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Newbie freelance web designer needs help

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by AgentLunar, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. AgentLunar

    AgentLunar Junior Member

    Soo i did a site for a friend just for uni purposes and through the word of mouth tactic i've lined up some Web design projects to entertain me over the summer my problem i have no idea what to charge or even how to set everything up live.

    What i'd i'ke to know is the following....

    For a 5 page Fully cross browser compatible standards compliant, basic SEO optimised artist portfolio site roughly what would be a good idea to charge?

    I've come across a lot saying have an hourly rate but what is a realistic "Web Designers Minimum Wage"

    As dumb as sounds will i have to buy the domain etc and maintain it for the year or so that's paid for?

    i can build responsively too so how much as an add-on do you reckon that'll be?

    i genuinely don't know what to do other than code and build sites that work offline because that's all they teach.

    Help me please

  2. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I'm slightly sceptical of your ability to deliver an entirely browser compatible, standards compliant, SEO optimised website when you're asking us if you have to buy a domain name (and maintain the site... as in are you responsible for the sites development for that whole year?)

    Do you have any proof that you can deliver these results? Unfortunately this question has been asked before and you will get many differing opinions. It is my opinion though that as a student of unknown ability (proof?) you shouldn't be charging professional rates (some will say otherwise).

    I wouldn't want to put a price on a project a know nothing about so perhaps if you could fill us in on some of the finer details; who it's for, how big they are, what features they want/you intend to put in etc.

    If you have any further questions about hosting and maintaining a website then feel free to ask as I or others will be more than capable of answering any questions you have!
  3. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Squiddy, this bit got me the most :)

    Seriously by the sounds of it I can do better websites than the op and I don't even offer them as a service...
  4. AgentLunar

    AgentLunar Junior Member

    Fair enough it doesn't sound like my skillset is that great but i'm only in the second year of studying at uni and i'm still learning but i am capable of building site's to w3c standards as all the work we submit has to be compliant or it doesn't get marked.

    I clearly stated i knew it was a dumb question but i just needed confirmation that as part of the package offered i'd be responsible for updates for the year the dom name has been bought for.

    I've included some screenshots of ones i've built up to now. I had no intention of charging professional rates but i just wanted an idea of where to aim at.

    What i've got to do is build a site for a textile student who has just graduated from uni. She told me she built the original using and after looking at it there is definitely room for improvement. She wants an under construction page complete with social networking links until the new site is built. Thats pretty much it

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  5. AgentLunar

    AgentLunar Junior Member

    I'm puzzled why you stopped by to hop on Squiddy's nuts but contribute anything useful to the topic. Thanks for that.
  6. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Oh attitude.... well lets put it this way... squiddy said it all...

    But I'll break it down to you... if you don't know what you do do with a domain name (a fundamental part of web design) are you sure you should be offering your services to others.

    Looking at your work I can do that and I don't offer webdesign, maybe I should start offering it.... but then I do know how to deal with a webhost :rolleyes:
  7. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Oh yeah, I did pick up on that. It made me chuckle because I know exactly what this guy is going through. It seems education runs about 10 years behind the current level of technology and then promotes their "advanced courses" as state of the art and 100% necessary for you to become a professional in that industry. It's so frustrating, especially when you only figure this out after you waste a year or 4 at college/uni.

    Lunar, I wasn't trying to belittle you for being a student but you have to know the reality of your situation. Also, I know this might come as a shock to you but... what they've been forcing you to prioritise at school doesn't really apply so much in the real world. I know, it sucks, and I went through the exact same thing... Making websites in MS Powerpoint..!? Awesome..... (I actually knew how to code sites at the time and would you believe that you didn't get any extra points for writing it in HTML!?). W3C doesn't actually mean all that and some of the best technology you can use actually makes it impossible for a site to be w3c compliant - which leads me to believe that the course you are taking isn't particularly up to date.

    You clearly stated it was a dumb question, that's fine too. I was actually trying to clarify what exactly you wanted to know as it wasn't immediately obvious. You are responsible for what ever you agree to. If you want to host their website, or more likely find them a web host, then you can look into that or find someone who knows what they're doing as there is a lot to learn when it comes to this stuff and it can take quite a long time before you find a reliable hosting company. If you want any further advice with this then just ask. I offer my own web hosting (I'm a reseller) to all of my clients so if you want help with your client then let me know and we can work something out.

