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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    How to start a Web Design site

    hey everyone... i think i finally decided I'd start a web designing site with everythign from logos to graphics to web banners to templates to entire sites. maybe if i get lucky and it starts with a kick ill resell domains and hosting =)

    Thing is, i know nothing about how to start a business like this...

    First issue- paying. I'm not gonna go out and buy one of those fancy shmancy credit card machines right away, so whats my other option? check by mail? what about out-of-the-country clients? and how do i make sure they dont take a design and run? is there a way i can disable image downloading and script viewing? sorry for all the questions... =(

    Second issue, taxes. I need to report everything just as if its a regular, deskjob, correct?

    And lastly... well you tell me.
    what do i need to know? how do i get that kick-start im looking for? (and most importantly, ive decided to start from scratch, complete scratch... so that means i have to "earn" the domain... ive already "earned" a host. more likely, bartered for it. any ideas how?

    any help is appreciated. WebEverything.com how does that sound?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    oh come on.... no one wants to help? where's you heart?

  3. #3
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Re: How to start a Web Design site

    Originally posted by geiger
    hey everyone... i think i finally decided I'd start a web designing site with everythign from logos to graphics to web banners to templates to entire sites. maybe if i get lucky and it starts with a kick ill resell domains and hosting =)
    My advice would be to start out small, focus on website and graphic design and then move up to templates, hosting, domain names, etc. You'll want to build up your portfolio first (if you haven't already) with a handful of sites and then branch out to the other services.

    Thing is, i know nothing about how to start a business like this...
    First thing I did was go out and pick up a copy of the book "Small Time Operator" from Amazon.com . It gives you lots of information about how to run any business, plus tax and legal information. Plus it gives you lots of tips and new ideas. Its a small, inexpensive book. I recommend reading it before you "take the plunge" into becoming an entrepreneur.

    First issue- paying. I'm not gonna go out and buy one of those fancy shmancy credit card machines right away, so whats my other option? check by mail?
    You dont have to buy any fancy credit card machines, but it would help if you set up your business to take credit cards online. Otherwise your customers can pay by check or money order. You'll want to have a seperate business account at your bank to keep track of your incoming and outgoing funds.

    what about out-of-the-country clients? and how do i make sure they dont take a design and run?
    You could set up an account with Paypal for international transactions, or have them write the check/money order in their currency and then transfer it to USD at your bank (costs $10-15 extra, I believe)

    As for taking the design and running.. make sure you set up a contract with your client that outlines everything you'll be expected to do, as well as any costs (like per month hosting accounts) that aren't included in your price. Claim copyright on your designs until after you've received payment and then transfer it to your client. That way, if they take the design beforehand, they'll be faced with copyright infringement.

    is there a way i can disable image downloading and script viewing? sorry for all the questions... =(
    No, there is no foolproof way to do this, although there are several ways to prevent less web-savvy visitors from nabbing your graphics - such as no-right click scripts (javascript) and watermarking (digimarc.com) but none of these will prevent someone from taking your images or source code because as soon as they view your webpage, it is stored in their browser's cache and they can get it that way.

    Second issue, taxes. I need to report everything just as if its a regular, deskjob, correct?
    Correct! As I said above, the book will help you tremendously with business tax information.

    so that means i have to "earn" the domain... ive already "earned" a host. more likely, bartered for it. any ideas how?
    Earn the domain?.. I'm not sure what you mean..but if you want to register webeverything.com, and it is available, you had better go ahead and register it now, because we have some lurkers here who will snatch a good domain like that when they see it!

    Good luck! and if you have any questions, just feel free to ask the advisors, mentors or the members here, several of which run their own businesses.
    Sherice Jacob - Web Improvement Expert
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