7 Passive Income Stream Ideas for Web Designers & Developers

With the fluctuated world uncertainty index, having multiple income streams for professionals like web designers and developers is becoming a necessity. There’s an existing risk of a new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the economy may change entirely once again.

By building multiple passive income streams, you will have more money coming while doing your primary job. Meaning, if things were to go awry again, you’ll be sorted – it’s unlikely that all of your income streams would get compromised at the same time.

This article will explain the seven best passive income ideas in the web development field to help you bring revenue without continuous effort.

1. Create Online Courses

An easy way to generate passive income streams is by teaching your existing skills to others. You only have to put the effort in the beginning by recording and editing videos and continue earning money whenever people purchase your courses.

After producing the videos, sell them on online course platforms, like Skillshare and Udemy. Video streaming sites like YouTube and Patreon work great too.

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Alternatively, buy a domain name and web hosting service, then build your own online course website. This option offers more control over the features, website design, and course prices.

For a higher rate, consider offering personalized live teaching for a few sessions via video conferencing software, like Skype or Zoom.

2. Sell Website Templates

A website is a useful tool for large companies and individual professionals, like photographers with online portfolios or small-scale bloggers.

Most of them may not afford a web developer to design their websites for them, so they will likely look for website templates instead.

If you have web design experience, create website templates for WordPress and other popular CMS platforms in particular niches, like restaurants and portfolios. Then, sell them on sites like TemplateMonster or ThemeForest and earn $5 to $300 per the theme.

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3. Sell Widgets or WordPress Plugins

Widgets and plugins are helpful for people looking to improve their website’s functionality. Web developers can generate a passive income stream by creating plugins or customizing widgets that suit users’ needs.

Reading WordPress forums and other online communities like Reddit and Quora is a great way to find what people need. After that, build a minimum viable product (MVP) to test it out in the market and gain feedback in the early development stages.

Finally, sell the plugin in the WordPress repository if you offer a freemium version or choose marketplaces like CodeCanyon and Mojo Marketplaces for premium plugins only.

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4. Publish eBooks

eBooks may not be a huge earner, especially when you just start and have to compete with famous writers that are using publishers. however, selling eBooks helps get people into your marketing funnel so you can sell pricier stuff, like premium courses and consulting.

Here are three popular self-publishing platforms to sell your eBooks:

  • Amazon’s Kindle. This platform dominates the eBook market by accounting for 83% of purchases in 2019. The drawback is that Amazon takes a large percentage of the royalties ranging from 35% to 70%.

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  • Have complete control over the eBook, like uploading multiple files or offering bonuses for readers. However, you need to have a website before taking full advantage of Payhip’s features.

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  • Distribute your eBooks to many channels, such as Kobo and Apple Books. Yet, you must comply with its formatting, including the chapter headings and font styles.

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5. Sell Custom Design Assets and Tools

Web designers often love experimenting and seek new resources for their designs. In this case, grab the opportunity by selling custom design tools and assets to other designers such as:

  • Fonts
  • Vectors and icons
  • Brushes
  • Textures

Designer community platforms like Dribbble and Behance are great places to market your products. Alternatively, find a marketplace for specific design assets. For example, Dafont for selling fonts and Freepik for selling icons.

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If you want to target non-designers, selling ready-made templates is an excellent idea. Create templates for presentations, resumes, or email marketing, then sell them on marketplaces like Etsy and eBay.

6. Flip Domain Names or Websites

Website flipping is profitable for developers or designers who can create a website and write or source content. When the website becomes quite established, sell it for profit on marketplaces like BuySellWebsite and Flippa.

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The price varies depending on traffic, site age, and revenue stream. But generally, this practice generates two to three times the website income. For instance, if you earn $5,000 annually from your website, the website worth would be between $10,000 to $15,000.

Alternatively, flip a domain name. This option is easier than website flipping because you only need to buy a potentially worthy domain name and sell it. High-profile domain names like hotels.com and toys.com can generate more than $5 million.

7. Create an App

If you have programming skills, developing an app is a lucrative idea. The top 800 apps on iOS and Android earn on average $3,500 daily. The revenue generally comes from subscriptions and in-app purchases.

For non-programmers, a multiplatform game development tool like GameSalad or Unity is a resourceful option to build an app. The tool offers a visual programming interface with a drag-and-drop editor.

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Note that apps aren’t for mobile phones only. You can develop an app for other devices, like smart TVs, virtual assistants, and wearables.

A tip to consider when creating an app is to decide on a niche for a local area or particular community. By doing so, you’ll have a specific target market with less competition.


Passive income is helpful to elevate your earnings besides your 9 to 5 web development job. It’s also a great safety net should the economy take a plunge again.

In this article, we’ve learned seven ways to create passive income streams for web designers and developers:

  • Creating online courses
  • Selling website themes
  • Selling widgets or WordPress plugins
  • Publishing eBooks
  • Selling custom design assets
  • Flipping websites or domain names
  • Developing an app

Whether you’re looking to start an online course or build an app, we hope this article has helped you realize that there are many possibilities to earn passive income in the web development field. All you have to do is find the most suitable option for you and get started.