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  1. #1
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    Mock Websites For Promotion

    I'm in the developement stage with a pro photography to start a sight promoting his photography combined with my site building, kind of like a package deal or one-stop shopping if you will. The thinking with regard to our site is certainly to showcase his pictures, I would offer several template examples of site structures. He suggested today of actually doing a site so we would have real time examples of our collective work, that wouldn't pose a problem as I do have some friends whose business' don't have a sites.

    Another thought that impressed me was setting up mock (ficticious) sites using material from his already large stock collection, for example perhaps a seafood distributor in Louisiana. My question is, certainly with setting up a mock company research would have to be done making certain there is not an actual company we are promoting, or trademark we may infringe upon. What would some of the other pitfalls or potential hazards in setting up pretend sites or companies for promotion be, or is this simply not a good idea?

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast mr.seven's Avatar
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    Why not just offer free sites to local businesses? This would be legitimate and you could upsell the local business on other services: SEO Package, Social Media Package, Video Promotion Package, etc.

    Paul

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy
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    What would some of the other pitfalls or potential hazards in setting up pretend sites or companies for promotion be, or is this simply not a good idea?
    That you surgically remove practical client objectives or end users. It's all too typical to go off the creative deep end without even a faint notion of what the fictional site was supposed to achieve. And there is absolutely no one to put on the breaks ...because fictional users "the elastic user" simply loves what you've done.

    Always supportive, never critical, these are ventriloquist dummies. First rule of the elastic user: "We'd never do that."

    Next pitfall is not going for innovation. The only reason for this kind of site is to show potential clients what is possible -- far beyond what they thought possible. Pitfall number one is doubly dangerous here, innovation quickly devolves into pointless gimmickry.

    If you're keen on doing something cool with jQuery or Mootools, you've fallen into that pitfall. All the "yes, but..." in the world won't change it. You do not want to promote utter obliviousness, but that just what the vast majority of mockups do.


    Related:
    Never Get Involved in a Land War in Asia (or Build a Website for No Reason) There is the slimmest, slightest chance you'll get a guy munching on the turkey sandwich with client meetings. Mock sites reduce this possibility to nearly zero.

    Hellocode avoids the pitfalls of just about every other Flash site. It's almost illegal to be this sensible using Flash.
    Last edited by DCrux; Apr 23, 2009 at 05:05.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict ChiefLee's Avatar
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    Doing mock sites will make you look inexperienced. The first couple of websites I helped design (this was 10+ years ago) we did in trade. I think the first one was for a restaurant and we got a $500 tab! This will also provide you with experience in how to work with a customer.
    Add your logo to Pocket Folders.

  5. #5
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    Terrace,

    I'm in a similar situation and I'm planning on making some demo site. I'm a web developer and my plan is to create 3 sites that use different technologies(dnn, asp.net, and asp.net mvc). I'm planning on redoing a college project for one of them and the other 2 will be open source projects. I'm also going to be starting a blog that will be completely non tech related.

    I've also had the problem of trying to show people what I can do. Stuff that I've done previously in my career has been completely removed(sites got updated, customers went with a new web dev firm, and etc.) Also the last year and a half everything I've done has been for internal use for my FT employer.

    The demos will hopefully show what I can do. I'm also have an advantage of really making great looking projects and not be limited because a customer has a bad idea.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict Green Moon's Avatar
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    I don't see anything particularly problematical with doing a mockup site, but I do think most mock ups I have seen were pretty lame. I think creating real sites for friends without sites is a much better plan.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot iScrawl's Avatar
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    I used mock ups for my gaming site, but I did it as a service for online games websites owners who wanted more sites.

    It helps in PR (incoming links) but it will make you work harder.

    You need the mock up sites to be unique, updated and well marketed...
    Hanan Moiseyev
    Online games and Videos - http://www.playwithroger.com
    Share your art - http://www.iscrawl.com

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Moon View Post
    I don't see anything particularly problematical with doing a mockup site, but I do think most mock ups I have seen were pretty lame. I think creating real sites for friends without sites is a much better plan.
    I agree, visit a few companies and see if you can do trades as one of the previous users I think this is the best idea. Real world examples are more impressive to a potential company than a mock-up. The other thing is that this interaction provides you with an opportunity to get the real world experience that you need to price your product correctly, ensuring you cover your time and materials effectively. Don't forget to factor in all the time you take on the job, from the initial meetings, through to any follow up work that would be needed.

    Cheers,
    Colin
    Colin Burns
    http://www.cmsadvantage.com
    Founder & CEO, cmsadvantage
    The premier CMS for Web & Graphic Designers

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist Fergal's Avatar
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    If you're going to do mock-up sites, is it possible for you to do ones that you could potentially make some money from in the future - e.g. sites promoting affiliate products, sites selling digital content or content sites that could generate ad revenue?
    Fergal Crawley (Previous Username: Proudirish.com)
    Business Advice Forum - Webmaster and Business Forum < Get a free link & win $5,000
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