Trying to start a business as a web designer

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Okay, I figure this is as good a place as any to ask this question. I've recently been learning HTML and CSS web programming languages and havn't found very much sucess in generating any clients that would want me to make a page/site for them.



The site that I have set up as my "company" site is http://homepage.mac.com/lakingsfn/. I always get pretty good hit counts whenever I update the page but have not gotten any clients so far. Thing is that I work with a bunch of techies so they really do not need my services but I don't really come into contact with many other people during my days.



Any advice on how to generate some business would be greatly appreciated. I live in the San Diego CA area and prefer to get clients I can actually meet face to face with so I can help them with the design of their sites. Thanks guys!!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by lakingsfn

    Okay, I figure this is as good a place as any to ask this question. I've recently been learning HTML and CSS web programming languages and havn't found very much sucess in generating any clients that would want me to make a page/site for them.



    The site that I have set up as my "company" site is http://homepage.mac.com/lakingsfn/. I always get pretty good hit counts whenever I update the page but have not gotten any clients so far. Thing is that I work with a bunch of techies so they really do not need my services but I don't really come into contact with many other people during my days.



    Any advice on how to generate some business would be greatly appreciated. I live in the San Diego CA area and prefer to get clients I can actually meet face to face with so I can help them with the design of their sites. Thanks guys!!




    OK, this is completely harsh, but probably necessary.



    Your site is boring and amateurishly designed. You might have passed for a web designer in 1994, but today you need really good graphic design skills. Your site needs to sell itself?it needs to look so good that people will be drooling over it. Instead, your page gives people the impression that they're 10-year-old nephew could design a site just as good.



    Also, you have trouble selling yourself. "I have been learning HTML for a few months" doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Nor does quoting your family in your testimonials.



    So, take some graphic design courses, learn some professionalism, and then come back. Because while I could give you advice on getting people's attention, right now you're gonna have a hard time keeping it for more than 10 seconds.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Number one advice would be, get some content, web is all about content, content, content, why would people be interested in you/your site, if you have no content in there? Plain and fast loading pages used to be most effective way not to turn readers away in 90's but todays connections can handle some eyecandy as well. Still not saying that you should use flash or pictures just to for a sake of using them, but well used they certainly can liven pages up.



    Second, what ever you do, loose the hit counter, and get a proper log system, find what people really read on your site. Does any of the "big" sites(google/msn/yahoo)have hit counters? So it's farely easy to say that at least hit counters don't collect users.



    Today it would also be very usefull to have proper skills with dynamic websites(PHP/RAILS/JAVA/.NET), AJAX sites are becomming more and more popular, so JavaScript is almost must have in your tool box, also most sites today are built over a databases so basic knowledge about them is not a bad thing either. Stroll around biggest web sites and try to find basic consepts how they do their magic, but don't just copy them it's hard to directly compete with Google.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Oh and I just have to say it: HTML and CSS are not "web programming languages".
  • Reply 4 of 14
    piotpiot Posts: 1,346member
    Quote:



    The site that I have set up as my "company" site is http://homepage.mac.com/lakingsfn/.



    Your joking. Right?
  • Reply 5 of 14
    also invest in a domain name and a decent host. relying on dot mac is pretty lame.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    If you have any sense at all, don't even bother making a break into the web design field. It's ridiculously overcrowded, pays poorly at anything but the highest levels, and will start to dwindle when there are more and more tools allowing everday people to construct their own sites.



    Or, learn Flash, or get super-skilled at making sites with "Web 2.0" gimmickry.



    Unless you're still in high school or something, but still, I'm sixteen and can create sites that are quite professional, so really, you just need to brush up on the design side of things.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    user23user23 Posts: 199member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by lakingsfn

    Okay, I figure this is as good a place as any to ask this question. I've recently been learning HTML and CSS web programming languages and havn't found very much sucess in generating any clients that would want me to make a page/site for them.



    The site that I have set up as my "company" site is http://homepage.mac.com/lakingsfn/. I always get pretty good hit counts whenever I update the page but have not gotten any clients so far. Thing is that I work with a bunch of techies so they really do not need my services but I don't really come into contact with many other people during my days.



    Any advice on how to generate some business would be greatly appreciated. I live in the San Diego CA area and prefer to get clients I can actually meet face to face with so I can help them with the design of their sites. Thanks guys!!




    Do you consider yourself an artistic person? Do you paint/draw/collage/color coordinate well...or anything along those lines? If you don't/haven't dabbled in making "art", you might want to consider taking some web design and/or graphic design classes at a community college. You know..just a little something to help you develop your sense of aesthetic.



    oh yeah, and what Placebo says. I have a good friend who is currently making bank as an independant designer...but is planning on *not* have a job doing web design in the next 2-3 years for the very reasons Placebo spells out. Such is the way the wind blows.



    If you want a career in Web Design, you're probably best off going corporate..and trying to get hired by some neolithic, mega corporation.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    akheron01akheron01 Posts: 152member
    I've seen this happen many times, check out http://www.freelancebusinessman.com/ to see another example. I feel bad to tell people that you can't just have a few months experience to do things like that for a living, you need years of experience. One time a friend of mine got all excited about programming a game with me (I've been teaching myself programming since 4th grade) and he totally gave up once he learned that game programming involved typing text (programming) not just a totally graphical "game making" program. *sigh*
  • Reply 9 of 14
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    To make it as a web designer, your sites will have to be at graphical parity or superiority to anything else at that price range, or at least in the geographical region in which you live. If design isn't your forte, then get into PHP/MySQL and ASP/.net instead. That's a skill that's in a somewhat higher demand than design work.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Placebo

    To make it as a web designer, your sites will have to be at graphical parity or superiority to anything else at that price range, or at least in the geographical region in which you live. If design isn't your forte, then get into PHP/MySQL and ASP/.net instead. That's a skill that's in a somewhat higher demand than design work.



    Unless, of course, you're MySpace. Then, all good taste goes out the window.



    I'm with the critics on this one. Your site is not attractive or competitive with what is available in today's market. Just look around. Go to the most visited sites on the net today and ask yourself... what are they doing that I am not?



    Here's a smidgen of a clue as to how many hundreds, if not thousands, of designers and developers you will be competing with. In other words, this is NOT a good market to get into unless you have inside knowledge of a person's or businesses needs:



    http://www.maxkiesler.com/index.php/designdemo/

    http://alistapart.com/articles/web3point0

    http://adaptivepath.com/publications...ves/000385.php

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0
  • Reply 11 of 14
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    On the pure design side of things, take a look at some of the designs on CSS Zen Garden.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    lsngctrllsngctrl Posts: 77member
    That is horrible! Absolutely awful!









    Quote:

    Originally posted by lakingsfn

    Okay, I figure this is as good a place as any to ask this question. I've recently been learning HTML and CSS web programming languages and havn't found very much sucess in generating any clients that would want me to make a page/site for them.



    The site that I have set up as my "company" site is http://homepage.mac.com/lakingsfn/. I always get pretty good hit counts whenever I update the page but have not gotten any clients so far. Thing is that I work with a bunch of techies so they really do not need my services but I don't really come into contact with many other people during my days.



    Any advice on how to generate some business would be greatly appreciated. I live in the San Diego CA area and prefer to get clients I can actually meet face to face with so I can help them with the design of their sites. Thanks guys!!




  • Reply 13 of 14
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by lsngctrl

    That is horrible! Absolutely awful!



    "Let's see you do better"
Sign In or Register to comment.