TLDR: I’m writing this topic because I feel alone in an area somewhere between design and web development and I don’t know which career path to choose.
I recently graduated from university (Computer Science), but because I want a different career path I’m currently focusing on webdesign and web development. Before starting university I also build some websites, which at that time included HTML4, CSS2, PHP, MySQL, SEO, analytics, basic CMS development (from scratch), and designing full website layouts (in Photoshop/Illustrator for example) and logo’s. My dream was to be a freelance web designer and in the back of my mind this dream hasn’t changed but I feel like the world has changed so much that I don’t know where I fit in anymore.
Most web designers these days seem to use frameworks such as SquareSpace/ WebFlow/ WordPress for development of their designs. To be honest, I don’t know much about any of these but it feels weird to rely on such tools while I know how to code? But will I be able to build something that is better all by myself? And what about content management?
Currently, I have my first potential client (a friend) who has self-build static WordPress site, but wants me to build a new website that contains less bugs and design flaws and has better SEO. Building a static website is no problem for me and I’m also interested to learn modern SEO techniques. But why is SEO never mentioned as being part of web development path? Learning SEO feels like leaving the ‘path’, even though I’m not following any clear path. And again, what about content management how to realize this for my client and why isn’t this also on the ‘web development path’?
I feel like I have three options:
- Focus on a freelance career as both a designer and developer and hope for the best in regard to finding clients. I believe this includes learning SEO, WordPress or other CMS tool (?), ‘business/social skills’, having a portfolio site and start building websites for clients as soon as possible.
- Continue learning (front-end) web development and apply for a (remote) dev job.
- Learn everything in the Adobe Suite/ Figma/ Sketch, build a portfolio and apply for a (remote) design job.
I want to start generating income at least within 5 months from now (either as freelancer or employed somewhere), but this combination of design and development seems very difficult to find/realize. Any ideas?