As a web developer, there are different ways to make money, from freelancing to working in the office on a regular job. In this article, we will discuss some ways a web developer can earn money and tips to become successful in the field.

When I started writing this article, I wanted to write about jobs for PHP developers. As I began doing research for this topic, I realized that there were many options open to developers of various backgrounds (not just PHP) and of different skill levels.

I just want you to keep in mind that, if you are a PHP dev, then it will be much easier for you to make money compared to some other programming languages. Because there are so many businesses built on PHP-based platforms and developers are in a high demand.

Anyway, it doesn't mean that you won't succeed as a Java dev or Ruby on Rails developer. There are many ways you can make money, and programming language is not always a determined factor here. It is more about the individual's skills and passions.

10 Ways to make money in Web development

Here are 10 ways how you can make money as a web developer:

  1. Work as a freelancer;
  2. Become a content creator;
  3. Work on open-source;
  4. Work on a SaaS product;
  5. Doing code reviews;
  6. Teach people how to code;
  7. Sell PHP Scripts;
  8. Offer consulting services;
  9. Work as a back-end developer;
  10. Offer consulting services;

Let's look at these 10 ways in more detail:

1. Work as a freelancer

There are many ways to make money in web development, and freelancing is one of the most popular. Freelancing can be great for people who want to work on a flexible schedule and are comfortable working remotely.

In 2017, I jumped into freelancing right away because I couldn't work in the office for personal reasons. I worked a few projects here and there while I built up my experience and found my first full-time job there.

I was working with one client at that time, and he would send me requirements every week and I would build out the corresponding functionality. The job wasn't very challenging, but it was good practice for me while I was elevating my web development skills. I got paid from $10 to $12 per hour, and I was grateful for the opportunity to gain some experience doing this type of work and have money to pay the bills.

The more work I did for the client, the more he trusted me and was willing to give me more complex projects to work on. This really helped me grow as a web developer and gave me the confidence to move forward and learn other programming languages, technologies, and frameworks.

After some time, I was hired by that client's company to work daily by the contract for 1 year. At the end of the day, I worked in that company for more than 4 years. But it all started by freelancing and getting myself established in the industry.

If you truly enjoy coding, and you are confident in your skills, then freelancing is a great option for making money as a web developer. You don't know what the client you will meet, maybe they will be demanding and difficult to work with, or maybe they will be very nice and understanding. But you will never know until you give it a try!

2. Become a content creator

Content creating means creating content online like videos, articles, blog posts, etc. People often think that it is just coming up with an idea for a blog post or a video and making it. That's not true! Content creation is much more than that. The content you create needs to cover various topics and should be useful and engaging to the audience.

You can start streaming on Twitch or YouTube, start a podcast, create your own website or blog. There are many ways to create your own content. It's just a matter of finding your niche. I recommend picking something that you enjoy, so you won't feel like you're working all the time, and you will be able to create quality content.

For web development, you can make content where you share your experience learning new technologies. Or you can stream how you work on open-source, help others solve their issues. You don't need a lot of equipment, software, or anything else to create a live stream. All you need is a computer and a good Internet connection, and you can get started right away. The great thing about content creation is that you can make money from it without ever having to look for clients, clients will find you instead.

If you want to start a personal blog and write posts, I would highly recommend learning touch typing. It will help you to write faster and eliminate many mistakes while writing. Moreover, it will help you to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. I know many people are put off by the idea of learning touch typing, but trust me, it will make your life so much easier once you learn it.

Learn how to write good content and start your blog. You can even create posts and stories to Instagram and TikTok daily on programming topics. In the era of social media, creating your own content is a great way to reach people and create opportunities for yourself. And remember this quote:

People want to do business with you because you help them get what they want. They don’t do business with you to help you get what you want.

Don Crowther
Photo of Don Crowther

It's probably not going to generate lots of money for you from the start, but you'll definitely learn a lot and make new connections that can help you in the future. Money will come later when you start gaining more subscribers and followers. With more followers, you can start thinking about ways to monetize your content, such as offering courses and e-books, and becoming a teacher.

