Site Building

Visiting abody this week, Neil asked me to put something on the front page of their site so that people could get in touch with me. Apparently, visitors to the studio are asking who created the site as they would like something similar for work of their own. (I’ll get round to it later…..). I also had an email from someone who had heard of me through someone using WP, and wanted to know if I would create a non-WP site for them. And just to add to that, last night, a neighbour was around and his wife wants someone to (re)build her website.
Now obviously as of now I don’t know what these people actually want, and I do know my limitations, but equally I can create a lot, and am willing to learn more.

With the abody site, there is no money involved. I do what the guys want, and if I want any bodyart, it’s free. (Okay, so I don’t want any right now, but either way, that’s the trade-off, and it’s one I’m very comfortable with).
Wordpress help I do is free, despite the phenomenal amount of time it can take, but when it comes down to someone who wants their own website saying “Here’s a layout, this is what I would like it to do” then at some point, I really ought to consider charging for what I do – but how much ? What I don’t have, and cannot have, is any method of online paying, so that automatically limits me in who I can deal with.

The karma thing above from Claire – I do hold to that – but come next April, I will be in a position to actually earn money, and either way, when you do any sort of work for people, if you start out by doing favours (which is how abody actually started) and it escalates, then you have to put a price on your time. Doing more sites now would also both be interesting and possibly useful in the long term.
But like I have said before, it’s not actually a price on my time is it ? After all, learning the code they need to isn’t hard, it’s more a case of how much they value their time in not having to learn it. And I haven’t got a clue, if someone asked for the cost, what to say. Not a single solitary clue.

I do know it would be better to ask for a set amount rather than by-the-hour charging.
I don’t know what to do about follow up work / site maintenance.
Do I charge by the number of pages on the site ?
If graphics were involved, then I would need them supplying – I don’t do graphics.
I do know that if set too low, more people may ask and then increasing the price becomes difficult (or does it ?)
If too high, I would feel guilty, but then I’ll feel guilty about taking money anyway.

Am I happy to do this sort of work ? Yes.
Am I in a manic phase and trying to do too much ? No….I’m stable right now, so that’s cool.

Got a Cluebat ? Hit me with it please ?

8 thoughts on “Site Building

  1. Hello Mark..

    Gravity here, from over at wordpress. I am looking for a new developer to join my team. Instead of you getting involved with all the hoopla. How about I just say to you.. that if you work with me I will give you 50% of any job we get just for doing the layouts.

    A few sites ago we designed a commerce site for a some serious income. If you are intersted write me at my address and we can talk. I have some new jobs coming my way.. one for a restaurant, Singer / Miele/ hoover and 2 international sites.. one for shoes and the other for time shares..

    If you would like to be involved and make some extra funds.. write me.

    Kind regards,

  2. Do I remember this right gravity. Are you the guy who could not get his banner advertising fixed even with a demo in front of you? And the guy who spent half the day cussing the people trying to help you? Or have I got you confused with somebody else? What I do remember is the blog looked identical to yours. And you are a commercial designer?

  3. I can assure you that it was not actually me that you were speaking with 😉 I am the one who fixed it, but has now gone back to using my gravity name.

    I am in no way a master div, css designer. I know PHP, MYSql and HTML pretty well, but I manage. We all need help now and again.

    I am a commercial designer, but more into the business aspect of it. Always on the lookout for a great designer wanting to join the force and make some money on the jobs we have.

    I actually have to redo this template – – cause the CSS is really screwing up in KONQ for Linux. Have to figure out why.

  4. Just to append here, I am actually surprised that 90% of these templates made the contest. Most of them are screwed up and it takes awhile to fix someone elses mess.

    No disrespect, but working in WP is not easy to people who are new to it. It all depends on what you know. From what I am seeing from your demo on the WP site you took nothing into consideration. You made a template from scratch. How does that help with the current template. Sure it does utilize some of your method.. but there is so MUCH more to getting it to work in that template itself. Changes to the CSS, placement, etc..

    Your demo and now that I am reading it your explanations are too experienced.. You need to talk to people like they do not have a clue. Details, slow and easy.

    Otherwise your just going to aggravate them, aggravate yourseld and they will move onto another product where the people that support it can relate. But hey, this is your project and who am I to tell you what you should do. I am just here to get on board, have fun and make it work.

  5. I am assuming by ‘demo’ you mean the ‘Explosion in a crayon factory’.
    That was simply a case of me getting totally fed up with people saying they had no control over styles so they had to use tables and other old markup. As with the guides that are also on that site, I am perfectly aware that they are not perfect – but I have never said they are, or that I created them from a position of greater CSS knowledge. I had some CSS experience (self-taught) before coming to WP, and one day, SouthSea, on the WP forums produced a little graphic saying “Why can’t we have this”, so I made. Where do I draw the line though ? Answer: WordPress Code.

    There are dozens of other sites out there that offer quality CSS information, and I do not intend to compete on my own in that market. I concentrate on styling. I am perfectly aware that styling breaks layouts too. I have to say that I have not had anything negative said to me about the guides (except for the 1CSS blog but that was expected, not nice, but expected) and as they get more than 200 unique hits a day and have an average of 4 repeat visits per hit, I guess they are doing their job. Do I know more ? Yes, I certainly do. Am I aware that if I tried to convey that knowledge it would end up being a mammoth site ? Yes, that too. Oh, and the graphics. Picture / 1000 words 🙂

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