Web Design Skills – What You Need to be a Freelance Web Designer

I wanted the list the skills/technologies and general know-how required to be an effective freelance web designer. In truth it’s not easy as you need more skills in one body than is reasonable.

I’ve written an article about this – please visit “So You Wanna Be/Employ A Freelance Web Designer” for a cut-down list with examples.

But here I’ll list each skill as a bullet point without explanation – visit the above page for more details on the most critical items.

If You Want To Be A Freelance Web Designer

So how can you use this list? Well, if you want to be a freelance web designer you could use it as a starting point for the skills and technologies you’ll need to know.

If You’re Hiring a Freelance Web Designer

If you are about to hire a web designer, you might want to read this web design skills article and then see if you still think they’ll do a good job for you.

The List

Mark Up Languages

  1. XHTML
  2. CSS
  3. XML
  4. XSLT
  5. RSS

Browser Issues and Techniques

  1. Browser Detection
  2. Browser Differences
  3. Screen Resolutions
  4. Page Size
  5. Cookies
  6. Maintaining Context
  7. Forms Validation
  8. Forms Hijacking

Web Authoring Skills

  1. Accessibility
  2. Web Page Templates
  3. Content Management

The Server

  1. FTP
  2. Choosing a Host
  3. Hosting
  4. Site Certificates
  5. Apache Web Server
  6. Server Security
  7. Data Encryption
  8. Server Side Scripting
  9. Dedicated Servers
  10. Virtual Servers
  11. DNS Servers
  12. URL Rewriting
  13. Database Backup


  1. Copywriting
  2. Sales Copy
  3. Article Writing
  4. Call to Action

Page Navigation

  1. Menus
  2. Internal Linking
  3. Site Maps
  4. Web 2.0 Style Navigation

Visual Skills

  1. Art Work and animation
  2. Graphics Sources
  3. Flash Technology
  4. Image Size/Weight
  5. Video Streaming
  6. Web 2.0 Styling

Software Skills

  1. 3rd Party software integration
  2. Testing

Internet Marketing Skills and Terms

  1. On Page Search Engine Optimisation
  2. Pay Per Click Advertising
  3. Page Rank
  4. Alexa Ratings
  5. Affiliate Marketing
  6. Directories
  7. DMOZ
  8. Social Media Sites

Programming Skills/Technologies

  1. PHP
  2. ASP
  3. Java
  4. Regular Expressions
  5. Javascript
  6. AJAX
  7. DHTML
  8. Session Variables
  9. Server Variables
  10. Templating
  11. PHP (or other) Frameworks

Domain Names

  1. Domain Name Purchase
  2. Domain Name Registration
  3. Domain Name Renewal

Social Media

  1. Forums
  2. Blogs
  3. Podcasts
  4. WIKIs
  5. Mash Ups
  6. Web Services
  7. Payment Gateways
  8. Tag Clouds
  9. Content Sites
  10. Bookmarking Sites

Database Skills

  1. MySQL
  2. Database Design
  3. Database Maintenance

Email Skills

  1. Email Marketing
  2. Auto Responders
  3. Auto Forwarding
  4. Distribution Lists
  5. Email Aliases


  1. Site Statistics
  2. Google Analytics


  1. http://Liz%20Jamieson says

    Thanks for dropping by Bush. I think though its easier for you or I to learn to do some simple design (ok not the lush complicated stuff some designers produce), than for a pure graphic designer to code well. Don’t you think?

  2. Very comprehensive post you have here. Personally, I think I’d trade in my programming skills to have an artist’s eye.