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silverglade
03-25-2009, 06:08 PM
hi, i found a sample contract and was wondering if the client is supposed to sign it and mail it to me via snail mail? does anyone know where i can find a sample "change order" form? also, based on my portfolio at http://derekvanderven.com/websites.html (http://derekvanderven.com/websites.html) how much do you think i should charge for a 5 page website or a 10 page website? (my websites are only text and images with no php except for a contact form, and it has a little flash animation in some parts- they are only informational sites) , also, should i take out the word "mockups" above my sites or leave them, because after all they are just mockups. any more help greatly appreciated. thanks for those other posts, i will try to make my site a little more professional and update the header banner, as well as separate the "art" content from the "web design " content, so that my web design page looks more like a design firms. derekhttp://www.webmaster-talk.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

domedia
03-26-2009, 02:16 PM
If you're doing this full time you might want to make a trade with lawyer for all the paperwork.

How much you make on your work should be set by you. Figure out how much you want to make on a project and quote accordingly.

Not knowing your clients, what market you operate in or your expenses, the prices you have now looks fine to me. But please don't ask for others to evaluate what your perceived value towards your clients are.

Remember that a web design business is first and foremost a business, so business skills are as, or more important than your web design skills. :)

silverglade
03-26-2009, 03:27 PM
ok thanks i will keep my prices then since im a beginner. and i have a sample web designers contract. do you fax it to them? or how do they get it? i updated my site to look more like a web design front page.also, do you think the navigation buttons are too big? derek

http://derekvanderven.com (http://derekvanderven.com/)

domedia
03-26-2009, 04:54 PM
I always meet my clients face to face.

Rob_Che
03-26-2009, 04:59 PM
i updated my site to look more like a web design front page.also, do you think the navigation buttons are too big? derek

Yes. but the main problem from a layout point of view is that buttons, or certainly the text on the buttons, is not level. It's throwing everything out.

Something I sometimes do when designing a new site is: take a screen grab of a site you like the proportions of and overlay your design and try and emulate the scale of the things you are seeing.

Also: I don't think having a Paypal 'Donate' button is very professional on a business site :wink:

Art looks good thouigh :)

RC

Corrosive
03-26-2009, 05:00 PM
I always meet my clients face to face.

Excellent advice. Work locally and have regular meetings with clients. Saves an entire re-work of a site when you hand it over having not got to know them or kept in touch :wink:

silverglade
03-26-2009, 08:01 PM
well i revamped my website to look a little more "designhousy". i couldnt get the buttons exactly but they are pretty close LOL. you can see my new site here i would like feedback on it please. it came out a little dark but i had too much white space on the page and it ended up lurky. thanks. derek (the theme of the header is "fire " water , earth, and air.

http://derekvanderven.com (http://derekvanderven.com/)

domedia
03-26-2009, 08:44 PM
Study how other website are using graphics. Collect sites you think are doing a great job. Al tough you have a background in graphic design, I think you might be experiencing what *alot* of print designer are experiencing when they go web, it's completely different. As you can tell I'm not 100% confident in your web design skills. For most hobbyists it's supposed to be fun and a learning process. You're a bit different since you charge for your services and I'm applying some different criteria for you work :)

Corrosive
03-27-2009, 09:14 AM
well i revamped my website to look a little more "designhousy". i couldnt get the buttons exactly but they are pretty close LOL. you can see my new site here i would like feedback on it please. it came out a little dark but i had too much white space on the page and it ended up lurky. thanks. derek (the theme of the header is "fire " water , earth, and air.

http://derekvanderven.com (http://derekvanderven.com/)

Where you have scrollbars you might want to go for something non-standard. Try something like this...

http://livepipe.net/control/scrollbar

or this...

http://www.kelvinluck.com/assets/jquery/jScrollPane/jScrollPane.html

Corrosive
03-27-2009, 10:33 AM
Just looking a bit more at the content of your site. Perhaps this bit...

Goals:
I am looking to hone my skills as a freelance web designer working with client demands
and eventually I would like to work for a web design company,

...needs changing.

