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Thread: New business website

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    I am not a web designer and do not know the first thing about SEO, or any thing about the interactive functions of a site. However, I do get clients that need a site. As Harold said they have no idea how to start and are generally too busy to be engaged.

    What I do, is create what I call a "mock up" on some simple template program. Insert photos, write copy etc. Then the client can turn it over to a pro. They can then lift the photo's and copy, rearrange, incorporate SEO and create a professional version. The web designer at least has the basic info and can see the general concept needed. Saves time and money and most importantly gets the process started. As Harold said, otherwise it's a back and forth nightmare.

    Web sites are not what I do, but sometimes its an important part of the overall picture and I hate waiting for the client to do it.
    I used to do mock ups, but it started becoming a time suck as if I were building the actual site. I've had clients spend weeks just on the mock up and that's just too much for the price point that I'm charging. My rates today are bare bones, based on time and expertise. If I charged twice as much I probably wouldn't mind going through the mock up dance.

    Much better for me to do it live (on a build area), and bring them along on the way to change as we go, and them move to the next.

    It's also hard to do a mock up that is on target without knowing more about the company and what they're want their website to do for them. Since that's always the initial hurdle, you can end up doing 3 or 4 mock ups before the client gets their thoughts together to figure out who they are, who they're target market is, and what they want to present.

    This is actually a perfect example of wants vs. budget and the OP. When your budget is low you have to give up some luxuries and maybe even pitch in to get the price that you want or at least get it lower. I don't think many people who want it cheap understand that they are basically asking someone experienced and knowledgeable to spend weeks with them, guide them, consult with them, teach them, and do a great job on design, marketing, sales, and functionality..and do it all for less than min wage.

    They feel that unless you are physically turning knobs and writing code, that all the phone time, marketing consulting, writing, SEO, image searching, and so on..has no value and is something you should just do anyway for free.

    Like I said, people who do some research, and come prepared with all of that figured out, written, and a clear direction get the best price and a quicker turn around. Helping clients figure out who they are, what they're doing , and take what's in their imagination and turn it into actual language is 90% of the time suck.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    They feel that unless you are physically turning knobs and writing code, that all the phone time, marketing consulting, writing, SEO, image searching, and so on..has no value and is something you should just do anyway for free.
    This is like this anywhere on the internet. I had almost a client undercutting me after cheaper prices. But after they read some reviews they finally gave up and said that they won't be leaving me because of the support I provides.

    I don't get why people just don't value the same as in person.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by HumaneHosting View Post

    I don't get why people just don't value the same as in person.
    Because they have been led to believe that the internet was going to be an even playing field for everyone, which they mistook to mean cheap, and easy.

    They believe that everything online is all the same. That Facebook is just a simple website that you can bang out in a couple of days, and that a good idea is all it takes to be successful and wealthy. That simple is easy, and everything online is free. They believe good marking just happens because the world waiting for them to go online, that website copy just appears out of thin air like a book of spells and witchcraft, that you can grab any picture you need on Google images, and that good hosting should only cost $3 mo.

    Don't even get me started on security.

    And it's getting worse.

    That's why my days are numbered. I always encourage new web designers tying to decide between freelancing or taking a job with a design or marketing company or an in-house team to take the job. Get the steady paycheck and learn. If after a few years you think you can go it alone, then go for it. Just remember that people don't need you today like they did 10 years ago. Everyone claims they do websites now, and cheap foreign freelancers are everywhere. As are the site builders that advertise on TV and tell people they can be the next web sensation for $25 mo.

    Specialize in something to increase your value and market, and also learn more than just how to build the site.

    I'm not saying that everyone needs to spend thousands on a website. What I'm saying is that if you only have $200 go to Squarespace or WordPress.com and drag and drop some things into a template till you know what you're doing, and understand the web and marketing a little better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HumaneHosting View Post
    I don't get why people just don't value the same as in person.
    Welcome to the service world. I've run into many people who's motto is "You're allowed to turn a profit and make money, just not off of me". Unfortunately, this attitude is getting worse and not better as people see how large companies operate and think they can do the same.
    Brad Miedema
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  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrum View Post
    Welcome to the service world. I've run into many people who's motto is "You're allowed to turn a profit and make money, just not off of me". Unfortunately, this attitude is getting worse and not better as people see how large companies operate and think they can do the same.
    Indeed the "buck passing" can only go so far...

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    But it's not buck passing. It's the exact opposite. Buck passing is the conversation I had today with someone who is too cheap to replace consumables, but I'm not "allowed" to charge more because of the extra hassle and time (at least double) I will need to spend on it. It wouldn't surprise me if the actual cost, after adding in all the extra steps, of what he is doing costs more than a replacement. The problem is the true cost gets hidden because it's $5 here and $10 there and I only got XX amount cut before change out when I normally get XXXX cut when running new.

