Freelance Web design can be a rewarding career path, allowing you to put your creativity to work and do so on your own schedule. And there are plenty of online tools to make your job easier, from marketplaces to sell your projects, to resource communities to download various design elements, to portfolio sites to help you showcase your work. Here are just some of the websites that make a great addition to any designer’s resource toolkit.
1 Best Choice For Inspiration: Dribbble
Dribbble is a designer community that allows you to showcase your work, get feedback from other designers and get hired. Web designers, graphic designers and typographers can upload screenshots of their projects, which show what they are currently working on. You can find designers by skills or location, or browse projects by type, tag or even color.
The website can act as your portfolio, but there are some limitations, such as the size of the images you can upload. It’s generally too small to show any real details of your project, although it can give fellow designers and clients a basic overview of your skills. Designers who are part of the Dribbble community comment on each other’s work, follow and favorite each other. You will have to pay $300 a month for a Pro account to be able to post job announcements on the site, while the basic designer account is free. Dribbble membership used to be by invite only, but that’s no longer the case.
2 Design Deck: www.designdeck.co.uk
Design Deck provides a large collection of free and premium PSD files and other resources for designers. The site has social media icon sets, UI kits, website templates, WordPress themes, fonts, login forms and pretty much anything else a designer might need.
You can buy packages of icons or Web elements for a set price, although the site has plenty of high-quality freebies available as well.
3 Behance: www.behance.net
Next to Dribbble, Behance is another popular portfolio site for freelance designers. It allows you to put together your own collections, browse and appreciate the projects of other designers, and organize your work. You can browse projects by categories like illustration, graphic design, motion graphics or Web design, among others.
You can also filter posts by location or check out the jobs that are featured, most appreciated or most viewed. The amount of appreciations the project received from fellow designers is shown as a thumbs up next to its description – an icon similar to the like button on Facebook. You can also filter projects by color, tools used to create it or the school the designer is part of. Clients who want to hire designers on Behance will have to pay $199 for a single 60-day job posting or $1,699 for 10 posts. The website states that brands like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Adobe all use its platform to hire creative talent.
4 Creative Market: creativemarket.com
Creative Market is a platform for independent designers to buy and sell their work, or download and share it for free. It has everything from 3D renters to icons to textures to fonts. You can get themes for pretty much any CMS platform here, including Joomla, WordPress, Tumblr and Drupal. Besides Web elements, the site also features print design items, such as fliers, magazines and stationary.
Designers who host their shops with Creative Market get to set their own prices and keep 70% of every sale. Unlike many other design marketplaces, Creative Market does not require for projects to undergo a review process before they are posted, and does not lock designers into any exclusivity restrictions. You currently need to request an invite to be able to start a shop with this digital marketplace.
5 Google Fonts: www.google.com
Google Fonts provides hundreds of open-source, free fonts, which are optimized for the Web. You can search fonts by family, thickness, width and slant, among other filters. The site also allows you to preview the fonts using one word, sentence or an entire paragraph, which can give you a great idea of what you are getting exactly before you choose to add the font to your collection.
Once you have finalized your font collection just the way you like it, Google will provide you with a code to easily add the collection to your website.
6 Code Canyon: codecanyon.net
You can also sign up to become an author and sell your digital products and stock via the marketplace. You’ll get 33% of the profits if you are a non-exclusive author and choose to sell your work through other sites besides the Envato group, or you can make 50% to 70% if you go through Envato alone, the rate increasing as your sales volume grows.
7 Deviant Art: www.deviantart.com
While the designs posted at Deviant Art are a mix of professional projects and amateur work, it is still worth becoming part of this community for any designer. You can interact with thousands of like-minded individuals, receive plenty of feedback on each one of your designs and find collaboration partners in this active creative community. The site’s Print Shop allows artists to also sell their work in categories like digital art, customization, and designs and interfaces, among others.
Buyers can browse the projects by subject, author, size or shape. You can order prints in different sizes here, or get a product like a T-shirt, greeting card or mug with the print on it. Basic members can only sell their designs according to the website price guide, and get 20% commission on each sale. Designers need to upgrade to premium membership to be able to adjust the price of their items and get several other benefits not available to free members. All prints must undergo an approval process before they are made available for sale in the Print Shop.