Thursday, November 11, 2010

Websites I like to build!!

Websites I like to Build! :)
So I was given the opportunity to quote on a website recently. I turned it down. Why in the world would you do this, you might inquire.

Well there were a few reasons. One it was for a family member's employer. Remember the adage, family and money,( in this case biz) don't mix.  Two is there was going to be a lot of educating the client and Three the client thinks web designers make too much money and did not want to pay much.

So let's address the first issue, based on the last two points, there was a high feasibly that there were going to issues with this website, possibly misunderstandings on both sides, that while they may be worked out, the family member's job could be compromised, and it would be just stupid to put oneself in that position, in my opinion. Remember, this is my blog, and it's my opinion so while others may disagree, I felt this was the best course of action, even though I did need this job or the income it could provide.

That said, I believe in "Go with the Flow" "What goes around comes around" and "Never compromise your health or integrity, or family for money!!"

So let's address the second issue.  

The client needs a lot of educating. This client had the employee build a proto-type of the design and believes that because they have done most of the work, they do not want to pay much. Hmmmm!

Well that is true, to some extent, but most website designers are provided with the logo and text (copy) and and then a design is worked out. While the logo and a prototype of the design was provided, it is the coding that gets tricky. This client wanted the design exactly as laid out, no artistic freedom here, or no margin for error if you can not get the code to layout out EXACTLY as this client wanted...that's scary to me, Promising something that you won't know until it's finished.

I'm old school. I code in HTML. It's a very valuable skill, one that took many hours to learn and it lets me do a ton of things that are not that easy if you don't. 

My code is very clean and that if you were to learn a bit of html and wanted to go in and change something you could. Not so if you build it in Dreamweaver or some other programs. Even the templates for blogger seem complicated to me.

I believe I have designed some lovely websites, super functional with great navigation, they include galleries, e-commerce, & music and videos .

These are just 3 examples of my websites that are online, I have a lot more on my computer that I can show you, and I could show you what has worked and what hasn't and suggest what I believe would work best for you based on the info you provide me.

None of these have Frames, these may have a little JavaScript but just to do Rollovers. I don't care to utilize these because when you do want to go back and change something, it's very complicated. Everyone will want to change their website at some point, and most will not want to pay much for it. This is when issues will arise.

This all comes back to educating the client. And why should we have to educate the client for free. We went to school, I paid $11,000 for my Web Design Course, not to mention the 4 years of College, 2 years of which were Professional Photography and just tons of money mixed with blood sweat and tears of practicing and continual learning as the web design and internet continually changed since 2000, when I first started building websites. Since then I've also taken a Consulting Program, S.E.A.R.C.H - Alliance of Arts and Culture Program
Activities and Societies: S.E.A.R.C.H. (Self-Employed Arts-Related Contractors for Hire).

Go Consult-Contracting and Consulting
Activities and Societies: New Directions Business Re-training Association. They help managers and professionals find contracting and consulting work.

and Recently taken a Social Media Program for Artists at Emily Carr.

You can see my Education & Online Resume on LinkedIn

How do you teach your client all this if they are busy and have no interest in learning these things.

Thru these last 11 years I have learned what works and what doesn't and why. To teach that in an hour or 2 consultation is not possible, which is the consultation, quote time.  So that communication and education needs to be built into the price of the website, otherwise it is impossible to make a profit, this I have learned the hard way, sadly and so I know when to say, "No, this is not a good job to take on."

I've more or less addressed the issue of the client thinking Web Designer makes too much money.

Well I wish that were true, but I don't believe it, because if people are charging too low they don't have the education and knowledge to know why they are charging to low. Yes, we may need the money, but by the time you educate that client on why you need to build the site the way you do, you will have not made any profit and actually lost money in the end.

So to end this post, the websites I like to build is one where the client is flexible, has a reasonable budget, is open to some education and has faith in the designer's artistic and technical knowledge. 

Then it's fun to build the site, you know that the client will be fair and that in the end both of you will be satisfied with the results and the client will be provided with an excellent design that will compliment his business and the designer will be compensated fairly for their talent, knowledge and time.

Here is an excellent video that gets right to the point

(You can see another great video here about Education as well as videos that I have made here Tina'Z Videos

In the end, the client knows he'll be able to feed his family because the website/blog and social media tools will enhance his business and help it grow and flourish and I will be able to feed my family thru my efforts, skill and talent.