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  1. #1
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    Hello :cheeky:

    Just signed up for this forum. I've finally pushed through with this web design venture of mine and set up my site http://www.cyswebdesign.com.

    Questions though -- and I suppose this applies also to a lot of the forum members. When is a design "good enough" for a web design company? Where do you draw the line between being creative (artsy etc) to being professional?

    I've spoken to some designers who wait on making their site because nothing is ever good enough. Or because it takes time to make that really amazing flash etc. Are they missing out on business NOW? Does it really take a flashy "wow" design to bring in customers?

    Best,
    Roda

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  3. #2
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Hey Roda,

    First your site looks pretty good. Secondly, as a web developer your site should always reflect the current technology or look and feel of current websites.
    Meaning, you need to make sure your site is up to date as far as how it looks and feels. I always tell people, you want a potential customer to go to your site and say "I want one that looks as good as yours".
    You are going to sell based on your site (your work) and that should answer your question as to when to put a site up.
    People that don't have a site up and are constantly looking to improve it, will lose out on business........but guess what? You are already online and can show people your "active portfolio".
    Really, if you were a customer and a "web developer" came to you and asked for your business and they could show you samples of what they done, but they don't even have their own site, would you as a business owner hire them? Probably not.
    You want your site to reflect your personality, your strengths, and your target market. If you are dealing with illustrators, graphics field, photographers, etc......then you want your site to be more artsy. If you want to appeal to a broader base, then obviously going with a professional look is much better and gives you more of a target audience.....but again, it depends on your strengths.
    You don't need anything really flashy to have your site up. You want it to be current, sure.......but again, that falls back on what you want customers to see when they look at your site.
    As for your site, there are a couple of things you may want to look at.
    1) Your logo is pixelated, so you may want to go back and tweak the logo. This is also the case with the headers (Get on the web, Claim your space, etc).
    2) I'm not sure where you are at (location) but your hourly rates seem REALLY REALLY low. Most designers are charging $30-$75 an hour depending on the project, software and time involved. I mean your rates are not much higher than minimum wage. If this is your strategy, that is fine......but don't stay at those rates as your business grows. Your package rates are a little low, but are a little bit more in line with where they should be.
    Just understand if you start to get a lot of work, you won't have a lot of money coming in. I made the same mistake when I started out, but quickly learned.
    I am never a big fan of putting your hourly rates online. Because competitors can bid against you based on that and also because you may have a more intense project that would require more work than $10 an hour.

    I think your site is fine as far as content and layout. Just make sure you are ALWAYS tweaking it. Editing text, adding to your portfolio (even if it is sample designs), and trying to improve functionality.
    And the other designers you talked to who are waiting to put their site up, aren't really designers.......and the more you talk to people like that, the better for you.
    Whenever you talk to a potential customer, you should ask them who they have talked to in the past or are currently using.......then go to their websites and make sure yours is better then theirs. If you do that, you will win business.
    Good luck........
    GMan

  4. #3
    Junior Member
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    Hi Gman and thanks!

    Long read but well worth it.

    I agree about the pixelized logo, and images. Will tweak.

    Re rates, so you've tried to lower the rates but it had not been worth it for you? Before going on my own, I worked with this web design company in FL with similar rates, and as far as I know baselines were met. They sucked, of course, and paid us minimum but... I suppose its a different deal when on your own.

    Thanks again,
    Roda

  5. #4
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Well, maybe someone else can give you a better idea of rates. One of the first things I did when I started my business was to contact ALL of my local competitors and get their pricing.
    Averaging it out, is where I based my rates. Maybe you should do the same thing.
    Any other designers have thoughts or ideas on this?
    GMan

  6. #5
    Senior Member nocloset's Avatar
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    I like the general look of the site, and especially that you're not relying too much on flashy stuff.

    A little DHTML would help, though. Mouseovers on links to provide the user with some feedback, for instance.

    Also, I tried submitting your form to request a quote without filling out any information, and it said, thanks, you will be contacted. You might want to require some fields to be entered before allowing the form to be submitted.

  7. #6
    Senior Member seanmiller's Avatar
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    I have a few comments to add to those before...
    a. Cross browser: have you tested in Firefox? I am viewing it on Linux Firefox (but, normally, the platform does not make a large difference) and the lilac-coloured box with your pricing is all to pot - ie. approx. in the shape of a cross with its apex skewed a bit right of centre. Your top menu bar is also not rendering correctly with the "Contact Us" a line below the rest of the content. Take a look at it in Firefox and see if it happens for you - if not, I'll post a screenshot later.
    b. "Request a Quote" down at the bottom right looks to me rather out of place. It doesn't seem to visually connect with any of the rest of the content. I find that linking content works well in terms of aestetics.
    c. On your services page there are some very strange things going on with lines on the header and shapes of boxes

    I agree, btw, with what others have said. I do not think you should publish your hourly rates; just examples of how much different categories of sites are likely to cost (ie. simple sites $100, dynamic sites $200, full CMS portal sites $500 etc.) - your "hourly rate" isn't really of interest to the average customer, rather what it's likely to cost him/her in total. Also $12/hour is too cheap... customers will be suspicious of why it's so low.

    As a side note, not sure that the enthusiastic proclamation about development being in the Phillipines will necessary be a selling point. There's a fair bit of suspicion of offshoring at present - might lose you customers rather than gain them.

    Sean

  8. #7
    Member samp's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
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    melbourne
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    a website design company must have a website online, i personally think it should be also be very good, in terms of design and funcionality. In saying this i look at my own website http://www.4pd.com.au and think this is almost 3 years old and is really behind the 8 ball (it really needs a redesign). But we get by, by showing past and present customer sites that we have developed and designed, i didnt notice any portfolio section on your website. If your website isnt visually strong (which i believe yours isnt) your portfolio must be.

    your rates, ummmmmmm..... they seem very cheap, too cheap to be true, once again you would be better off with a template design, customers who are looking for dirt cheap website dont care if yours is a template.
    Design Industries
    http://www.di.net.au


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