Establishing a strong brand online has become a top priority for today's small businesses, a situation that can help savvy web developers thrive.
GoDaddy recently commissioned a survey of 1,500 web professionals in the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, Germany, India and Mexico to gauge how they were faring. According to the study, conducted by Evans Data, business is booming.
Among web developers and designers, 79 percent said they had attained client growth of at least 25 percent per year. Over a third reported growth rates of 50 percent or more.
Most web developers haven't been at it for very long, but they are already pulling in some serious cash. Nearly 50 percent of web developers and designers have been plying their trade for five years or less. Most reported revenue of at least $250,000 and a third have surpassed the half-million-dollar mark.
In short, it's a good time to be a web developer who caters to the small business community.
“As SMBs [small and midsized businesses] increasingly look for ways to grow their online presence, web developers can move from typical design and build services to support and marketing types of services," said Vladimir Prelovac, Senior Director Product Management, head of Web Pro at GoDaddy, noting that a plethora of services like his company's own offerings make it easier for web developers to manage their workloads and save time.
"Additionally, the research reveals that growth is currently highest in retail, travel, and health sectors - knowing this can both benefit new web developers looking to jumpstart their careers, or experienced developers looking to target specific industries," Prelovac continued.
Helping SMBs Boost Sales and Provide Support
Generally, small businesses are looking to the web to help them sell new services (40 percent) and provide support (31 percent) to existing clients. Of course, many are on the search for new clients (21 percent) while others want to resell third-party products and services (seven percent).
In the U.S., technical, project management and business skills are key to success as a web developer. In Germany and the U.K., creativity, technical acumen and the ability to manage clients are considered the most valuable skills. Creativity is also the top skill in Brazil in Mexico while India, like the U.S., values technical expertise.
There are also regional differences in how web professionals work.
In Germany, India and the U.K., web developers and designers were likely to get their jobs done in an outside office. In the U.S., most reported (72 percent) that they worked from home.
As far as communicating with clients goes, a majority (56 percent) of web developers and designers in the U.S. use so-called "new tools" like Slack and video messaging applications like Skype. Somewhat unsurprisingly, email remains the top collaboration tool in other regions. In Mexico and India, only a third use new tools to keep in touch with clients.
Don't discount face-to-face meetings, however. Across all regions, nearly a fifth (18.7 percent) of all respondents said they commonly communicated with their clients in-person.
Tools of the Trade
The GoDaddy survey also highlights some of the most sought-after technologies used to create small business websites.
E-commerce capabilities are in-demand, with online store functionality ranking as the top request from clients, followed by email and payments processing. Google Analytics, Facebook and WordPress were among the most widely used products and services for client websites.
But ask web developers about their most valuable tool, and many are likely to point to a full cup of coffee.
Instant coffee is a favorite, followed by a frothy cappuccino. Plain black coffee takes third place, and the pick-me-up provided by a quick shot of espresso has helped many a web coder make it through the day.