3. Work on open-source

Many people think that open-source is all about sharing code for free. Indeed, that is precisely what open-source stands for.

Sharing knowledge is the most fundamental act of friendship. Because it is a way you can give something without loosing something.

Richard Stallman
The photo of Richard Stallman

But it's not only coding, there are many things you can do with an open-source project to help grow your personal brand, increase your online presence and most importantly — generate revenue.

We have doesn't of examples of how people around the world use open-source to generate money and build their brands. Great examples are Taylor Otwell (Laravel), Evan You (Vue.js), Linus Torvalds (Linux), Bob Young (Red Hat), and Pippin Williamson (WordPress plugins) and many more. These great developers have created products based on the open-source that they developed.

Nowadays, it is much easier to make money with open-source than a few years ago. There are companies dedicated to helping developers and product owners turn open-source projects into revenue generating businesses. Not only that, you can also be sponsored on GitHub or you can create a Patreon account. These are great options if you want to keep the control of your work and want to make sure that people are paying you for your contribution.

The most important thing in making money with open-source is to create a product which solves a problem for people and makes their lives easier. People will give you money if they are sure that their money will improve the product they are using, and they will continue to use it in the future.

The difficult part is that you need to know what tool to create and what problem you are trying to solve. That’s why doing research and finding a problem is the first step you need to take to generate income from an open-source project. Make a research and try to find a real need for your product in the market and then find a solution for it. 

4. Work on a SaaS product

Software as a service (SaaS) is a model in which the service provided is delivered to the customer over the Internet on a software-as-a-service basis, typically as a monthly software subscription or other licensing structure. The most common form of SaaS products are web applications, which can be accessed from any web browser using a standard Internet connection.

The example of SaaS product can be Dropbox, Slack, GitHub or basically any software application that allows you to perform a task over the Internet without having to install the application on your computer. The main advantage of using SaaS products is that they allow users to access their applications from anywhere and from any device, as long as they have access to an Internet connection.

If you're planning to create a SaaS application, you need to pick the right technology stack to develop your application. Whichever language you choose, make sure that it has a good community behind it and a good documentation.

You should also know that creating a good SaaS product also requires significant effort on the UX side to create an intuitive interface for your users that will make the whole experience easier for them. In my case, I always go with TypeScript as my main programming language for the frontend. But do what works best for you!

One of the first steps is to make a simple landing page with a description of your product and what it does, don't forget to explain what makes your solution better than your competitors' one. The best example of a great landing page is GitHub. Go to a home page of GitHub in private window and notice how beautiful and informative everything looks.

GitHub main page

This is a perfect example of a landing page for a SaaS product because you can see at first glance what the product does and what features it offers.

Of course, you can build something simpler if you're just starting out. If you just want to test your idea or just want to get some feedback about it, you can do it with a simple landing page like the one I've built for a restaurant website a couple of years ago.

Home page of the serhii cho project

It's pretty basic, but at the same time looks professional with the background image of the restaurant, which is random for different visitors. Here is the link to a full-page screenshot if you're interested.

There you go! That is the other way to make money in web development. You can create a SaaS product for yourself or for your clients, depending on what you're best at doing. And if you would rather not build an entire app on your own, you can hire a developer to help you with this task or offer to your friends.

5. Doing code reviews

A code review is a set of actions that analyze someone else's code to identify issues, bugs, or inefficiencies in the code. It's often used for beginners to prevent pushing bad code to the repository and providing their clients with something that's not working as expected. Moreover, it's a great way to learn how to write clean code properly and avoid common mistakes.

Code reviews are more suitable for people who tired of coding and want to look at the high-level architecture of applications rather than implementing things by yourself. However, if you are more experienced, you can do code reviews for less experienced developers to prevent them from making the same mistakes you did in the past.

Code review in action

For some developers, it might seem as a great way to earn some money on the side. But it requires a lot of dedication, following a certain schedule, and delivering high-quality work on time. All in all, it's not the easiest way to earn some money if your goal is to do it full-time.

