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How to run a web design business?

by Sovereign Forum moderator / February 8, 2004 2:31 PM PST

We are a small company called ArsecNetwork. We are online for two days now. Our web site is almost done. The question is if we have everything to make us successful? Do have all the information a customer wants? Is our page effective? Is it missing a feature? The pricing area isn't done yet, because nobody know how to set it up? What can we charge? All these questions ... would be great if they were answered. Thanks you.

PS: Here's the site http://www.arsec.sub.cc

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Re:How to run a web design business?
by Margie Campbell / February 8, 2004 3:42 PM PST

The page looks nice, but are you ready to start this business? You state no one knows how to set up pricing... how are you going to do this for paying customers? It's not as easy to be a Web page designer as one may think. There are a lot of diffeent things to consider. Who is going to do your bookkeeping? Who is going to design the sites? Do you have someone who can set up a complete business website? Did you check for regulations for taxes, business license (may or may not need these, depending on where you live). Do you know what you are going to charge? Suggest you check some other sites and see how they run those. I don't recall seeing prices on many of the sites I have visited. Each website is going to be different, and depending on difficulty & how often changes will be needed, the pricing will vary greatly.
Good Luck

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Re:Re:How to run a web design business?
by Kent Design4Effect / February 11, 2004 7:34 AM PST

The $200 is a good estimate.

In a research report done by UBC they found that $200 was what designers should be charging per page.

People often want you to design the whole site for $200 though and even if you agree, make further additions as the site progresses expecting it to be included. Ends up you can spend 3 months for $200

A good sales tactic s this:

Compare it against what it costs for a newspaper ad for one day.

For less than they would pay for a half page newspaper ad for one day they can have a web site up 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Check it out. Your web site can actually save people thousands of dollars who advertise in the paper. Call them first. They can go one size down on the newspaper ad, put their site URL in the add to provide much more ad space. And you'll be building traffic to your site.

Call the people in the yellow pages who haven't got a URL in their ad. They are spending hundreds of dollars a month for their yellow pages ad.

Another good one is offer it for free. For your header write.


Are you considering the advantages of a website but not willing to pay thousands of dollars to have a contender class site developed?

At last, a solution!

Right now you can get a FREE DOMAIN NAME, world class web site hosting, and a web site designed for top ranking in the search engines for $39.00/month

Once your site is complete, you pay only our regular hosting fees of $9.95/month.

It's never been easier or more affordable.

That ad will get results and you are free to use it.

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Re:Re:Re:How to run a web design business?
by Sovereign Forum moderator / February 11, 2004 8:44 AM PST

Pretty interesting what you say. So think $200 for the entire design is too much? It doesn't include domain or web hosting - I can always add that. You know, if you want, I could ask for permission to give you an account or something and you could work on our site in your spare time.

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Re:Re:Re:Re:How to run a web design business?
by Kent Design4Effect / February 11, 2004 2:56 PM PST

Wow, thanks for the offer

Spare time.. hehehe.. this bulletin board is what I do in my spare time. I've been a commercial artist for over 10 years and the phone never stops ringing.

That's why I don't understand people on this board that say you can't make a living designing web pages.

Domain name registrars say "We'll register your domain name and you can stake your claim"

Hosting providers say "We have the fastest, most reliable, redundant, OC-1Million connections"

What they fail to realize is that no matter what your name is and how reliable your connection is, if you don't make an impression you are doomed.

That's where the web designer comes in. You, give them a face on the net. If it works, they are successful. If it doesn't, they are doomed no matter what their name is and how fast their connection speed is.

What should be the price on that?

If you are considering starting a hosting company go with a different approach. Not the "we're the fastest and have a nice control panel" but WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU.

Then... Do it

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A business out of it!
by Sovereign Forum moderator / February 12, 2004 2:12 AM PST

Yeah, I have a lot of people telling me that you cant make a business out of it. I'm still gonna try and see what happens. Are you doing this by yourself. If the phone never stops ringing. How do you manage everything?

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A business out of it!
by Sovereign Forum moderator / February 12, 2004 5:24 AM PST

Yeah, I have a lot of people telling me that you cant make a business out of it. I'm still gonna try and see what happens. Are you doing this by yourself. If the phone never stops ringing. How do you manage everything?

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Re:How to run a web design business?
by Andrea B. / February 8, 2004 7:35 PM PST

Two suggestions:
Turn off the music! There is nothing more annoying that a website that plays music you don't want to hear - surveys have shown that. Like I tried to explain to one of my clients: It's a website, not a radio.

And 2 - frames are not the most ideal way to go - tables and/or css positioning are a much better alternative.

I did like the overall look of the page, so, but cannot help you with pricing.

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I have more good questions ...
by Sovereign Forum moderator / February 8, 2004 11:46 PM PST

Thanks a lot for your feedback guys.Everybody makes a good point! The music part ... it's just a test. I know it's annoying but it's just a test. Another thing is, I can 't host web site or sell them. Should I just refer to other sites that can or what should I do?

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Re:I have more good questions ...
by jmgb / February 9, 2004 7:20 AM PST

You should look for a reseller plan in some good hosting. But first, why don?t you start with a dotCOM?... most people out there think that the dot com is the way to identify a serious company. I run a business of this kind in Mexico... it would be great if you look for customers here cause there?s a lot of demand, and not enough GOOD designers. About the design, I have to say you are good, nothing to modify about it. The only thing I really need to tell you, is that web designing is good as a hobby, but it?s imposible to live just from that. You should also open one e-business carrying the name of your company. About advertising, I have to say that the only way for moving on this business is being recommended by your old customers. Don?t let a customer have a bad image of you, cuase he?ll transmit it to all his friends, and that?s the easiest way of getting out of the business. Any other Questions?...