    Future site development is also up to you, you're not obliged to do anything other than what has been agreed on in the contract/service agreement. What I like to do is offer my clients different packages based on what they actually need. Email accounts, hosting, regular/future site development/alterations, support etc. It's also a good idea to add 2 hours of free time per month for small changes so they don't feel ripped off and also a discount on your regular rates/project fees. This increases the value of your package considerably and also encourages clients to remain loyal.

    The screen shots you have posted up are average. Have these designs been coded or did you just make a photoshop mock up? Personally, I believe you should charge around £75 - 100, less if they're a friend. (This offer should never apply to friends of friends, you don't want to be known as the communities discount professional). Even if you don't take up hosting with myself, I urge you to contact a professional about this because it's definitely not something you really want to learn as you go.

    In future, when you ask for advice and receive it, try not to take it so personally. We are all here to help each other out, even if that means the truth has to be told. However, being rude is the quickest way to get peoples backs up.
  8. AgentLunar

    AgentLunar Junior Member

    Squiddy i had no issues with anything you've said as you've actually given me advice which i genuinely appreciate. But if you read the response to both the op and the reply Levi has shown no desire to help, so as respectful as i want to be he's done nothing to warrant it. I came here to get information from people who do this on a regular basis not to be berated by someone for asking questions when that's what the purpose of a forum is.

    The mock ups are coded they're the 1st 3rd n 5th sites i've done in that order, The first is my own design but the other 2 are influence by the clients requests they didn't have to go live though, there are jquery effects etc. in all of them but it's nothing too much to go on about.

    When it comes to one that needs hosting i'll be sure to contact you to arrange something.

    Thanks for the info
  9. AgentLunar

    AgentLunar Junior Member

    So that's 2 comments and still you've not chose to contribute anything of assistance to either me or anyone passing by reading this in a similar situation and you're surprised you got attitude. Yet again thank you for commenting.
  10. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    you clearly can't read then.... and your attitude will not get you far in the design world.

    I have given you advice...

    First I stated I agree with squiddy, now I could copy and paste what he said if you wish but I thought that perhaps a university student might have some semblance of intellect that may allow them to either read squiddy's post again or be able to recollect what was already said. Clearly I was wrong, either that or the quality of university students has decreased in the last few years....

    Second I stated that I can do more than you and don't offer web design as a service. This in itself should raise enough questions for you to think whether or not you should offer your limited skills to other people. Personally I don't think you should, you're clearly lacking in people skills.

    Third - you don't know about what is arguably the most fundamental part of web design... the domain and hosting.... what good if offering a webdesign service if you can't get it on the internet... not many people will see it on YOUR computer (working on the assumption you don't know how to allow people to access your pc from the internet to view webpages etc... which is a fair assumption considering you don't know how to deal with hosting).
  11. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I think this might be getting a little out of hand but I'm a firm believer of resolving disputes, as opposed to ignoring them. I apologise in advance if my opinion doesn't go down well but it is my aim to be as impartial as possible.

    Levi to be fair, in hind-sight, I fail to see the relevance of your first post in this thread, from Lunar's point of view. If you read your initial post I think you would also have to agree that it would be hard to see how it makes a priority of answering his questions and providing him with useful information. It could also be argued that you didn't really specify that you were agreeing with my opinions until your second post, by which time you had already been accused of jumping on my nuts... (I'm sure that went down well)

    Which brings me to my next point.. Lunar, if you enter into a new community it is very rare that people are going to help you if you're being disrespectful to other members, especially if they happen to be one of the most established members within the community. It's not like you can really have a go at him for not giving you free professional advice, some will some won't. You would have been much better off asking politely for a more in-depth response in the hope that he may be willing to part with some valuable (and free) information/experience.

    That's just my evaluation of the situation, feel free to contest it. I don't think the blame can be pinned on any one person entirely, so let's just understand where things went wrong, learn from it and move on :)
  12. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Actually squiddy I don't see an issue with my first post.

    I pointed out what I saw as the major issue and also pointed out the fact that someone (me) with likely higher web design skills doesn't offer web design as a service. If Lunar can't see the issue in that then to be honest I doubt he'd take any notice of any advice I give anyways... just look at the response to my second post, I never said anything helpful :rolleyes:

    You should know that I openly say on this forum that web design is not my main field of expertise so considering I don't see myself as an expert in web design and appear to have a higher skillset than the op I think the fact they've never done a site that works ONLINE might be a bit of an issue....

