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Professional Webmaster Business Issues Forum

web business
any suggestions

 1:22 am on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I want to start a web site business, I already know on what. I know how to make a web site but I do not know how to get the actual business up in running. I am no computer expert but do know how to use the computer and the net. I am a first year college student. Please any suggestion where to start?



 2:56 am on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Peaches, start right here. Just start to ask specific questions and everyone will help you out. The more detailed and specific you can be with your questions, the more we can help you. Welcome to wmw.


 1:32 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I started a web business in college. Make people pay something up front. They will take advantage of your inexperience. Have confidence in your abilities. Charge the going price for websites. If you charge to low you will be attracting clients that are seedy. Make lots of friendís sites for your portfolio. Be prepared to drop clients if they want too much. Don't let the sites price tag cloud your judgement. You will be prey for a lot of scams. Keep rational and use common sense.

This will be a great stepping stone. What I learned from my experience was more than I learned in college. Above all else have fun :).


 1:35 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

>I already know on what

peaches, is it a web design business you want to start or a business with another service or selling something?


 1:37 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, peaches. Korkus2000 has some good advice. Hunter also has the right idea. Specific questions are the way to go. You will also notice the "site search" link at the top of this page, next to the logo. This is a great way to see if your question has been answered already. If not, ask away! There is almost always someone who is able to help get you an answer.


 2:26 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Get EVERYTHING in writing.

Andrew Thomas

 2:40 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Charge the going price for websites

What is the going price for a website?

Ive just started a web business myself, the best thing is to be helpfull and give good advice to the customer, that way you will get recommended from previouse customers, also be professional in everything you do..

brotherhood of LAN

 4:00 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey peaches im the WMW living example :) im 20 and at first year of college. I have a subject orientated site and build others

I starting posting here a while back, after endlessly looking for "a site" that covers most of the thoughts I have in regards to making web sites. Im still here ;)

The most powerful tool you have for a website you already own, the knowledge and information you are going to put on to the screen. The rest is more or less absolute rules to follow (ie code) which you basically have to sit down and learn.

The SEO bit, well, if there is such a thing as SEO, stick around WMW for the fuzzy logic used.........in here you will get a "feel" of how to make that better website/online business you strive for :)


 9:11 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Don't forget that you're running a business. Listen to all the people above - get things in writing (that means learn something about writing your own contracts). Get at least a deposit up-front (I recommend 30% - 50% of the overall price) AND DONT UNDERCHARGE.

Even if you don't get a lot of jobs because of your rates, don't be afraid to go into 4 digit numbers (though for small business sites, I wouldn't recommend going past $2000 - most aren't even willing to pay $900).

I sometimes have to tell clients "You can't expect a champagne website on a beer budget." They get what they pay for, and if they don't want to pay your rates, you'll only work the hours their pay covers. (Although you should always work to get the job finished - it takes some practice, but based on how much your charging, try to manage your time in a way that you get the site done in so-and-so number of hours as though you were getting paid X dollars an hour.)

The customer is not always right (that's why you're the professional) and don't feel obliged to throw in features they didn't ask for. You can use that as motivation to do a quarterly update later - at the client's cost.


 3:11 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Also, it may be a good idea to meet some people who are thinking like you. Find some contractors who specialize in an area your not completely comfortable with-- that way you can keep on moving and take on larger projects as time goes on.


 4:10 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Don't forget to put the piece of glass in the chimney.


 4:19 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)


"Don't forget to put the piece of glass in the chimney."

There's probably a cultural reference that I'm being dense and missing completely.

Other than giving Santa Claus a nasty surprise when he comes down the chimney next winter, what is this supposed to do?

Could you please explain? :)


 1:21 pm on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

im just like peaches, starting a new site/small business, ive got a question. Seofan, said get everything in writing, by this do you mean writing up contracts and having them sign them?...

could you explain more.


 1:25 pm on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

He is talking about locking down the scope of your project. Customers will nickle and dime you to death if you don't itemize all your services and fees. Make sure your clients know exactly what you are giving them and for how much. Also make sure your clients know when they are responsible for deliverables (content) and when you will deliver each phase of the project. If you get it in a contract there won't be any confusion that can get you in trouble.

brotherhood of LAN

 1:45 pm on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Also, RE planning

Im getting head deep in PHP and mySQL. Previously all my design was static. The idea now is to have 100% of the site dynamically generated to that future updating can be done easily and more cost-efficiently (one of your goals in your profile URL) :)

If you write down how you are going to lay your website out, instead of compromising along the way, you are less likely to run into problems and expandability issues.

On the other hand, if you plan, you should "expect to cope" with any pressure that is put on your site layout (ie bandwidth, people wanting bigger sites, more "fancy sites" etc)

If there was no pre-planned concept for a website, then you may as well allow someone who doesnt know about websites to make it, because they would be heading into the project as blind as anyone else :)


 2:31 pm on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

about contracts..., are they done?

would a web designer need to write up a contract to sign, or have an online contract the client would put thier name to?

Or is it just not done?


 2:38 pm on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yes at least in the US contracts are neccessary. You need to get the client to sign them by hand. They are legal documents that you should get a lawyer to produce or look over.


 2:55 pm on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

does everyone do contracts?

and does anyone have an example of one?


 2:55 pm on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

You might want to start a new thread about contracts. you will get a better turn out.

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