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  1. #51
    SitePoint Addict LittleFigment's Avatar
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    Hi Nero2, why do you assume that the same design approach is not needed because it is for a private forum?
    It can easily take as long as a site to design and you have the added complexity of having to learn teh underlying developers structure to make the design fit.
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  2. #52
    SitePoint Addict jessebhunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nero2
    Again, the topic starter is not talking about a Web 2.0 Business Project but a Skin for a private Forum.

    Instead of writing emails with $700 offers these Freelancers should say "Sorry, you have a private project, you´re not my target group"
    I don't understand why you think the freelancers are wrong for submitting a $700 bid. They're simply providing a proposal for the requested project. The buyer can then choose to go with the $700 bid, or find another designer.

    It's obvious by reading the replies in this discussion that many people don't think $700 is outrageous for a VBulletin skin.

    You, Nero2, might decide to pass on a $700 proposal. However, there are many others that might think that is a reasonable price. The fact that it's not in YOUR budget doesn't mean the designer shouldn't submit a bid.
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  3. #53
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    Web designing / developing isnt that hard.
    "A nerd who gets contacts
    and a trendy hair cut is still a nerd"

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  4. #54
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    Everyone has their price. Its up to the proposer to figure out whether or not that price is worth paying for the work that needs to be carried out.

    If they have a copy of Frontpage Express, Image Ready and a text editor let them do it themselves.


  5. #55
    SitePoint Addict LittleFigment's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Guy
    Web designing / developing isnt that hard.
    Good Web designing / developing is.
    Spoiltchild Design Consultancy - Design | Web | Motion
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  6. #56
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFigment
    Good Web designing / developing is.
    No its really not.
    "A nerd who gets contacts
    and a trendy hair cut is still a nerd"

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  7. #57
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Guy
    Web designing / developing isnt that hard.
    It doesn't really matter how difficult a job is. Clients go to providers to find solutions for problems that they can't solve on their own. If the provider has the expertise to solve the problem, then it doesn't matter how difficult the problem was for him/her.

    Moreover, a service provider that already has the answer has more value than one who has to work out the solution. Experience "counts" for a lot.

    If you had $100 to spend, would your rather work with someone who takes two months to do the job or one who delivers in a day or two?

    As an aside... no, designing and developing aren't "that hard" for those who have the skills to design and develop. We're all very fortunate to be doing work that we enjoy and if you are designing/developing and NOT enjoying it... then IMO you should find something different to do.
    Linda Jenkinson
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  8. #58
    + platinum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    But at $50 an hour $700 would give you 14 hours of work. Work, not forum posting, not messing around on the PC and coding a little every 5 minutes, real work. Tell me someone couldn't provide a vbulletin skin in 14 hours of actual work?
    You're also paying for the skill and talent of the artist/designer, design isnt like working at your local fastfood chain.

    What you're paying for is not just someone sitting down and "working" for 14 hours, you're paying for the combined skill, ideas and talent of the designer, sure actually implementing these things does take time, but it's the concepting and unique perspective of things which will be the difference between a boring product and an outstanding one, which is what you're paying for.

    As for outsourcing, there's the language barrier and social differences that make this difficult, I mean in no way to offend any other countries, but you really cannot work with someone who can't communicate properly, and you DO need to take into account the design style and the sorts of UI objects that will work for your target market (which is, in general, your own country).

  9. #59
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower
    Moreover, a service provider that already has the answer has more value than one who has to work out the solution. Experience "counts" for a lot.
    Well, a person who knew the answer should be more valuable. But, these people are rare wouldn't you say? I don't know many people who can take problems and find the anwser without working out the solution. I think working out a solution is a pretty neccessary step. But, I think I am abusing your anology abit.

    From what I gather you are impling that more experiance is more valuable. Well, of course I agree. However, what kind of experience are you talking about? If, for instance, you think that proven website development for clients is valued experiance then that seems like a viable candadite. Yet, that particular experiance doesn't translate well to added value. Why? Because to add value there would need to be a group of people without that experiance. And, while many people on this forum believe that web designers who drive down prices too low are inexperianced and are somehow inferior is just wrong. Ironically, the very force which drives them to low prices (lack of experiance) is giving them more experiance. Since, the experianced wont touch the low prices they are indirectly passing the experiance to others. Thus, creating more competition for themselves. The more you competite on experiance with a increasing amount of experianced users the less value added.

    That being said, I think there is a mountain of experiance in different areas that add value. Furthermore, I would argue that once you can design, develope and obtain experiance you need to gather other skills and experiances. It is these skills that have the most added value, not ones in the sphere of the web design/devlopement which simply have too much competition and ease of obtainability to add any value.