    You know as well as I do that a site that works on your pc doesn't ALWAYS work online...

    It's a simple case of a student trying to run before they can walk and not liking it when someone points out the blatantly obvious.
  13. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I'm just taking the complaint from Lunar, that you hadn't contributed much of value in your initial posts (something that we have argued about before, specifically concerning people new to the forum) and then examining your posts. Let's take your first one for example:

    That to me, basically reads as you quoting him, laughing at him and then saying that you're better than him. I appreciate that you or others may see this differently, this is just how I can see this post potentially being read. Do you not think it's possible that someone who doesn't know you may come to this conclusion?

    Don't forget he's still in education, I dread to think what kind of things they've been telling him! I really wouldn't be surprised if he was trying to run before he can walk. He was probably told that you don't need to learn about hosting websites and that you have to use Dreamweaver/other hugely expensive software to build websites, otherwise you're just not a professional ;)
  14. hmmm it might be an idea to lock this post soon :)
  15. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    If I was laughing I would have had lol on the post.

    In regards to if he takes any notice of me... I really don't care either way, it's his problem if he doesn't like me saying it as I see it, not mine.

    exactly, we're not. we don't HAVE to comment on here for FREE. If the OP didn't like what I said he should have moved along and totally ignored it.
  16. tim

    tim Senior Member


    In a lot of situations you only learn when you're chucked in at the deep end and slapped in the face by the problems that appear.

    It's a good idea, if it's what you want to do, to start building *real* websites, taking a brief and making them real. You'll learn what you can and can't do, what works and what doesn't.

    Charging for that though, until you fully understand the width of your area of work, is maybe something I'd stay away from.

    Designs aren't great, they're not appalling tho. Use grids in Photoshop, or whatever you're making these mockups in, to align all your elements up properly. Learn about typography and it's impact. Take a website you *love* and try and copy it, element for element (for your use only).

    If you're interested in making each design a reality, even on your own domain, learn about - the most incredibly logical and neat way of writing your own code.

    Then slowly take away your prompts and try and start to code CSS/HTML independently without Google or, see how you do.

    If it's still your bag, and your websites have improved to a professional standard, maybe take a look at charging for any future work.

    In the mean time, the clients you got may just want a cheap ride. When they get something for nothing they're not normally customers you want anyway. They're always disappointed to some extent, even if you cut off your left leg to do it!

    @Levi - apologising if any hurt was caused, and then not coming back to repeat the same comments, is 100x more effective than posting several times and defending your original comments.

    I know where your coming from when you post like this, but i'm not sure it's productive for you or the OP.

    if this guy was the young Mohammed guy we had on before, these replies are totally warranted(!!!!), but maybe not here.

    if everyone stopped learning because someone, somewhere was better than them, it'd be a pretty boring area of work to be in!

    PS. where's all the happy gone! this place is a happy place! i feel we all need to change our display pics to favourite tv show characters again...
  17. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Long time no see Tim :)

    If I feel that my post was offensive then I'd apologise, but I don't.

    I stand by my first comment (and later ones) and I would have said the exact same thing if he was standing in front of me.

    There is no point beating round the bush in design, you waste far too much time and effort.
  18. tim

    tim Senior Member

    i'm sorry if i offended you, Levi. ;)
  19. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    you offend me... never you're an :angel:
  20. AgentLunar

    AgentLunar Junior Member

    Thanks for the pointers Tim, i can code in CSS/HTML i'm still learning a lot of the tags but i know enough to set up a framework and style it etc. but as you pointed out my designs are drab and this is something i already know and i'm working on improving. I will take the approach to a few briefs and see how much i can improve my style.

    To be fair the client i originally referred to saw the one i did for a friend and i think was just sold on a site that has a few neat jQuery effects and slides horizontally as opposed to page loads and that's how i ended up where i am.

    This statement pretty much defines my uni experience up to now hence why i'm hear and searching google to find out what i need to know. So thank you to the both of you for your advice

    Regarding the comments from Levi i don't see why he should be able to say things like that and not expect a response as if to say he's justified to act like that, but hopefully that's the last of it n we can move on

    For the record i'm not this Mohammed guy you've mentioned.

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