Discouragement:A Webdesigners Greatest Enemy

Discouragement can be a new web designer’s greatest enemy. I know this because I’m constantly struggling with it every day. I usually find myself thinking: it’s too much to learn, I’m too far behind, I’m not as good as the other guys/girls or I feel like I’m wasting my time. Then I start to second guess myself. All of these thoughts pop into my head more than once every day, and it’s an ongoing struggle to get past all the doubts and uncertainties.

Is it going to stop you? Will you fight the constant urge to just quit? That decision can only be made by you.

Deciding to start a career in Web Design is the first part. The advantages are very appealing. However, the difficulties of reaching your goal can be misleading. It calls for countless hours in front of a computer, learning, reading tutorials, and trial and error until you get it down. But learning is only the beginning now you have to make a portfolio, and look for work. The competition on free lance job boards is fierce. How is someone with no portfolio supposed to stand out? You don’t, free lance job boards are so overcrowded that there is almost always somebody out there with work to show for who will do the job for very cheap leaving you out of luck. You need a portfolio so you do work for free or maybe you get lucky and get to code somebody’s design but at the end of the day you’re getting discouraged and those thoughts keep popping into your head, but you shouldn’t quit. The world is yours take it if you want it. So if it’s there why not take it?

In this phase of the road to becoming a web designer, I always try to remember these things:

  • Don’t compare myself to other people.
  • Prioritize and Plan.
  • Never stop learning.

Don’t compare yourself to others

This is the biggest cause of my discouragement, the other day I went on Theme Forest because I was thinking of selling some WordPress Themes on their market. I looked around to see if anything I had done was good enough and found out that the stuff they sell there is really good! I immediately got this sense of discouragement because I felt like none of my stuff was anywhere near as good as that. Not to mention the complexity of the design functionality this was a bit beyond me. I figured I had 2 choices.

  1. I’m never going to be that good so why try?
  2. Damn that’s really good I want to get there someday.

I chose option number 2, because it’s no good putting yourself down every time you see someone’s work that’s better than you. There will always be somebody better than you.

Prioritize and Plan

I recently acquired enough knowledge and skills to put into practice. Right now I’m at a stage of excitement and eagerness to work which in turn has caused me to take on more than I could handle. After learning of all the exciting ways to make cash flow, I found myself working on so many things. I didn’t know how to use my time or what to work on and when. I started getting discouraged because I was spending all this time on it but wasn’t getting any work done. I knew I needed to be more organized so I wrote out my short term goals for each project on paper and by doing that I got a lot more work done. I prioritized them with a list and then wrote out a plan to reach my goals in turn making me a lot less discouraged about feeling like I’m wasting time.

Never Stop Learning

Learning is an ongoing act of life. We live we learn that’s what we do. Web Design is always changing and upgrading so you have to stay on top of the game or you’ll get left behind. This might sound like more of a discouragement rather than encouragement, but it really is encouraging. Everybody has to not just you, so your not alone. Just keep learning and you’ll be fine.

I’m starting to understand that I’m definitely not the only one that has ever had these thoughts and when I look at those who have paved the way for people like me to follow I feel reassured that discouragement is normal and everyone goes through it at some point, and if I try hard enough I could reach the same level of success.

Work at Home as a Webdesign Freelancer

It’s not important if you don’t know how to program, design, optimize sites or do similar things. You can still earn money doing things everybody knows. Start working from your home today, without any extra investments.

You can do many “non-technical” things. Some of them are writing (articles, reviews …), data research/collection (finding specified info on the web), data entry (mostly copy/paste), translation and many more. Off course for all those technical people, there are things like programming, design, seo and others.

Sites to find jobs/projects:

Ranoo.com – This is a great website. Most of my projects were done on this website. And I recommend it. While it’s name determines that most of the jobs are in web development, there are other not so technical jobs as article writing, data entry, data collection (research) and others. You don’t need to pay for sign up, their fees are one of the lowest (4%) or 4 $ and you can withdraw money in many ways. They also offer escrow system, so you are ensured from cheaters. Users can leave a feedback about each other – which is a nice option.to post a project is free and the webmasters are not charged.