    Web designers/developers tend to group all their skills into the same sphere incorrectly. I tend to see things in their lowest form and I think what you call experiance is really this rather large grouping of skills many of which have little to do with web design/developement. And I would argue that it is these other skills which add the most value. At least in the current climate.
    "A nerd who gets contacts
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  10. #60
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Guy
    Web designing / developing isnt that hard.
    Delivering exactly what clients want consistently and quickly is though, and that's what the biggest part of the fee is for in my mind.

  11. #61
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    Sure, but that skill has nothing to do with web developement or design. That is my point.
    "A nerd who gets contacts
    and a trendy hair cut is still a nerd"

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  12. #62
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Guy
    Sure, but that skill has nothing to do with web developement or design. That is my point.
    Well no offense intended, but I think you should check your point for a bent tip. Skill, expertise, and talent have everything to do with design and web development.

    For instance, I spent half a day doing a simple php contact form the other day because I don't have php skills. Through the help of many tutorials and a whole lot of research, I finally figured it out. Would it be right to bill a client for that half-a-day? I think not. Can I charge as much for mine as a php expert would? Sure... it's the same thing. But who would you rather hire?

    If you needed a contact form in half-an-hour instead of half-a-day, wouldn't it be more prudent to pay someone who knows php than to pay me? and wouldn't you probably agree to pay the php expert more to get delivery faster?
    Linda Jenkinson
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  13. #63
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    What The New Guy is saying is that upping your skill in a particular technical area of web design is only going to get you so far; eventually you'll hit a ceiling in what you can reasonably charge unless you pick up on higher-level skills.

  14. #64
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower
    Well no offense intended, but I think you should check your point for a bent tip. Skill, expertise, and talent have everything to do with design and web development.
    Web skill, web expertise, and web talent have everything to do with web design and web developement. Lumping skills, expertise and talent into some general thing is exactly the falisy I pointed out in my above long post. At this point in time gaining web skill, web expertise and web developement is not overly difficult, and because of this it adds little value. This is do to a huge knowledge base and the very little requirements to start and learn.

    Vinnie, has it right, and you are still grouping skills. Just from reading your posts I can see you have skills which are completely indifferent to web design and developement. Such as, your willingness to learn. This is highly valuable skill which may increase your web skill but it has no requirement to do so. This skill is probably the most important skill you can have. It allows you to increase your expertise in all areas in many ways. A great example of this in practise is the emergance of SEO. Many web developers are starting to read and learn about SEO so they could add that skill to their collection. Now, you could argue that SEO is a web skill, and your partially right. Things like title tags inprovements and meta tags are web skills, however concepts such as "content is king" has nothing to do with the web. Such a concept would probably fall under marketing not web developement. The people who make the connection that skills outside the sphere web developement can have a profound inpact on the web are the people who I would look for. Furthermore, I would look for people who can make new connections to skills and to make these connections you must be willing to learn. A skill which you Shyflower posess.

    Another important skill is communication which other members have brought up. If the web developement is 100% equal and the price is 100% equal, but the communcation is extremely poor with one party and not the other who would you choose? The better communicator no doubt. The difference is then not in the web skills but in communication skills. However, as the world becomes more english speaking particularly in india, even good communciation skills are adding less value then they once had.

    I could go on and on about other skills I think should be neccessary when looking at a developer, but I think at the end of the day it depends on the job. There are just some jobs that lack the ability for a developer to fully express all their skills. Such as, when a client comes on these boards and asks for a logo with a house and xyz colors with the name abc for $50. That really limits your skills. Unfortunitely this will occur and does in other industries aswell. It does not mean you should not try, and books like sitepoint's business kit help to do that. For example, when you create a logo for a client you could do market research, look at the competition, do focus groups etc. Waste of time? Mabye, but if I am going to shell out big money, thats what I want to see. Otherwise, I will just be inclined to pay $50 for a logo which may work, but if it doesn't I'll just shell out another $50. Except, time has now been wasted and that time may have a value higher then xxxxx. As a developer these are the clients I would look for.

    Also about paying premiums for designs from artists is nonsense. I think platnium brought this up.

    How many artists do you know who say "If only I could do ad designs for major companies"? Cause I know a ton. I tell them to go out and show samples to different companies, but no, their to shy and don't have the skills to do that. They may be great artists but because they don't have other skills, which have nothing to do with art, they are not worth my money.

