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Thread: Money to spend, need direction for WordPress design/code/launch

  1. #1
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    Money to spend, need direction for WordPress design/code/launch

    Hi Everyone,

    Hope this find you all well.

    I've recently launched a KickStarter to help fund the web design portion of my blog as I know this is a costly endeavor for a non-revenue generating project at the moment.

    Forgive my ignorance on all this, but I need some assistance as to a best route in terms of taking my ideas and translating them into a full blown word-press launch that is aesthetically appealing per my design direction.

    So as I stand I have ~ $2,000 to spend and was planning on utilizing 99 designs, however, it seems I'd only be paying for somebody to piece together a high-level photoshop layout of what the site could look like, and then it's sent to a coder.. is this correct? By that logic, what additional value add would a "web designer" have versus say may cutting out paper and arranging an idea myself? Is a web design from an actual designer necessary here? Or would my money be better spent elsewhere? Also, once the design has been completed.. what are good sites that can be used for an ongoing coding relationship if changes/updates are needed?

    Recap: 1) Money to spend, high level design/aesthetic idea in my head, no coding experience, minimal WordPress knowledge, decent with design ideas but not a graphic or visual designer... can draw and arrange things on a basic level.-- Want my blog to launch looking good'professional with minimal headache.
    2) Should I outsource to 99 designs? Or perhaps design on my own and then find a good coding/word press arrangement site instead? Are there other all encompassing sites to work with besides 99 designs?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Vapr_Arts's Avatar
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    To start, have you ever studied design? You mention "I can draw" which throws up a red flag to me in that you think art and design are one in the same. They are not.

    You definitely need a designer if you need something designed. We put in so much thought and consideration into EVERY aspect of a website and make choices dependent on our experience/education. On top of other things we make decisions like what colors to used based on psychological theories. It sounds more complex than it is, but at the same time the statement I just made makes it seem simpler than it is. You do not have to study design to be a good designer, but a lot of people who think they are self taught designers have no idea what design truly is (going back to your "i can draw" comment). Also, now knowing any code and trying to design a website can be a little tricky even for designers. There is a lot of things you have to consider when designing websites. The size of a button when on mobile is one. The size needs to be big enough to accommodate different finger sizes and such.

    As far as if 99 Designs is the way to go, I wouldn't. I have no personal experience with them, but sites like that are typically only beneficial to the owners of the site. Both designer and client get screwed when using services like 99 Designs.

    I would browse the web and find a designer myself. You also might want to consider finding a designer who can also code the site. It might not be possible, but there are some out there who can. Another good option is to find a team. A designer and a dev who work together well make projects that much easier.


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    No formal training in design.

    I'm just saying...it seems a bit unwarranted to pay somebody over a thousand dollars to piece together a few basic things in adobe after I've already fleshed out most of it in my head in terms of aesthetic and layout. Granted, bringing it to life is the most important aspect in all this and surely would warrant payment, I guess I'm just a) cost conscious at this point and b) looking to bring my project to life in a professional and artistic manner off the bat versus regretting the decision.

    Will definitely explore designers as it seems to be a recommendation I'm hearing from numerous people. I wouldn't write off 99 designs, however, as I actually had a great typeface and logo done over there. I think there's risk in all this and all 99 designs does is act as an intermediary allowing more brokered options. With more options comes more crap and potentially more huckster opportunists looking to make a quick buck, but in the end I think it all boils down to what your willing to accept in terms of standards and business practice in allowing yourself to be exploited without properly conveying your vision well enough.-- The process of piecing off one designer after another could be safer but how can you tell the designer is the person that can truly bring your ideas to life without spending a crazy amount of time playing meet-and-greet and conveying ideas to one designer? And then a designer is ticked when it's not coming our properly and you take your business elsewhere.. and then the laborious process of finding designers drags on... you're back to the drawing board.. not to mention assuming they're even in the right price range?
    Last edited by riggyk; Jan 04th, 2016 at 08:06 PM.

  5. #4
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    I guess if I were in your shoes, I would research and contact actual design and development companies.

    For example, and I just randomly picked one in my city, https://www.firstscribe.com/

    Find companies like that, view their portfolios, and ask them questions. See if you like the way they created sites, and are their clients successful.

    If you can find one you like near your home, you could sit down with them in person.

    That's where I would begin.


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    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    There are some designers who also do some coding, as there are developers who also do some design. Sometimes this is just what you need, other times it can be a nightmare of "jack of all trades, master of none".

    If you have the design and layout already set in your head, your best bet would be to sketch it out and then meet with a developer who can translate that into an actual site. As someone who started as a designer I can tell you at most designers hate having the client tell them what to do and how the site should look - after all, is is their profession, and they expect their training and experience to be respected. So if you have a design ready, find a developer to implement it.

