Freelance Market Trends Report Q3 / 2010

by · October 25, 2010

DoNanza, the largest search engine for work-from-home and freelance jobs, released today its quarterly State of the Work-From-Home and Freelancing Economy.

Most CMS Sites Use Wordpress While the Largest Budgets Go to Drupal Developers

CMS platforms enable business and individuals to launch a web site, blog or online application and to easily manage the content within. Although the platforms are known for their ease of use, launching something that is beyond basic requires professional help. In the CMS freelance world this might mean a developer, a graphic designer, an SEO expert and other professionals. DoNanza's report reveals several interesting facts about how the rivaling CMS/Blogging platforms fared in the third quarter of 2010, most notably WordPress, Joomla and Drupal

CMS Professional Project Demand is Showing Extraordinary Growth

CMS project counts are growing rapidly, quarter over quarter, with an average growth of 49 percent. There is no reduction in project count for any of the CMS platforms.
In Q3 2010, Wordpress projects in the DoNanza Universe grew by 61 percent, with Joomla growing at 38 percent and Drupal at 26 percent.

Wordpress is Peerless in Terms of Demand for Professionals

In terms of number of projects, WordPress is a clear winner, cementing its hold on the market with more than 6 times the amount of projects in comparison to Drupal. Joomla finds its position exactly in the middle in terms of number of projects.

Drupal Professionals are the Highest Earning

Looking at the average project budget, opportunities for Drupal consistently came in with an average project budget that was more than twice as much as the average WordPress/Joomla budget in the DoNanza Universe. This makes Drupal a clear winner in terms of revenue opportunity per project.
"Growth in freelance projects for certain technologies can tell us where the market is trending even before the finished projects impact market share" said Liran Kotzer, CEO of DoNanza. "Last quarter we noticed the sheer growth in demand for HTML5 and iPad developers. This quarter, in CMS platforms, we're seeing WordPress break out of the pack, while Drupal is becoming a great skill set for those looking for programming centric at-home work that is lucrative and differentiated. This is a result of the relative complexity and higher customization levels that Drupal projects usually have".

Different CMS Platforms Call for Different Skills; Some Platforms are Easy to Use, Some, Like Drupal, Require Site Building Freelance Work, and Others, Like Joomla, Are into 3rd Party Development

Projects data also shows the difference in project type depending on the CMS/Blogging Platform.

Site Development as % of Total Projects

"Our DoNanza Universe data verifies the belief that most people start out with WordPress on their own" said Kotzer. "Only 18 percent of the total WordPress projects are site building, while 31 percent of Drupal projects are site building.It means that with Drupal people are seeking at-home-work freelance support from the get-go and not trying to build the initial site by themselves, as with WordPress".

3rd party Development as % of total projects

Other CMS/Blogging platform characteristics are also verified in the DoNanza data, as 29 percent of Joomla projects are 3rd party development with WordPress 3rd party work only at 16 percent and Drupal at 20 percent. "This proves that Joomla have a very active market allowing people to create and sell the third party extensions they have created for other Joomla platform users", said Kotzer.
"More businesses and individuals will keep using CMS platforms as a way to express themselves and do business" said Kotzer. "Currently each of the platforms has its own relative advantages, and we are curious to see how the differences between them will play out in the future. In the meantime, all of us benefit from the competition by getting much more flexible infrastructures with and advanced features."

Q3/2010 - The top 50 Requested Skills

Changes in Top 50 Requested Work-from-Home Skills Show a Rise in iPad and Android Development
Top 50 Requested Skills Q3/2010
#Rank Skill Rank Change #Rank Skill Rank Change
#1 PHP - #26 Social Networking +4
#2 Translation - #27 JAVA -3
#3 HTML - #28 Research -3
#4 Graphic Design +2 #29 .NET -6
#5 Website Design +7 #30 Excel -1
#6 SEO -1 #31 Advertising -3
#7 Wordpress +1 #32 Lead Generation -1
#8 MySQL -4 #33 Sales -
#9 Photoshop -2 #34 Ghostwriting +1
#10 CSS -1 #35 XML -1
#11 Flash - #36 XHTML +3
#12 JavaScript +2 #37 Academic Writing -1
#13 Article Writing -3 #38 Magento +6
#14 Data Entry -1 #39 SQL -1
#15 Internet Marketing +3 #40 iPad +12
#16 Logo Design +1 #41 Android +20
#17 Joomla -1 #42 Technical Writing -5
#18 Copywriting -3 #43 Drupal -3
#19 AJAX - #44 Animation -2
#20 Facebook - #45 Data Processing -2
#21 iPhone - #46 Video Service +1
#22 Link Building +10 #47 Linux -1
#23 Illustration -1 #48 jQuery +16
#24 Content Writing +2 #49 ASP -4
#25 e-Commerce +2 #50 SEM +7

Mobile Application Development Growing at a Healthy Clip

  • According to the DoNanza Universe, iPhone Application development project counts have increased by 43 percent compared to the previous quarter, keeping in line with the general growth in freelance jobs. On the other hand, Android Development projects almost doubled with 99 percent growth (increasing their rank by 20 places) growth and iPad projects growing 75 percent (increasing their rank by 12 places).
  • Average budget size for iPad development increased to $1800 with Android coming in close by at $1770. But the popularity of iPhone application development also means the market may be experiencing a glut of work-at-home developers, as iPhone application development budget sizes have dropped from an average of $1750 last quarter to $1430 this quarter.