    My personal invisionment for a web developer is much like a marketer and a advertiser. They market themselves to get the job. They do research, they do extensive testing, training and presenting. They do meetings, follow-ups and networking. All of these skills which are independent from web developement. And yet in this current climate if you have those skills your light years ahead of someone who can write 10% more effecient code then you can.

    I am enjoying this thread.
    "A nerd who gets contacts
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  15. #65
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by platinum
    You're also paying for the skill and talent of the artist/designer, design isnt like working at your local fastfood chain.

    What you're paying for is not just someone sitting down and "working" for 14 hours, you're paying for the combined skill, ideas and talent of the designer, sure actually implementing these things does take time, but it's the concepting and unique perspective of things which will be the difference between a boring product and an outstanding one, which is what you're paying for.

    As for outsourcing, there's the language barrier and social differences that make this difficult, I mean in no way to offend any other countries, but you really cannot work with someone who can't communicate properly, and you DO need to take into account the design style and the sorts of UI objects that will work for your target market (which is, in general, your own country).
    So, you're saying a web designer with at most a 4 year degree, probably no formal art training, and sometimes without even a 4 year degree, deserves to earn as much as a doctor, lawyer, etc etc?

    Even $50 an hour is alot, some doctors only make around $60 an hour. But in anycase $50 an hour more than takes into account any artistic talent. If you were just being paid to write HTML it'd be more like $10 an hour.
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  16. #66
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Guy
    The people who make the connection that skills outside the sphere web developement can have a profound inpact on the web are the people who I would look for. Furthermore, I would look for people who can make new connections to skills and to make these connections you must be willing to learn. A skill which you Shyflower posess.
    Well, I think I have never before been told that I am "full of it" in such a nice way.

    Point well taken!
    Linda Jenkinson
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  17. #67
    perfect = good enough peach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The New Guy
    Web designing / developing isnt that hard.
    If you say something like that here on sitepoint forums you better back it up with some references that say You know what you're talking about.

    Somehow I didnt find any websites in your signature or on your profile?

  18. #68
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peach
    If you say something like that here on sitepoint forums you better back it up with some references that say You know what you're talking about.

    Somehow I didnt find any websites in your signature or on your profile?
    You need to understand how old the "new guy" is. He must have had a senior moment. (I mean look at his join date and post count. He's been around the block a time or two! )
    Linda Jenkinson
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  19. #69
    + platinum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    So, you're saying a web designer with at most a 4 year degree, probably no formal art training, and sometimes without even a 4 year degree, deserves to earn as much as a doctor, lawyer, etc etc?
    If they're good enough at what they do - yes. Most studio's I've worked for charge around $150/hr (AU) for a 'senior designer'.

    What I'm trying to say is that almost every single designer usually gives you an hourly figure to make the client happy, they may have an absolutly brilliant idea for one client, and it may take an hour all up to finish their 'design', but then has trouble developing a creative design for a second client that day, it may take them half a week of design concepting and work to get a final product that they are satisfied with. A designer has to work out a happy medium between the two so that they dont give away brilliant work at horrendously cheap rates (that they can't just crank out 24x7) and not charge clients for weeks of work that can't easily be justified.

  20. #70
    perfect = good enough peach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower
    You need to understand how old the "new guy" is. He must have had a senior moment. (I mean look at his join date and post count. He's been around the block a time or two! )
    Oh woops yeah I forgot I had to respect what the elders tell us

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    So, you're saying a web designer with at most a 4 year degree, probably no formal art training, and sometimes without even a 4 year degree, deserves to earn as much as a doctor, lawyer, etc etc?

    Even $50 an hour is alot, some doctors only make around $60 an hour. But in anycase $50 an hour more than takes into account any artistic talent. If you were just being paid to write HTML it'd be more like $10 an hour.
    I have yet to meet a professional Mechanic, Electrician, Plumber, etc... that charges less than $60 an hour. The fact is, you can't run a professional business and charge less than that unless you have basically 0 overhead costs and over 50% billable hours. Even then you'd only be make $43,000 a year - not even half as much as a doctor's starting pay. Factor in the cost of renting an office, health insurance, business insurance, marketing expenses, and you'll soon find yourself making about as much as the guy who takes your order at McDonalds.

    I you want to compare salaries you need to compare apples to apples. A professional consultant that runs a business and charges $60 an hour has nothing to do with a doctor that makes $60 an hour on salary with benefits.

    I think $100 - $150 an hour is pretty much the industry standard for entry-level to mid-level professional consulting work. I'm sure most mom and pop type clients will blow a gasket when you give them this price, but I can assure you that most professional companies will pay this without hesitation because its very standard.

