Skills every freelance web developer needs

Becoming a freelance web developer Edinburgh or wherever you are local is a very lucrative job that does not take an enormous amount of education. Knowing how to develop websites can free you up to go down many paths. You will have higher pay, creative work and a flexible schedule. What more could you want?

There are many types of web developers out there, one of them being a front end developer. These people are in charge of developing code for websites using the building blocks of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. To put things plainly, they are the people who are taking a design and are developing it into a website from scratch. This could be you! Here are some of the skills every freelance web developer needs.

freelance web developer computer screenKnowledge of HTML and/or CSS

You will need to be proficient in this language. HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the standard markup language used to make web pages. It is a way for you to make notes in a digital-only document that can be figured out from the regular text. You can consider HTML as the building block of coding. On the other hand, you have CSS, which stands for cascading style sheets. This is the language used to present the document you created with HTML. You need HTML and CSS together. Where you have HTML, you have CSS. HTML is the first thing because it is the foundation and CSS is used to create the page layout, color, fonts and basically the whole style of the webpage.

Javascript and/or JQuery

Javascript is the official programming language of your webpage while HTML is the markup language and CSS is the style sheet language. When you are trying to implement things on your webpage like audio and video, games, scrolling abilities and page animations, you will need to know Javascript in order to do this. You may not have to construct everything from scratch for this because of libraries like jQuery. This is just a collection of plugins and extensions that make it faster and easier to use Javascript on your website.

CSS and Javascript frameworks

Frameworks for these two coding languages are just as crucial as the languages themselves. Simply put they are collections of CSS or JS files that do some of the work for you by providing the common functionality as opposed to starting with an empty text document. Be cognizant of picking the right framework for the type of website you are building. You may need one that is great for complex interfaces while you may need another one that is great for showing all the content on your site. You can even do a mixture of many frameworks. It all depends on what you need and what you are looking for.

CSS preprocessing

All this does is make your life simpler when you are coding. When you use a preprocessor you essentially are able to write code in the preprocessor’s language. This allows you to do things that may have been tedious had you been using just CSS plainly. It will then convert that code to CSS so it will properly show up on your website.

Version control and GIT

Version control allows you to easily track any changes to your source code. That way you do not have to start from scratch if something goes wrong while you are coding a webpage. The version control software allows you to go back to your previous version of work. You are able to uncover what went wrong without having to cause the whole thing to come crashing.

Responsive design

As a web developer, you want to make sure that any web design that you do looks good no matter what device you are using to view the webpage. That is where responsive design comes into play. Responsive design adjusts your webpages to the device you are using without your users having to do anything.

Testing and debugging

A good freelance web developer understands the importance of testing the functionality of their web pages. You want to make sure that everything is running smoothly and you do not have any bugs messing up your page. Testing and debugging your page will help keep things moving smoothly.

You need to know about functional testing, which looks at a sliver of the functionality on your site. It ensures that it is doing everything you codded it to do. On the other hand, you may also need to be familiar with unit testing, which tests a little bit of code that is responsible for one big thing on your site. This test makes sure it is operating correctly.