Hi all, I'm a huge lurker here. I've been designing for myself and friends for a long time. Long story short, I helped out the owner of a large business brokerage with her website, and she was over joyed with the results.
She says her company is launching 10 sites over the next six months, and she gets asked everyday to recommend a good designer. She really wants me to start taking over there projects and recommending business to me.
Starting a design company is something that I've wanted to do for awhile, but have yet to pursue. I'm just intimidated, I don't want to mess anything up because I've never really sought out design work. I have a background in sales and business management, so I think I could do fine in that aspect.
I'm good with CSS and HTML. Not so great with PHP and database programming.
I have a few questions.
Never built an ecommerce site. Is this something that's extremely tough to do, or would a semi intelligent person be able to figure it out rather quickly? I have agora cart as a free download from my host, is this a decent product?
I'm going to build up some mock ecommerce sites for practice, but any tips would be appreciated.
Also, if a client wants to be able to update the site themselves, say with a CMS. Is there a preferred CMS for clients? I know that Joomla and Drupal may be more complex than some people would prefer to have to use. Any recommendations on a good CMS to learn for clients?
I've heard many designers make money selling web hosting. I'd tell my clients I have a financial interest in recommending a host, and offer them a discount for signing up through me. Would I be better off with an affiliate program or a reseller program? Any thoughts here? Thanks.
I've read tons of advice on these forums, and it's all great. I sincerely appreciate any replies.