    I'd say about 80% of our clients don't blink when we give them our hourly price. The remaining 20% are always family businesses and individuals without experience in the corporate world. The funny thing is its not the price of the website (flat fee) that bothers them, they are usually just fine up until they ask for what its going to cost them for hourly updates or maintenance. I think a lot of people have this huge mental barrier when it comes to hourly rates. People always try to make comparisons to what they make per hour, what they think you should make per hour, and what they think is fair for this type of work.

    Nobody stops to think that hourly rates for professional service have very little to do with salaries. For example, if you pay $1.99 a minute for phone sex does that mean the girl on the other end of the line is make $120 an hour? Think about it...

  22. #72
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Great post optimus.

    You're right about the mom and pops - tell them you charge £xxx a day for consulting and they sit there with their calculator working out my apparent annual wage - no doubt they times it by 365 as they assume as I'm a freelancer I work 7 days a week and have endless streams of work coming at me to fill all those hours.

    I remember meeting with a chap a year or so ago - we discussed a price for his ecommerce site which was pretty high but he was happy to pay as his existing site was doing very badly. Then we came onto the subject of support I offered it as a monthly or annual charge which would give him unlimited office hours telephone support. Nope, he didn't feel he would need any support - fine, but I had to point out that if he ever did need to ask me for support, I'd have to bill him via my hourly rate.

    He flipped. 'WTF? You're not my accountant you know. I can just about accept paying him by the hour, but not you.'

    Now personally, I feel my job as this person's web consultant/developer is just as important, even more so in fact, as his accountant (not wanting to diss accountants BTW). But this guy could not see this at all - even after I'd sat there for 2 hours showing him how I'd helped other companies such as his quadruple turnover in 3 months, he still could get past his predjudices (he ended up going to another developer who built him a very similar site to his existing one, entirely in Frontpage - a year later, the site is no longer there any more)

    But I guess we're straying from the original subject area of this topic which was referring to 'web designers' and not web consultants, which are two completely different disciplines

  23. #73
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    I don't think optimus was far off the mark for any web provider. Although web developers take design, content, back-end, e-commerce and a bunch of other things into consideration, most often, the designer is expected to do the same thing. It's as if people believe that the "look" of a site is going to give them conversion and make it profitable. So in that respect, designers are often asked to develop a site rather than just do the design.

    It also comes to mind that a lot of folks seem to think the design just drops off someone's graphics program onto their site in mere minutes. They are loath to consider the time it takes to create and coordinate the different design elements of their site.

    The same with content. Many clients tend to think that words just naturally flow whatever the topic. They don't understand that every new topic takes hours of research, time to cross reference and fact check, then to write, optimize, proof read, re-read and finally deliver... and then to revise because "by the way, I forgot to ask you to include this" or "that isn't quite what I had in mind".

    I guess my point is that each web provider, whatever his/her specialty. spends a certain amount of time consulting and developing the project to address the needs of the client.
    Linda Jenkinson
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  24. #74
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    I agree - but I do find the the perception of the term 'web designer' conjures up a different picture to a 'web consultant', at least in the minds of many businesses.

    I recently met with my local Chamber of Commerce after being asked to join their supplier list and found they used the term 'web designer' in almost a derrogatory way. In one breath they talked about the fantastic business consultants they hire to sit down with clients and help them plan their web empires, and in the next breath it was all about the lowly web designer they then bring in to do the dirty work of designing the site. Their opinion of a web designer is just someone who bangs a few things into Dreamweaver and makes a quick buck. Now if the local Chamber think this, what hope is there with actual businesses?!

    It was actually quite a disturbing experience dealing with the Chamber. The whole process is so sanitised and red-taped, I cannot see how any of the start ups they 'assist' will ever get anywhere. The business consultants know nothing about setting up web sites (i.e. the real stuff you need to know about setting up a successful web site), while the web designers (consultants) who do know how to to create financially viable sites are not paid to offer that information, instead they are expected to make a site to a spec and shut up.

    I told the Chamber to shove it - removing the consulting part of my job takes most of the fun out - I like sitting down and working out how I'm going to help make someone lots of money, I like to see them succeed thanks to my input. It's a big jigsaw puzzle with lots of different pieces that all need to fit together (design, usability, marketing, customer support, retention, admin, content management, training, expansion etc etc) - this is why I refer to myself as a consultant - although I still have to optimise my site for 'web designer' because no one ever searches for 'web consultant' on Google

  25. #75
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox
    no one ever searches for 'web consultant' on Google
    have you tried the keywords web developer? 20.8 million results according to Google Beta.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown


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