What tool you use to build doesn’t matter. Whether you use CI, RoR, Express, WordPress, Django, etc… doesn’t matter. All client wants is a professional that manages the expectations and delivers on what’s agreed up on.
Being honest about your skill level is very important to the client. Once money starts exchanging hands it’s no joke anymore. If you promise something you can’t deliver, the interactions become very uncomfortable for both you and the client.
It becomes a conflict rather than collaboration.
If you are just starting out, in my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with taking on work for free. Working for free can take many forms.
Free is not only for asshole businessman.
Don’t allow people to seek you out for free work, but instead look around you, what kind of problems is your community facing. Maybe your local library needs website maintenance. Volunteer. Learn. Interact.
It’s a great way to learn about certain nuances when it comes to interacting with people. Which is REALLY important. IMO, coding is just 20% of the pie.
Problem! We do not know your financial situation and your means of living. So it’s a question of can you live and provide for your self? This is where you need to find the balance.
It would be silly not to be in control of that decision.
PS: I’ll throw in Laravel as PHP framework of choice. I have limited experience with others so take that as is. WordPress would be nice in your arsenal. It is the most popular platform out there. And everyone wants a blog… or is it Web App now.