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Feedback needed

  • # June 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Hey all,

    I’ve had an idea tumbling around in my head for awhile and I just thought I’d shoot it out here and see what feedback you all had.

    I’ve been a graphic designer for six years. Design is my friend but HTML/CSS and all this coding is not. However, there is a relatively untapped market in my area for website design. Problem is, I can create these user-friendly and eye appealing designs but their just a .psd that sits on my hard drive and never makes it to it’s intended destination of the internet. I’ve had a lot of interest in my design work both print and web design but I’ve lost the interest of those potential clients with web design as I do not know how to get the sites up.

    So, my thoughts are this: Why not use a service such as the one Chris touched on a few days ago, WP Coder or PSD2HTML as a sort of third-party provider. Just like any other business would hire out for, say their accounting or cleaning, etc. Now, with third-party providers I know your at the mercy of them and if they fail on their part then I essentially fail as well. I also realize that the cost may be a pit higher then those who can do both design and code sites but I’m thinking locally and staying small. Ultimately, I would love to get more educated on coding but I feel it will never be my forte and it’s best left to people who have a passion and enjoy it.

    This way I could begin to build a portfolio of work with actual clients and make (although minimal to start) a wage to further my education of learning HTML/CSS better. I need to get my feet wet some how and begin establishing myself in web design.

    I have also been told about Theme Forest where designers sell their web designs. This is great too but I enjoy working directly with clients and building a relationship with them for a local business of my own. I also do not want to be just creating "stock" sites that may or may not ever be used.

    Please, let me know what your thoughts or suggestion of this idea. I’m not looking to get rich here with this but as I said above I need to get my feet wet somewhere.

    Thanks in advance to all of you who respond.

    Nick

    # June 26, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    While there is definitely a place for photoshop to html/css businesses I really don’t see them as a solution to your problem.

    So you get your design sliced up and coded into a (hopefully) working template. What then? Who’s going to set it up on the server? Configure the database (in the case of a cms)? Set up the shoping cart for an ecommerce site? Walk the client through using the admin back-end? Trouble shooting and maintenance? Last minute changes? etc.

    I’m not trying to be negative, if you have a talent and a passion for web design then please pursue it, the web needs all the good designers it can get. It’s just that it sounds as though you really don’t know what you are doing when it comes to the technical side of things and you do not want to be left to face an irate client alone and without a clue what to do.

    My advice would be to look for a partner, preferably local to you, who understands the other side of things. If not one specific partner then do some networking, see if you can find a few trusted coders and share the work amongst them, a site here, a site there. With any luck they will be soon coming back to you for design work.

    If all else fails there are plenty of people on this forum (and the web in general) who would be more than happy with some extra work. ;)

    That’s my 2 cents anyway. hope it was some help.

    # June 26, 2009 at 2:58 pm
    "apostrophe" wrote:
    While there is definitely a place for photoshop to html/css businesses I really don’t see them as a solution to your problem.

    So you get your design sliced up and coded into a (hopefully) working template. What then? Who’s going to set it up on the server? Configure the database (in the case of a cms)? Set up the shoping cart for an ecommerce site? Walk the client through using the admin back-end? Trouble shooting and maintenance? Last minute changes? etc.

    I’m not trying to be negative, if you have a talent and a passion for web design then please pursue it, the web needs all the good designers it can get. It’s just that it sounds as though you really don’t know what you are doing when it comes to the technical side of things and you do not want to be left to face an irate client alone and without a clue what to do.

    My advice would be to look for a partner, preferably local to you, who understands the other side of things. If not one specific partner then do some networking, see if you can find a few trusted coders and share the work amongst them, a site here, a site there. With any luck they will be soon coming back to you for design work.

    If all else fails there are plenty of people on this forum (and the web in general) who would be more than happy with some extra work. ;)

    That’s my 2 cents anyway. hope it was some help.

    Thanks, apostrophe for your advice. I guess I should have specified a bit better that I am not totally in the dark when it comes to the more technical side of web design. Although not advanced I am a novice at best with, "set it up on the server? Configure the database (in the case of a cms)? Set up the shoping cart for an ecommerce site? Walk the client through using the admin back-end? Trouble shooting and maintenance? Last minute changes? etc." I can do those things but not as well as others might. (Just yet anyway)

    But I see where your coming from. Non-the-less, great advice.

    # June 26, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Best way to learn anything is by doing, so, like Apostrophe said, if you can get someone to either stand in for you on the technical aspects or just help you along, I think that would be ideal.

    On the other hand, why not get yourself some web space and just start building sites for yourself? A testbed, as it were. You can mess up all you like and learn from it. Like Edison said – "I discovered 10,000 ways of how not to make a lightbulb" (that could be mis-quoted, but you get the picture :D ). Having live samples of your work, when they have reached a suitable standard, is very important in securing business, no matter what game you’re in. I don’t think there is a market for a designer who can’t follow through with the client to the end. Start with small sites/pages just built for yourself, then something for local small enterprises, and work up from there.

    My first site used tables. My second used divs and inline styling. My third used css, wordpress, 5 plugins, utilised feedburner and will probably grow from there. I’m nowhere near where some of these guys are, but I’ll catch up! :mrgreen:

    # July 16, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Right, my first impressions are to tell you not to go down that route. If you say that you can create websites for clients and then you do it that way, what happens when they want something minor changing and you don’t know how to do it? Also there would be little flexibility on your side so I would just go ahead and start to learn the languages of the web.

    I can see what you mean about the whole gap in the market thing, however there are large design companies whereby the designers design, and the coders code, so the idea is kind of already in use, just on a smaller scale. If you don’t really want to get into coding why not find a local website design company and become affiliated with them, meaning when clients come to you asking for a website you can work with the affiliated company and produce one for them – while at the same time charging the company a premium for the work they receive?

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