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Advice needed as I give my website a facelift/revamp

 2:15 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hello All,
As the subject of this e-mail suggests, this is with regard to me revamping my entire website. While I am interested in web content, I clearly do not have an eye for aesthetics and the DIY attitude of mine has truly run its course. I am ready to take the plunge and and get a designer give me website a complete facelift.

I am a student and hence on a tight budget. I am hoping to get the design (without the coding) done for around $400. Is this even remotely realistic? I was going to solicit design proposals on crowdspring.com and 99designs.com. I want to make sure I only pay for something I am happy with. In the past, I have resorted to avenues such as Craiglist etc...and have essentially ended up paying for solutions I could not use. Elance.com was the only avenue I used that actually worked out pretty well - but that was for a coding task and not a design task.

I was wondering if any of you here have used either crowdspring.com or 99designs.com. In soliciting proposals for a design, is there anything I should be mindful of? Are there specific standard requirements I should outline - in addition to those specific to my content area of interest. Any pointers for me as I look for a new design? This is for an internet radio website.

Any advice would be highly appreciated. Thank you in advance!




Marketing Guy

 2:27 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

There are loads of nice paid Wordpress themes out there for the $50 mark, so it's pretty easy to find something you like.

What content management system do you have just now?



 2:49 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am using Soholauch as my content management system so if I can get a wordpress theme converted to soholaunch, that would be great! Do you have a particular website in mind for premium wordpress themes? Thank you for your prompt response!

Marketing Guy

 2:58 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

There are loads to be honest - best just Google to find a few or go via the Wordpress site.

If you are struggling to find themes for your CMS, it might be worth considering crossing over to a different one, depending on the size of the site (small site = easy to do, larger site = maybe not).

Failing that try design forums to find a designer who can design and build a template for you. Prices may vary - I've paid up to 1k for a custom Wordpress theme for example, but many can offer you a lower cost service by customising existing themes they have already designed.


 3:18 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've actually found a few that I liked. I am going to run it by some of my classmates since I clearly have a lousy eye for design.


 3:21 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I actually prefer your wordpress them idea. That way, I am looking at an existing finished product. I guess I am a bit paranoid about paying for something that does not deliver on expectations and that has happened a number of times on occasions where the payment was NOT contingent all my requirements being met.

Marketing Guy

 3:33 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well, the bottom line with a CMS is the functionality not the look. So I wouldn't be too quick to move to another until you're sure you can get the same level of functionality.

What kind of things do you need your site to do? Does it have an e-commerce component (a shop)? Are you blogging regularly? Do you need an event's calandar? Social media integration? What things do you want the site to do that it doesn't do now?


 4:03 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Right now, from a functionality perspective, it works just fine. It just looks ugly. I do not have an e-commerce component. I blog once a week. I do not have an events calendar since it doesn't really apply to my content. I have a facebook fanpage/twitter feed. Functionality, wise I am happy with it. Appearance, there is much to be desired.

Marketing Guy

 4:12 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Best bet would to go via your CMS provider and see if they offer custom theme building or know designers who do. Check their previous work, get a list of sites you like and they should be able to take the job from there.


 4:34 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

The CMS providers seem willing to customize the wordpress theme for me for a fee ranging from $75 to $150 - which is fine with me. Let's see how it pans out. Will keep you posted. Thank you for your input with this!

Marketing Guy

 4:49 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

No problem at all. If you need anything else just shout.


 4:57 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

it works just fine. It just looks ugly

No attempt to change mind about facelift... but sometimes "ugly" works better: It makes you stand out from all the others concentrating on pretty aesthetics. No nonsense. Direct. And if the site has been up for a while with a good return visitor rate, a big change might lose some traffic.

I've found that rather than redo an ugly site completely, just changing margins or legibility and dealing with font consistency goes a long way.


 5:22 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Most people complained about the colors and header images. I feel like at least some part of my low conversion rate has to do with this..Besides, the bounce rate for those that come in via paid search is a 100% and they stay for less than 5 seconds.


 6:46 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Read up on "Color Wheel" to get an idea for pleasant color combinations. As for header images... recent commentary regarding above the fold might suggest sizing/use/need for header images.


 7:00 pm on Feb 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Perfect! Thanks so much...I am actually at this point where I just want to buy a wordpress theme and have some folks customized it. School's keeping me very busy. I graduate in a few months so things are intense - so I am not in a position to do a lot of the designing myself. Either way, I will read up on "Color Wheel" and check out the commentary on header images. Thank you once again!

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