Rent A Coder – I did only one project over this one. The overall mood on this site somehow isn’t right, but never the less, you can find lot’s of different jobs there, not just coding. Also there are some restrictions that make communication with the buyer a little difficult, and they don’t offer bank wire withdraw – which I like to use. Their fee is 18%, one more reason for me not to use it to much.

Freelancers Network – This is a UK based website. So naturally many of the jobs are UK specific. Of course there are many jobs that you can work from anywhere in the world from your home. The good thing it’s FREE, yup no fees, at the same time, that’s the bad news, and it might happened that you finish the job, and not get paid. That cannot happened when using escrow systems.

There are many other websites. But these should be enough for you to start. Eventually you will realize that it’s best to concentrate on one or two of this websites. Mainly for the reason of feedback. Most freelance websites offer a way that buyers rate service providers after project is completed, and few good rates, with some nice words about you can work magic in getting future bids.

you will realize that many of the people which you found over this sites, will contact you latter for some additional work (if you worked OK for the first time) – so you will start to build your regular clients.

Good luck with your bids!

3 Steps Before You Start Your Webdesign

There are 3 fundamental factors to consider before designing your website.

Step 1 Forget the look (but just for now)

The internet contains many exciting effects so when you start thinking about your website it’s easy for your mind to wander off into a world of visual animations and flashy widgets. However, before you are seduced by graphical gimmicks take a step back! At this initial stage it is critical that you remain focused on what you need your website to help your business achieve, and nothing more.

Step 2 Identify your objectives

The purpose of your website is to fulfill your specific business objectives so refer to the essence of your business plan. Whether you are driving revenue directly through online sales, or using your site to build brand awareness … your website should be designed to deliver all of these objectives simultaneously. Clearly identify what your objectives are and communicate these needs to your designer.

Step 3 Know your customers

By now you know who your primary customers are and have also identified any other potential markets. Knowing your target market is core to the success of your website. Your audience should dictate the look and feel of the website, not just your personal preferences.

In conclusion using these three very simple steps can dramatically alter the way the end result. Fundamentally you website should effectively drive your business. In addition to this it´s important to regularly evaluate your website against your objectives as these will continually change as your business grows.

What a Professional Web Designer Should do for You

Once upon a time, a business could choose not to have a web site. They reasoned that they did not need a professional web site; they could do just fine without one. Then, one of their competitors decided to get a web site and a buzz was created. Not to be outdone, another competitor decided to follow suite. Then another and then another. Pretty soon customers were asking the business if they had a web site. Finally, they realized that they needed a website in order to keep up with their competitors. And so, the Internet exploded. These days, everyone has a web site. From large corporations to small businesses; families to individuals, everyone is on the Web. A friend of mine even created one for his infant child.

This article is created to speak to the few remaining businesses that have yet to tackle the Internet beast. You want to have a web presence, but it seems a daunting task. “Where do I start?” you say. “What issues will I need to address so that I make the most of my new web site?” you continue. This brief article will cover some of the areas of the webdesign process to pay particular attention to. We have designed many web sites for clients that had no idea where to start. We firmly believe that client education is a vital part of the overall success of the web project. Most professional web design companies have published some guidelines that will help potential clients answer some of their questions. It is with that in mind that we have written this article.

Why do you want a web site?

Will your web site be for personal use (just show some photographs to your family members, for example)? Will it be to advertise a business service? Will it be an informational web site, simply to pass on knowledge to the visitor? Will it be used to sell a product? Is it important that you show up #1 in Search Engines?

These are vital questions with which to begin. The answers you come up with will determine the direction in which the overall design should go.

Do you have a business logo?

If you have been in business, you may already have a logo or a trademark that your customers recognize. If that is the case, do you have the original graphic that can be emailed? It will be important to use that on your web site.

If you do not have a logo or anything by which your customers currently know you, do you have any ideas about what you might like, a sketch, a doodle or something similar? Whatever the case, usually a professional web design company can design a professional logo for you or reuse your current one.

