PHP is a very popular scripting language and a lot of dynamic websites are written with PHP code. Because the PHP language is very easy to learn and the Internet is full of useful PHP tutorials, this is a great opportunity to offer services as PHP freelancer.
What do you need to start as a PHP freelancer?
The only investment you need to make is a laptop. You can save a lot of money by using Ubuntu or other open source software. You will also need a hosting account or your own web server. If your hosting budget is low, start with a reseller shared web hosting account. It will be easier to sell your services if you also offer to host websites for your customers.
How to get customers?
How to get paid work is one of the biggest questions new programmers ask. You will first need a website so potential customers can read about your skills. Write articles or blog about your work. Providing basic tutorials and code samples will draw traffic to your site as well as help to convince potential customers that you have the skills to complete their project.
Look around you, which of the local companies having a website? Contact those companies with an old or less professional website. You can build a lot of (smaller) websites with WordPress. With WordPress you can offer a website including CMS for a low budget too. Don’t spend a lot of time if a company doesn’t have a website at this moment, you’re probably not the first PHP developer offering them a website.
PHP Freelance marketplaces
There are many freelance marketplaces on the Internet. The following sites are the most active freelance sites:
The biggest freelance market online. I recommend that you start here.
Another great marketplace with new projects every day and qualified freelance programmers.
A Dutch freelance marketplace with a lot of activity and great projects to bid on.
Most freelance marketplace offer a free membership and premium (paid) memberships. My suggestion is to go for a premium membership, otherwise you will have to wait ~24 hours before you can place a bid on projects. The “better” freelance marketplaces also offer safer payment options like escrowed transactions.
How to bid on freelance job offers
Join several PHP freelance marketplaces and finish your profile first. The profile information is essential, because your potential customer has only access to your (limited profile). Include some “sales” information and teasers if you post a bid. You will notice very low bids even for bigger projects, ignore them and post your bid if the project and budget are attractive. Maybe you can bid in the beginning a bit lower than normal to build some reputation points. Don’t be discouraged if your bids are unsuccessful at first. Check your profile and compare your offers to winning bids. Try to improve your profile and bids before giving up on a marketplace.
The PHP scripting language is a good basis for your freelance business because you do not have to purchase expensive software. It is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world; so chances are good that if you get stuck, you will be able to find help online.