There is actually lots of demand for code reviews in our industry, so it's really possible to make a good living by doing this. My advice will be to do this job if you adore it and can spend a lot of time learning about certain technologies. Because if you don't, it will be difficult to keep it up for very long, you might just burn yourself out and eventually lose interest altogether.

6. Teach people how to code

Teaching someone is a great way to not only pass on your knowledge, but also expand your skills in the process. This is a great option for people who enjoy helping others and are passionate about programming. If you want to become a full-time teacher and strengthen your knowledge, this is the way to go.

People learn the most when teaching others.

Peter Drucker
Photo of Peter Drucker

What you'll need to become a teacher is experience and knowledge of the subject you are teaching. The more professional you are, the easier it will be to make people trust you.

There are platforms like Udemy, YouTube and Skillshare where you can teach online courses on a wide variety of topics and earn a bit of money on the side. But it's not a steady income by any means — you will only get a portion of the course price. Plus, you need to promote your course to attract students, which can be time-consuming.

Don't confuse the content creator with a teacher. Even though it has some similarities, the role of a content creator is different from a teacher and for the most part, they are different jobs. For example, if you are a YouTuber who creates tutorials about programming, your viewers are not your students, they are just your audience that watches your videos.

The best way to teach people and make money, in my opinion, is by building your own website where you offer free courses and tutorials on specific subjects. That way you can earn a higher income since you retain all the profits yourself.

The only drawback is that you need to put a lot of time and effort into building your site and promoting your content. You'll have to create a lot of content to build an audience that trusts you as a teacher. But once that happens, you can easily sell your courses and make a decent profit.

Provide useful content on a subject that you are knowledgeable about. Publish it on your website and offer it as free or paid content. You can mix free content with your paid material to generate more income.

Let's say you wrote a book about the Go language, a language that many people are eager to learn but can't find enough information about it online. You could write a blog post about some aspects of the language and publish it on your website. In the center and at the end of the article, you could include a nice link with image to your course.

If your blog post contains valuable information, most of them will click your link and buy your course if they are keen to learn more. Of course, there are many ways to promote your our books and courses online, but this is a great place to start!

7. Sell PHP Scripts

This way is mostly for PHP developers, just because PHP is so big on the web. Many clients look for pre-made PHP scripts to save time and build their sites faster. These can be anything from small e-commerce shops to large social network websites.

You can go to the PHP Scripts section on Code canyon, and you will find a variety of scripts available for purchase. These scripts have already been developed and tested by the creators so that all people have to do is purchase them and install on their sites.

PHP Scripts examples

You can sign up there and sell your scripts, WordPress plugins and themes to anyone. All payments are handled through the site, so you don’t have to worry about taking payments directly. If you browse this website, you can get an idea of the types of scripts that are being sold there, so you can get an idea what kind of scripts to sell.

And don't misunderstand me, I don't believe there are tons of buyers who will pay thousands for your script, which probably can be downloaded for free on GitHub. I'm just a believer in persistence, work ethic and the desire to be rewarded for what you build. If you write quality code and sell good scripts at a reasonable price, you will win many satisfied customers who will spread the word about your products.

People buy scripts that solve their problems and save their precious time all the time. If you have some unique PHP script and want to sell it – go for it, there are already many users on Code Canyon, and I’m sure you will sell a few of them if you have something good to offer.

But, like with everything in life, make research on selling PHP scripts before you begin this journey. There are many guides you can find on the Internet explaining all you need to know about making money by selling PHP scripts. Read some of them and learn how to be a successful seller.

8. Building chatbots

There are many clients out there that need chatbot developers to build bots for them. There is even a profession called: “chatbot developer”, which is pretty new and currently very popular in the tech community. The demand is high and if you can provide some unique solutions – you shouldn’t have problems finding clients!

You can easily find a project on platforms like Upwork and Freelancer. I can't promise you thousands of projects right away, but you shouldn't be worry about that if you know at least one backend programming language very well.

