Website design - how hard can it be?(59 Posts)
It is fairly easy to do, especially basic ones, I suppose it depends how professional it needs to look?! I made fun ones for my DS and for our wedding using free software/html but they are easier to do using better software and with a bit of reading. And yes you're right they do require a fair amount of maintenance.
It depends what sort of thing you want to do. Anybody can create something that looks good - macromedia is a great programn to use. Anything with functions takes a lot longer though.
I did a auction style one with dp, programning from scratch (not using software tools) and it took about 3 months and a lot of technical know how.
You normally pay for a server, i.e. webspace. An independant server is very expensive, but it's quite easy to get webspace cheaply and some companies offer lots of support int he production of the website.
I've found a couple of hosts that have loads of templates you can use (about an extra 20 quid a year on top of hosting for one that allows a shop as well). You choose your layout, write your text, add your photos and hey presto professional looking website. At least that's what I hope- I started doing my own from scratch but it was taking too long, this should be easier I hope.
I think it takes quite a lot of practice to put a decent ones together. I've been doing it professionally for several years and looking back, my first ones were shite and that was after a lot of experience! You can get them professionally done from around £250 which is how much it would cost to buy some of the programs to put them together.
However if you want to start learning, I'd recommend HTML for Dummies as a good place to begin!
Try me or Senorapostrophe - unless you want something monstrous we'll be cheaper than 2k.
'easy steps in html' is another good book, which covers quite a bit in a smallish book. They do a range for different languages, I've got quite a collection!
Dp does websites too ks. He's doing 2 for friends (one artist, one self employed) and he's done a school one and one for a boat sale. He used to do some website design as part of his job. And he's cheap as he's starting out (really cheap compared to what you've been quoted!), email me if you want to talk to him.
I have a different opinion in that I do think you get what you pay for and depending on what funcionality you want £2k is not that much. Yes anyone can learn a WYSIWYG package like dreamweaver but you'll only have limited options. ANd yes agree that the design element is lacking in a lot of homemade ones, and I don't mean fancy graphics or anything but design is a skill and career like any other. Having said all that, if it's for a fairly low key kind of thing then I'm sure learning HTML or similar will allow you do get somethign set up.
With web design its reasonably easy to pick up the basics, its things like the design layout and graphic-type things that are a bit more tricky.
But if you manage to grab yourself 'frontpage 2000' software I think there is a tutorial you can download from the microsoft website.
I actually met my dp on a web design course!
Nasa: Agencies will charge 2k for a site that a one-man-band (as it were) would do for 10% of the cost, because they don't have to pay admin staff and 10 designers every day. I worked for an agency and we had to charge around £200 an hour juts to cover our costs - whereas I charge about a tenner on a good day.
I know morningpaper - before mat leave I was a project manager for a web company. Of course freelancers will/do charge less but I think £200 for a website is ludicrously (sp?) cheap (depending on how big it is and functionality of course)
yeah, like I say, I don;t know what kind of site you're looking at so it's difficult to say. There are people who charge £200 and are utter rubbish and those that are good - I just think that £250 for a website is incredibly cheap. My DP is a graphic designer by trade and while he was freelancing his day rate was £200. Obivously small businesses can't afford thousands but I can't stand these "we'll design you a website for £100" outfits (and I don't mean freelancers). You won't get a design, you'll get a template and probably not a very nice one.
I was a project manager for a web company too! It sucked big time! The company's just running with three staff now I think - we had 40. Unfeasible to run an agency like that because more and more people are happy to do cheap and cheerful sites and earn 10k a year doing it.
I'm happy to be ludicrously cheap! I only do simple sites. Senorapostrophe does impressive proper posh ones v. cheap though!
Nasa you can CAT me if you want - I'll show you my bargain portfolio!
ah morningpaper, I hope I don't come across as grouchy, I'm sure you're really good. I just can't stand those hosting companies that will 'design' you a site for £100. Also, I do think these sorts of outfits mean that proper designers/programmers feel they have to cut their rates to compete.
I think it depends what kind of work the agency goes for (as to whether they can sustain large staff numbers etc) Friend of mine has his own new media agency - been going 5 years, employs around 30 staff, they are doing really well but they are extremely talented. They can sustain it because, purely on the back of their abillty, they've gone from doing tiny sites to working for huge brand names.
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