A Beginner’s Guide To Freelance Programming Web Sites

For a freelancer, there is no such thing as a slow season. If you want to be a successful freelancer, you have to be on your game every day of the year. But that’s not easy: you have the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else. You have to learn to work smarter, and that means finding ways to get more done in less time. That’s where freelance websites come in.

Freelance websites are platforms where clients and freelancers can connect directly, without having to worry about agencies or middlemen getting between them and taking their hard-earned money, or making upwork.com all kinds of difficult for everyone involved. They’re both for beginners who are just starting out and for pros who have been working for years.

Tips For Starting Out

Want to get started? Here are some tips to help you take that first step toward freelancing.

Start Small; Even if you’re already an experienced programmer, chances are you’re going to want to make a minor adjustment or two before you launch into your first freelance job. You’ll also want to make sure your workspace has all the amenities you need (e.g., coffee, a comfortable chair, etc.).

Have A Plan; Before accepting a freelance position, it’s important ask yourself what you will do with the money that comes from completing the task at hand. By having this plan in place before even approaching a potential client, you can ensure that your efforts truly pay off and aren’t simply squandered on unnecessary expenditures.

Build Up Your Portfolio Of Work; While it’s tempting for beginners to jump right into big jobs when they see them come along, it’s far wiser–especially for new freelancers–to start small and build up one’s experience instead of jumping into something over one’s head which could lead to failure or disappointment later on down the road (or computer screen).

Don’t Overwork Yourself; Freelance programming involves more than just sitting in front of the computer writing code all day–it also requires time spent searching for jobs online as well as interacting with clients via email/phone/IM chat programs like Skype and Yahoo Messenger (don’t forget about FaceTime!). 

So don’t forget about these other parts when planning out how much time per week can be dedicated to freelancing pursuits.

Best Practices

Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to bidding on projects:

Don’t Bid Too Low; It’s not worth it. You will be miserable, and you will resent the client for making you miserable.

Bid Selectively; don’t bid on everything just because you’re new and want to work quickly. Make sure to read over a project description carefully before bidding on it.

Don’t Bid On Projects That Are Too Difficult For Your Experience Level (unless you can convince yourself that taking this project will help advance your skills).

Never Hesitate To Ask Questions About A Client’s Project If Something Is Unclear. If a project seems very complicated, ask how many hours they expect to spend working with you, how much money they expect to spend working with you, or if they have a budget in mind at all.

Don’t Be Afraid To Say “No”; if a job isn’t right for you (and don’t feel bad about it)! The more selective and discerning you are about choosing jobs as a beginner freelancer, the more likely it is that your first few clients will be great ones who appreciate your work and want to work with you again in the future!

How To Find Work

The first step to finding freelance programming work is a simple one: decide how you want to find your work. The most common avenues are online programming sites, freelance job sites, local job sites, advertising, recommendations, personal website, and coding competitions.

The first three options are most frequently associated with web development and software engineering opportunities:

Online programming sites are platforms where potential clients can post projects for programmers to bid on. Generally speaking, the client submits a description of the project that includes details about the budget and deadline. Programmers then submit proposals outlining their qualifications for the position. 

Each site is different in terms of how it operates; some allow clients to choose whomever they want for their project based on bid costs or reviews from previous clients while others automatically assign a programmer based on pre-determined algorithms that take into account factors like hiring history and project success rate.

Freelance job sites tend to offer more opportunities than other types of websites because they cater specifically to freelancers looking for remote jobs—as opposed to being only open to applicants who are seeking employment within commuting distance of their physical location (local job boards) or primarily designed as platforms facilitating interaction between programmers working at tech companies (on-line programming). 

The downside is that the competition is usually more fierce because freelancers across the globe have access to those listings rather than just those in a certain area.

Local job boards are ideal if you prefer working locally so you can meet with your client face-to-face or simply enjoy being able to commute less than two hours each day instead of five or six when remote jobs come up often enough.

Advertising as well as recommendations from friends/peers/colleagues/managers can also occasionally lead us down creative avenues we didn’t know were possible.

A lot of web developers today are freelancing, but finding clients is never easy. Here are some sites that may be worth checking out:


Behance is a portfolio-sharing site, but it can also be used to find freelance work.

If you are a designer who’s just starting out, getting noticed on Behance is your best bet for landing a gig. The good thing about the site is that it’s not just limited to web design jobs—you can find work in any field. This makes it an excellent site for finding jobs as well as being inspired by the works of other people in your field.

The site has been around since 2006, and although not all projects posted on the site come with monetary compensation, there are still tons of opportunities to look through and lots of contests you can enter that could net you some serious cash if you win.


One of the best places to look for freelance programming jobs is Codeable. If you’re a professional WordPress developer, this is a wonderful place to find work. It’s also great for business owners looking for quality developers who can get the job done fast and right.

Codeable’s team vets all freelancers to ensure they are highly skilled, so only 2% of applicants make it through the screening process—and that’s just fine with them. They want to keep the number of available developers low enough that those who are in their network can get plenty of work without having to compete with too many other programmers. 