Congrats, Great Work!

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Great reply!
by Sovereign Forum moderator / February 9, 2004 12:52 PM PST

Hey that was really helpful. Yeah we are working on a dot com domain ... arsec.com ... but somebody already has it, but sells it. We're trying to get a good deal. And we sure know that web design is not a job you can live from ... well not yet anyway ... but it's more a hobby for all of us. We take our jorb serious but the environment is very easy. Yes we had some customers (which are listed in the portfolio) and they were all happy. So, no bad news for us yet. We just want to ee how it goess. A reseller plan is a great idea ... we would get that from one of our partners ... what about a domain? Should we register them for the customer and just link them to the site. I mean some just dont have a clue how to do this and set it up. We do you think would be the best way to pay? Paypal?

Thanks a lot!

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by jmgb / February 9, 2004 7:35 AM PST

I hope my information helped you, but I forgot what to say about pricing... That?s the interesting part of the business, people REALLY DON?T KNOW what?s the price of this kind of job, so just do whatever you want with that. The real business states on your power to convince the customer you are the best, then, the pricing is yours. ALWAYS, set the pricing higher than you want to win, cause most customers are going to ask you for a discount.

If you want to have an idea of how much you can charge for a webpage, check www.waydia-rvrentals.com ... The business owner pay $200 US dollars for the design, and monthly pays U$20 to mantain it... Of course, I?m not the one that does this kind of business, but you can do this with your customers.

Again, if you have any other question, you can contact me at my mail (josemgb@hotmail.com), my MSN messenger (jmgb@tusolucion.com) or my live chat ( http://chat.boldchat.com/chat/visitor.jsp?cdid=2573606345 )

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by Sovereign Forum moderator / February 9, 2004 1:10 PM PST

That's a really good point too. I've got messenger but can't get it to sign in right now. I'll add u as soon as I can. Thanks for the web sites ... I'll take a look.

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by jmgb / February 10, 2004 6:20 AM PST

Yeah, I also suffered with the problems on MSN yesterday... But, about online sales I would say this: Most customers will be afraid of paying online, yo should better think about giving them lots of ways to pay, to be sure they find something that is conf for them, maybe it would be great to make one of this options online, but NEVER FORGET direct contact with customers, this ALWAYS gives them more satisfaction.

Yeah, PayPal, I think it?s the cheapest and best way to sell online, and it has a great reputation, so people will always feel sure to pay when they see the
PAyPal logo, of course, you should always check if your hosting isn?t really offering you the shopping cart option, and check which would be more convenient. Domains?... it?s the most juicy business... people NEVER know how much should they pay for it, and they?ll be happy if you tell them $100 for a dotCOM, when you can buy it for 10 DLLS or cheaper. Try Enom?s reseller program at www.enom.com I?m not really sure if Godaddy has a sistem like that, bt at enom, they charge you just 8 or 9 dlls per domain, and you can set the pricing you want.

Hey, any spanish speakers here? Please take a look at www.tusolucion.com ...
I?ll be glad to continue helping you, and to know if you can help me anytime...


Can anybody give me a good comment about icdsoft hosting ? ( www.icdsoft.com )... if someone knows something about it, please let me know...


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ICDSoft are good choice
by troy25 / December 17, 2004 11:00 PM PST
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Re:How to run a web design business?
by Kent Design4Effect / February 10, 2004 3:22 AM PST

1> Your home page takes too long to load.
2> Get rid of the white scroll bar (only good on IE anyways)
3> Scrap the page counter
4> Scrap the 'Awards - None' box.

And like so many people making web pages these days, all you talk about is yourself. We...., We...., We...

Noone wants to know about you, they want to know what you can do for them.

Scrap that useless domain name and get a .COM with a few keywords in it.

Wheres your headline? Where are the benefits?

Read a few books on writting effective advertising copy.

Study search engine placement strategies.

Get a decent 'Contact Us' page, never mind searchrest.net.

Setup a trouble ticket system, FAQ's. Case studies.

Other than that.. It's perfect

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Powerful Design4Effect ...
by Sovereign Forum moderator / February 11, 2004 1:04 AM PST

These are some powerful examples. The we we we part. It's what we can do for them. Not me ... it's us. The FAQ is coming ... but there aren't any Questions yet? What questions would you use? And we're working on the .com domain name.

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by Sovereign Forum moderator / February 11, 2004 1:00 AM PST

Yeah, thanks a lot. I'd be glad to help you if you have anything. I will add u to my messenger aswell.

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by El Bastardo / February 17, 2004 6:27 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks

Nice Site guys, But is there still a big market for static and basic form-post types of sites out there ?
Because I am guessing every single editor lets you create these with ease pretty much now.

The way to go is designing e-commerce sites, I myself am after some shopping cart solution. But hell I gotta get a merchent account , pay the gateway or opt for something like world pay.

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by Sovereign Forum moderator / February 18, 2004 10:28 AM PST
In reply to: Re:Thanks

Well, whatever works. I mean of course HTML is getting old but it's the most common thing still - PHP is taking over quickly though. HTML doesn't mean static because you can built databases in the page or you could simply combine it. Our form post is CGI for example.


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