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Topic: Web site design and setup...
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Mar 4, 2008 12:44PM)
I'm not a professional designer, but I am a computer guy who is interested in starting up doing website work. As a programmer, I feel comfortable with lots of the technology (I know most of the buzzwords, which are virtually meaningless to most people).

But like most enterprises, folks want to see your past work, before they hire you, but you need to be hired in order to generate a portfolio. Sure, I could make up dummy sites, but I don't find that satisfying or very useful, there is nothing better than solving real world problems.

So, in order to reduce your risk I propose to create your simple website for free. If you like what you get, I encourage you to pay a donation. If the site ends up being a great value to you, then you can pay me a bit more. If it doesn't work at all, you pay nothing!

Check it out at my web site (still under construction) at http://www.martys-simple-things.com/ under the Websites tab.

If this is not the appropriate place, please move it, or if noplace on The Café is appropriate, please delete, but let me know the reasons for having done this.

Thanks for reading.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Mar 4, 2008 02:06PM)
I think that is a great idea. I imagine you will learn a lot by dealing with the needs of a real person as well!

Good luck with it

Day 5
Message: Posted by: James Munton (Mar 4, 2008 02:18PM)
This is a fantastic opportunity for the majority of magicians who currently have crappy websites finally to do something about it. Especially the young marketing guru who previously got his mom to do it for him.

Good luck, Marty, that is a generous offer and smart for you, because you'll end up with a good portfolio.

I love win-win stuff!
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Mar 4, 2008 03:04PM)
I forgot to mention that you will still have to deal with getting your own web hosting. I don't have the resources to offer that for free, and I advise against having such sites on the space provided by ISP's.

I do know a local (Arlington, MA) ISP who does a good job of providing service. He is pretty well connected (high speed business FIOS) he charges $15 a month for the hosting with unlimited storage and bandwidth (for now) and $20 a year for DNS, and domain registration. If you know what you are doing, you can get it for less, but he provides excellent service and it is easy for me to work with him for things like database tuning and backup scheduling.

Thanks for looking.
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Mar 8, 2008 01:25PM)
No takers? It's free, your only investment is to consider what you want in a web site, which is something that you should do anyway.

To make it even more attractive, I'll host your site off of my site until you see what the site is like. After that, you get all of the software to do as you please.

Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (Mar 17, 2008 01:09AM)
I'm interested...
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Mar 23, 2008 04:05PM)
I've had a few inquiries, but no real follow up. Is it something that I said? Have you been turned off by what I had been offering and what you feel you can get? Too informal?

If you have contacted me, please let me know why things haven't gotten beyond square one. If you haven't contacted me, but are thinking about a web site, what things are you interested in?

Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Apr 16, 2008 10:14AM)
More false starts, but I've started on some websites. Still need more.

I think that things get stalled because folks don't know where to begin, so I'm making up a checklist to help someone figure out what they want to see. I think this should really help folks go from a vague notion to a direction with their web sites.

If you have any suggestions for questions or examples of what you are looking for in a website, please let me know.

Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Apr 16, 2008 11:18AM)

1. are you using wordpress for all sites CMS?
2. will you make a wordpress (if used) site more to a specific theme?
3. any other CMS sites if used, would you use?
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Apr 16, 2008 10:10PM)
I using Wordpress for now since I understand it the best. I am learning Joomla, Drupal, and Zope/Plone as well.

Wordpress, like the other CMS's are very flexible. If you have a specific theme in mind we can talk. I know enough PHP and CSS to make changes in existing themes and write a new one from scratch if really needed.

I think using a CMS is important since it allows the individual user the ability to modify the site as they wish. without having to learn a lot about web sites or hiring someone to do it for them. Of course they can hire someone if they want to, but a CMS allows quick response to things. Announcements are easy, schedules are easy to modify, etc.
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Apr 16, 2008 10:47PM)
I use nucleus and I burn feeds into my basic html design.

I get confused with the skins and layouts.
Trying to link pages from one another.

Wordpress is easiest on that. but behind the themes
they offer, its very much all alike.

drupal is awsome, again with the skins/layouts.
joomla is as well. I have a friend who's really
good wtih joomla.

I don't know zope/plone...is that new?

what about CFM?
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Apr 17, 2008 12:43AM)
I disagree, there are thousands of themes on Wordpress and it's basically CSS so you can do almost anything. I'm learning the stuff as I go along. Can only do a few things at a time.

I think Drupal's strength is all of the modules out there, and the general architecture is increadibly flexible.

Zope is a Python based applications framework (CMF). PLONE is a CMS using ZOPE.
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Apr 17, 2008 08:00AM)
I agree there are thousands of themes in wordpress.
but I'm not very good at customizing the CSS for it.

where can I look at zope and plone?
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Apr 17, 2008 03:08PM)
On 2008-04-17 09:00, Marshall Thornside wrote:
I agree there are thousands of themes in wordpress.
but I'm not very good at customizing the CSS for it.

where can I look at zope and plone?
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Apr 17, 2008 04:17PM)
Marty: I wish you much luck and success with this. I am a graphic designer and illustrator but stick mainly with all print related media. I let others handle web design work. You will find that a lot of magicians just simply are not familiar with design or web design or what they really even want. This is just the nature of the business simply because most have never used or worked with a designer before.

Because of this, I think you need to take an approach of educating the person and also working with them in simple steps as you go along. This really helps simplify things. I also know also that you need to really spell things out in layemns terms so that they understand and grasp the concepts. With the design and web lingo we both use every day, seems foreign to most.

Hope this does help and I wish you much continued success. I would love to see some of your work when you have time and also the possibility of sending some of my cleints your way should that work out. My pleasure.

Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Apr 17, 2008 09:26PM)
On 2008-04-17 16:08, marty.sasaki wrote:
On 2008-04-17 09:00, Marshall Thornside wrote:
I agree there are thousands of themes in wordpress.
but I'm not very good at customizing the CSS for it.

where can I look at zope and plone?

sounds like mambo and joomla
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Apr 17, 2008 11:18PM)
Thanks Kyle. I think you are right. It's easy to say, I want a website, but requires some thought when you actually try to do one. I wonder if folks would be happy with a "fill in the blank" type of site, with space for a few pictures?

Design is a lot harder than most people think. A good designer is worth paying for. It's hard to translate something vague, like "fun" (or "mystical" or "mysterious") into something concrete without copying something else.

Zope and Plone are both based on Python, and are heavily object oriented. Rather than use a relational database, they use a Python based object database. Like the other frameworks, lots of people use them and are happy with them.
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Apr 18, 2008 11:03AM)
I'll have to check to see if zope and plone is offered
through my host...

just to get an idea.
Message: Posted by: LVMagicAL (May 1, 2008 12:29PM)
Marty took a look at my site and had some (what I felt were) VERY good insights and suggestions. It's a site I had created and tweaked myself over the past couple of years, so it's not a professional site by any stretch of the imagination, but it's been working fairly well for me. I do want more results from my website, however, and I think the suggestions Marty made were insightful and very helpful. I'll definately take his advice and continue tweaking my site for (hopefully) better results. THANKS, MARTY!!
Message: Posted by: chefmagic (May 1, 2008 03:50PM)
I would be very interested. if you pm me I will get back to you with info.

Message: Posted by: wally (May 25, 2008 01:59PM)
Iam thinking of getting a simple website here in uk. don't want to pay monthly.