Another perk: Codeable enforces strict time limits on projects, so you know exactly how long it will take you or your hired gun to complete each project. And because there’s a strict cap on projects (no more than 20 at any given time), freelancers never have to worry about taking on too much work at once.


Freelancer.com is a good place for beginners to start, especially if you’re trying to find that first client or earn a couple of dollars on the side. For example, I began my freelancing career with some very simple programming jobs on this site.

It does have one downside though: clients sometimes look for very specific skill sets instead of more general skills like writing or web design. This means there’s less work available if you don’t know how to code in Python or program ImageMagick filters.


Freelance.com is a website that allows you to bid on freelance jobs in various categories, including programming. When you sign up for the site, you’ll choose your areas of expertise and set up a profile describing your skills in detail. You will also be asked to upload samples of your work. The more complete and polished your profile is, the better the chances are that clients will notice you.

As with any freelancer site, it’s important to have a strong portfolio of past work to show potential employers if you want them to consider hiring you. You can either enter links to websites or upload files directly through their client portal or send them by email as attachments (if it’s a large file).

You can search for jobs based on category and even get advice from other freelancers within the community through their forums section. They also allow clients to post positive feedback they receive from freelancers so potential clients can see how happy others have been with your services!


PeoplePerHour is a great place to begin your foray into the world of freelance programming. Even if you’ve never freelanced before, this site is incredibly easy to set up an account and start applying to jobs.

The best part about PeoplePerHour is how fast you can make money. If you’re looking for work, there are plenty of clients who will hire you right away and pay $50-$100 per hour (or more!). Many projects are short-term and can be completed within a day or two, so it’s possible to earn quite a bit in a hurry. 

The only catch is that most of the clients using this site are from England (the site originates from London) or the USA, so there may be hurdles such as time zone differences. Also, note that most jobs require English fluency, so it’s important to have strong skills in written and verbal communication if you want to use this platform for freelance programming work.


Upwork is one of the largest freelance programming websites in the world. At any given time, there are a large number of jobs available. Although there are some complaints from freelancers and clients that Upwork charges high fees, it is still seen as a good source for finding work, especially for beginners.

Since there are many jobs and many freelancers, it can be more time-consuming to find work on Upwork than on other freelance websites.


Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for creative and professional services. It began back in 2008 as a place for amateur web designers to sell their skills, which were then shared with the world by word of mouth. 

The site has since grown into a behemoth that hosts over one million gigs each month, offering approximately 5,000 freelance projects to choose from. Of course, not all are C-level programming gigs (which can cost up to $10 an hour), but there are plenty of opportunities to get help with design and writing—even if you’re just starting out. As it turns out, I’m in woefully inadequate need of assistance.


GitHub is a version control system and social networking site for software developers. If you’re new to the world of programming, that first sentence may have been like reading a foreign language. It’s okay! I will explain what is going on in non-programmer terms.

To use GitHub, you need to create an account. After creating an account, you will be able to upload code files and keep track of updates made by other people who also work on your projects.

Pricing Your Work

How to determine what to charge. There are two factors you need to keep in mind when pricing your work. The first is the number of hours it will take you to complete the project and the second is how much money you need per hour to cover your monthly expenses (this includes food, rent, utilities, transportation, and all other costs). 

As for the first, be sure that you are basing your estimate on past similar projects and not simply guessing at how long it might take. You can always offer a range when bidding on a project or provide an estimate of hours and then an upper limit that would be charged if the project takes longer due to unforeseen circumstances. 

As for determining how much money you need per hour, there are many articles out there with suggestions on how to calculate this figure based on your personal situation (just search “How Much Should I Charge Per Hour?”).

How To Bid On Jobs

When applying for a job, it’s important not to bite off more than you can chew. Be sure that before bidding you know exactly what skills employers require and only apply if they match yours perfectly. 

It’s important not just because applicants who don’t have these skills will be rejected immediately but also because employers will often ask questions about specific topics in order to vet candidates even before considering their bids so being prepared here saves time later down the road as well as ensuring quality output from contractors who understand what’s being asked of them 100% of the time without having any guesswork involved whatsoever which increases chances getting paid after completing work too!

 Also, keep track of all open applications by saving them somewhere safe like Google Drive or Dropbox so if an employer contact one day later asking about something related then its easy to find those details again quickly without searching through emails again unnecessarily wasting precious time wasted searching emails instead doing actual productive things like answering phones calls making sales calls etcetera so make sure always organize files properly especially freelancers since this helps avoid confusion later down the road too which means fewer headaches

Managing A Freelancing Job

As we’ve already discussed, managing a freelance job as a beginner can be tricky. Even if you’ve been working long enough to know your way around the software you’re using, circumstances can change quickly. It is possible to lose your clients if you don’t keep them (or yourself) on your toes. 

Having said that, you can make sure that your freelance career is productive and secure by following these guidelines:

Set up a system where you document each of your projects in its own file and update it frequently so that you always have an accurate record of what’s going on at any time.