It says to me 'I want people to pay me to practice web design on their business sites and then, when I'm a bit better, I'll go and apply for a job somewhere else'. Even if this is the case, I wouldn't say it.

silverglade
03-27-2009, 12:26 PM
thank you domedia and corrosive. i have decided that my portfolio is amateurish but ok, and that my new design is HORRIBLE. i got lots of negative feedback on another site that i go to. im used to fine art and web design seems like "less is more" so i have to be careful. also, you are right about that statement about "wanting to practice on your businesss site" that was funny the way you put it. i will change that and a whole bunch of other things. i was told on the other site that my portfolio screams amateurish, and that i dont know photoshop or how to do markup. that part isnt really that true. im decent at photoshop and ok at markup even if i am an amateur. but anyway, the site is TERRIBLE and im totally redoing it. thank you for the scrollbars,l i will use it. also, i cant explain exactly why i decided to start charging, i think my prices are low and match my skill level. the reason i am starting to charge this early has to do with my current job situation. i guess thats all i can say about that. but im definitely going to look at more professional sites. and try all over again. even when i finished the site, i said to myself "this sucks". but rather than try to redo it i let it stay, then after the feedback i knew i had to do it over even after 2 days of work. but anyway, thanks for the help. derek:mrgreen:

EDIT- I just took off my index page immediately and changed it back to the original art site to save myself some embarrassment.

Edit2-

I looked up "good web design examples" on google and here are some tips i found.

simple layout
centered orientation
3d effects used sparingly
soft,neutral background colors
strong color used sparingly
cute icons, used sparingly
plenty of whitespace, doesnt have to be always white
nice big text for important parts
reflections and fades used, dropshadows used sparingly


thats about all i learned from that page. derek

Corrosive
03-27-2009, 12:59 PM
This is a good resource Derek...

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/

Just go and look at a load of websites. Do a couple of days surfing, view>source on every design you like and figure out what the creators have done. Don't lose heart my friend...you will get there :-D

Rob_Che
03-27-2009, 01:10 PM
Grab a template or two and see how they have built the site...

Also, look at some sites you love and see how they have approached the layout. If they've put an image top left, why is that? Ask yourself questions as you go. Make it orderly, or messy, but always follow a solid layout that can expand and contract (maybe not physically) to your content.

Go to csselite.com / csscreme.com and any other CSS site design galleries. Screen grab tham and stat scribbling over the top.

RC

silverglade
03-28-2009, 03:08 AM
thank you very much corrosive and rob che for the links. i will do what you said. thank you for the nice feedback corrosive, because i got terrible feedback from this other site from this one person saying my code was no better than that dreamweaver produces and that i dont know photoshop. but now that i look back on it. the whole episode on that site was pretty hilarious. well, AFTER they started posting nice messages after the initial onslaught. but most of their criticism was right, and i kind of knew it before i even asked them. so im going to still work on coding better, but this time, im going to concentrate on looking at a TON of other websites and try to absorb what good web design is. its totally different than painting. in fact it looks like the sites that have less fancy stuff get praised more. this is not true in painting, unless youre doing abstract. but anyway, thanks for the great feedback. i think im still going to ask for more criticism as i go just as long as i dont listen to the ones who arent giving "constructive" criticism. LOL!!!:mrgreen:

Rob_Che
03-28-2009, 08:56 AM
haha... I've been on a few sites like that before Silverglade!

The reason I stay here is that people will take the time to help. and I really mean 'help' - not just feedback but taking the time to help you code. It's a mutual thing though, some try and treat this as 24/7 support, it isn't, people take their own time out to help. I try and help others as the site was (and still is of course) so helpful when I was starting CSS.

I'm from a painting background too, I studied fine art. This probably shows in the same way that yours does - trying to create texture on every part of the page and not wanting any 'blank canvas' which, as you say above, would never happen in painting.

Good luck with it all... You can still keep things simple and create texture, look at the 'grunge' styles out there.

Keep on Truckin'
Rob

Rob_Che
03-28-2009, 08:59 AM
Sg - here's a site that has texture but keeps the content layouy simple looking: http://www.designshard.com/

Take a look in my thread on the web design forum for 'Inspirational Sites' too..

silverglade
03-30-2009, 01:38 PM
great thanks for that great info. cool that you paint too. ya but it just doesnt pay me anything. haha. so i guess ill keep going. derek