Do you have particular colors that you want to use?

Not all colors work well on the Internet. Generally, selecting a few colors is the best path to take. Your web designer can help you select quality colors that will come together in a design that you will be proud to show off.

Have you seen web sites that you like?

Providing an example (or examples) of a site that you like is a good way to help your web designer understand the look you are after. A professional webdesign company will usually get this type of feedback from their clients. Then they will have a feel for their “taste” and can use that as a pattern for their site.

Do you have a web site domain name?

This is the actual address of the web site. It is what you will rattle off when someone asks you, “Do you have a web site?” If you do not have one registered already, your web designer can take care of that for you. Some web design companies may charge a yearly fee for this service, anywhere from $10 to $50. However, some web design companies offer this service at no charge. Make sure to ask your web design company about this upfront so that there is no confusion.

Do you know how many web pages you want for your site?

Almost all web sites have a Home page, a Contact Us page and a Links page. However, after that, you have to determine what you want features to emphasize about your business. Is it important that visitors know some history about your company? If so, you will need an “About Us” page. Do you have categories of product that you want to feature on your web site? If so, each category will have its own page. Do you want visitors to be able to fill out an order form when they are ready to buy something? If that is the case, you will need an “Order Form” page.

Your web designer will ask you about this facet of your web site, but it is good to think about this on your own before you take that step. As a rule, the more pages a web site has, the higher the cost. So choose a web design company that you are comfortable with and don’t let them talk you into more pages than you really need.

Do you have graphics and photographs to use on your site?

If you have pictures to use on your site, are they in a high-quality digital format? As a rule, a scanned photograph will not look good on your website. The best pictures are ones taken with a digital camera. These can be used on the web site and formatted so that they have a professional look.

Many web design companies are able to take pictures for you. Usually, this service is an additional charge, so make sure you discuss this option.

Will you maintain the web site yourself?

If so, do you have an understanding of the Code Languages used to create your web site. Some of these languages may include:

  • PHP
  • HTML
  • XML
  • SWF

If you are comfortable with these languages, your web design company can probably setup the web site to allow you to maintain it yourself. However, most companies will not support sites in which the client has made changes to the original code. Make sure to discuss this during your initial consultation.

Some companies will create Content Management Systems (CMS). These allow their clients to update the website without having to touch the original code. With a custom CMS, if you can create a document in a Word Processing program, you can change your website content. This means you do not have to learn any programming languages and, at the same time, you do not have to call your web design company every time you want to update your site. Of course, the company you choose should always be available to assist if you get stuck. They should also be willing to e-mail you a link to show a demonstration of their custom CMS.

Hopefully, this article has given you some good guidance to follow on the path to your new web site. With some advanced preparation, you will tackle the Internet beast with no problem. The web design company you choose should be willing to supply you with a list of satisfied clients. Take the time to review the list. Contact the clients listed and ask them for their opinions of the company. This will give you some good information to help you make a good decision.

Effective Webdesign

The Basics

Before starting on how to design a website effectively, how about clearing some basic web design concepts? Designing Effectively [http://articles.des-us.com/articles.shtm]

Now that you know what web design and related terms mean, lets get down to the real thing: Designing Effectively How to balance artistic design with practicality and functionality.

Use of graphics and content

Unless your website is all about graphics, how to make them, edit them or just a bunch of links to graphics websites, I suggest you use graphics sparingly, especially the flashing, twirling kind. They not only detract readers from the content, but they also take ages to load. You do not want your readers to leave your website because your graphically attractive page does not seem to load fast enough. Then again, too much text is boring. So mix and match the graphics and text on your page, having enough white space so that the page is not plain annoying.