Don’t forget to communicate with your clients regularly so they don’t get anxious about being forgotten or not getting their updates in time. Remember that even though it may feel like they aren’t paying attention to what’s going on, they are often watching you very closely! If something happens and prevents you from finishing work for a client, have a backup plan ready so that the client doesn’t feel cheated or insulted.

Have something ready—it will help both parties get through the problem faster rather than having to wait for months or years for their project to be finished again.

Know how much time it takes for each project and stick to it—this will make sure that within reason everything gets done within reasonable deadlines. You can use project management tools (like Trello) for this purpose.

Develop good habits about self-management which will reduce stress levels, increase productivity and also prevent burnout due to repetitive tasks or too many projects going at once rather than being spread out over regular intervals over time (see point 3).

Other considerations

Once you’ve done your research and learned what to expect from these sites, there are some additional things to consider before you get started.

Taxes. There is no employer withholding tax for freelance programming work, which means that taxes are the responsibility of the freelancer. Because of this, you should plan on setting aside some money each month to pay quarterly estimated taxes. If you don’t do this, then come tax season you could be hit with penalties and interest.

Time management. It’s great to be your own boss when it comes to working as a freelancer, but it also means that you’re responsible for making sure that you manage your time well so that you aren’t missing deadlines or spending too much time on one project because the next one has been put on hold until more questions are answered by the client. Both of these things could cost you money and make clients less likely to work with you again in the future.

Freelance Programming Takes Some Skill, But There Are Many Other Factors That Will Determine Your Success

To be a successful freelancer, you’ll need to have many skills in addition to the programming skill itself. The ability to code is absolutely necessary, but on its own, it’s not enough to ensure success and satisfaction. You may be able to write a program that functions exactly as desired, but if you can’t present yourself or your work in a professional way, you’ll struggle to find clients. 

You don’t necessarily have to be an extrovert, but you will need good communication skills. You’ll need project management skills. Do you excel at setting timelines? Can you get work done on time? Are you organized? Can you handle stress? Do you know how much of your time will go into marketing and building relationships with clients versus actually working on projects? 

Will there be times when your workload is too light or intense for certain periods of time? While it would make this article more enjoyable if I was able to give a step-by-step guide on how one can learn these necessary skills (and then master them), this isn’t possible because each person has their own strengths and weaknesses as well as different life experiences that affect their abilities.

Final Thoughts

Well, that just about wraps it up! Even if you’re not the most technologically-savvy person out there, getting a profile on one or two of the major freelance programming websites is by no means out of reach. It will likely take some time to make your way up the platforms and establish a reputation, but with hard work and dedication, the sky’s the limit for you—and don’t forget to have fun along the way!

People Also Ask

What Is A Freelance Programming WebSite?

When you have a programming job you want to work on, you go to a freelance programming website. You post your requirements (what you need) and the site connects you with freelancers (who are experts at programming). 

You can choose someone whose requirements best match yours. For example, if you need a programmer who knows how to build an eCommerce website, but you aren’t sure how much it will cost, you can look at the freelancers’ profiles, which tell you how much they charge and what their experience is.

If there is no freelancer on the website who meets all your requirements, you can still post your project on the site and hire a freelancer who might be able to help. You pay the freelancer directly and you decide how much the job costs.

How Do I Know Which Freelance Programming Sites To Use?

That’s a great question! There are a lot of freelance programming web sites to choose from. Some of them are tailored for more specific audiences, and some of them have different support systems in place. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Freelancer; This site seems to be geared more toward larger businesses and agencies, so it doesn’t offer as many opportunities for smaller jobs or short-term work. A freelancer is good if you’re looking for a career change and want to find a long-term contract that will lead to full-time employment. You might also check out Freelancer if you want to work with an international team.

Freelance Switch; This one comes in at number two because it’s geared toward smaller employers and freelancers. It’s also a great place to get started with HTML/CSS if you’re just learning how to code. If you’re looking for local gigs, look here first!

Elance; Another great option for smaller employers and freelancers, Elance has been around since 1999 and is still going strong today. This site gives you the opportunity to build your own portfolio, or “résumé,” so people can see sample work

I Want To Get Some Freelance Programming Jobs, But I Don’t Know Where To Start

You’re in luck. Freelance programming jobs are a great way to make money. The challenge for anyone new to the field is finding where the jobs are and that’s what we at Stack Overflow are here for! Whether you’re looking for a quick buck or trying to build an ongoing side-hustle, we’ve got resources that will help you get started and help you be successful when you do.

Want To Make Money Writing Code But Don’t Know Where To Start?

First, you sign up for a freelance programming website. These websites allow people who need work done to hire coders that they think can get the job done. It’s a system where businesses post what they want and coders apply for that specific job. 

This might be intimidating at first, but it’s actually pretty simple. You’ll register on the site, and then search for jobs that are posted by businesses (usually other companies or startups) that could use your skills or pay you for your time. Then you simply apply! That’s really all there is to it.

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