Google+ Communities are a great way for freelance web designers and web developers to connect with others.
Joining a community can strengthen your freelancing business in the following ways:
- Networking. As a member of a Google+ Community, you have a chance to interact with others with similar interests and a chance to build relationships.
- Reputation. By providing helpful insights and tips to other members of the community, you can enhance your reputation as a professional.
- Resource. If you have a problem or question you can’t solve, ask the community. The insights shared by peers can be very helpful.
Choosing the right community can be tricky, though. While there are literally thousands of Google+ Communities, not every community will be helpful.
Even if you narrow your choices down to just communities related to web design and web development, not every community will be a good fit. Some will be too small, others will be too large, and some may be inactive.
In this post, I list 20 great Google+ communities that I think most web designers will find helpful. At the end of the post you are invited to share your own favorite Google+ Communities.
How to Find the Right Google+ Community for You
Are you looking for a Google+ Community to join? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled a list of 20 of the most popular communities for web designers and web developers. You’re sure to find several that interest you.
For your convenience, the list is in order of approximate community size at the time I wrote this post. (Although keep in mind that community sizes are constantly changing.)
Here is the community list:
- Web Developers, Web Designers, Web Coding, Over 67,000 members. The discussion here is divided into sections by tool. There is an area for general discussion too.
- Entrepreneurs, Self-Employed & Small Business. Over 35,000 members. This community includes many different types of entrepreneurs and small businesses. It can be a great place to network.
- Developing with Google+. Over 31,000 members. This community is for those who develop mobile or web apps and who are interested in the Google APIs.
- Web Development. Over 29,000 members. This active community includes discussions on the various web development tools as well as tutorials and tips.
- SEO+ Search Engine Optimization/Website Design. Over 18,000 members. Although the title of this community includes web design, it seems to be mostly about SEO.
- WordPress. Over 14,000 members. Members here share hints, tips and tricks as well as ask questions.
- Graphic Design. Over 9,400 members. This is a great place to go for inspiration. Topics include Typography, Branding & Advertising, and of course there is a topic for Web Design.
- Web Development. Over 9,000 members. Members are encouraged to discuss the latest web development technologies and trends.
- Web Design. Over 7,000 members. This community for web designers encourages members to discuss all topics related to web design.
- UI Design. Over 5,000 members. Another forum focused on the user interface. This particular community has an emphasis on mobile apps.
- WordPress. Over 3,900 members. This community is devoted to discussions about WordPress and has sections for developers as well as a place for people to post jobs.
- UX & UI Design. Over 3,700 members. This community focuses on user experience and user interface for those who specialize in mobile design.
- Graphic and Web Design. Over 2,900 members. Members discuss web design, but also related topics such as branding. There is an area for critiques and also one for free resources.
- Graphic Design. Over 2,900 members. While not specific to web design, this is a good place to discuss design-related topics. There’s even a section on Poster Design.
- Web Designers. Over 2,800 members. The community includes discussions on tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator as well as a section for sharing inspiration.
- Web Hosting, Web Domains, Web Design, SEO. Over 2,500 members. A web design community that seems to be created by the folks at the popular Webmaster Peak Forum.
- Mobile Web Development. Over 1,600 members. This community is specifically targeted to those who specialize in developing for the mobile devices.
- Responsive Web Design. Over 1,400 members. One of the latest trends in web design is responsive design. So it only makes sense that there would be a community dedicated to the topic.
- Adobe Illustrator Club. Over 1,000 members. Do you use Adobe Illustrator? This community was created for those who love or need to know more about Adobe Illustrator.
- Graphic Design Resource Centre. Over 1,000 members. This community was created as a place for web designers to share resources. There are many freebies listed here.
How to Get the Most from Any Google+ Community
So, have you found a few communities you’d like to join? Good for you.
Before you dive right in to the Google+ community of your choice, it’s a good idea to review the following tips designed to help you get the most from any Google+ community:
- Check moderation. Before you join a community, make sure that your community of choice is well-moderated. A good community moderator should keep spam and off-topic posts to a minimum.
- Read the guidelines. Most Google+ communities have posted guidelines for that specific community. It’s important to read and adhere to them. Not doing so could get you banned from the community.
- Think twice about self-promotion. While some communities are specifically about networking and self-promotion, many others prohibit self-promotion. If you’re not sure about your community, look at the community guidelines.
- Lurk before you leap. Before posting your comments and questions, look around to see what others are sharing. You may find that your question has already been answered. Communities tend to dislike dealing with the same questions over and over.
- Discuss, don’t broadcast. Discussions are the key to making a community work. Don’t simply broadcast links you want to share. Instead, respond to other’s questions and comments. The more you put into a community, the more you will get from it.
- Don’t overextend yourself. You may be tempted to join every single Google+ Community we’ve listed. Don’t do it. You won’t be able to keep up with all of them. Instead, be selective. Focus on several communities that interest you the most.
Now you have a good selection of Google+ Communities to choose from, plus a few tips for success. It’s your turn to add your thoughts.
What are your favorite Google+ Communities? Share them in the comments.