Is there any opportunity in owning my own business in web development?

There are CMSs like Wordpress and website builders like Wix that make development easily for those who cannot code.

Most of what is on upwork revolves around Wordpress, which I have no interest in.

Are there still opoortunities to succeed in web dev as an entrepreneur?

  1. Easy is doing a helluva lot of work in that first paragraph. Easy to do what? Lots of businesses (or other organizations) want some kind of web application that does a business-specific task, not just a postcard advertising site with “about” and “contact me” pages, or a blog.
  2. If they do want the latter, sure, someone can generate a [normally pretty awful looking] site using a site builder tool. But lots of businesses tend to prefer hiring professionals to produce a business-specific tool or product.
  3. In the past six months I’ve done two rooms in the house. Kitchen has taken weeks, with my partner and both doing stuff when we had time. But the hall/stairwell/landing were done in two days. Hiring people to perform skilled work is efficient
  4. Building software is building a product, end users don’t normally care what tool was used to build it. If they do, it’s normally to ensure that it’s maintainable by someone and that it interoperates with existing software and that it from fulfils some business need.
  5. Most of the work for things that make money is definitely not putting together a basic website.

Note Upwork et al primarily exist to make money for the people who own Upwork rather than freelancers.


So do you think a sole developer (me) can start my own web dev business and it thrive? Do you not think the competition is too much?

What about making a living off of a web dev business?

Depends on your competitors. Why does wordpress hold no interest?

With the caveat that most businesses fail, so it is likely it will fail at some point: sure. As a developer, freelance or contract or whatever, you create value (directly or indirectly) for the entity that employs you by building web-facing tools. So of course you can make a living, but it depends on having clients, and that depends on your contacts and on what you specialise in. Lots of people (generally companies) need the services of a developer to do {insert web-facing task}, so it’s not as if there are a lack of opportunities, it’s how you manage to find them that is generally the difficult part.

Edit: In terms of competition, if you are classifying freelancers on Upwork, Fiverr et al as that, you likely will not be able to thrive or make a living. Those sites may be useful for you to get a few projects under your belt, but generally beyond that you’d be competing with a capitalist machine designed to provide buyers with the absolute lowest possible price for services. They do that by having the producers compete with each other. What this causes is a glut of workers (from areas with very low average wages) doing piecework for below the cost of living. There’s no way you can really compete against that

I’d never say never, but I do think we all have to start with a passion/near obsession to be a successful entrepreneur in any industry. Only you can answer that as there is no safety net with most self-made business.

I do think there would be a market to truly bridge reactive apps and wordpress, which is technically what wordpress is trying to move towards. But that does require building a base of software developers.

Simple: Get job as a developer => Make good repo with clients while still in job. => Move to higher role and/or switch company. => Start your own company.
Don’t jump into sea directly, first experience waves at shore and then go for scuba-diving.

Expanding on what @DanCouper said, the only effective way to compete against the likes of Upwork and eLance is to make quality work. Take pride in your work, and quality will usually follow. The vast majority of work that comes out of these shops is of incredibly poor quality. You get what you pay for.