To give you the long answer short:
Yes, you can probably get a job if you only know HTML and CSS. Depending on where you live and what the state of the economy is, that job may or may not be easy to get. However, it’s also likely to be entry-level and not very well paid.
Jobs search engine Glassdoor puts the average base salary for a junior web developer at $60,634/year, with $36,078/year in additional pay such as bonuses, benefits, and profit sharing. This is compared to $72,516/year of base pay for a web developer and $110,687/year for a senior web developer.
Your seniority is determined by your experience and knowledge. And while the only way to gain experience is through practice, if you want to get paid better, you can be proactive and upskill yourself as much as possible in the field of web development.
Getting hired isn’t your only option. You can also try to make a living as a freelancer.
Sure, you won’t have the benefits and security that you’d get as an employee, but you will have the flexibility to choose your projects and work the way and the hours you want (especially once you’ve made a name for yourself).
There are many marketplaces that match freelancers with the people and companies that need their skills. The best of them are Upwork, Freelancer, and People Per Hour.
You can also turn your HTML and CSS skills into a gig and sell pre-packaged services on Fiverr, or into products and sell website and landing page templates on Creative Market or Etsy.
What Kind of Projects Can You Work on With HTML/CSS?
HTML is a markup language for structuring information on web pages, and CSS is a style sheet language for designing those web pages.
So it should come as no surprise that most—if not all—of the projects you will be working on have to do with developing web pages and templates for websites and web applications.
Here’s a list of some of the projects that you can expect to be involved in:
- Building a static website from scratch
- Converting UX mockups into HTML/CSS web pages
- Creating web-based menus for bars, restaurants, and night clubs
- Building a template for a dynamic website using a Content Management System (CMS) like Drupal or WordPress
- Designing a landing page for a marketing campaign or a sales page for a sales funnel in tools like LeadPages and ClickFunnels
- Designing email templates for email marketing tools, like ActiveCampaign or Mailchimp
The key is to develop the core skills you need to be successful, but also work on a variety of projects that will help you gain valuable experience.
What Else Should You Consider Learning?
Let’s start with the basics: before you move on to other languages, take the time to master HTML and CSS syntax.
It’s also good to understand the basics of Apache web servers, the HTTP protocol, as well as FTP and Git version control.
The XML Markup Language
Many beginners think that HTML is the only markup language to learn when it comes to web development. While it’s true that HTML is the most widely used markup language, it’s not the only one.
If you enjoy writing HTML documents, consider learning the Extensible Markup Language, or XML. Whereas HTML is a markup language for websites aimed at users, XML is a markup language for data aimed at computers.
The XML markup language is so functional, it powers the RSS protocol, and it’s used as the basis for the PDF, SVG, XLS/XLSX, and PPT/PPTX file formats.
Even if you want to stick to web development, you will have use for XML. Sitemaps—the documents that tell search engine crawlers about the structure and pages on a website—are written in this markup language.
Writing a CSS style sheet for a large project can take up a lot (and I mean a lot) of time.
The good news is that CSS preprocessors like Sass and Less are there to save you some of that time by allowing you to create large sets of CSS rules with their own syntax.
Just as you can save time when operating a computer program by using keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse all of the time, a CSS preprocessor lets you save hours upon hours from each project by typing less and churning out more.
Many web development teams, from those of fast-growing startups to those of Fortune 500 companies, use CSS preprocessors. And knowing how to use one is almost always an advantage.
PHP (And PHP Frameworks)
If you want to become a backend web developer, consider learnings the basics of PHP and mastering one or two of the more popular PHP frameworks that are out there.
Many of the world’s most popular web applications, like the Magento e-commerce platform and the WordPress content management system, are open-source projects written in PHP.
According to Slintel, the PHP language has a market share of 33% in the programming languages market. So if you learn it, it’s not like it will be hard for you to find work either, whether job or freelance.
As with any other programming language, mastering a PHP framework can help you take the outputs of your work far—and some of the most popular PHP frameworks are Laravel, Symfony, and Zend.