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Old 04-11-2009, 00:34   #1 (permalink)
destinite
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Noob ? about web design/hosting

Hello all, noob here.

I have a side business that I run during evenings. I usually only do about 5-6 jobs a year, and most of them revolve around business cards, logos, letterhead, maybe the occasional catalog, etc. I did a website for someone just because they wanted it and insisted I give it a shot. I didn't go to school for web design, I'm pretty much self-taught in HTML, CSS and Flash, but he loved it.

Ever since then I've done maybe 1-2 websites a year. Since most of my side work is done after I get home from work and late at night, my correspondence is usually only via e-mail - I'll send rough ideas as jpg files to the customer, they tell me what they like and don't like, we go back and forth 3-4 times and go from there. As I'm working on the actual site, I host it on my own web space so that they can actually go online and see it as it's taking form and can add their input. I've only had a few customers ask me for web designs, but all of them have been completely satisfied, so I figure maybe I could inquire the experts (you guys) about a couple of things before I actually go and PROMOTE myself as a web designer:

My web customers have always had their own hosting and domain - I would either zip the website and e-mail it to them or have them give me their ftp/login/pass and I would upload myself. I have a customer now who seems to know nothing about having a domain or hosting - I don't provide this. Is it common for a simple designer to offer hosting and domain services, or do they usually do just that - design? I'd appreciate hearing your stories and how you do things - it would help me greatly. Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:08   #2 (permalink)
Maerk
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It's completely up to you what service you provide, personally I don't want to touch hosting for a client for fear that I'll be on call for the rest of time everytime they forget their FTP, but I'll happily recommend where a client can get some hosting and then work with that.

But some designers and developers are happy to be resellers for some clients, just down to what you feel comfy providing.

Do you have any links to your work so we can have a ganders at what level you're at?
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:14   #3 (permalink)
teapoted
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Stop saying noob.
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Old 11-11-2009, 17:57   #4 (permalink)
destinite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maerk
It's completely up to you what service you provide, personally I don't want to touch hosting for a client for fear that I'll be on call for the rest of time everytime they forget their FTP, but I'll happily recommend where a client can get some hosting and then work with that.

But some designers and developers are happy to be resellers for some clients, just down to what you feel comfy providing.

Do you have any links to your work so we can have a ganders at what level you're at?

w*ww.grafxone.com (remove asterisk - I can't post urls yet) is my site. I need to go through and add some stuff. I've only done one site for a big company, but that was a couple of years ago and they've since decided to dig in their pockets and pay the big bucks for better work. I'm trying to learn more - I know I use tables too much, sue me, i'm getting there.


Oh, and teapoted, noob noob noob noob noob noob noob noob. NOOB. There, I'm done.
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Old 13-11-2009, 10:32   #5 (permalink)
Maerk
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Less is more I'd say for your portfolio, there's some very ropey work in there, just highlight your best and most recent, some pieces are really dragging down expectations, and the personal portfolio is very dubious, some illustration work in there is good, some of it is absolutely dire.

The site itself really needs redoing, all the work is one click further than you'd imagine before you see anything, and there's no way to get back without hitting back in your browser window or the tiny text nav at the bottom of the site.

Doesn't feel very modern or confident, and chapter and verse about how you're freelancing in your spare time and evenings won't fill clients with confidence either - it's great to show enthusiasm for it, but there's other ways.

I can't comment on the coding though (I don't code, just design) but I know you should be moving completely away from tables unless its for tabular data. And the site as I said just needs starting from scratch take a look at other designer's websites and how they lay work out, there's nothing wrong with mixing your work and personal work together as long as you're highlighting the best of both.
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Old 14-11-2009, 13:09   #6 (permalink)
deaytch
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I looked through your work and I'll be honest, if this is what you do:
Taper Pro Industrial, Inc. - You used tables!!! Don't do it!
Also on your homepage, for your portfolio. (grafxcone.com) you've done it again.
It is so much better designed and is more professional using DIV's, that can be completely edited easily in CSS, honestly... Take a look HERE...
Read the whole thing, keep clicking next and maybe buy some books too?

Other than that, I don't see you succeeding very far. No offence.

//Edit: Although, your graphical work is and your logo design (most of it) stick to that...
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Old 14-11-2009, 18:12   #7 (permalink)
destinite
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Thanks for the brutally honest critiques. Like I said I'm learning about web design - I never really took classes in it (go ahead and say it - "it shows"). Some of my stuff could definitely stand to be taken down, I agree.

As for sticking to logo design like you said, deaytch - I'll stick to what people pay me to do. If they want a website, and they pay and are happy with the work I've done, I'm not going to stop just because - it makes no sense. But I appreciate the links and I'll read up and do some exercises to get the hang of eschewing tables for CSS. Not sure what I'm going to tell a client when they ask why their site isn't loading correctly in such-and-such browser, but I guess I'll have to figure that out, right?

EDIT: I've just spent the last 2 hours now doing CSS tutorials and created a couple of sample pages using only CSS instead of tables. I still don't get 100% how it's supposed to be easier to edit than using tables, but I get how it works now.

Another thing - people keep saying that there's less code generated when using CSS than using tables - but it seems like this is only the case in the html file - all the attributes like height, width, padding are still there, just within the css file? Can someone clarify?

Last edited by destinite : 14-11-2009 at 20:16.
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Old 15-11-2009, 14:35   #8 (permalink)
deaytch
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Yeah, the point of CSS at first views was to cut down clutter on the html, but as a bonus it's actually faster.
And say you have a clients website that is huge, if you have it all in one css file, it's easier to edit colours etc... in the one file than rather going through millions of pages.
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