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Codepal-My First Step in the world of Web Designing

  • # January 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Hello friends,
    I am a student and am really new to this web development and designing thing. But I am trying to learn as much as I can and thanks to Chris I have learned a lot in the past few days :). Given below is the link to my web site. As I am not very good at designing things :oops: , so I guess my site isn’t that visually appealing like many of the inspirational sites I have seen out here. I have used JQuery [thanks to Chris for introducing it to me :P] to make all the different sections of my web page in one page itself. Hence, it takes a wee bit time to load in the starting, but once its done, I guess the browsing experience of the site is quite fast. I will try to optimize the images further and use the ‘Lazy Load Plug in’ to see if the page load time reduces considerably. One more problem which I am facing is that I have faded the text on my side bar a bit and because of that the text gets distorted for some people though it comes fine when I open the site from my place. Please, do take a look at the site and comment on it. I am sure suggestions and guidance from you guys can help me become a professional like you all.

    Thanks in Advance :D

    Here is the Link:- http://www.code-pal.com/

    I will hopefully be making more web pages with coming time. So instead of creating new posts for every web page I create, I thought of updating the links here itself so that you guys can comment and suggest improvements.. :)

    Updates :-
    A Green Abstract Portfolio site. Its there in the services section of my site.

    Rob
    # January 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    for your first time site, your doing good mate :) I like it – although i think some of the jQuery is over the top – assuming you are using "show" why not try "slideDown" – it might look sexyer – just a thought.

    Great start though – it dosnt load too slow :)

    PS – following you on twitter ;)

    # January 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Yea, very good for just starting out. You will find yourself changing things here and there often as you continue to learn more about design elements, etc.

    I just noticed off the bat, your glowing logo is ~10 px or so into the nav border.
    You also might want to mess around with the nav links padding… the last one is a little off and the others are too, but less noticable.

    I would *definitely* suggest cleaningoptimizing those images… "noise" is only good when you mean to have it there, but I can tell that all your images aren’t very sharp, etc, so its the way you’re saving it I’m assuming. The thing is, yes, you want small load times… however, what you do display *must be good* and can not be sacrificed. Quality over quantity sort of thing.

    Also, this is a personal opinion possibly, but the sliding speed is *super* fast that it’s almost giving me whiplash. ;) For featured content, i tend to like soft transitions… Any animation in fact, is always more pleasing when its smooth and not… BAM! Atleast, that’s my opinion. =)

    Keep up the good work and welcome to our little community here at CSS-tricks =)

    # January 12, 2009 at 8:21 am

    thank you guys for the feed back.

    @ rob i will try out that slide feature today itself :P and even I am following you on twitter ;)

    @milehigh- yes even i have noticed that padding problem and i could’t figure out why its happening… it was fine when i started with the site but got messed somewhere in between.. :| i will fix it today.. and as for the animation when i reduce its speed it lags a bit in many browsers. Anyway, i will change the ‘show’ animation as rob suggested and try sum other animation which would look nice and be soft like u said :)

    # January 12, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Nice logo. Wandering how it is working, because I have deactivated JS. Do something with your typography.

    # January 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    thanks runa :)
    Guys, I have changed all those things which you all pointed out to me :)
    List of changes :-
    1>Changed the animation effect to something much smoother and softer to the eyes
    2>Improved the typography [or at least tried to, you guys be the judge lol]
    3>Fixed the navigation bar padding problem, which actually was a jpeg image problem :P I just changed it to PNG and it got resolved

    :arrow: Check out the site

    # January 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Listing your price is generally a no-no, although I guess when it’s this cheap that’s what you’re going for.

    Quote:
    Price: Starting from $100 for a single page design.

    Prices like that say to me "no quality". Granted, we all have to start somewhere, but that seems just far too low imo. It’s prices like that that make clients balk when I give them a quote.

    # January 12, 2009 at 11:31 pm
    "TheDoc" wrote:
    Listing your price is generally a no-no, although I guess when it’s this cheap that’s what you’re going for.

    Quote:
    Price: Starting from $100 for a single page design.

