# starting a web business - Page 4

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## Re: starting a web business

Doug wrote

Other than the jaggy picture, and the slightly large box it's in, looks
good.

--
Charles Sweeney
http://CharlesSweeney.com

## Re: starting a web business

Charles Sweeney wrote:

yea, eventually the picture will be about 4 or 5 pictures that will
rotate.  Not the one that's there now.

## Re: starting a web business

Doug wrote:

I realize you didn't ask for a critique, but apart from some coding
errors (<br> instead of <br /> and a couple of wrong nestings I think)
and blue links on blue background, I think it's not at all as bad as I
thought based on your reactions ;-)

I'd change the font-size to 100% though (or a minimum of 85 if you
really have to, but not 71), and try to get rid of the tables in the
content area.

--
Els                     http://locusmeus.com /
Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

## Re: starting a web business

Els wrote:

Good points, blue-on-blue doesn't work, and definitely run it through
the w3C validator.  You've got some extra / missing tags, etc.

Nice 'fluid' behavior when re-sizing.

Another observation - try linking the styles from an external style
sheet rather than calling them out in the <head> on each page.  That
will cut down on your overall HTML file sizes and allow you to make
global changes by editing just one file.

## Re: starting a web business

Doug wrote:

--
Els                     http://locusmeus.com /
Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

Els wrote:

;)  good one!

## Re: starting a web business

Once upon a time, far far away Doug

ROTFL!

Ha ha ha, you'll be expecting civility next!

Really, though. This is not the place to ask how to run a business!

Matt

--
The Probert Encyclopaedia - Beyond Britannica
http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com

## Re: starting a web business

I'm thinking, if he's a professor, why couldn't he figure out that he could
professors where he teaches.

(unless he teaches for ITT, which would also indicate that he's a wanker)

## Re: starting a web business

1. First you have to remember that this is a public forum and that anybody
reading and replying here is taking time out of their lives for the purpose
of generally helping other people.  Just because you post here doesn't mean
that anybody owes you anything... you more just have to take what you can
get.

The problem here is that you might take a response wrong and then fire back
a flame when really none was warranted (a great example is when somebody
asked you to provide a URL of some of your work and you came back with "i
don't have shit to prove to y'all"... when in reality asking you for a URL
was probably the right thing for a person to ask at that time... but you
figured they were attacking you or belittling you and so you took it wrong
and caused most of the heat you are taking now)

3. People can only reply based upon the information you give them.  If you
are vague and ambiguous then you will get vague and ambiguous replies.  If
much more.

4. This is a public forum... that means that anybody can reply and so to any
post you or anybody else makes there is a chance you will get "peanut
gallery" replies mixed in with the real ones.  If you want the thread to
stay serious and people to help then YOU have to keep it on track... if you
posts, then you are just giving the conversation more branches with which it
can leave the original thread from.

5. You have to keep your replies informative if people ask you a question...
this is kind of what happened to this thread and where the problems came up:
original questions were a little too "newbie" and they wanted to make sure
that you weren't overwhelmed by any response.  Your reply was that the web
design part is no big deal and then you got a little belligerent.
This was pretty much your first mistake because your skills are actually
relevant before people can reply to things like pricing... we don't know
anything about you... when you say "web design" are you thinking 100% in
terms of HTML?  Do you know what sever side programming is?  Do you know how
to use databases?  Hosting? Flash? Graphic design?  All these things affect
pricing and how to market your skills and abilities (somebody who does only
HTML sites will generally make alot less than somebody who does HTML, PHP
and SQL... while somebody who does only Flash might charge more money but
probably has a harder time finding work)
b) The next big problem was when somebody asked you for a URL and you
started acting like a real ass.  They asked for a URL because you were being
vague and ambiguous... just saying "I am not a hack" isn't a valid reply.
First off, we don't even know how you define "a hack" and where you have
the bar set... second, you can just take a look around the internet... there
are lots of ugly websites out there or ones that are neigh upon impossible
to read or figure out how to get to the information you want.  You might say
"that guy is a hack" but think about it:  at some point in time somebody
said "hey thats my website and I like it" and put it up on the net... they
weren't saying "Geez this site is freakin' ugly... but what the heck its all
I got so I will use it".  No... at some point in time somebody thought that
website was good and thats why its there.. to them their definition of
"hack" was below what they created which might be consider a hack job to
somebody else...

Contracts:
You asked about contracts and what you should guarantee to the client in
them.  When signing a contract you should assume that you will go in to the
contract in good faith and so that in drawing up a contract you want to put
in things that will ensure that you won't be cheated or ripped off... not
the client.
To that end you want to make sure that questions are answered like:
"When will the client pay?"
"When is the job done?"
"What if the client wants changes made?"
"What are reasonable changes?"
"How much will these changes cost?"
"What if the client changes his mind halfway through the project?"

With that said, contracts aren't really something you should be worrying
about until the situation really arises that you need one.  If you want to
questions:

1) What services do I offer?
2) How do I market/promote my business?
3) How much do I charge for my services?

