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I can't link to either project as I either don't know the urls, or I did such a small amount of the work its not worth explaining.
For a demonstration of my work I have a news article page Search, browse, and when logged in post/edit articles. I'm also working on upgrading the shop (products database) I did for a customer earlier, so it uses CSS and proper design (he didn't want to pay for that).
Its just a basic, tidy and well laid out style. Designed with css borders and a few buttons, designed to be fast loading. I'm no fancy designer and don't pretend to be.
Point is I just want money to pay the bills and build up a few more projects. I'll have to team up with a designer (again need to find one locally) to do any sites myself, that is after I get a 'float' to pay for a few things I need around the place.
Now I want to do sites myself, I'm sure I can do a more professional job than either company. As I'm no designer I've been searching for odd php work here and there, so I can still work from home.
Hence searching on freelance sites, job boards, forums, etc. No matter what I bid or say in email/messages I don't hear back after the first quote (or any followups). I'm not quoting anything more than $10-$15 an hour over flipping burger wages, and I usually quote the amount of hours it would take.
Is it just me, or are these people just fishing for the cheapest php freelancer they can find ?
Or is it more a sign of unprofessional behavior on their part to not return messages, give feedback etc ?
I wrote decent, easy to read and hacker resistant php code, but it seems like people care more about the design and images than function and security. Anyone else found this ?
I've found the contact details (business phone no. etc) for the last person I contacted via a forum.
What questions should I ask him as to how/why he decided on someone else ?
I just want some proper feedback, and to point out I was hoping to actually have a local designer as a contact.
First question will be are you just fishing for the cheapest work you can get, or is there something else to your discussion ?
you could link to the two companies directly though
were those companies happy? do they have any other work?
>> just fishing for the cheapest php freelancer ?
>> sign of unprofessional behavior?
I don't know the medium that well but it seems this is normal
>> people care more about the design and images than function and security.
absolutely, an important lesson learned
>> I've found the contact details
As far as all this part goes I might consider it more like harassment. Even though your intentions are genuine they are born of frustration
just keep plugging along
Hence searching on freelance sites, job boards, forums, etc.
Competing globally? With only basic php skills? its going to be tough. Why not contact companies directly or parner with a good web designer.
I should have explained better, these are forums specific to my country at least. My php skills aren't basic, and I know other languages, still the odd thing to learn though.
The only local web designer I have contact with is a university student and also very slow to reply to emails. Plus the first thing I'd need to do is get them to re-design is my own site, for that I need some money, designers aren't stupid.
The local work is almost non existant, so need money upfront for phone and travel, gets real expensive calling the nearest city.
Anyway off to look for free website templates to borrow ideas/pieces from. 3D design is more my area but I can make do.
Perhaps you'd be better building a solid portfolio working for somebody else and then once you've got the portfolio then going freelance.
Perhaps visit some discussion boards to find talented designers in the same situation as you.
Perhaps then work out an arrangement to work together on six simple projects.
First thing you both should do is your own web sites, so that the non-profits or small businesses you will contact will be able to see that your sites are good. I suggest small businesses and charities because they may be cash short. Alternatively, you could approach a larger company without a web site that would be fine with a simple brochure site and offer to do theirs for "whatever you think it is worth at the end".
Perhaps then you each approach three local (to your own cities) charities or non-profit organizations, or even small businesses with poor web sites and offer to do theirs for free to build up your portfolios and get your names known in your respective local towns. Perhaps you could do the charitable ones inexchange for a tax deductible charitable donation form.
Make the deal with them that they will honestly answer a survey afterwards and give you permission to use those answers in your marketing materials. These will go on your own web site as testimonials if they are positive.
Of course, word the questions so they are likely to lead to honest but positive results. If they do not, then you know what you have to do to improve in your services.
The charities and non-profits, especially if they are small, may be more likely to have busybodies or blabbermouths involved who will disclose to others that you did their work for free. Business owners would be less likely to do so because it reflects poorly on them if they rely on freely provided services. Also, the business people may be more likely to be in social circles to refer you to other business owners who could pay for your work (rather than other non-profit circles who may not be able to pay for your work). Maybe even build in something interactive and fun that would be of interest to their customers rather than simply a brochure site. That may cause the other businesses to call you. Particularly if your arrangement includes that they show your logo and link to your site at the bottom of each page.
With this approach, you would have eaten and paid the rent during the time it takes these six projects to be completed.
Although you may have the time to do the six projects within the next three days, the offline clients will be the ones delaying the process while they consider whether to do this or what they want to be on their web site.