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Old 02-17-2005, 08:14 AM   #1
nick
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Default rank newbie needs to design a web site

I don't know how I got myself into this, but a longtime client (editorial and advertising copy) wants me to design a static web page just so they can get their name out there. Nothing more complicated than one page (at this time).

I don't know what to charge, if I can do it being a writer not a designer and where I should go for hosting etc. I have one example for comparison. My isp offers a plan for $8.95 a month which they say is ideal for small busineses. They offer the domain name for $9.95 a year. No web tools at this price. You have to go up to $13.95 to get their template which I've not seen. I did a check on the domain name they want, which is their company name already trademarked. I doubt they would want to register all the variants out there, so probably just DOT COM, but wonder what you think?

Any help very much appreciated.

Nick
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Old 02-17-2005, 12:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by nick
I don't know what to charge, if I can do it being a writer not a designer …
Since it sounds as if it will mainly be a writing gig, I think you could charge for that.

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Originally Posted by nick
… and where I should go for hosting etc. I have one example for comparison. My isp offers a plan for $8.95 a month which they say is ideal for small busineses. They offer the domain name for $9.95 a year.
Are you just researching options for them? You don’t mean to be the “webmaster” or anything? (I think that could get complicated.) If you just need to recommend hosts, I would collect two or three, ask for comments from others who do this regularly (here and on INETPUB should get you plenty of responses) to make sure you don’t have any total duds, and give the small list to your client to choose.

You have one — your ISP. I can suggest another: I have two sites on Softcomca, $10/month, no frills, but reliable; they use myhosting.com for domain registration, and that is $10/year.

This site is on RealWebHost, but we are on month-to-month because the jury is still out. Right now they seem pretty good, but with only 6 weeks experience, perhaps you can find another possibility with more experience behind it. They have a $6.95/month option for small sites.

I can also suggest one to avoid: IXWebHosting. Poor communication. Many e-mail problems. Not worth the trouble at any price.

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Originally Posted by nick
No web tools at this price. You have to go up to $13.95 to get their template which I've not seen.
Most of the supplied templates are kind of overblown, over-designed, too cute. If you do not have a yen to learn to design web pages, you can probably find free templates for simple web pages. Or I’ll show you a simple page that you can copy as a template.

Or you might be able to adapt a blog to your client’s needs. There are free blogging programs (one from Google: Blogger).

If you want to try building a page yourself, on the other hand, get a copy of Elizabeth Castro’s HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS, and use it like a cookbook (which is how it was designed).

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Originally Posted by nick
I did a check on the domain name they want, which is their company name already trademarked. I doubt they would want to register all the variants out there, so probably just DOT COM, but wonder what you think?
It might be overkill, unless they are about to release the world’s next bestest and greatest widget (so they will have something to protect). Is the owner completely risk-averse? Then he might want to get the most obvious alternatives, but realize he would have to pay for them and park them somewhere, which might cost money as well.

   
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:21 PM   #3
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Kathleen,

KT> Are you just researching options for them?

No, I am actually going to do the whole enchilada. The 2 possibilities I've researched so far are ISP.COM and SITETURN.COM. Of the two, ISP is my first choice as I've used them as my ISP for some time now and they are OEM to the ISP trade. I think this is a fairly recent venture for them, but they definnitely do have the server farm that most others would drool over. But I've not decided which way to go on that. The other one, SITETURN also looks interesting, but they require you to sign up with them for 2 years to get their rate of $7.95 a month. ISP wants $8.95 a month, but doesn't impose terms. You sign up, pay and that's it. If you don't want it, just dump them. The Domain registration fees are all in the same ballpark, around 10 bucks a year, so that is more than satisfactory.

I will look into Softcomca also. RealWebHost sounds like a startup and I'm not that big on startups at this time. One newbie in this equation is enough grief for anyone!

And I will avoid IXWebHosting for sure!

KT> Most of the supplied templates are kind of overblown...

That is what I thought. Since I first posted, I managed to find HomeSite 1.2 and Dreamweaver 3.0 which are now both loaded up on my computer. My AD is also interested in doing web publishing, but she is on a Mac, so we are going to have to coordinate somehow. Don't know what tools she has managed to scrounge up, but if I had to bet, I'd say she'll end up way ahead of me. She hasn't done web publishing before, but is pretty darn good with Quark and InDesign and the tools: Illustrator and Photoshop.

KT> I'll show you a simple page that you can copy as a template.

THAT would be a great help. I wrote some copy for this company, along with some design elements for a brochure that they didn't buy as it was overkill for their print ad needs then. Now they like it as a the guts of their web design. So I'm not starting from scratch, but will have to see exactly how to put this thing together.

KT> If you want to try building a page yourself, on the other hand, get a copy of Elizabeth Castro's HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS, and use it like a cookbook (which is how it was designed).

That would be a great help. I'll have to look for that (here?). Tks.

As you noted, the owner is not going to go for buying up all the variations on the name. I've explained the basics to them today and they are willing to go for a basic static site with email and DOT COM only.


