure customers receive the right response when they fill out a form or respond to a pop-up.
What about Mobile Developers?
Web development and mobile development are two distinct fields. Mobile developers build apps rather than websites; these apps aren’t used online but rather downloaded by users onto their phones for use either on or off the internet. Mobile developers typically need a larger skill set than web developers as web developers can specialize in a single aspect of site development while mobile developers need to know how to design and manage both the front and back-end of a mobile app.
How to Become a Website Developer
You don’t necessarily need to earn a bachelor’s degree to become a successful website developer, although having a degree is certainly an asset. However, there are some things that every single website developer needs to study and learn in order to succeed in his or her chosen field.
Learn to Code
You don’t necessarily need to learn all these coding languages to be a successful website developer. On the other hand, you may need to learn some languages not listed above in order to work in certain industries or take on certain types of jobs. Before you start learning to code, take some time to map out a career pathway for yourself, so you know which forms of code you need to master in order to meet your career goals.
Learn about UI and UX
If you intend to work as a front-end website developer, learning about UI (user interface) and UX (User experience) is a wise idea. This knowledge will enable you to understand what users are looking for in a site, so you can create websites that not only look nice and run well but also boost buyer trust and cultivate brand loyalty.
Learn about SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Anyone who sells goods/services or promotes content online wants his or her site to rank well for relevant keywords and there are many things you can do as a website developer to increase the odds of a site earning a high ranking on Google. A working knowledge of SEO will not only enable you to create more effective sites than would otherwise be possible but also improve your ability to find a good job and/or good clients.
Practicing for the Job Market
Experience is an asset on any resume. It shows potential employers and clients what you can do. What’s more, it helps you master your coding, UI/UX, SEO, and other skills.
Thankfully, there are many ways in which you can gain the experience you need to get your career started on the right foot. Volunteering to create a website for a local non-profit will help you gain experience while helping a local charity become better known in the community. You can pick up freelance jobs on sites such as Fivver or Upwork, or even help a friend or family member create a site in exchange for a small fee and the opportunity to showcase your work in your portfolio. Internship opportunities also give you a chance to not only build skills but also connect with potential employers; alternatively, you may want to work on open-source website development projects to improve your skills and connect with other web developers who can help you learn the tricks of the trade.
Prepare Your Portfolio
Once you have some experience, it’s time to showcase your work in the best possible light. Choose only a few of your best projects to showcase in your resume, as quality is far more important than quantity in this field of work. Highlight your skills in areas that you want to specialize in to increase your chances of getting a job in the field of your choice. Update your resume periodically as you take on new jobs.
While a printed resume and portfolio are great, it’s also a good idea to use the internet to advance your career. Create a website for yourself that shows your work and expertise. Post your portfolio on LinkedIn to not only showcase your work but also connect with potential employers and clients.
Web design Denver is a great field of work and those who do well in this field are set to be in high demand both now and in the future. Web development plays an important role in just about any industry as companies of all sizes and types use the internet to communicate with potential clients, business partners, and the general public. While it may take time to learn the skills needed to become successful in this field, the end result is sure to be well worth your effort and hard work.