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Barry_M

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I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
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Hey all. As a website designer for over 18 years, if you have any general questions please feel free to ask. BTW I DONT do wordpress and if you want to know why, feel free to ask :)
 

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Barry_M

Barry_M

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I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
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Hi Stargazer / Dan.

I dont use worpress because the majority of my clients are non technical or like normal people, have limited technical abilities, so I make them bespoke systems that suit their abilities and exact needs. This in turns allows them to get the exact website and product they wanted and not some premade, cobbled together "make do" system, plus they can easily edit their own content without having to learn a shed load of new things ( eg.. the wordpress uphill struggle). If you adapt to suit your clients needs, instead of expecting your clients to adapt to what you have to offer, you will gain and retain more clients in the long term.
 

Merlox

Contributor
Jan 11, 2016
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How much do you charge for a decent website and how do you determine the price? I see many people on upwork charging extremely low prices so I can't understand how you could go beyond that unless you have some massive network of referrals
 
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Barry_M

Barry_M

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
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UK
How much do you charge for a decent website and how do you determine the price? I see many people on upwork charging extremely low prices so I can't understand how you could go beyond that unless you have some massive network of referrals
Hi Merlox. My charges depend on the amount of work I need to put in to the site. While I do have set packages as a guide so people get a rough idea what they may be charged, every job is priced according to how much work I think I will have to put in. I also provide SEO, photography, copywriting, hosting etc etc..

Can I ask, do you provide website design and if so do you use your own systems ?

(quick ninja edit)
I have been providing SEO since day one of my web design company. I used to be ranked 7th in the UK and 10th in the world for the term "web designers". I now focus on local companies as I like to (and they also prefer) the personal one to one service.
 

JRK

Contributor
Jun 26, 2019
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What would your recommended strategy be for someone starting out to get clients?
 

Stargazer

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Any chance I can see your website? Either here in the thread or PM?

I don't need a website but sometimes meet people who do.

eg Yesterday I joined a Salsa class. They guys website is quite dire in my opinion. Very dark and gloomy looking.

Dan
 
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Barry_M

Barry_M

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
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UK
Hi Dan. Just now I only make websites for companies in my home city. Makes life easier for me meeting clients so unless you live within 100 miles of me then although I really appreciate the offer, I wont be looking to take on any websites from your class right now. Also I would prefer to get a bit more comfortable on the forum before showing anyone my stuff. (looking at your profile though, you are probably around 500 miles from me as I do live in the UK)
 

FastNAwesome

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Welcome to the forum!

I also used to make bespoke CMS solutions for clients.

They were happy, but I didn't really like starting from scratch every time.

Which programming language do you use in the backend, and do you use any framework?
 
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Barry_M

Barry_M

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I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
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UK
Hi FastNAwsome - I use php. I built the CMS from scratch but when making a new website I use a base template then adapt it to suit the clients needs, abilities and desired design direction.

When I install a new site, I have the server spin up a new site that is mobile ready etc then start to work on the design for them. I send them a sub domain to let them see how the site is going and get feedback from them about it. I also test the CMS on the to see how they get on with editing the site and change it based on how good they are at managing the site. If they are bad it it i remove toys. If they are good I give them bigger and better toys to play with, all the while assessing what they are doing and adapting it to suit.

This means most of the time that when the site is done, it is 99% bug free and is actually being used on a regular basis by them - instead of the usual "im too afraid to touch this" i see when I take on clients who had WordPress sites prior to getting me on board.
 

Mazzolini

Contributor
Feb 13, 2017
25
21
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Detroit
Hi Barry,

Ive been building Django applications for clients for about a year and have been slowly building up a decent portfolio, services, and company website. What did you find most effective for building your brand and finding new customers? Where’s there a certain moment when customers started flooding in?

Currently, I’m try to network and build funnels that will help bring in leads. I’m also looking to start a YouTube channel and build up my Instagram with relevant value add content to get my brand and name out there.
 

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MattR82

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Interesting. I only know WordPress really but am kind of amazed so many people are comfortable handing the reigns over to clients, even if they are given a bit of training. I'm still new to it all, but any clients I have had or even been in discussions with would be too scared to touch it as they would almost definitely break it.

I'm glad I learnt WordPress but am looking at working with an experienced developer with a team that works similar to what you do. WordPress really does look like a Frankensteins monster sometimes.
 