Online Ecommerce Infrastructure Shows Virtuemart Gaining Momentum

In terms of ecommerce infrastructure projects, Magento is the highest ranking skill, at # 38, with oscommerece coming in at # 53 (not shown in the table). However, Virtuemart projects, the Joomla e-commerce platform, grew at 137 percent with Magento and oscommerce at 50 percent and 42 percent and Zen cart lagging at 29 percent growth.

Online Freelance Jobs Growing Rapidly

A key finding is that work-from-home project counts increased by a hefty 45 percent over the previous quarter. Most of the projects required skills in software development or graphic design, while marketing, writing and translation projects were popular as well. "The freelance economy is showing strong growth", said Kotzer. "The increase in project count shows that businesses and individuals understand that finding an online freelancer is not an exotic choice to run a business. It is becoming mainstream, with the best value for money. We know this firsthand – DoNanza has tens of excellent freelancers under its hood."

Related posts:

  1. Work-From-Home Market Trends Report Q2 / 2010
  2. Global Freelance Market Trends – Aug 09
  3. Global Freelance Market Trends – Sep 09
  4. Global Freelance Market Trends – July 09

Discussion18 Comments

  1. aparadekto says:

    Hey, I can’t view your site properly within Opera, I actually hope you look into fixing this.

  2. Strup says:

    “Virtuemart projects, the Joomla e-commerce platform, grew at 137 percent” could this be because it’s buggy, slow to publish upgrades, and people not knowing there are several other e-commerce extensions available for Joomla!™ ?

  3. Devin Walker says:

    Awesome list at the end.

  4. Really nice information, thanks!

  5. Philippe Stefano says:

    Nice reports but how and from where do you collect the data? Are they statistically significant?

  6. Gil Pal says:

    Hi Phillippe,
    DoNanza as a work-from-home and freelance jobs search engine aggregates its jobs from hundred of marketplaces from around the web. each month we have more than 150,000 projects and we base our quarterly reports on almost half a million projects – which makes that stats and analysis statistically significant.
    as a freelancer you can understand the growing demand for some skills
    and underdeveloped others, and choose where you can make a real
    Good luck!


  7. Great info mashup. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Mark says:

    Where do you get your data and why don’t you cite your sources?

    And why don’t you point out that your data doesn’t take into account the biggest sector of all: Developers who run their own traditional company that doesn’t play games by participating at sites like rentacoder, getafreelancer, et al — ???

  9. An important report but lack of differentiation – at least in Drupal – between Drupal website *builders* vs. Drupal developers.

    A good Drupalist can make most of the things with no coding or very little coding. This is usually good enough for most projects. However, for developing custom modules one needs a Drupalist that is also a PHP programmer (==Drupal developer).

    When you say “Site Development as % of Total Projects” (above one of the pictures) it is not clear what kind of Drupalists you refer to. “Both” could not be the answer :)


  10. Drupal projects may pull in more revenue, but are they more profitable? If they are more complicated to implement, they take more time and therefore may not actually be more profitable for the developer. Just a thought.

    (Hi Amir :) )

  11. Jesse Silver says:

    Thanks for the top 50 requested skills. It always helps for freelance website developers to continue to enhance their skill set. This is by no means a static field. The more you know, the more you can do. There is never just “one” way to do something. Some ways may be better, but not for all circumstances. It pays to be humble and admit that you don’t know “everything” and that your techniques are not always the “best”.

  12. The average WordPress budget is $455/project!? How is this statistic calculated? This seems horribly low. I work as a freelance WordPress developer and my average job is around 5k.

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  14. Thomas says:

    Interesting Article. I created Websites formerly with WP and for more than 2 Years only with DRUPAL.
    DRUPAL is much more complex and it is not surprising, that the number of users is smaller. And Experts in DRUPAL are quite rare and harder to find.
    If you want to make money working with an CMS … Either take DRUPAL or TYPO!
    Greets from gemany!

  15. Sport-i says:

    thanks for that article. i did it as thomas. formerly wordpress pages and since 1 year drupal.

    greetings from germany and to all germans.

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