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  1. #1
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    Current Rating

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    I would like to see some outside views of how my web design looks. I have a web designing company which is at the www.graphixlevel.com website. Then at that website I have a list of my clients. If you could please view my website and my client's and tell me how I'm doing. I'm working on BS in web design and multimedia so please tell me how I'm doing without a degree quite yet. Thanx!
    Mary

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2005
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    I think this is okay for the first couple weeks into the web design course. It has none of the basics which were developed in the last decade or so, like Doctypes and CSS. Most of the elements like marque and flaming gif text went out of practice a decade ago, and for good reasons.

    The design also needs to be brought up to today's basics.

    Really, this is not up to snuff for marketing a web design business. Many working designers are adept at skinning Content Management Systems like Drupal, Joomla, Text Pattern, Wordpress and Movable Type. Others practice usability and interaction design testing with users. Still others are good at actionscript programming. And I'm not even touching on coders, just designers.

    Once through the course, looking back you'll see how far away you are from being ready.

    However, it's a decent application of the first chapter or two of most basic books on HTML. You just have to get through about two dozen more chapters on HTML and CSS, a book on javascript, another book on usability and accessiblity and interface design, a book on basic PhotoShop techniques and graphic design, a course on content strategy - information design and information architecture, and you'll be ready to go looking for clients.

    Right now, my suggestion is to stick with the coursework. Check out...

    CSS Zen Garden

    Web Creme

  4. #3
    Senior Member seanmiller's Avatar
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    I think what your site is really lacking is a coherent design... step back, look at some of the other critiques on this forum and think how you could take the blue/monochrome theme with the barbed wire and extend it... also look at the colour combinations you use... some clash with each other, especially the orphaned content at the bottom of some of the pages...

    A bit of planning at the start will make the whole site feel much more solid and consistent... my advice to people is never to start coding anything until you've mapped everything out on paper and know exactly what it is going to do...

    That said, I like the concept and wish you well... there's a lot of spark there, which will hopefully work well for you :-)

    Sean

  5. #4
    Senior Member solidgold's Avatar
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    Aside from all the other points raised - this site is very confusing from an SEO (search engine optimisation) point of view.

    Firstly, the URL of your page should be at least similar to that of the page title, personally I prefer Graphixlevel.com to Barbed Wire Graphics - you should probably think of the connotations of that name too, does it give potential clients the image of you being confrontational?

    Oh, by the way, can you honestly get away with charging $20 an hour?! Thats what? about 9? and this isn't your full time job? Jesus - as somebody else also without a degree I usually charge about only 20 for the whole job!

  6. #5
    Senior Member seanmiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidgold
    Aside from all the other points raised - this site is very confusing from an SEO (search engine optimisation) point of view.

    Firstly, the URL of your page should be at least similar to that of the page title, personally I prefer Graphixlevel.com to Barbed Wire Graphics - you should probably think of the connotations of that name too, does it give potential clients the image of you being confrontational?

    Oh, by the way, can you honestly get away with charging $20 an hour?! Thats what? about 9? and this isn't your full time job? Jesus - as somebody else also without a degree I usually charge about only 20 for the whole job!
    As somebody without a degree but with 20 years experience of IT (including significant work abroad for a very large Insurance Company and also running the technical side of the first UK customer implementation of Oracle 7 in the early 90s) I have to say this is way off the mark... 20 for the whole job is not even worth considering... this lady may still be in the early days, but you're trying to say 9/hour is over the top?!?! I would suggest that if you think that way you undervalue yourself.

    But, ultimately, it's the product she delivers that matters... not the time, when it comes to it for the customer... that has to be judged on the business benefit that they derive from it... if it's very little then it isn't worth doing, if the customer stands to gain a great deal you should be able to charge a reasonable price for the deliverable...

    I personally have an office to pay for and infrastructure and a family to keep so 20 for a whole project isn't something I'd even consider sniffing at.

    Sean

  7. #6
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    Thank you for backing me up with the price. To read what all of you have said is really surprising. I've been told that my websites are one of best they've seen. Two things I value most for each of my websites is navagation and updating. And between working full time, going to school full time and having this business. It takes alot to do this. As you may have read in the about us section. I'm 18 and I just started this website because someone had a website for me to run and needed me and just figured I knew what I was doing so I had to do it. I never ever thought 20$ was out of question. I've had people offer me more. That website and the rest of clients websites are created not from what I've learned in school (because I haven't taken any designing classes yet) but what I've taught myself in a year. Oh and did I mention I start a business at the age of 17 and have my own clients. I'm the only part of the Barbed Wire Graphix team. Now from everything I've told you from my background do you still think that my website is nothing too impressive??

  8. #7
    Senior Member seanmiller's Avatar
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    I think your website is a good start, but if you want to really succeed you need to bring your designs more up-to-date. People simply don't design like that any more... they did 8-10 years ago, but not now. The way your pages are structured top to bottom rather than left to right *and* top to bottom are very dated.

    That is not a criticism, simply designed to be helpful advice... I am not convinced that Trellix is the way to go, either... I hadn't come across it before, so not a lot of knowledge of what it does or does not do, but it's left tags all over your code that folks will notice and say "hmmm... what's that?" and that will not do your reputation any good at all.

    All the best,

    Sean

  9. #8
    Senior Member -chris-'s Avatar
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    The site is very dated, as mentioned before. Going with a monochromatic scheme is fine, but can be done much better than what is going on here. Some of the darker shades of blue are difficult to read on the black background.

    Why is your domain graphixlevel.com, but the name of the site and company Barbed Wire Graphix, this could be very confusing to potential customers.

    Please kill the marquee.

    Your site fails validation (HTML 4.01) with 50+ errors.

    A site this basic would be a cinch to style with CSS rather than nested tables.

    I understand that you are only 18, but there are 15-16 year olds that are freelancing successfully. Not that you aren't/can't be successful, but using dated design techniques you are really only hurting yourself.
    Portfolio | Blog | Twitter

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  10. #9
    Senior Member
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    Sorry, but I stick with the consensus of the thread so far -- it's not even close.

    Compare the site you submitted to CSS Zen Garden or those featured on Web Creme. Really, it's no contest.

    Imagine what you would be able to charge when you get up to some widely accepted, bare minimum standards.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Eddy Bones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbwgraphix
    Now from everything I've told you from my background do you still think that my website is nothing too impressive??
    I would still say so because it's not the background that matters in this case, it's the immediate value of the site. As has been mentioned, the design is outdated. Simply put, you're promoting yourself as a professional, but you're not supplying a professional product.

    I don't say that to be critical but to be honest and practical. You definitely have potential in business and on the web.


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