In her article “8 Changes Chatbots Will Bring to the Workplace”, Leslie Swanson mentions how chatbots will change the way we do business. She writes:

Chatbots will turn ecommerce sites upside down. No longer will users struggle with clunky catalogs on the web. As chatbots advise shoppers and provide recommendations, they will become the primary customer experience mode.

Leslie Swanson
The photo of Leslie Swanson

I've built several chatbots myself in the past years using Golang and PHP. Both programming languages are straightforward to learn, and they allow you to build a functioning bot in a small amount of time.

If you don't already have a chatbot of your own – you can build one by following my article “Telegram bot with BotMan and latest Laravel version”. This article is well detailed and easy to follow, so even if you are a beginner at building chatbots, you will still be able to build your bot by following this article step by step.

9. Work as a back-end developer

Back-end developers are responsible for everything that occurs behind the scenes on a website. They build everything that makes a website function properly – from database to server configuration, from application architecture to security.

To work as a back-end developer, you'll need a good grasp of both web development and server-side programming. You'll also need some experience working with a relational database, such as MySQL or PostgreSQL. If you don't have the experience yet, you can still find entry-level jobs that don't require much experience.

Backend developers working on project

To find a job in the office, you'll need to pass an interview where you have to show your technical and communication skills. I would recommend doing a bit of research about the organization beforehand, so you know what kind of questions they will ask during the interview.

You can also work remotely, like I did, which requires a little different set of skills. While working remotely allows you to enjoy more freedom and flexibility in your work schedule, you'll also need to have self-discipline and motivation to work by yourself without anyone telling you what to do.

All in all, being a back-end developer is a fulfilling and rewarding profession that allows you to have a big impact on people's everyday lives by building powerful tools for them to use in their day-to-day tasks.

10. Offer consulting services

Consulting is also one of the ways to make a lot of money. It is more of an activity that you do for someone who is willing to pay you to help them solve a problem that they don't know how to solve themselves. In both ways, you're like a coach for your people and can help them solve problems faster and more efficiently than they can on their own.

If you have enough knowledge and experience in a particular domain and know best practices in the industry, you can become a consultant and give advice to developers on your area of expertise.

You can work in the consulting company or start your own consulting business. In both ways, you need to be an expert in your field and provide real value to people if they want to hire you as a consultant.

You might felt yourself a consultant already if you have answers to many questions around your specific area. There are times when a new project starts and people ask different questions which you know the right answers for. If you deliver those answers, it means you managed to be an information source for those people and probably saved them some time.

Person is showing image on the screen in front of the people behind the table

This is how consulting works, people ask you how to do it, you analyze the given information, process it, and provide an answer. If the time that you spend on all of that process is paid back by your client in the form of money or any other resources, then you can call yourself a consultant.

One thing to remember, though, is that consulting is not just one job, there are different types of consulting. Many times it's not just answering questions, but making the whole development process smoother for the people you are working for. For example, you might need to provide some technical support and make little changes for a website to improve it.

It can get complicated very fast when you get more involved in this profession. I would recommend making research on this topic if you have an interest in it because I'm not a professional consultant myself and I cannot provide you with more information on this topic than what I explained above.


As we saw in this article, there are many options out there to make money and become rich in web development. Some of them require more time and some require only basic knowledge. Whichever way you choose to go, my advice is to always do what you love and never work for money only. Put your passion first and the rest will come naturally.

It applies not only to software development, but to life in general. It's so important to remember that success is not about how much money you make, it's about how fulfilled you feel by your work and how happy you are with your life overall.

If you don't know what to be happy about in your work, I recommend reading the article “How to make your software developer job more enjoyable”. I hope you'll find it interesting and useful. And if you have some questions or want any advice, please reach out to me on LinkedIn or email. I'd be happy to hear from you!

If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.

Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy photo

Don't work for the money – work because you love it and for the passion that you put into it. With this mindset, the money will follow on its own because the best jobs always come as a result of passion and hard work! Take care!

Keywords: saas, earn, sell, rich, tracy, drucker, stallman, crowther, freelance