    It helps if you are aware that there are some limitations to what can be done within any given budget; if you want a complicated site with several levels of membership and digital downloads, it will be a lot more than if you are looking for a fairly simple informational site to be a part of a marketing campaign for your business. That said, for your $2000 you should be able to get quite a good site, again depending on how much functionality you need, and how complex your design is.

    You may want to consider posting in the Marketplace forum - perhaps someone here would be the answer you are looking for, or could point you to a specific company or team..
    Vapr_Arts likes this.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


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    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

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    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    AphaMare is back!
    You've been gone or lurking in the shadows for a while?

    No posts between Oct and Dec.

    I hope everything is going well?


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    Thanks for the help all around everyone. I'm thinking more homework needs to be done on this as I should've clarified that this is going to be a general content site/lifestyle blog in conjunction with a podcast.....Basic posts and mailing lists etc. but would also like a page linking to podcasts and then some artistic leanings as well -- So all-in-all I'd like it to be basic but aesthetically appealing (think say.. brainpickings.org) and functional right out of the gate.

    Also, what are everyone's thoughts on Craft vs WP? -- This has thrown me for a bit of a loop as I wasn't really aware of Craft just now as a web designer recommended scrapping using WP altogether for Craft.. do any of you have any experience or feelings on Craft vs WP? I'm not opposed to using one or the other but just wanted a higher quality product that is the most functional and compatible.

    Thanks!

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    AlphaMare,

    What do you make of a response like the below? -- I'm having trouble reconciling true, unbiased recommendations with some passive-aggressiveness received from the designer community perhaps in thinking I'm looking to bypass the designer or with going with a site like 99 designs that cuts into localized entrepreneur margins surely.

    --------------------------------------------
    Are you a web designer?

    If the answer to that question is no, then you need a web designer. You could cut them out of the process, but if you're not a web designer, you likely do not have the skills to create a design that actually fulfils your own objectives, or heck, even works at all. You'll have no technical understanding of how your ideas would be implemented either, so development time will be longer, more expensive, and your site still might not look how you wanted.

    It's absolutely fine for clients to know what they want, have ideas about the look and layout of the site and to be involved in the creative process.

    Where the designer comes in is having the skill to know what will or will not work. You have to accept that as you are not a designer, that what you want and what is realistic and achievable are more than likely to not be the same thing. A web designer will work with you on this, they will take your ideas, and turn them into designs that are achievable, and can work in the browser.

    Whether or not you hire a designer, you will have to accept that what you want, and what you actually get, could end up being very different. What matters is that what you get works. That's why you need a web designer.

    Sometimes what you, as a client, think will work or will be the best solution, often isn't the case.

    This is precisely why normal people don't just design their own car, or their own house. We all have our own ideas, but most would never really work.

  10. #9
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlseim View Post
    AphaMare is back!
    You've been gone or lurking in the shadows for a while?
    Hi, mlseim - mot gone, but laid up for a while. Got kicked by a horse (not mine, some horse my daughter was riding for someone else) and took some time off to heal up. That's one of the consequences of losing focus in a sport where your "equipment" weighs 1100 pounds and has a mind of its own!
    All good now.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  11. #10
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riggyk View Post
    AlphaMare,

    What do you make of a response like the below? -- I'm having trouble reconciling true, unbiased recommendations with some passive-aggressiveness received from the designer community perhaps in thinking I'm looking to bypass the designer or with going with a site like 99 designs that cuts into localized entrepreneur margins surely.
    This is not an uncommon response - honestly, sometimes what you want just won't work. For whatever reason - e.g. it can't be coded to have certain elements be positioned in a certain way, the layout is not optimum for the way people read web pages (look up the "F" pattern); there are all kinds of reasons why a designer might be able to give you guidance on how to make your own design more adaptable to being coded out properly.

    But this response, while the person makes some valid points, is very aggressive and not very helpful. I do not support the idea of people using online builders to make their own sites from scratch and in fact address this subject on my blog (shameless link drop here). As a designer, I have spent years (made my first site in 1996) and money (College - Visual Arts, University - Fine Arts, College again - programming) acquiring the skills I use daily in my work, and I am still learning. But this does not automatically disqualify you as an active participant in the design of your site.

    When I meet with a new client, the first meeting is always focused on what they want, and what they need, and where those two things overlap is usually the starting point for the project. If the client comes to me with a sketch, we go over it and examine how best to approach the creation of the site to include all the functionality they need with the layout they want, and still stay within budget. Hopefully, the client is willing to learn a bit about why some things may have to be changed - you can't fit a jet engine under the hood of a Ford.

    Without seeing your design I can't tell you if it will work or not, but you are doing research and seeking answers, and that is the best way to start.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!


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