Layout and design

While designing, keep in mind that poor layout and design will make your pages unreadable and difficult to keep your visitors on your website for long. Some of the things that make a poor design and layout:

  1. Text that is too small to read
  2. Color combinations of text and background that make the text hard to read
  3. Large graphic files that take forever to load
  4. Multiple things that blink
  5. Unclear navigation; over complex navigation
  6. Paragraphs of type in all caps, bold, and italic all at once
  7. Graphics that don’t fit on the screen (assuming a screen of 640×460 pixels)
  8. Animations that never stop
  9. Complicated frames, too many frames, unnecessary scroll bars in frames
  10. Cluttered, not enough alignment of elements

Some of the things that make a webpage stand out from the crowd:

  1. Stay away from bad design features listed above.
  2. Background does not interrupt the text
  3. Navigation buttons and bars are easy to understand and use
  4. Good use of graphic elements (photos, subheads, pull quotes) to break up large areas of text
  5. A large site has an index or site map
  6. Link colors coordinate with page color
  7. Every graphic link has a matching text link
  8. Animated graphics turn off by themselves
  9. Pages download quickly
  10. All pages have the immediate visual impact within 640 x 460 pixels


Most of the time, all it takes to design your website effectively is a little planning. When designing a website, it needs to be clean, uncluttered, attractive and easy for users to read and find what they need. Begin with a webdesign plan:

  1. what colors do you want to use?
  2. Are these colors complimentary?
  3. What items – text, images, data – do you want to put in your pages?
  4. What layout do you want? Look at other websites and then decide.

Follow the above steps to get a website that speaks for itself and your business. You can always contact me for suggestions and webdesign projects.

What I Wish I had Know About Real Estate Webdesign Prior to Building my First Real Estate Website

If I were going to build a real estate website today starting from scratch. These are a few things I would focus on. Understanding what I know now about web design, SEO and Real Estate Websites.

1. Domain name – This is tricky because if your only marketing will be Organic Search/ PPC you may want a keyword spam type domain name. i.e. [http://www.YOURCITY_State_REAL_ESTATE.com] or whatever. If you are going to advertise your website in your print advertising, business cards etc. You want something someone can see and remember. You can rank any site with time and effort but as far as I know keywords in the domain name are still a factor in all the engines so it’s just a little harder. The best solution to this problem is to just simply have 2 domain names. One for print and one for ranking. Have your print domain redirected to the keyword rich domain name and you get the best of both worlds.

2. Website – I would focus on building (or having built) a SEO friendly site that was easy to add content/new pages to as well as having a blog installed. I would make sure the site looked professional of course, I believe that having quality photography and a clean design are the two best ways to get a professional site. I would have a very limited amount of outgoing links on my main page and NO BANNERS from directories.

3. Lead Generation – I would build my site so it entices people to contact me. I would have a contact me page, a Auto Email from MLS page, free CMA page, and of course I would have my IDX search accessible and I wouldn’t make people sign up prior to using it.(This is debated but I find forced contacts to be a waste of time others disagree and I see there point as well) The reason behind this is a site that doesn’t convert might as well not be ranked. If you have 1 million visitors and only 1 person contacts you would probably be better off building a site that 20 people visit you but 10 contact you. You want a site that does both, you want to both a rankable site and one that converts those visitors to leads.

4. Off Site SEO – if I had the money I would hire Off Site SEO out. If I didn’t have the money (which I don’t) I would focus on building relevant links to my site. I would rotate between 10 or so different anchor texts but I would be heavy on my main 1 or 2 terms. These are the different types of links I would focus on getting. 1 Ways links, Recips, 3 Ways, Article, Directory (free and a select few paid), Forum Sigs, Offsite Blogs, Blog Comments, and Press Releases.

I believe if you do (or hire someone to do) just these 4 easy steps you will rank well in the search engines. MSN will be almost instant, Yahoo 3-6 months, Google 8-12 months. During this time I would use PPC and print marketing to supplement my poor rankings and help drive people to my website.

One more point, people need to realize that web leads are different then your normal office leads. Usually web leads are just starting there search. They need to be cultivated; you will need a good lead management system to keep track of these leads. I have found personally that my leads are usually 6-10 months out when they first contact me. I have obviously also received the I need a home NOW leads as well but they are very few and far between.

Drip Email, Newsletters and PERSONAL PHONE calls are the best way I have found to keep in constant contact with my leads. I like to mix it up and contact my clients at least 1 time a week with one of these methods.