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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict jlisec01's Avatar
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    Adding web sites to my portfolio, what can I do without any clients?

    Hey everyone, I took a break from creating websites a while back and move onto other things but as I got back into it I noticed some of my sites were either offline or the code was really bad, nothing that I want to show on my portfolio. So I'm pretty much starting from scratch and I was just wondering what can I do to put some work under my portfolio without any clients?

    I was thinking maybe creating some projects, I'd create multiple sites for like non-existent companies and have each one be different, maybe like one exclusively done in HTML5 or PHP. Is that acceptable for employers or do they want to see work done for real companies?

    Thanks for any help, highly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlisec01 View Post

    I was thinking maybe creating some projects, I'd create multiple sites for like non-existent companies and have each one be different, maybe like one exclusively done in HTML5 or PHP. Is that acceptable for employers or do they want to see work done for real companies?
    That's exactly what you should do. Show some work with which you are capable of and the type of design/functionality you can deliver- they don't have to be real clients for you to have them on your portfolio.

  3. #3
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    ParkinT's Avatar
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    If you are short on ideas, simply find small businesses in your area and create a design you believe would help their business. As long as you are not using registered logos or material protected by copyright, this would demonstrate your abilities and, perhaps, you could sell the site to those businesses!

    You could help with this charitable effort and then add the result to your portfolio.

  4. #4
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    dresden_phoenix's Avatar
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    You are on the right track, but some things to consider.
    1) Building /hosting your portfolio sites ( or copies of them) will let you have control over what you show to potential clients. That is you will be able to show your BEST WORK and not work that's been tweaked or tamperedbny the client or by client request after the "design honeymoon" passes.
    2) It also will allow you to push your envelope. That is can be a learning project and as well as a showcase.
    3) Remember , There are portfolio pieces ( your BEST work) and Reference pieces ( work that shows how well you can constantly work with clients, clients' personalities, and client constraints) Doing "charity work" may have other rewards but more often than not ends up beign REFERENCE and not PORTFOLIO work. It also sets a precedence; a corporate firm is not going to be moved by getting reference from a charity or small business and a small biz won't quite know how to deal with a reference from a fortune 500 company.

    4) Keep in mind that many clients do have there own businesses and lives so it's not like that will be standing by the phone waiting to tell others how satisfied they were with your work ( even if you wowed them).

    5)Also what gets 'accidentally' passed around is that you did a site or three for free, others will want the same deal.

    So for references pick a person with whom YOU PERSONALLY CONNECT and whose work comes closest to the kind of client you want to get.


    Another good strategy is a "how I would have site" You can take an existing real company's page and revamp it the way you would have done if they had hired you. Unless you are also selling marketing and/or copy writing , it's advisable the content MUST BE OVIOUS PLACE HOLDERS to avoid any legal issues. Doing a site like this for your portfolio has the distinct advantage that it shows DIRECTLY how you would solve design problems that prospective clients may be facing.


    hope that helps, good luck.

  5. #5
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    One way is to do a couple of free/reduced price websites for local charities or social groups or friends; another is to advertise (I have seen it done in forums but am not sure if it is OK here) for people to have a website built at a very reduced price so that it can be included in your portfolio.

    Possibly, you might also have a few designs (not necessarily coded) with a "website coming soon" type of notice on them; this would pad out the above. Good luck!!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard webcosmo's Avatar
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    Just make a showcase with some fictive websites, it should be enough to prove what you're worth.


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