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Old 02-18-2005, 06:02 AM   #4
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I am actually going to do the whole enchilada. The 2 possibilities I've researched so far are ISP.COM and SITETURN.COM.
Better the devil you know! <g>

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Originally Posted by nick
HomeSite 1.2 and Dreamweaver 3.0 which are now both loaded up on my computer. My AD is also interested in doing web publishing, but she is on a Mac, so we are going to have to coordinate somehow.
This is an area where PC and Mac users can collaborate fairly easily. Not sure about Homesite, but Dreamweaver is on both platforms. (I hate it — it’s more complicated than just writing my own. I will be interested in hearing how you fare with it.) Dreamweaver does have a useful ability to manage the whole site, which is worth something. And if you and your designer plan to collaborate on the project, you could consider Contribute, which works with Dreamweaver.

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Originally Posted by nick
I wrote some copy for this company, along with some design elements for a brochure that they didn't buy as it was overkill for their print ad needs then. Now they like it as a the guts of their web design. So I'm not starting from scratch, but will have to see exactly how to put this thing together.
You can start by looking at the portal/home page for this forum. It is all hand-coded, has three columns; you can get the CSS files by following the links when you view the source.

It sounds as if you will probably want something more brochure-like, but this will give you a sense of what is involved, and by changing the size, adding color, and so on, you could adapt it to a simple page.

To get an idea of what can be done, take a gander at CSS Zen Garden. The same text is shown as designed by dozens of different people, in a wide variety of colors, styles, formats, etc. You can download the source there as well as any of the CSS files that appeal to you, so you can dissect them.

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Originally Posted by nick
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
If you want to try building a page yourself, on the other hand, get a copy of Elizabeth Castro's HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS, and use it like a cookbook (which is how it was designed).
That would be a great help. I'll have to look for that (here?). Tks.
They have it on Amazon. Probably at big local bookstores, too. I think it may be one of the (if not the) most popular book for this. Deservedly, I think.

   
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:56 PM   #5
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Kathleen,

KT> ...You can start by looking at the portal/home page for this forum. It is all hand-coded, has three columns; you can get the CSS files by following the links when you view the source.

I downloaded the page and will grab the CSS files next as I try to use this DreamWeaver program. As I mentioned to Terrie, the idea that I see the final copy and have to hit F10 to see source code is a bit strange, but there are probably settings I have to learn to use this thing properly. HomeSite 1.2 was too old so it is gone.

And you're right, it is really just a fancy product brochure. I have some product shots that we tweaked to turn into art to start with. Lots more I'll have to scan from their catalog if they have a decent one. The copy is the easy part. <g>

I'll look at CSS Zen Garden next. Thanks.

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Old 02-17-2005, 12:28 PM   #6
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>>nick: I don't know how I got myself into this, but a longtime client (editorial and advertising copy) wants me to design a static web page just so they can get their name out there. Nothing more complicated than one page (at this time).


kt's given you lots of good advice on hosts and stuff to which I can only add, perhaps it might be worth farming this out to someone else--as a subcontractor to you...might be less aggravating all the way 'round...

If I may offer my opinion as an individual....

I *loathe* sites that are just a 'web presence' UNLESS there is an email address available if one has a question AND if someone actually checked the email for that address. There is nothing more frustrating than not getting a response to an email one has sent. Tends to leave a *very* bad impression.

My opinion is driven by the fact that I am hearing impaired and can't use the phone so having a web site with no way to contact a company except by phone means that I don't contact the company and they lose any business they might have had from me. This may be moot depending on what sort of business your client is in.

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Old 02-17-2005, 04:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by terrie
I *loathe* sites that are just a 'web presence' UNLESS there is an email address available if one has a question AND if someone actually checked the email for that address. There is nothing more frustrating than not getting a response to an email one has sent. Tends to leave a *very* bad impression.
It would be good to "cloak" the email address against spambots with one of the tricks mentioned here recently. If the page is merely 'web presence', chances are the company that owns it is not very online savvy and would tire of wading through spam to find real inquiries and give up trying. I've seen it with some companies I've contacted.

   
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:33 PM   #8
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Elyse,


Terrie>> I *loathe* sites that are just a 'web presence' UNLESS there is an email address available if one has a question AND if someone actually checked the email for that address. There is nothing more frustrating than not getting a response to an email one has sent. Tends to leave a *very* bad impression.

Elyse>> It would be good to "cloak" the email address against spambots with one of the tricks mentioned here recently. If the page is merely 'web presence', chances are the company that owns it is not very online savvy and would tire of wading through spam to find real inquiries and give up trying. I've seen it with some companies I've contacted.

I have not read the threads you are referring to, but cloaking the email address against spambots would be a godsend to these people who probably will be challenged just by the prospect of having to read and reply to email!

<sigh>

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Old 02-17-2005, 08:38 PM   #9
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I have not read the threads you are referring to, but cloaking the email address against spambots would be a godsend to these people who probably will be challenged just by the prospect of having to read and reply to email!
I don't remember which thread it's in, but I'll look for it. Terrie or Ann will probably know right off which one, because I remember they were part of it.

   
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:08 AM   #10
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>>nick: I have not read the threads you are referring to, but cloaking the email address against spambots would be a godsend to these people who probably will be challenged just by the prospect of having to read and reply to email!

Here's the url for the ascii encoder:

http://www.wbwip.com/wbw/emailencoder.html


and here's the thread url:

http://www.desktoppublishingforum.co...read.php?t=139

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