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Where do I find the web designers?

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Evan John
Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 1, 2009 at 2:05:26 pm

My website is looking somewhat jenky these days. I need my website to reflect well on my professional services.

The problem is I don't know where to start. Are there websites where web-designers showcase their work? I have been looking on the Cow's services section, but most of what I see is geared towards production first, and web-design second. Or I am not sold on what's offered.

So are there websites similar to the Cow, that are geared towards web design?

Thanks.


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grinner hester
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 1, 2009 at 2:48:27 pm

While there are sites like ozzu.com (and many like it) you'll get more than enough pickin's just throwing a job posting up on any job site.



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Evan John
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 1, 2009 at 5:33:34 pm

Thanks Grinner.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 1, 2009 at 7:22:25 pm

A great site worth looking at is http://www.oDesk.com




Stephen Smith
Lone Peak Productions

Check out the TV Show Open I did.


Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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Milton Hockman
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 2, 2009 at 9:37:51 pm

I can help you out. I create custom website design in addition to video production.

My most recent site is http://www.qualityhomecaresolutions.com

Let's talk about what you're looking for. I can be reached at info@plusmoremedia.com

Motion Graphics Artist and Non-Linear Editor
Software expertise include: After Effects, Avid Xpress Pro, Final Cut Pro, Dvd Studio Pro, Photoshop, and more.


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Chris Blair
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 2, 2009 at 11:54:41 pm

There are lots of great people and resources on here and online. But one thing I'd suggest is to know what you want going in. No offense to any web designers on these forums, but we've had multiple experiences with web design companies that range from less than satisfying to downright frustrating.

Like video production, ask for samples of projects in your budget range. Every company puts their best stuff on their sample reel or website, but I've always found it's more telling to look at a company's low budget stuff. How does it look? Is it still nicely done? It's easy to turn out great work with large budgets. Not so with modest ones.

So some guidelines:

1. Go in with a siteplan, which is basically a flow chart of every page and their links. Word has a little tool you can use to build one (can't remember what it's called).

2. Make sure your designer understands function and communication over (pardon the pun), flash. Naturally I'm not talking about Adobe Flash here.

3. Test, test and test some more before putting the site up live. Send test links to friends and colleagues and listen to their feedback about navigation, style, the writing, layout etc.

4. Focus as much on answering potential clients questions and promoting what can solve THEIR problems as much as just telling people about what you do.

5. Load it with samples. The more samples you have up, the better chance of getting someone's interest. People want to hire people who've done something similar to what they're looking for.

6. Ask about including a CMS (Content Management System). There are back-end versions (where you log into an admin page and change content in what appears to be a word document or within forms), and there are so called front-end versions, which show you the website with clickable areas where you can change text, graphics and photos. SimpleCMS is a great freebie one but it requires that the page is coded perfectly to work.

Here's a good primer to read as well:

http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-usability/plan-usa...



Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Bruce Bennett
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 3, 2009 at 3:46:07 am

Hi Evan,

I’m very happy with my subcontracted Flash designers, but when I need to subcontract out-of-state location shooters, the first place I post a “help wanted” ad is at: http://forums.creativecow.net/cowjobboard
I’ve had excellent results with this.

Bruce


Bruce Bennett
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC

Creative Inspiration
Documentaries for those who love to create … and to be inspired.


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Elin grome
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 3, 2009 at 12:58:38 pm

As a reformed web designer myself ;) unless u have very specific, bespoke needs I think there's a lot to be said these days in using a css driven template type site such as squarespace (squarespace.com).

Sites built in this way really are the way to go; the old days of paying someone to bash out a hand coded site are dead IMHO. Services such as squarespace are easy to update, use solid templates, allow easy creation of blogs, video, photogalleries... and in short you avoid/mitigate many of the issues raised by Chris.

Even if you think you need a designer to help choose a layout/colour scheme etc - Id still use this system and get them to work within it; they way you can pay for a good designer who may not have HTML skills rather than paying a designer and a coder or trying to find someone to do both...

Anyway, check out some of there examples;

http://www.squarespace.com/examples/

Elin


It's all the those pesky details :p


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Milton Hockman
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 3, 2009 at 1:53:42 pm

I have to disagree. The problem with sites like the one you mention is that "you" have to do all the work. Web Designers are here for a reason - to create a website that will work best for your business.

Anyone can buy Final Cut Pro but not "everyone" is a real editor or even wants to edit. Imagine if all of our clients bought their own editing software. Where would we be today?



Owner
Plus More Media Group
Marketing Design Company - PlusMoreMedia.com
Marketing designs and videos that do more for your business!