Those are 3 better questions to ask... in looking at them:

1) What services do I offer?
This isn't just a case of "Ok, I know PHP and HTML... I'm good to go"
but you need to think about things like:  Are you going to be providing
domain name services as well?  What about hosting?  How about Search Engine
Optimization?  Do you do things like business cards and promotional
material?  Are you going to provide maintennance services for websites
you've created?
All of these things are part of "web business" and you need to know
which ones you are and aren't going to be involved in.  For things you want
to do that you aren't confident in your abilities with you need to figure
out what you are going to do in that regard... IE: are you great at HTML,
CSS, PHP and SQL but not so hot with graphics?  What are you going to do if
somebody wants a slick and flashy looking website with some hot graphics
design?

2) How do I market/promote my business?
Once you have the first question answered you need to think about how
you are going to market and promote your skills to potential clients.  I
wrote some big articles in the past on marketing and promoting web
services... you can read one at:
http://tinyurl.com/ag9t8

3) How much do I charge for my services?
This is a big question and very hard to answer...  this is because the
answer isn't just "Charge $X per hour" or "Bill them$Y per page."  The
answer to this question depends not only on what you know, but also how good
you are and even what your business model is and where you are located.
If you are basing your pricing on skill and location then you should
look at what others in your area, with comparable skills, are charging.  For
this you might want to check a few competitors out and not just look for
either the best or the worst and instead try to come up with whats the
average or median amount being charged.  Then in time as you gain more skill
If you base your pricing on a business model then this generally
presumes that you will be offering some kind of continuous service to the
client rather than just building websites and then severing all ties with
the client (IE: not only do you build the website but then you provide
hosting and ongoing support for the website after its done).  In this case
you will need to develop a business plan and determine what is a reasonable

In the end you'll find that pricing isn't something that you can ever
get a solid answer on... everybody has their own prices and charges
different amounts... some charge per job while others charge per hour.

The reasons the answers are vague is because there isn't one true answer
and what works for one doesn't mean it will work for you or likewise that
the guy that is charging alot is making more money than the guy that charges
less - an example here would be:  a friend of mine, who is also a web
designer, charges $75 an hour for freelance work. Sure, that sounds great, but then when you consider that he has had only 2 jobs (one was for his father) in the past 4.5 years it doesn't sound so hot (his skills are about on par with a 15 year old). On the other hand, my niche is restaurant websites and for these I charge only$150 for a 10-15 page website (tailored
to their looks/graphics, accept all major credit cards, accept gift/loyalty
cards, database driven, customers can save favorites/recall orders, accept
resumes/job applications, run surveys, send out newsletters, etc)... in all
thats extremely cheap (ALOT less than \$75/hour) and yet I make a much better
living than he does.

These are just some of the points in starting/running a web business...
there is alot more to it than just "what will you do", "how do you market
it" and "what do you charge".  If you are truely interested in being a
freelance web designer you might look back through Google Groups... you'll
work, sample contracts, etc.

Another long winded post by:
Clint

Auggie wrote:

thanks.

## Re: starting a web business

Forging a path through the alt.www.webmaster jungle, armed only with a
rusty Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.2)
Gecko/20040804 Netscape/7.2 (ax), Doug burst into a clearing and said:

How do you do?

To start a business you need in-depth knowledge of two things:
o the trade/service/market you will operate
o how to run a business

They can be bought (hired) if you have capital.
They can be learned if you have time.

Everything else is ancillary to the above.

--
Whatever you do - do something.

## Re: starting a web business

Yesh, master Jedi.

Grey

## Re: starting a web business

GreyWyvern wrote:

You jest, but I owe Mr Tasso an awful lot....I have learned a lot from
him over the years....He's another AWW regular who will receive some
beers from me if we ever meet....

--
www.fixaphoto.co.uk
for photographic restorations

## Re: starting a web business

Fat Sam wrote:

I expect William to re-open the meet-up thread any time.... ... ... now!

--
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me  ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact

## Re: starting a web business

William Tasso wrote:

where too.

## Re: starting a web business

Forging a path through the Usenet jungle, armed only with a rusty
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.2) Gecko/20040804
Netscape/7.2 (ax), Doug stumbled into alt.www.webmaster and said:

This is true (on both counts). So, have you identified a niche for
yourself yet?

--
Whatever you do - do something.

## Re: starting a web business

William Tasso wrote:

no I have not.  I'm currently working with a nonprofit on their website,
to get more experience working with clients.  I'm also knowledgeable
about Education related matters.  So, I guess that would be two things I

*writing - 1st find a niche*

## Re: starting a web business

Forging a path through the Usenet jungle, armed only with a rusty
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.2) Gecko/20040804
Netscape/7.2 (ax), Doug stumbled into alt.www.webmaster and said:

Ahh - no, keep an open mind and your niche will find you.  In the
mean-time keep banging away.

A niche is not necessarily a vertical market, it could be a skill-set or a

What type of non-profit?  tin-rattlers or professionally funded?  it makes
a big difference to how they value the work you do for them.  I've worked
with both types and won't ever again go near the tin-rattlers unless it's
a useful way to assist a cause I have faith in.

--
Whatever you do - do something.

## Re: starting a web business

William Tasso wrote:

That's a very good point.  The one I'm working with now is mainly funded
from donations.

## Re: starting a web business

Once upon a time, far far away "William Tasso"

No, but I think we have all identified his niche!

Matt

--
The Probert Encyclopaedia - Beyond Britannica
http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com