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View Full Version : Web and graphic designer?



CaptainB
10-14-2007, 03:01 PM
Hi!

I have thought about to offer web and graphic design on my site.
However I'm completely new to this trade, so I have a coupple of questions for ya.

1: How much are you supposed to be paid? I know that it differs according to the size of the web, how advanced it is etc. Note that my skills are xhtml, css and a little bit of php + javascript.

2: Do you first draw a sample of the website and show it to the customer before you start to code it? (if not, there's a chance that he can steal the source code without to pay).

Also, if you have any tips and tricks, or things that you should be aware of in this trade, please let me know!

mlseim
10-14-2007, 06:42 PM
Charge by the job, not by the hour.

Give them a design "look" first. That's important,
because once you get the design, that becomes
the "template" for your dynamically created pages.

If they steal the design, not much you can do about
it except hassle them about it and tell other people
about it (put em on a guilt trip).

I've never had a problem with stealing. Most people
that want a site are businesses or professional people,
and there's a certain ethical atmosphere.

Charge a small amount for your first sites, until you
create a portfolio. Word-of-mouth will get you many
other jobs. Then, charge more ... supply and demand.

I always have the client subscribe to the hosting account
using their credit card and then have them email me the
account info so I can access the website. That way, they
get the renewal stuff themselves, and I go on my merry way.

My fees for a whole site with wordpress, cubecart, stuff like
that can by anywhere from $400 USD to $600 USD ... and I
think I'm giving them a good deal. I offer great support for
the first year, fixing or changing things as needed.

Working quickly, good communication, letting them feel in
control is the best thing to do for success.

CaptainB
10-14-2007, 10:39 PM
Thanks for your answear, mlseim! Much appriciated!

When you say "design look", do you then mean an illustration of the web, ie drawn as a picture?

Also, is it okay to use scripts like phpBB, CMS systems etc, if that's what the customer want? In other words, is it okay to use scripts that wasn't made by yourself?

srule_
10-14-2007, 11:31 PM
hey mlseim, do u have a personal site? i would love to see it :D

mlseim
10-15-2007, 04:17 AM
Design as an example done with real XHTML/CSS and graphics,
although it can be "rough", a good example of how it will look.

========

Do I have a site of my own, yes.
I don't specialize in design myself, I mostly do background
programming (web development) for others. I'm not a graphic artist.
I usually make my clients provide me with the graphics. If you do
photoshop and graphics design, you could charge much more than
I do. I just think it's hard to be good at both design and development.

Here's the niche I found ... people that need things fixed and
don't want to hire their webhost support center to help them:
http://www.catpin.com

srule_
10-15-2007, 05:16 PM
Thanks for the site, I too realized my design skills were lacking and that i enjoyed coding, so I am just getting into server side development.

Have you ever thought of teaming up with a designer and offer complete web site development to you customers?

mlseim
10-15-2007, 08:43 PM
I actually am already doing that. A designer subcontracts me to do
all of the coding, but none of the design. She sends me PDF's of how
it should look, along with all of the graphics. I do the XHTML/CSS/PHP
and make the actual site look just like the drawings.

I send her an invoice. She does all of the actual customer negotiation.

This does create a situation where I provide her with a quote and I have
no idea how much she is actually charging the client. But, I end up with
more business that I can handle, so I'm happy doing it. It's all freelance
work for me and it's not my full-time career. Sort of like a hobby that
makes extra money.

srule_
10-15-2007, 09:03 PM
I'm in the same boat as you, I;m an accountant student and do this stuff when im not busy studying. The lack of free time to devote is making for a long learning curve to get good with php, but i can handle basic php stuff, and I'm taking a coarse on C++. Besides that my XHTML/CSS skills are top notch :-).

I would love doing the same sort of stuff you do, how did you get involved/meet someone that needed your html/css/php services? And do you think My limited knowledge of php&MySql would be a serious disadvantage when freelancing?

CaptainB
10-15-2007, 09:46 PM
Interesting debate guys, keep it up :)
(I would also like to know how to get in touch / promote the services to someone)

mlseim
10-16-2007, 03:49 AM
It's funny how this happened.

I did a site for an artist in Santa Fe, and another artist asked
me if I would partner with her (name passed on from friend to friend).
Been doing this for about 2 years now, and I've never met her
in person. Only via emails.

The main reason I frequent this forum and get involved is actually
self-serving for me. I learn more by helping others with problems than
reading books or tutorials. It forces me to research scripting methods
and solve problems. I sometimes try to answer questions I know nothing
about. Sometimes I'm wrong, but someone corrects me, or demonstrates
a better scripting method. I learn from this and go on to the next one.

I'm a novice at MySQL, but continue to push myself into it.... learning
little by little. Every website I script, I learn something new. It's funny
to look back at my earlier sites (sort of embarrassing).

The whole process for me is freelance, and it's important to keep it
that way. I can pick and choose my battles, and if my full-time career
consumes me, or there are family issues, I can always quit ... no strings
attached.

So Srule, you should keep doing what you're doing. Take on projects
in your free time, as little as that is ... push yourself into MySQL even
if it's outside your comfort zone. This forum (CodingForums) is a great
place to get help with problems, and I've experienced very little flaming
or criticism .... even when I've given bad advice, people are greatful
for the attempt.

And CaptainB, you should find a non-profit organization in your area that
could use a new website. Design and script a site for them for no charge.
It will be a stepping-stone into the whole process, and you'll help out a
good cause, someone that really needs help but doesn't have the funds.

CaptainB
10-16-2007, 01:52 PM
Good advice and enjoyed reading!
Thanks!



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