    Prices like that say to me "no quality". Granted, we all have to start somewhere, but that seems just far too low imo. It’s prices like that that make clients balk when I give them a quote.

    oh is it that low.. I thought as am starting new I would keep low prices and then later on increase it slowly as i get more work and my port folio increases…Ok then i will just remove that price quote from my site :) hmm the price for psd to xhtml is ok? i have seen many people do that for $65. Is there any guide for "Freelancing for Beginners" ? :P

    # January 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm
    "Sumeet Chawla" wrote:
    "TheDoc" wrote:
    Listing your price is generally a no-no, although I guess when it’s this cheap that’s what you’re going for.

    Quote:
    Price: Starting from $100 for a single page design.

    Prices like that say to me "no quality". Granted, we all have to start somewhere, but that seems just far too low imo. It’s prices like that that make clients balk when I give them a quote.

    oh is it that low.. I thought as am starting new I would keep low prices and then later on increase it slowly as i get more work and my port folio increases…Ok then i will just remove that price quote from my site :) hmm the price for psd to xhtml is ok? i have seen many people do that for $65. Is there any guide for "Freelancing for Beginners" ? :P

    http://freelanceswitch.com/

    Pricing in this industry is tough, especially starting out. Some people don’t know how to put a price on themselves, and the end up usually undercutting themselves.

    If you have the skills, charge whatever you think is "fair". You will find people charge MANY different wages, and generally the more expensive it is, the better it is (that’s how it should work anyways).

    # January 13, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Exactly Doc… What he is saying is true. Try advertising on Craig’s List… HAH! 910 "website design" links there are only affiliate links redirecting you to the same site… Not only that, once you get there, they flash in your face "Starting at 99 dollars!" Well, of course, I look into it… 100 dollars gave you a single page, no personal URL and you basically chose from 5 different, bad templates. Wanted e-commerce? well simply add 1000 dollars… want e-commerce that works? add 2000… how about a logo? add 200… want a logo that wasn’t copypasted from another site and put your name on it? Add 500. I’m not even kidding.

    I tell potentials about these kind of sites when they say "what about this site offering 100 dollars i saw on craig’s list" I have even told one client that if he only has a budget of 100 dollars for his requested 10 page site, then he should save his 100 dollars and download a free template somewhere and do it himself. The quality would equal what you would get from one of these providers. Now, I’m not saying you are one of these providers… it’s just that quality, like anything in life, comes with a price. You get what you pay for, yada yada.

    I tell all potentialscurrent clients that quotes I give them are fair and realistic to what *i as a designer* am offering them… and to give them "starting prices" is just getting their hopes up. I could say "Websites starting at $1!" But that gets you this: "<head></head>" Anything beyond that is only +$1000 dollars per a feature!

    Here’s an idea… to start out, talk to friends and even their families if you are close with them. Don’t be rigid, and consider them hiring you as being a favor. Create a few sites so you can build a portfolio, then you can charge normal pricing. Also, make 2-3 complete redesigns for them as your skills increase. This way *everything* in your portfolio is of your best and most recent quality. This will take time, and seem like you’re making no money. Well, my dad went to school to be a doctor for 12 years and made nothing, so this is relatively better. ;) Now, as part of this agreement with your friendsfamily, is that you tell them to give you referals at any moment possible. I did this a while back and actually got several inquiries and one leading to a site that I am currently working on.

    Lastly, I’ll finish with this… Do your research. Not only so *you* know EXACTLY what you’re talking about, but also to educate your potentials. If I was a car mechanic, I wouldn’t ask someone to fix my car. So that means 99.9% people who contact you dont know how to make a good website. Maybe they can work with a template, but that doesn’t count. I can also put on new wiper blades, but I’m not going to install a new engine in my car. So, once your ability and confidence increases, you can then explain to a client as to why it is this price. Not, "well hundred bucks sounds cool, right?" To be a freelancer, you must know every aspect of the business for what you’re offering. Not only will this benefit your business, but also provide confidence to a potential client that they are paying you their hard earned money for something that you will work hard on.

    Long post? Sorry… Just trying to provide some insight I suppose… take it or leave it! ;)

    Rob
    # January 13, 2009 at 4:13 am

    I have to second what these 2 wise guys have said.

    By advertising prices so low, you kinda destroy the industry from within lol

    For a recent job, I was able to charge exactly what I wanted – and the client thanked me… why? Because I gave them alot back.

