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General Discussion

Ryan Hemrick
Ryan Hemrick
12,759 Points

Creating Sites as a Freelancer

Hey everyone,

I've been a Treehouse student for about 6 months now and I have a very good working knowledge of HTML, CSS, the Bootstrap Framework, JS/jQuery, and a little PHP. I spent the last couple weeks working on a portfolio site for myself in order to showcase my work.

I aspire to make a living as a freelancer, but I have come to realize that it takes a great deal of time for me to create a basic portfolio.

I'll get to the point, my question is: for someone who aspires to be a full-time freelance Web Designer/Developer, should I look to WordPress for quicker site generation for a client? As of now, the sites I have done are essentially static sites with a simple contact form that I've coded in PHP. I am looking for a more streamlined process for creating sites that allows me to have the control and creativity that I need but a method that is less time consuming, since a lot of the coding is repetitive.

All feedback is appreciated!

Thanks! :)

3 Answers

ryan champin
ryan champin
16,836 Points

i've been freelancing for a few years now and have noticed a few things.....every project is different. You have to be a solid programmer to make it as a freelancer but there are more aspects to it than just coding. Properly scoping a project is key. Knowing whats included and whats not, what the client expect and how picky they are all play a part of how smooth the project will go and more importantly, how fast you produce quality work. Get framiliar with a specific niche, set up a system of frameworks and plugins and become extremely good with using them. That's just my point of view. I would also build demo pieces and time yourself so you can properly price your projects. I know for me a solid social media site will take me around two weeks so i know how to charge based on what i want to be paid for two weeks of work.

Ryan Hemrick
Ryan Hemrick
12,759 Points

Thanks for the response Ryan.

Is there a specific technique, CMS, language, or workflow that you use for the majority of your projects? Or do you find yourself choosing the right tool/framework for a specific project? I understand the benefit of having a large set of tools to accomplish a certain task, but I am finding it hard to find which method is best for a certain project. For example, if I can accomplish a project with Wordpress and save a bunch of time vs. coding it from scratch, is that something that is "good practice"? It is difficult to find the words to ask this question but I don't want to spend weeks or months learning a specific tool if it is not the most efficient method to my means.

Ken Alger
Ken Alger
Treehouse Teacher


I noticed in your profile that you have taken some of the freelancing related courses here at Treehouse. Those courses offer some great advice. Another resource available is an audio book on Freelancing by Simon Collison. It is free for Treehouse students on the Student Perks page. Freelancing can be very rewarding, but as you know is much more than simply being able to code a website or application.

Happy coding,


christopher walsh
christopher walsh
10,763 Points

when I was looking through iOS blogs for coding swift I stumbled upon a one line from someone, she said "never make an app from scratch!" there are many royalty free templates for app programming languages to give your project a head start.

In the same way. there are html, css, javascript, and all the other codes and launguages; templates of the most redundant tasks. there are pieces of websites that are so redundant code wise, that the community has posted them all online to copy and past.

I have also heard a designer say "your client is paying you for the end product. what you do with your time is your own mess" if there are solutions to your workflow to speed up your projects and make completely original work, why would you not do that? Clients are not going to feel sorry for you and so pay more, because you coded from scratch whats already online as a wordpress widget or template.

your product should be original and your work, all the puzzle pieces to a website are all over the internet.

these are not shortcuts. they optimize time so you have more time to make your project amazing in the same time frame you would have been reinventing the wheel otherwise. and be honest to the client, say "I use wordpress" or "I use Adobe Muse".