34 places to find your next remote freelance web developer job or project
It's no secret there are a lot of benefits to being a freelancer. You can prioritize better work-life balance, pick and choose development and programming jobs that interest you, and build a business for yourself.
And whether you’ve been a freelancer for a month or a decade, building a successful business and career as a freelance web developer is all about finding your next developer jobs.
Is there high demand for web developers? Yes—and freelancers can make good money working in development. But while there are a lot of freelance web developer jobs out there, figuring out where to find them isn’t always easy.
Where do you meet someone looking for a freelance web developer? Below, we share 34 places to find people with jobs for a freelance web developer. From the front end developer to back end to full stack, freelancers of all kinds can find freelance remote work and programming jobs with these resources.
How do freelance web developers get jobs?
As a career freelance web developer, finding your first (or even tenth) project can feel overwhelming—where does someone look? The short answer is: Everywhere.
From within your own network to job boards and matching services, companies list jobs and hire freelancers all over the place. Some of the most common places include:
- Your own network
- Job boards and marketplaces (both web dev-specific and general ones)
- Social media
- Web developer groups and forums
- Industry events (both in person and online)
Below, we’ll dig into the pros and cons of finding and applying for projects via these six options.
Your professional network
If you’ve worked in your career for a few years, you’ve likely built up a bigger professional network than you realize. Working within your network to find freelance projects means you’re spending time on jobs where you have a foot in the door—a previous relationship or a glowing referral from a friend—often making it easier to land jobs.
That’s why it can pay dividends to let your colleagues know you’re making the move to freelancer, you’re openly taking on contract positions, and you appreciate any referrals they can offer. Make sure to share the URL for your portfolio and your email address, as well. As you find freelance jobs and grow your network, this can become an ever more lucrative channel for finding freelancer jobs.
- You can work with people who already know your work and trust your expertise.
- Referrals offer a warm lead and can yield better fit projects and an easier close.
- Your network can net you a few projects in the short-term while you work to build out your long-term pipeline.
- You can only find so many jobs this way—if no one in your network has open jobs for web dev work, then no one has open jobs.
- If you’re just starting out, your network may be small, limiting this potential even more.
Job boards and marketplaces
Job boards and marketplaces may have been your first thought for finding freelance projects. That’s for good reason—job boards offer a central location where you can find tons of people actively hiring for web development positions.
- There are tons of jobs available and companies actively hiring.
- On most boards, there’s plenty of variety in niche projects, and it’s easy to narrow down your terms.
- Job boards are two-way—if you build out an account and profile, companies can find you, too.
- Competition for jobs is often high on job boards with tons of freelancers responding to each listing.
- That competition for jobs means pricing can often become a race to the bottom.
From groups to searchable conversations, social platforms offer a variety of ways to find freelance jobs. LinkedIn is the obvious choice for finding projects, but other social sites (like Twitter) can be useful, too. All offer the opportunity to tap into established industry and niche communities and to interact with those hiring in a more casual, open-ended way than the traditional resume and cover letter or portfolio.
- Twitter and other social media platforms offer a good way to build a community and your network.
- Engaging on social offers a more casual, natural conversation than job sites—making it easier to build relationships and set yourself up for long-term success.
- Social (other than LinkedIn) isn’t designed for job hunting, so it can be harder to search through posts and find relevant jobs.
- Social algorithms (especially on Twitter) make it easy to get stuck inside your bubble and miss out on great opportunities happening beyond your network.
Freelance web developer groups and forums
There’s a plethora of groups, communities, and forums dedicated to web development. From GitHub to Ruby On Rails to Women Who Code, there’s a group for almost every freelance web developer and every niche, whether it be front end development, UI design, or full stack. Forums like these offer all the relationship- and authority-building opportunities of social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn, but they’re focused solely on the web dev industry.
Plus, many of these forums (including GitHub) have their own dedicated job boards right on the site.
- Groups and forums are great for building community, along with elevating your personal brand.
- Many forums have specific job board pages, making it easy to find those hiring. Make sure to check these out and share your portfolio.
- With forums for just about everything, it’s easy to find jobs within any niche.
- It can take some time and trial-and-error to find a group that’s a good fit for you.
- In larger groups, it’s easy to get lost in the noise.
Conferences, summits, happy hours, code events… you name it. There’s no shortage of programming events that take place every year. Participating in and speaking at events is a great way to spread your name and portfolio while building your personal brand within your niche. And just by attending industry events, you’re packing a whole lot of networking into a small amount of time.
Some events, like happy hours, are designed for networking. But many conferences and other events also schedule time and mini-events geared toward networking and finding jobs, too.
- In-person events offer an efficient way to network with a large group of people.
- There are events for every niche under the sun.