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Elin grome
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 3, 2009 at 2:31:05 pm

Hmmmm,

Well "You" are free to hire who you like to do the legwork, in a sense thats not the point; Im talking about the framework you use to get the job done. Of course one way or another you will have to plan your content, structure your site, but you dont need to go about spending 2/3rds of your budget on re-inventing the web design wheel... Its about maximizing the positive and minimizing the overheads...

I also disagree, and in fact mildly amusing, your deterministic view of the world; the idea that "web designers are here for a reason", as if they owe their existence to a divine creator...

Core design skills will always be indispensable and many of the principals behind good design may remain largely unchanged, but the tools they use will change and modernize to become more user friendly, cost effective, efficient...

I dont think the FCP analogy fits here, other than to support my point; the craft of editing is timeless, but the tools change..


Ho hum :s

It's all the those pesky details :p


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Evan John
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 3, 2009 at 3:48:11 pm

Elin Squarespace is awesome! I checked out the examples and they are amazing. I am now looking for a webdesigner that works with this format. Thank you!


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Elin grome
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 3, 2009 at 4:21:05 pm

No probs Evan

Bear in mind that Squarespace is simply a platform - the great examples there come from great designers - but at least youre paying for great design and not countless content specs, wireframes, custom coding, revisions...

Regards the "format", well any decent designer with half a brain and a notion of dtp should be able to get their head around the tools...

...id add its not perfect, there some occasional bugs etc, but they are fairly minor and the support is quick and efficient...

...and i see soon you can even update content from iphone ;)


It's all the those pesky details :p


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Chris Blair
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 5, 2009 at 1:35:11 am

While wordpress is free and has millions of users, I've tried to learn it and found it's NOT as easy as everyone makes it out to be. And I work on mutliple NLE platforms, as well as in Digital Fusion, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, FrontPage 2003 and a few other media based software apps. I actually found it confusing. So prepare to spend a few days learning it before you can actually use it.

It's certainly easier than Dreamweaver, Frontpage, Expression Studio and a variety of other web design tools, but it still takes a substantial investment in time and a basic understanding of website basics to learn it. True there are lots of great templates and many people use it for websites, but it's really not designed for a full-featured website. Just try implementing flash video on it. You'll need a bevy of plug-ins and some substantial coding knowledge to get it to work.

I also agree with using template driven tools from the web to start with. There are literally thousands of affordable resources like the ones mentioned in the thread. As the one poster noted, why reinvent the wheel and start from scratch when you can start with the basic structure of a site and customize it to fit your needs.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Patrick Ortman
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 5, 2009 at 10:13:45 pm

Disclaimer: We're not looking for new clients, at least until next month.

I agree that platforms that offer CMS tools are the way to go, We're big fans of MODx and Drupal for higher-end sites, and WordPress for more basic sites.

I'm not sure Squarespace is a great solution for many companies, for a lot of reasons- not open source, almost all their stuff looks very similar and very bloglike, etc.

If that works for your business, great. But it's the online equivalent of using the same print brochure templates and swapping out logos for your company. Or, the equivalent of using the same Motion templates and just changing some colors. Which, I'm sure, a lot of video prodcos do, daily.

---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


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Randy Wheeler
Re: Where do I find the web designers?
on Sep 6, 2009 at 9:17:14 pm

Here are some more examples of Squarespace websites with some that don't look like templates at all. I think you need to take Squarespace much more seriously than just a template website since you can add your own custom CSS to any part of the website. Many full-time web designers are using Squarespace to design and manage websites for their clients.

Squarespace looks to be a very solid business at this point, posted on their blog this month:

"We were honored to learn today that Squarespace has been included on the 2009 Inc. 500 list.

We are thrilled to be amongst a group of some of the most innovative and fastest-growing private companies in the United States. Our rank is #339 on the overall list, #32 on the IT Services list, and #23 on the NY Regional List"

http://blog.squarespace.com/blog/2009/8/12/inc-500.html

Here are some more examples that include some that have no template look to them at all. I used the Squarespace address to prove that these are websites designed using the Squarespace interface:

http://brinda.squarespace.com/

Here is what this guy had the say about using Squarespace to completely redesign his website from scratch. You can also see the "Powered by Squarespace" credit he has on the bottom right of his home page:

"I've been working on updating my website with some new work — and at the same time trying to make things a bit more 'Web 2.0' standards based. There have been alot of changes in online media — and it's been fun to get up to speed with all the latest web technology.

This Squarespace engine is spectacular, and I'm amazed at what I've been able to put together in such a short time. I will be doing a more in-depth review of this service in the future.

Anyway, just a few more details to iron out, and I'm ready to unplug my old Flash-based site on Mediatemple and go 100% Square :)"


More Squarespace examples:

http://mzampino.squarespace.com/

http://kylemacpherson.squarespace.com/

http://aliceklar.squarespace.com/medialand/

http://leedteacher.squarespace.com/


Randy


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