These days, technology and the Internet are both a part of our daily lives. It seems as though we're always connected to a digital device. Many businesses have learned to use this new digital marketplace to their advantage.
Succeeding in that digital marketplace starts with highly functional, engaging websites. In fact, in the year 2017 alone, there were over 200 million active websites on the Internet. As time goes on, that number will continue to grow.
The good news is that all of these websites need to be built by someone with the right skills. The development of a website has become an entire career field on its own. If you're interested in such a profession, there are specific skills that you need to possess.
This article aims to get you started on that career path. Continue reading to learn about the top five web developer skills you need to consider.
1. You Need To Have a Thorough Understanding of Programming Languages
If you aren't familiar with the difference, web development is not web design. If you're thinking about color schemes, branding strategies, or your favorite fonts, this is the wrong position for you. Web development involves the function of a website.
In other words, a web developer programs the website itself - behind the scenes. (A web designer would then add all of their content marketing once you build the site.)
To be a successful web developer, you need to be great at coding just like any other software engineer. For web development, though, there are certain programming languages you can focus on. These programming languages are referred to as "front end" languages (as opposed to "back end" languages used in software development).
2. To Stand Out, Prioritize Your Dedication To Customer Service
In today's online market, it's easy to find someone who's able to build a website. If you really want to be serious as a web developer, you need to be strategic in order to stand out amongst your competitors.
Technical skills will only get you so far with customers. You also need to possess "soft skills," such as customer service, to make a genuine impression on potential clients.
Show that you're dedicated to solving your clients' true needs for a website. Trust that businesses will be looking for web developers who possess these soft skills. Developing that sense of trust is crucial so that web developers can get the client's website just right.
Read more here about what businesses will be expecting from web developers they hire. Remember that you need to invest in your personal brand to succeed as a web developer. One sure way to do that is by making every potential client feel like your top priority.
3. Be Able To Work with Major Content Management Systems
Not every website is built from scratch. A lot of the times, competent web developers will customize templates on content management systems.
Perhaps you're familiar with content management systems such as WordPress or Squarespace. Anyone can use these systems, but you'll need to be able to thoroughly understand them if you want those projects.
Sometimes, a business will want their site to be hosted on a content management system. At the same time, they'll want their website to be perfectly customized to suit their function needs. It'll be up to you to tweak a content management system accordingly.
4. Focus Your Web Developer Skills and Services
As important as it is to understand programming and content management systems, consider this. It's a good idea to focus your web development skills on a specific niche. A web development niche can be anything - from a specific industry to a specific technology.
Perhaps there is a certain industry with which you would like to work. Many web developers specialize in websites within the healthcare industry, for example. Over time, they develop skills and habits that are particularly successful in that field.
Web developers can also specialize in the kind of technology and software they use. You can be an expert at working with WordPress, for example. The good thing is that the more you work with one technology like this, the better you will get at it.
Whatever web development niche you choose, make sure to focus your marketing to relevant clients and projects. Once you start to establish a trusted reputation in your niche, the word will spread. Previous clients are the best references to new ones, after all.
5. Be Familiar with Digital Marketing Strategies
The last skill you need to consider is that of digital marketing strategies. No, you don't have to know every detail about optimizing social media marketing.
Instead, you need to remember those technologies when building a website. Then, you can optimize the programming to allow for interactive marketing strategies to function.
For example, many businesses will develop a blog on their website. When they want to publish blog articles, they'll likely want to easily link those articles to social media posts. When you're designing their website, it's important for you to realize their end game.
If you don't consider the business's future plans with their website, you'll likely fail at meeting your client's needs. That's why it's important to have thorough conversations with potential clients ahead of time about their expectations. You can then develop a perfect website accordingly.
Find Web Developer Jobs Throughout the Country
As you likely know, possessing the right web developer skills is only part of the process. To really establish yourself as a web developer, you need to get some experience.
Don't be afraid to really put yourself out there when you first start down this career path. Once you have the skills, you should be willing to apply to any related positions available. We encourage you to search for applicable jobs in web development as soon as possible.