13 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
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Hi guys,

I'm looking for web designers to share how they plan for new websites. Whats your checklist? Any advice you can give to other web designers starting out? Anything you can telling us about what mistakes starting out?
#advice #web designer
  • Profile picture of the author dwoods
    Hi Abusschaert,

    Good topic! When you say checklists etc are you going to be building sites for yourself, or are you looking to become a freelancer that does work for clients?
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    • Profile picture of the author Abusschaert
      Both freelancer while running my own sites
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      • Profile picture of the author dwoods
        Doing freelance stuff (that's how l get my start; it's painful l warn you!).

        Here are a few tips l can give you.

        1.) Don't under value yourself! If you charge dirt cheap prices you'll attract dirt cheap clients (those are the worst - they want everything for nothing). Bumping your prices up will attract serious, professional clients.

        2.) Always require a down payment of 50% *upfront* before you do anything.

        3.) Always work off of a SoW (Statement of Work) or contract. Be sure to include some of the following provisions in the contract to protect you and the client:

        a.) Customer provides content in full to you by date XYZ, if you don't get the content/assets needed to complete the website on or before that date they are subject to a "rescheduling" fee. -- People don't realize how much writing they're going to need to do in order to provide you with content for their web site and often times ignore/delay it. This is going to cause a backup of work for you, and you'll never fully finish the site and get paid because you're waiting on them.

        b.) Limited # of revisions. If you leave the # of revisions open ended you'll get yourself into a nightmare situation.

        c.) outline exactly what pages you are creating for the site, and what they will do.

        d.) Outline any additional services provided (ie onsite training for posting products, posts to wordpress, etc).

        4.) Offer hosting! Get a reseller hosting account at one of the 10,000,000,000 hosting companies out there, and set up/handle the hosting for the client. It amazing me when web developers don't offer this as a service; it's a way to generate long term recurring income! For example, l started out with a semi-dedicated server ($75 bucks per mo) and set my clients up with hosting on my own server -- with packages ranging from: $12 - $40 per mo. It's an easy sell because you can tell them you'll create/support their emails (if they want it); if the server goes down they can contact you, and not some random web hosting company. A good way to assure them that it's a good idea is to tell them you host your own sites on the very same server; so if it goes down it's a big deal to you and you'll be ON IT!

        One good upsell that l did with my hosting plans was $40 gave you 1 hour per month of "use it or lose it" website maintenance. 99.99999% of the people who paid me for this never used it but once or twice and it was for very minor textual tweaks or updating wordpess.

        5.) SEO services as an upsell - SEO is so easy to sell when you're pitching a new website to a client it's like shooting fish in a barrel. If you don't have any SEO tools, or knowledge buy some basic software and tools that will allow you to offer this as a service. Similar to above this can be a recurring package - or a one time "new website seo kick start" package -- both are very easy sells.

        6.) Learn to do both front end and back end development. To really shine you need to be an expert at the front end stuff (photoshop, css, xhtml) and the back end stuff to make it all happen (php, mysql). If you don't know both very well you'll end up outsourcing the parts you can't handle; thus losing money and quite frankly dealing with out sourcers can be a nightmare.

        If these have spurred any other questions let me know!
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        • Profile picture of the author Bryan Zazz
          Originally Posted by dwoods View Post


          1.) Don't under value yourself! If you charge dirt cheap prices you'll attract dirt cheap clients (those are the worst - they want everything for nothing). Bumping your prices up will attract serious, professional clients.
          Wow! this is priceless advice!
          Much appreciated.
          thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author MaryWink
    Hi

    If you are looking to get started as a Freelance Website Designer, a package that will help you out a lot can be purchased on the Sitepoint website. This is NOT an affiliate link and I am NOT making a cent of of this.

    sitepoint.com/books/wdbk4/

    What does the Bundle include?


    The Web Design Business Kit, 3rd Edition, Epack A 390-page digital book,covering: how to win clients, what to charge, how to hire, plus legal/ financial documents and much more!

    40+ Digital Documents and Templates A downloadable collection of 40 ready-to-use digital documents, templates and contracts: all you need to get your business started.

    Build a Successful Web Design Business - 12 Part Video Course Build a Successful Web Design Business, Paul Boag’s NEW video course that’s packed with hints and tips from his ten years of running Headscape, a super successful web design agency.


    I own this and think it is well worth the price they are charging.

    Good luck,

    Mary Wink
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  • Profile picture of the author IMPower5
    Hi Mary

    I have also used this package and am very happy that I got it. When I purchased, it was a while ago and they did not have the videos included in the training. Also my manual is a bit shorter than the new one.

    Are you finding that the videos are very helpful to you? Just asking as I am wondering if I should upgrade to the newest version.

    Richard
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  • Profile picture of the author salelink
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author timmor29
      Good topic I just saw this short article that gave some nice tips for those starting out:

      One Blog Wonder • 15 useful web design tips
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      • Profile picture of the author MaryWink
        Originally Posted by timmor29 View Post

        Good topic I just saw this short article that gave some nice tips for those starting out:
        Simple points in your link (sorry, can't repost link - no enough posts yet), but sometimes overlooked. I can't tell you how many times I have talked to a client and asked them how much traffic they get to their website and they have NO CLUE....

        Google Analytics is free and people are amazed when you hook it up and let it run for a week or so and then log in to show them what is going on.
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  • Profile picture of the author soniamit
    thanks dwoods , nice information....
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Miller
    You can find additional information here - forums.digitalpoint. com/
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  • Profile picture of the author jkibbles
    Everyone else seems to be giving good advice. The only thing I can add is that when I design sites, I start with the logo or banner and work from there. I try to tie the color scheme into the logo, give it a nice clean feel.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaleRodgers
    I always do a bit of research, have a look at similar sites first see what they look like and then think how they could be made better
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Miller
    I think you can also visit forum of v7n.com. site
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