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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Question Web design freelance questions

    Hello, a while ago I decided to study programming to work as a web designer freelancer in parallel with the university. I recently finished studying html, css and javascript (up to intermediate level in js) and Iīm preparing to start working in the real market, but before that I have a few doubts that I need to solve before I can act, and I would be very grateful if someone take the time to read them and clarify them for me.

    First is about the content. I have been researching different websites to understand the structure and operation behind them, and the problem came when I considered how the content is made. As a web designer, should I make the details of the content for my client's website based on my knowledge of their company, my copywriting skills and their advice or instructions; or should I simply create the web layout and fill it with fillers and lorem so later when I give the web to the client, explain him how to modify the texts so that he can complete them by himself? I understand that I should ask for the multimedia content for the design of the page but I donīt know what to do with the text. Also in the footer, there are usually quite a few links and data for legal notice, policies, terms, copyright and other things but honestly my knowledge about all this is quite null. How is this aspect handled?

    The next is about logos. As my first job, I'm planning to make the website for the hostel my father runs, but he doesn't have a logo. Is it necessary for a website to have a logo (and an icon in the browser's tab)? When I find a client who doesn't have a logo for their company, should I go ahead with my work independently, or should I tell them to let me take care of their logo? I donīt have deep skills in graphic design so, if necessary, is there a program or tool that you recommend me to do this (If possible, not very complex)? And should I spend time improving my graphics skills? How does it help me besides this?

    Another point is about programming. Since my first work is a page of a hostel I will need to make a booking form. But with html, css and js (at least with what I know so far) I can't get the data to be sent anywhere. Since it is something important and I don't know how to do it, I investigated how that kind of thing was done and I learned about php. My question is, should I take a full php course in order to advance, or if I do research, can I continue my work using guides that I find or pieces of code to copy? Honestly, since I have seen in many places that simply with html and css you can work as a web designer, I was quite surprised to learn that you cannot send emails or make these types of forms without another language such as php. Personally I would like to enter the practice stage soon so I was a bit demoralized to know about php.

    As for my first clients. First I am going to work on my father's project to accumulate real results and experience, but then I feel a little lost as to how to continue building my portfolio and finding clients while I am not known or have contacts. Any recommendation? I don't care much about monetary gains in the beginning as long as I manage to create a stable base of real results.

    Regarding the payment methods. Since I live in Latin America and intend to do work from outside of my country, I will rarely have the opportunity to contact my client in person. Should I send them an invoice via email to pay the bill? Are there any recommended in particular? Or use directly paipal? And using the method of receiving 50% first and the other 50% is adequate?

    For now that's all I can think of, I'm sorry for this much text, and I'd really appreciate it if you could answer me.:love:

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    A lot of information there ...

    You have the skills to build the website visually, but as you said, it will take PHP to handle emails and database things.

    That's a lot to learn without taking a long time.

    You should first determine who your demographics will be.
    Would Hostels be used mostly by single people with smartphones (not desktop computers)?

    Will he be expecting people to view what is available and reserve rooms or beds?
    Email only will be a problem because he might not view emails every hour of every day.
    For smartphone users, text messaging would be the best, but it costs money to send text messages from a website.

    If small screens (smartphones) is the main users, you'll be looking at making the site responsive to all screen sizes and especially easy to use for small screen (smartphone) users.

    You'll have to have the website hosted on a shared webhost that allows PHP/SQL scripting (not a free site like Wix or Weebly).

    If you plan on developing this offline (on your PC), you'll have to run a web server on your PC. This is rather advanced I.T. stuff.

    As you see, there is a lot more to designing and developing websites besides HTML. Some people who want a website may want you to set up everything including the webhost used. Subscribing to shared webhost (such as GoDaddy) requires a credit card and at least 1 year subscription in advance. "Free" webhosts are really not "free". There are hidden limitations such as lack of PHP and pop-up ads or some kind of information gathering that they use to keep their sites "free".

    People can pay you easily with PayPal, but they will want to see everything working before they pay, or pay 1/2 first and 1/2 when done. You'll be competing against Middle Eastern programmers who crank out sites like crazy and charge very little. It's a very tough business to get into and to make a profit.

    You would be better off focusing on your dad's hostel business and perhaps starting one of your own. You could even use social media to entice young people (from the U.S. and Canada) to visit your country and stay at the Hostel. Offer some other things like tour guides, or personal attendant to help non-Latin people to get around, communicate, and be safe in a foreign country. I don't know your age, but most people I know in the U.S. are probably frightened about visiting your country, fearing it's not safe. A hostel depends on outside visitors doesn't it?

    Make your website (or your dad's site) all about what it takes to travel to your city, what the area offers, all about the Hostel, assigning personal attendants / drivers / guides so the visitor(s) can feel safe. If I was a 20 year old and was interested in going to your country, I would not even consider it unless I knew that I had a safe place to stay and someone local to the area escort me around and "look out" for me.
    Last edited by mlseim; Sep 21st, 2021 at 10:11 AM.



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