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Barry_M

Barry_M

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
49
57
98
UK
Hi Barry,

Ive been building Django applications for clients for about a year and have been slowly building up a decent portfolio, services, and company website. What did you find most effective for building your brand and finding new customers? Where’s there a certain moment when customers started flooding in?

Currently, I’m try to network and build funnels that will help bring in leads. I’m also looking to start a YouTube channel and build up my Instagram with relevant value add content to get my brand and name out there.
SEO is still and was the best way to find clients. Get to the top of Google and people will contact you. Its up to you to nail the deal though.
 
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Barry_M

Barry_M

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
49
57
98
UK
Interesting. I only know WordPress really but am kind of amazed so many people are comfortable handing the reigns over to clients, even if they are given a bit of training. I'm still new to it all, but any clients I have had or even been in discussions with would be too scared to touch it as they would almost definitely break it.

I'm glad I learnt WordPress but am looking at working with an experienced developer with a team that works similar to what you do. WordPress really does look like a Frankensteins monster sometimes.
Hi Matt. I dont hand over anything. I rent them a website system to edit their content. They own the front end. I own the IP and everything that is on the server.
 
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Barry_M

Barry_M

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
49
57
98
UK
Interesting, care to elaborate more about this renting system? :)
yea sure.. its what every other website company in the world who has any clout does. Make websites using a bespoke, home grown system then rent it out to people. Wordpress wont make you any money long term.

Set up a couple of custom web servers to run your CMS then rent it to people. BTW YOU MUST KEEP IT 100% stable. Thats pretty important and provide 100% support no matter what time of day it is.

BUT.. cool thing is if you do like I do and built completely bespoke systems based around peoples abilities they dont need help so you dont need to provide much support although if you tell people its all day and all night support, that provides a support that people know they can depend on but will never/ rarely use.

Simple.. Effective.
 
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Barry_M

Barry_M

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
49
57
98
UK
Any chance I can see your website? Either here in the thread or PM?

I don't need a website but sometimes meet people who do.

eg Yesterday I joined a Salsa class. They guys website is quite dire in my opinion. Very dark and gloomy looking.

Dan

hey dan I dont know how to DM you man so please message me.
 

Mazzolini

Contributor
Feb 13, 2017
25
21
16
24
Detroit
yea sure.. its what every other website company in the world who has any clout does. Make websites using a bespoke, home grown system then rent it out to people. Wordpress wont make you any money long term.

Set up a couple of custom web servers to run your CMS then rent it to people. BTW YOU MUST KEEP IT 100% stable. Thats pretty important and provide 100% support no matter what time of day it is.

BUT.. cool thing is if you do like I do and built completely bespoke systems based around peoples abilities they dont need help so you dont need to provide much support although if you tell people its all day and all night support, that provides a support that people know they can depend on but will never/ rarely use.

Simple.. Effective.
So what it sounds like is you create and design a customer website on your own cms framework made with php, sell them the website and rent the server and cms capabilities to them.
 

MattR82

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What do you think of Kirby?
 
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Barry_M

Barry_M

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
49
57
98
UK
So what it sounds like is you create and design a customer website on your own cms framework made with php, sell them the website and rent the server and cms capabilities to them.

@Mazzolini

Hi Mazzolini. This is correct (i have removed the rest of the post).

The reason for the removal and rewrite.

The post I had written gave the wrong impression of my business model and modern website design as a whole! My post suggested that this is an easy route to success and anyone can do it. This is not the case. I have spent 18 years building my systems and work on them daily. I spent the first 5 years with around 10 clients and was broke most of the time. If someone was to ask me if i recommend going in to website design, I would tell them DONT BE SO F*ckIN STUPID! Especially in the modern market. I have enough clients right now. For a person who has no experience in business (I had years of business experience is other fields before starting my website design business), and looking to make life changing profit and income from website design, stop the delusional dreaming. I bet your local market is flooded with so called web designers who has pushing out wordpress sites at less than $500 per site. This is not going to put food on the table.

Web design like one of the types of businesses @MJ DeMarco talks about in Unscripted. Also 99% of businesses have websites now so its not like 2002 when no one had websites and you can charge pretty much what ever you wanted.

My advice. Find something else to do. Website design is a dying business. Go to chapter 34 of Unscripted and learn from that. Its super important.
 
Last edited:

Merlox

Contributor
Jan 11, 2016
25
22
26
25
Do you think you've reached the limit when it comes to working 1 on 1 with local clients? How would you scale? Thanks for sharing Barry, wish you the best.
 
