There is no set-in-stone path you'll have to follow to become a web consultant, but there are some basics you will probably need to land clients and succeed in this career. You will typically need some education, whether formal or through independent study, that prepares you to meet a wide variety of web-related needs. You will likely also need extensive experience, such as through employment or performing freelance projects for web design clients. Additionally, good references are usually helpful when you want to become a web consultant.
Formal education may prove helpful when you want to become a web consultant, but it isn't a requirement. You can pursue this career after taking courses in web design or graphic or fine arts, and taking some computer science courses may prove helpful as well. Typically, community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and technical schools offer programs that can help you prepare for this career, and some of them are even offered online rather than in traditional classroom settings. In lieu of formal education, however, you can teach yourself; many successful consultants learned from online and book-based independent courses, software-based independent study courses, and experimenting with various web design techniques on their own.
To become a web consultant, you will likely need a good deal of experience with web design. You can gain experience by working on your own websites at first, perfecting your skills and steadily increasing your knowledge. Then, you could work for a web design company in an effort to gain more experience and get references. If you do not want to work as an employee, you can also gain experience by taking on web design clients. There are no set guidelines to follow when it comes to deciding how much experience you should seek, but your clients may feel more comfortable about hiring you if you have extensive experience and a track record for designing effective websites.
Though you may have substantial experience and top-notch skills, you cannot expect prospective clients to take your word for it. Instead, you will likely need to compile a list of people who have used your services to confirm that you are as good as you state. If you have also worked as an employee in web design or related businesses, you can also use your past employers as references. If you are not sure what a client or former employer will say about you, it's probably best to cross him off your list. To have the best chance for landing clients, you will typically need glowing references.