Go Back   Internet Business Forums > Design & Development

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 28-01-2009, 01:20 AM   #1
chocolaterolo
Junior Member
 
chocolaterolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Wednesbury
Posts: 14
Unhappy How to get to 2nd Base in Web Design?

Hi everyone
I am new here..... and I need some advice on web design. I started about 8 years ago doing basic web design using Frontpage along with a few graphics packages to do some basic illustrations, for a few customers (I told them I wasn't a web designer, but they insisted honest!!). I haven't done many websites, but I understand the basics of HTML, concept of CSS, how the CGI bins operate and some very basic mouse over Java. I have done my own shopping cart about 4 years ago using Actinic ecommerce and managed to get near the top of page 1 in yahoo for searching on 'swap magic' and had lots of sales. I've now managed to get the top of the first page (most days) in google for searching 'ntbackup guide' and its stayed on the first page since last year and does get quite a few visitors considering I don't promote it at the moment (because the site needs an overhaul and lacks products and was just a SEO experiment that worked). So I think I've mastered some basic SEO skills, or just got lucky! I'm also going to be registered as Actinic Developer in Feb when I've been on my course.

My question is, to become accepted as a web designer and to be able to sell my services as a web designer, what are the minimum skills I would be expected to need, because I am intimidated by all the fantasic professional designs out there.

I don't think I'm very good at art but may be better at the SEO side of things, so should I buy templates for designs? Or is it best to create your own? Do sole traders hook up with other web designers and help each other out?

I need help? Thanks
chocolaterolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-01-2009, 02:39 AM   #2
bumfluff
Senior Member
 
bumfluff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: London
Posts: 1,337
Default Re: How to get to 2nd Base in Web Design?

Welcome

My advice would be first to stop using Frontpage. It chucks out a lot of proprietary code. Get the hang of coding by hand rather than using a WYSIWYG editor. Also, you need to learn CSS. Standards are moving towards keeping the style and content seperate on pages, and CSS is the way to do that.. the html markup supplies the content, the CSS stylesheet styles it.

That's the absolute minimum, but I'd also recommend learning Flash, and get a working knowledge of PHP, MySQL and Javascript. You don't necessarily have to know them inside out, but well enough to troubleshoot would be an advantage.

Don't use templates for client sites. The last thing a company needs is to look like another company. If you really can't do the design side, consider teaming up with a web designer while you focus on SEO or back-end stuff or whatever you end up specialising in.

Hope that's of some help.
bumfluff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-01-2009, 07:47 PM   #3
Brian Turner
Business Guru
 
Brian Turner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Near Inverness, Highlands, Scotland
Posts: 7,951
Default Re: How to get to 2nd Base in Web Design?

Welcome to the forums.

To be honest, anyone can claim internet skills simply by using basics - the real test comes by comparison to others in the field.

While there are certainly some amazing designers out there, for most websites they are not looking for complex designs, merely functional and aesthetic.
Brian Turner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-01-2009, 11:29 PM   #4
chocolaterolo
Junior Member
 
chocolaterolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Wednesbury
Posts: 14
Default Re: How to get to 2nd Base in Web Design?

Thanks very much, I am kind of on the right track, I've been doing my dreamweaver CSS tutorials this week.
I don't like to admit it, but my sites are always very boring looking, functional, but boring. I always start to envy the nice designs. Will start looking at freelance sites to see if I can team up with a designer.
Thanks again.

What about Expression Web 2 (replacement for Frontpage). What is opinion on that one?
chocolaterolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-01-2009, 11:41 PM   #5
monaghan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 578
Default Re: How to get to 2nd Base in Web Design?

I like Expression Web, v2 is much better than the original version. If you have the design skills, then you'll be able to produce good work in just about any tool, so choose the one you feel most comfortable with. I like the page template capabilities, this makes it very easy to crank out a simple site without too much code bloat (unlike the earlier versions of FP) EW2 has PHP support and also (as you'd expect being an MS product) supports the ASP.Net environment so may be a good choice if you do a lot of Windows work.

If you want to team up with a designer though, I'd go with the same toolset as the designer (or at least something that can edit their work easily) so you can easily make simple changes.
monaghan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-01-2009, 11:53 PM   #6
Brian Turner
Business Guru
 
Brian Turner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Near Inverness, Highlands, Scotland
Posts: 7,951
Default Re: How to get to 2nd Base in Web Design?