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Barry_M

Barry_M

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
49
57
98
UK
Do you think you've reached the limit when it comes to working 1 on 1 with local clients? How would you scale? Thanks for sharing Barry, wish you the best.
Hi Merlox. No I do not. There are always new businesses starting up and they will need websites. As I make every site from scratch and I use my own CMS, my clients need very little support with anything so the amount of clients I have does not have an effect on the time I have to make websites. I am making 3 sites right now. I am not pushed or stressed about doing them.
 

Osmotic

New Contributor
Sep 17, 2019
10
9
12
Hi Merlox. My charges depend on the amount of work I need to put in to the site. While I do have set packages as a guide so people get a rough idea what they may be charged, every job is priced according to how much work I think I will have to put in. I also provide SEO, photography, copywriting, hosting etc etc..

Can I ask, do you provide website design and if so do you use your own systems ?

(quick ninja edit)
I have been providing SEO since day one of my web design company. I used to be ranked 7th in the UK and 10th in the world for the term "web designers". I now focus on local companies as I like to (and they also prefer) the personal one to one service.
Moving away from monthly set prices I'm choosing to utilize a payment system where I give them one total price for the campaign which is broken down into three payments: 1/3 signing, 1/3 after half milestones accomplished, 1/3 after full campaign ran.

My first problem is getting a proceduralized way to define the cost of a new campaign, for scaling purposes, as well as how to determine the projected value of my services so I can include it in the total cost of the service package.

`Maybe setting standardized hourly revenue targets for each unique service, applying that to all the services in the package and how many projected hours of each would be required, and factoring in the value of my work to the client?

What do you think? How would you factor in the value to the client in pricing? Would I set metric standards as the results to be obtained from the components of the service package? Or would it be better to be by action?

All in all I think that one flat fee with the impetus being on my delivery of results in the payment cycle is encouraging - that way when the scope is defined and the price agreed to, they are getting a distinct win once they seal the deal. I deliver. They Pay. We both win and efficiency is encouraged.

With that in mind what do you think about the role of timelines in a proposal? Do I give them a template projection or uniquely customize timelines to fit within their budget?

Pay - By - Performance
How would you recommend setting up the milestones?
 

Entre Eyes

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Traveling to Higher Conciousness
Hi Barry,

I guess Welcome would not be appropriate at this time you were here before me! :)

But that speaks volumes if people are still engaging with questions since your day 1 my friend.

I was also wondering...would it be harder to Flip a custom bespoke website to prospects that only know Wordpress.
 

Joshthesquash

New Contributor
Sep 20, 2019
4
3
11
Hey all. As a website designer for over 18 years, if you have any general questions please feel free to ask. BTW I DONT do wordpress and if you want to know why, feel free to ask :)
Any insight as to what makes a successful website? Have you noticed any trends or red flags, things you should never do?
 

Brewmacker

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
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Jun 17, 2019
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The Netherlands
Hi Barry thanks a lot for the really interesting read and offering your advice! It has kinda left me now scratching my head, which is never a bad thing :hilarious: .

I am building a business from scratch outside of my 9-5 job, and so far invested less than €400 on some hardware to get started.

The end goal is buy next summer to role out two apps (android and ios) a website/webapp.

My knowledge of web development 2 months ago was zero, zilch, nadda, ERROR 404!

What triggered me, to write this post was:

If someone was to ask me if i recommend going in to website design, I would tell them DONT BE SO F*ckIN STUPID!
Firstly I have now intention to be a full on web developer, rather I want to have the ability to hack online business concepts together quickly and test them on the market with minimal investment.

Through this process and in the end I want to be able to confidently and efficiently outsource the web and app development, should the market appreciate the value the concepts aim to bring.

I have been working every free moment and weekends to get up to speed with the concepts of Web Design. Through this process my strengths and more importantly, limitations are beginning to dawn on me. Front end was a gift, it is easy and really good fun to learn. Back-end is going much much much slower and is a lot more difficult.

When I complete the web app design (hopefully in two weeks) i will begin learning to design the apps on Flutter.

Both the Web app and mobile app Font-Ends will require a back-end environment for the program to run from and for collecting and sending data.

I am not one to turn and run from a difficult challenge but at the same time I am not one for working inefficiently or not effectively.

Thus I hope you can get a glimpse here of the process I am following, but the question remains, "am i being F*cking stupid?" :playful:

If so how would you recommend I steer the ship back on the fastest course? Thanks a lot in advance!
 

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