- Many events can even double as professional development for your skill set.
- Some events—like in-person conferences—can come with a steep price.
- Face-time with new contacts may be limited. Make sure to exchange details like your email address so you can continue the conversation.
- There’s no guarantee of finding someone who’s actively looking for a freelancer.
Working with an agency is almost like a middle ground between being a freelancer and a full-time web developer—and it can be especially useful in the beginning of your freelance career, when your portfolio is thin and your time is plentiful.
By working with an agency, you can offload some of the lead generation and client onboarding work, and focus more on actual jobs and web development work. In exchange, you give up some level of freedom around the jobs you take on and when.
- Agencies often offer steady, consistent jobs to freelancers.
- They don’t require you to actively hunt for jobs all the time—you can focus more on your work and building your portfolio.
- You may have to give up some flexibility around which jobs you take on.
- Agencies often require tight turnarounds and inflexible deadlines.
- You may not work directly with clients, meaning you can’t build long-term relationships that yield more jobs down the line.
How do I get my first web development freelance job?
If you’re totally new to freelance work, securing your first web development positions and jobs can feel even more overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are three quick steps you can take to find your first web development freelance projects:
Build out a simple portfolio: If you have live web dev work, that can be as simple as adding projects to your LinkedIn, filling out a profile on a freelance marketplace, or building a website of your own. If you don’t have work to show on your portfolio, hire yourself to demonstrate your skills. Make sure the work you include is work you're proud of and that it represents the kinds of jobs you want to find. Including a cover letter when you apply for jobs can help make up for a thin portfolio, too.
Beef up your LinkedIn profile: Add all your skills, relevant experience, testimonials (if you have some), education, credentials, and more. Include details about the kind of jobs you're looking for (i.e. front end, full stack, remote, etc.), and make sure to include a link with the URL for your portfolio and contact info like your email address and/or phone number.
Start your search: Make sure to take a look at the 34 places to find a freelance dev project below to find freelance and contract positions to apply for.
Freelance web developer job boards and marketplaces
The job boards below are all tailored specifically for the web developer jobs and those who hire them.
Authentic Jobs is a job board dedicated to the freelance web developer, designer, and other creative professionals. You can browse recent job listings or zero in on your perfect project by searching for specific terms and filtering for freelance jobs. Make sure to choose either the front end web or back end web development category and sign up with your email address to stay on top of new jobs posted.
Targeted toward the freelancer working with Vue.js, VueJobs allows you to browse relevant job listings organized by job types (freelance, remote work, part-time, full-time, etc.). Make sure to create your own profile on the platform with your email address to help companies with open jobs find you.
Dice functions like a standard job board designed specifically for tech jobs. Search by keyword or job listing title, filter out non-remote work, and narrow in on contract positions—then get even more granular by company segment or individual company. Make sure to subscribe for email alerts when new jobs that match your search criteria get posted.
Freelance web development job matching services
The services below offer to match companies’ needs with a freelance web developer from their pre-vetted pool of web dev freelancers.
A job matching service, Toptal promises to connect top companies with the cream of the freelance crop. You’ll have to apply to be considered as part of their talent network, but if you’re accepted, you’ll gain access to freelance jobs with top companies like Airbnb, Motorola, and Shopify.
Gun.io functions like a matching service and a job board in one. You’ll have to apply to be included in this network, too. Once accepted, Gun.io will match you with relevant jobs. Make sure to browse job listings and apply on your own, too.
X-Team offers a service fundamentally different from the standard job matching website. If you’re accepted to join their team, you get full-time work. You’ll move between X-Team clients on a contract position basis, have the opportunity to work with top brands, and get perks like a yearly stipend toward gym membership, conferences, even fresh produce.
Arc is dedicated to freelancers, with a matching service that doesn’t rely solely on jobs posted to their website. The service searches the entire web to find jobs that match your profile. Plus, you can opt for advanced vetting to become a verified freelancer and access perks like skipping straight to final round interviews.
General freelance and remote job boards
The job boards below are more generalized, featuring all kinds of jobs and job types. That said, they’re popular and easily searchable, making them a good option for finding freelance dev work.
Web development forums and communities
The groups and forums below are full of web development freelancers and companies who hire them. Engaging in forums like these doubles as a way to find jobs and a way to build your personal brand for the long-term.
Stack Overflow’s main forum functions like a question-and-answer forum. People from all walks of life can ask questions and get insights from the hive mind—and you can engage by answering someone else's questions, too. Plus, Stack Overflow also includes a dedicated freelance web developer job board. Make sure to check it out.
GitHub offers a wildly popular developer community and forum. You can keep up with trending topics, share projects you work on, and engage with other freelance web developers on the site. The company also maintains a dedicated developer job board called GitHub Jobs, where you can search for remote freelance web developer roles.