    It's almost to the point where we're supposed to subsidize someone else's unwillingness to spend and we become the bad guy when we suggest something that costs more but will save, or make, more money in the mid to long term.
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    I used to do mock ups, but it started becoming a time suck as if I were building the actual site. I've had clients spend weeks just on the mock up and that's just too much for the price point that I'm charging. .
    That is really the point of me doing it for the client. No reason you, or any pro, should have to waste time doing the preliminary ground work. After I deliver the mock up there is very little interaction between the client and the pro. I can answer any questions (not technical) quickly on behalf of the client. Clients generally don't know what they need. That's why they hire me in the first place.

    In general my attitude about any project with a client is either I do it, or I don't. I gather their info and then lay out what I plan to do and then do it. I don't allow much back and forth input from the client. Like Harold said that can go on for months over small details.

    Of course they can be helpful but if they get too intrusive, critical and annoying I tell them tell them they don't need me because apparently they can do it themselves. That usually solves it. I bristle when they act like I am now working FOR them, when I consider it working WITH them. I'm cranky that way!
    Last edited by Paul; 02-02-2018 at 10:23 PM.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    That is really the point of me doing it for the client. No reason you, or any pro, should have to waste time doing the preliminary ground work. After I deliver the mock up there is very little interaction between the client and the pro. I can answer any questions (not technical) quickly on behalf of the client. Clients generally don't know what they need. That's why they hire me in the first place.

    In general my attitude about any project with a client is either I do it, or I don't. I gather their info and then lay out what I plan to do and then do it. I don't allow much back and forth input from the client. Like Harold said that can go on for months over small details.

    Of course they can be helpful but if they get too intrusive, critical and annoying I tell them tell them they don't need me because apparently they can do it themselves. That usually solves it. I bristle when they act like I am now working FOR them, when I consider it working WITH them. I'm cranky that way!
    Except it doesn't work that way. Most times the mock up doesn't take any variables or functionality into account, and only reflects design, not what the client actually wants to accomplish. Submitting a mock up to me when I haven't had the benefit of discussing anything with the client about their wants, needs and budget just makes more work for me. Because now I have to tell them why this won't work, or why that won't do what they expect, or why this part costs more money, or why this won't provide a consistent experience across devices and so and so on.

    If I'm the one building the site and responsible for delivering a marketing tool that encompasses everything that a website needs today, I need to be involved from step one. You can't blindly design without considering function, SEO, responsiveness, sales and marketing.

    If you're doing the mock up and know all of that stuff and have the benefit of discussing the project in it's entirety with the client, then build the site. You can't hand it off to a stranger and expect them to agree with your approach. Most times they will not.

    Bottom line is that if the site is not performing they're going to come back to me, not the guy who did the mock up.

  9. #29
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    I agree and disagree at the same time. My clients are not online businesses. The sites are just informational for people that are directed to the site. They are basically for prospective investors for various businesses. The copy has to be very definitive. Actually, the sites are more for me than for the client. The site has to be coordinated with business plans and presentations etc. I guess in reality I am the client! I didn’t explain that in my previous post. My clients would have no idea what to include in that type of site. That’s why I do it.

    The sites are not dependent on SEO, they are not trying to attract online interest. They do not require online sales ability or much interactive ability other than a contact form. They don’t need to be too robust because only a relatively few will ever view them. But they do need to look good.

    My “mockup” really just provides copy and photos on the pages and in the order that I want. Sometimes a video needs to be embedded. I just want the designer to flash it up a bit so it doesn’t look amateurish. Alternatively, I could just provide copy and photos separately, but I find doing a mock up helps me lay it out the way I want it.

    You are correct if the site is part of the business itself then a designer would be much more involved. I would not attempt to create an actual business site. But, I would probably still be the contact to work with the designer. Otherwise the designer would have all the same problems you discussed when working directly with the client and I would be impatient waiting for it to get finished.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    I agree and disagree at the same time. My clients are not online businesses. The sites are just informational for people that are directed to the site. They are basically for prospective investors for various businesses. The copy has to be very definitive. Actually, the sites are more for me than for the client. The site has to be coordinated with business plans and presentations etc. I guess in reality I am the client! I didn’t explain that in my previous post. My clients would have no idea what to include in that type of site. That’s why I do it.

    The sites are not dependent on SEO, they are not trying to attract online interest. They do not require online sales ability or much interactive ability other than a contact form. They don’t need to be too robust because only a relatively few will ever view them. But they do need to look good.

    My “mockup” really just provides copy and photos on the pages and in the order that I want. Sometimes a video needs to be embedded. I just want the designer to flash it up a bit so it doesn’t look amateurish. Alternatively, I could just provide copy and photos separately, but I find doing a mock up helps me lay it out the way I want it.

    You are correct if the site is part of the business itself then a designer would be much more involved. I would not attempt to create an actual business site. But, I would probably still be the contact to work with the designer. Otherwise the designer would have all the same problems you discussed when working directly with the client and I would be impatient waiting for it to get finished.
    If you're the client and you're subcontracting to me, that's a different story. And honestly if that's all you need...no SEO, no special functions, not worried about sales and marketing....just need an information site and you already have the copy and images...you don't need to hire someone like me who charges what it costs them to build it. You can do that on Squarespace or WordPress.com.

    If you're worried about basic structure, just hire a consultant to guide you. Once you do that 2 or 3 times you won't need much guidance to do a basic 1 or 2 page information site

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