Building sites for others - what shoud I do?

12 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
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I started a few websites over the last few years, nothing special, mainly just wordpress and Joomla sites for personal projects.

The thing is (and this probably happens to a lot of people) that because a few people know I've made these sites, I keep getting getting asked to build websites/blogs etc for other people. I don't mind doing it for free for family and close friends, but it's starting to take up a significant amount of my time, and the requests keep coming in - my barber, and the guy who owns the local pizza place are the latest to ask me and I had to turn them down - busy with other stuff and maybe lacking a bit of confidence in some aspects.

Now I'm starting to think, maybe I should take it a bit more serious and start charging any future "customers", and try to build up a bit of a client list. I could really use the extra cash too.

At the moment I have the baby croc package from hostgator, it hosting about 20 small sites currently. Should I maybe consider upgrading to a reseller plan if I'm going to step things up a bit? I'm not even 100% sure what one is tbh.

Are there any things I definately need to learn/understand if I'm going to do this, common problems, stumbling blocks etc? I won't be trying to tackling major projects, just local small businesses i think.

Any guidance on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
#building #shoud #sites
  • Profile picture of the author RokDot
    I'm a website designer and coder. I make everything from scratch, i actually know nothing about wordpress.

    CHARGE for your expertise. It's an income source & people will pay for it. Just like if your toilet is blocked, you don't know how to unblock it so you all a plumber. you can create a service, and even get regular customers.

    If your stuff is good you'll get word of mouth and more people will come to you.
    You can make anyone from 100 dollars to 1500 dollars from one website, depending on how good you are.

    I suggest you turn it into a sort of business, the money is worth it.
    Also I suggest networking with a lot of other website designers and coders,
    to get more perspective on it.

    PM me your skype details and I can chat more in depth on this subject.
    Hope I was some sort of help.

    - RokDot
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Definitely charge for it. Even if you don't charge a lot of money, it can still add up.
    Also when you charge, people take you more seriously.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnnyN
    I used to charge people quite a low fee, big mistake. Just because it is easy for you does not mean you should charge low. Also when someone pays you for something you have to provide good service, and you have to be able to draw the line at extras.

    Be very careful in defining what is included, and what is not included. My advice is to charge a fee for initial site creation and perhaps 2 training sessions on how to use wordpress.
    Anything else should be extra.

    For any friends I always offer free service with the caveat that they can't bug me to keep changing it (they have to learn wordpress). Otherwise I charge full fees, minimum $800-1500 for a basic 5 page website with wordpress and 2x2 hour trainings.
    SEO extra, Local marketing extra.

    I usually also tell clients to buy their own hosting. Because if you don't , you will get calls at 2am saying that their website is down.
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  • Profile picture of the author andrej
    Yes, if you are planning to host a lot more sites on your Hostgator account, you will probably need to go for reseller hosting or a dedicated server.
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  • Profile picture of the author waqas89
    just launch your own online firm or freelancer company, get a reseller hosting account as well, optimize your website, and starts in the professional way, and sorry to say but don't work for free, give your love ones discount but don't dare not to charge them
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  • Profile picture of the author FreeMeal
    thanks for the replies everyone.

    I'm still a bit unsure about how the reseller account works exactly. Do i basically dish out some server space with cpanel to each website?

    Is it realistic to think I can create small websites for people, and charge, just using wordpress with plugins etc (without any solid knowledge of code)?
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  • Profile picture of the author IMAnthony
    Very easy: At least for me:
    Get a wordpress theme on themeforest for about 40 dollars. You can resell it to your client $200-thousands.
    Get a cheap hosting, about $5-7 /month. You can ask $20 month.
    Modify/personalize and install the theme, fill the content, install the best plugins. $30/55 per hour.
    Get some traffic, make some SEO offpage, traffic=sales for your client = they will be giving checks evry month with a big smile $all what you want and you can outsource this work.
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    • Profile picture of the author FreeMeal
      Originally Posted by blueriver View Post

      Very easy: At least for me:
      Get a wordpress theme on themeforest for about 40 dollars. You can resell it to your client $200-thousands.
      Get a cheap hosting, about $5-7 /month. You can ask $20 month.
      Modify/personalize and install the theme, fill the content, install the best plugins. $30/55 per hour.
      Get some traffic, make some SEO offpage, traffic=sales for your client = they will be giving checks evry month with a big smile what you want and you can outsource this work.
      How to you guys take your payments, (including any monthly payments)? Paypal?
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      • Profile picture of the author johnw18
        Regarding the Hostgator reseller account.

        They will set you up with a WHM account.

        When you login to the WHM, you will first need to create at least one hosting package, click "Add a Package" under the Packaged section (simply name the package & assign a limit on disk space and bandwidth).

        You will then be able to add accounts (customer domains) by clicking "create a new account" under the Account Functions section.

        Each accounts you create will have its own username and password so that the customer can login to their own private cpanel account (you will need to use the same user/pass to login to their cpanel account or via FTP).

        Hope this helps.
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      • Profile picture of the author IMAnthony
        Originally Posted by FreeMeal View Post

        How to you guys take your payments, (including any monthly payments)? Paypal?
        yes, usually paypal, but if they live near to you then they can pay you with checks.
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        PAY ATTENTION TO THIS!!



        Are You Ready to Make Money? ----->How I Made $2000 USING LINKEDIN!
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  • Profile picture of the author chaujka
    Hey, start selling your services.
    If you are good at something, make $$ out of it.

    You will also, definitely, need a reseller account. However, raise your client base first. Let them cover the costs of your upgrades.

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  • Profile picture of the author Aaarrrggghhh
    Custom websites remains our #1 requested services and will always be in demand.

    Here are a few quick tips that I have learned from first hand experience working with local businesses and online in general through trial and error since 1996 that will hopefully help you out:

    1) Treat it as a business and not a hobby.

    2) If you want to provide hosting, get a reseller account and get it setup first by defining your hosting packages.

    3) Create a Web Design Agreement that will work for you and your business model and that is consistent with your State's laws.

    ALWAYS have any CUSTOM work IN WRITING. Custom work is the most time consuming and customers can be a real pain and can quickly dillute any profit you could have made. All those emails, questions, changes, etc. can eat away at your time and therefore your profits. Having a clear written plan and where the customer understands their responsibilities and what to expect and how your business works will remove a lot of problems from the start.

    4) Create Packages that specifically state what's included and how many hours of your time is covered. If the customer needs more, then state an agreed to hourly rate and what your minimum is.

    5) Terms of Service: If you have a website, make sure you have a detailed Terms of Service.

    6) Have a website of your own and capture visitors emails. Give away a relevant free report or even a website in exchange for their email. Get your own blog going and blog about the importance of having a website presence.

    I am sure you will also get other great advice from even more experienced Warriors who will also be willing to share so this should be enough to get you started thinking in the right direction.

    Best of luck, have fun and I hope this helps! Leah
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