My personal take is to take a couple of free Wordpress templates - and then just tweak them as required.

The fact that almost all are in CSS already - doing the hard bit - is really helpful - plus I personally use Wordpress to built normal static websites. Simple and easy.

I don't sell design services, though, just my own sites, such as this.
Brian Turner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-01-2009, 11:33 PM   #7
chocolaterolo
Junior Member
 
chocolaterolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Wednesbury
Posts: 14
Default Re: How to get to 2nd Base in Web Design?

Yes, I am sorry to say I am all windows and microsoft stuff. Mainly because I've spent my IT career working in government, charity and education where MS Select agreements are the norm, more recently manufacturing, but they've all used Microsoft. This is like the last 10 years for me.

I now work full time as IT Consultant for 3 main companies in Birmingham as well as a number of other small/medium clients. It is my clients who are begging me to do web designs for them, and you have to cater for what the client wants in order to get paid. I've told them I'll only do them a website that is worthy of putting my name to on the web. Which is why I need to learn it. I don't like letting my customers down and I do learn fairly quick anything windows based. I don't learn programming like php very quick or anything linux/unix based it doesn't come natural. I am good with Adobe Illustrator and Fireworks CS3 but I can't create my own design ideas, not imaginative/creative enough.

Actinic is very easy as ecommerce package (customer wants this too), so I'm not too concerned with this one, it has lots of templates, you can edit it within the software or within Dreamweaver and add your own CSS styles in.

I'll have a look at Wordpress thanks.
chocolaterolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2009, 02:47 AM   #8
Solicitors Mortgages
Senior Member
 
Solicitors Mortgages's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 166
Default Re: How to get to 2nd Base in Web Design?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chocolaterolo View Post
My question is, to become accepted as a web designer and to be able to sell my services as a web designer, what are the minimum skills I would be expected to need.
None. Simply make a portfolio and if anyone wants them then they will pay. The rest is down to your personal pride. If you're proud of what you have made - sell it.

I'd say that being able to build SEO into your sites is something that you should definately learn. If you can say "I built this site and it ranks well for blah blah blah keywords" then the sales will come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chocolaterolo View Post
I don't think I'm very good at art but may be better at the SEO side of things, so should I buy templates for designs? Or is it best to create your own? Do sole traders hook up with other web designers and help each other out?
I wouldn't buy templates unless the customer wants something in particular, in which case it goes on the bill.... and no-one even TALKS to web designers, let alone work with them!

Best regards
James.
Solicitors Mortgages is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2010, 10:07 PM   #9
chocolaterolo
Junior Member
 
chocolaterolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Wednesbury
Posts: 14
Default Re: How to get to 2nd Base in Web Design?

Just reading my old post, and I have come on a bit since these posts. I'm proud to say that I've just helped a 2 gardeners get their company first page of google for their search terms and they've had loads of sales calls and jobs from it and comments on how professional it is. I have also done same for a nursery and a nail salon in sheffield. So things are moving onwards and upwards.
Cheers everyone.
chocolaterolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2010, 04:54 PM   #10
Mark Hare
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Default Re: How to get to 2nd Base in Web Design?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Turner View Post
My personal take is to take a couple of free Wordpress templates - and then just tweak them as required.

The fact that almost all are in CSS already - doing the hard bit - is really helpful - plus I personally use Wordpress to built normal static websites. Simple and easy.

I don't sell design services, though, just my own sites, such as this.
I totally agree with using WordPress. As far as I'm concerned, it's the single best platform available. So user friendly, and free! Some may disagree. Traditional web designers/developers might not be the biggest fans... although you will find many who sing WP's praises all day, and have specialized as such.

Personally, I use the Thesis theme. It turns the basic WordPress platform into a customizable dream. OK, it's a premium theme, so you pay for it... but get the developer's version and you can deploy it on any and every site you ever create. It's up there with the best money I've ever spent... and is well under $200. You couldn't get half the quality for twice the price from a traditional web designer.

Hornet's nest maybe, but that's my 2 cents.
Mark Hare is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.