    When I get some interest in a job, I send out a questionnaire of about 12 questions – this answers some huge design questions, and helps me build a picture of what they will require. I then formulate those answers into about 500 words describing their idea back to them – this shows firstly that you have listened and you care, and secondly gives you the oprotunity to show them what they are thinking, in black and white.

    actually – let me show you my design process.

    My design process is as follows:

    1. Design Brief: Conduct Questionnaire or Interview to get the design brief.
    2. Research: Conduct research focused on the industry itself, on its history, and on its competitors.
    3. Reference: Conduct research into designs that have been successful and current styles and trends that are related to the design brief.
    4. Site mapping: design the functionality and usability of the site.
    5. Sketching & Conceptualising: Develop the design concept(s) around the brief and research and mapping
    6. Presentation: Present designs to the client.
    7. Amendments: Make amendments where necessary
    8. Create final Design: A fully polished Photoshop end product.
    9. Coding & Filling: Slicing and building the site – adding content
    10. Finish: Woohoo – bed time…

    Notice how I dont go near photoshop for a good while…

    this process is always up for review as well, with each project it will change a little, and mould itself to the best working practice I find.

    I feel its very important to give your clients an idea of what is happenening behind the sceans, they then realise a little of how much work goes into making their website perfect, and suddenly your "overcharging" is actually very reasonable… It just takes effort.

    – I hope that helped a little…

    # January 13, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks guys for all the information about pricing and all..
    @milehigh, lol its not a long post :D
    @rob, i really like your process of building a site..I would love to follow something like that :D
    I had no idea about all this.. i thought the cheaper i would charge the more the clients will get attracted :P
    I have removed the prices from the site :)
    ‘MilehighDesigner’ said that I should contact my friends, their families, but no one i know is that web savvy to have their own personal web site or a personal blog :| and no one has a commercial site because all are college students :P They all use social communities like facebook or orkut.. I am trying to increase my portfolio by learning how to design sites from the web and then convert them into web pages. That smiley site in my portfolio is the first site i designed from scratch [well other than my own site]. What could really help me is , I think, if I can get some psd mock ups and convert them into xhtml/css and add it to my portfolio… But I have no idea where to get them :?
    Good thing you guys pointed out about the price issue.. I was about to start a new post in the other section to ask everyone to contribute tips and suggestion for Beginners to freelancing. As in how to promote the site, how to get that very first client, what price to charge and all the things which could matter to a new comer :roll:

    Rob
    # January 13, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    What I would recomend is:

    http://freelanceswitch.com/

    For practice I would get set up for themeforest and get some templates/themes produced, and then sell them. It will make you learn fast.

    Freelancing is a strange game – "freelancer" websites are pretty pants, as most of the jobs are asking for someone to redesign their business’ brand for a $50 maximum… and people ACTUALLY go for these jobs!

    Also have a look around here:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/

    and their attached "marketplace"

    http://marketplace.sitepoint.com/

    # January 13, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks rob for the links, i will check them out right now.. we can sell our templates on those sites? lol i thought they have their own designers who design them :oops: silly me! Ok first of all i am gonna convert that smiley template which i created… hope i do justice to it :P

    # January 13, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Robski’s design process is great, and something you could pull from and tailor to what works best for *and works* the best…

    You don’t have to sit around until you get a client… Robski, again, had a great suggestion, which is trying to create templates for ThemeForest. Personally what I do, is create websites for mock businesses. I name them "Random Company" and then fill in a subtitle like "Photography by Random Guy" as if I was creating a site for a photographer.. Then, I create it with a feel a photographer might like. Some designs totally suck, and I close them after only a minute of messing with stuff, but some stuff is interesting and I use them in later designs. I have NEVER taken a messing around site, and just plugged in the new name for the potential. You see, I want to and create everything custom to their needs… if i said "I’ve got a site template all ready in photoshop for you!" it’s defeating that purpose.

    Another suggestion as Robski mentioned in his design process is doing research. Look at website design galleries… Look at every site possible, anywhere. Look at what’s good, look at what’s bad, and apply it in your design and coding. This does not mean copy verbatim… it means get inspired by something, and make it your own.

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