Ruby on Rails
One of the original forums built for the developer, Ruby on Rails allows developers to communicate and collaborate through categories and sub-threads (similar to Reddit). Freelance web developers log on to ask questions, share work, and even post job call-outs. The Ruby on Rails community extends beyond their forum, with an active Twitter community and email subscription, too.
Hacker News is Y Combinator’s developer forum. Split in two, Ask HN allows freelance web developers to ask questions, answer those from others, and post other text-based submissions. Show HN is for showcasing your work. To keep things organized, the forum posts a weekly update on the first weekday of each month called Who is Hiring? Forum members are able to share and get information on freelance and contract positions there.
Front-End Developers is a community hosted on Discord and built for the front end web developer. With a focus on the front end developer and over 10,000 members, it’s a great place to connect with peers and let them know you’re in the market for freelance projects.
SitePoint’s community and forum is built to enable you to discuss everything from coding languages to showcasing work. What makes this forum especially useful for job and project hunting is the extensive categorization. SitePoint includes more than 20 different categories—from General Web Dev to PHP to Marketing—so you can laser in on the conversations that matter for your niche.
Women Who Code
Women Who Code is a multi-platform group with a community on Twitter, educational resources, mentorship, and a dedicated job board for, well, women who code. While they work with myriad other tech roles, the group is made up primarily of engineers and developers. You can access the job board whether or not you become a member—search by keyword and filter by experience level and employment type.
Freelance web developer social media groups and conversations
Forums can be great for finding jobs and engaging in industry conversations, but social media rules the roost when it comes to true networking. While you can technically network on any social media website, we’ll highlight LinkedIn, Twitter, and Reddit for our freelance-minded purposes here.
LinkedIn groups are one of the best ways to connect with people in your niche—many of whom may be looking for freelance web developers. All the different LinkedIn groups out there can be overwhelming, so here are a few options to start with:
While Twitter doesn’t offer groups in the traditional sense, you can still use Twitter hashtags to follow your niche, connect with other developers, and find freelance opportunities. There are tons of Twitter hashtags you can use, but here are a few good options to get you started on Twitter:
More a series of online forums than a true social media platform, the extensive online community includes subreddits on nearly any topic you can dream up, including those specifically for freelance web developers and those for job hunting. While there are tons of related subreddits, here are a few places you can start:
Web development industry events
Another great way to network with those hiring freelance web developers in your industry is to attend web development events. Whether virtual or in-person, events offer a casual atmosphere for getting to know the companies and hiring managers in your niche. The key is to exchange information like email addresses and your portfolio URL with people you meet. That way, even if they don't have open freelance jobs today, you can keep in touch if jobs do come up.
We’ll highlight some key web developer events below, but you can find a more extensive list from Dev.events.
Devopsdays is a massive conference series with tons of events throughout the year and all across the globe from the United States to Europe to Asia. While each event is unique and locally run, the organization says the overarching idea is to cover “software development, IT infrastructure operations, and the intersection between them."
Google Developers events
Google hosts a variety of frequent events, most of which happen virtually. Google Developers events include hackathons, #TheAndroidShow, and the annual DevFest, among others. For those specializing in Android or other Google products, these events are a slam dunk—adding to your skill set and providing the opportunity to connect with others working in the space.
Vueconf is an annual conference put on by the company behind one of the developer job boards we highlighted above—VueJobs. Vueconf also opens up the conference to speaking proposals from anyone in the industry, so you can even apply to give a talk and build up your personal brand.
React Summit’s annual conference is geared toward both front end developers and full stack. The event features content from React Query, AWS, Next.js, and more. With two tracks—Summit and Base Camp—you can tailor the event based on your level of experience with React. The 2021 virtual event will also include virtual networking rooms.
CES is a large annual event geared toward the tech industry as a whole. The conference covers a broad swath of topics, including several that may be of interest for certain web development niches—AI and robotics, digital health, and Esports among them. The 2021 event included exhibitor companies from Microsoft and Intel to GM and Deloitte.
Collision Conference is another large event held annually and targeted toward the tech industry. With 2021 themes including “Developers and data” and over 40,000 attendees in 2020, Collision’s event is a great way to meet key contacts and those hiring freelance web developers.
For freelance web developers working in the SaaS industry, SaaStock offers a variety of events with annual global conferences in several regions. The organization also offers a large remote event annually, along with dedicated networking days the following week.
Your next freelance web development job
For those with the skills and dedication, there’s a whole host of lucrative and inspiring freelance web development opportunities out there. It all comes down to knowing where to find the right freelance jobs for you—the options we listed above include some of the best of the best.