Web Designer – Old

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Hi All,

As we all should know by now, the Website business is an interesting one as it is a product produced by a business where numerous company entities meet and need to work in conjunction to produce a product which sells, informs, represents, and empowers a business’s customers. It is where IT, Sales, Marketing, and Ownership meet and need to work together to present the company to the public. Each of these areas have different languages and each area can be very in-depth.  I personally think it is IMPOSSILBE for any one person to be an expert in all of these areas. This isn’t even going into the different aspects of a website itself; as in UI Design, SEO, Psychology of Calls to Action, Graphic design, etc..

I am, or at least think of myself as an IT person at this point. However, my early years was as a Navy Electronics technician, which I did for 24 years. The later part of that I started migrating from Electronics to Computers and programming. Upon retiring from the Navy, I landed a job at (not for) Kodak as a system configuration person. It wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds! I basically pulled new machines out of the box and configured them before, and installer went out and installed them. To speed this up some, I went from configurator, to installer, to technician, to Systems Engineer (MCSE), to software development manager (back to school for CS degree). When my time at Kodak/Carestream was done I worked for Xerox for a year on contract as a SQL programmer before going to work as a Systems Engineer for a small IT company and then more of a Web “person”. I said “person” because versus Developer or Designer because that company used an obscure web development application which I not only didn’t like but saw it as not worth learning. After that I went out on my own and started my own “IT” Company named My Tech Company.

Starting out and building your client base is tough, but it slowly grew and now, at about 5 years in it’s getting to the point where I can’t take on much more. Additionally, my company has grown from me just doing “IT”, to doing network infrastructure, servers, computers, Websites, VOIP phone systems, Camera Systems, and even recently Access Control, Security and Fire and alarm systems. The last few have been added to my portfolio because I have been asked to help manage and run a 30-year-old security company who needs to be brought up to more modern technologies (basically ip based security and camera systems).

Websites! I currently manage about 25 websites for various clients. These are NOT multi million dollar companies with 20k per year website budgets. These are small business owners who need a web presence. My web site model is simple; I find a client who needs a website and spend some time registering domain names and such, installing a WordPress instance for them, installing the Divi theme in addition to some essential security software. I then spend some time building them an extremely basic website with a menu structure, contact info, and the pages they know they want and can provide content for me to put on the pages. After that I spend about 2 (or more, their choice) hours training them how to login and build or change their content. After that, they are charged X per month for me to host the site, back it up, secure it and keep WordPress, Divi and Plugins up to date. If they need assistance with any website changes I charge them my normal hourly rate for that work. That’s my model and honestly, I like it, I think it is fair for the client and myself and my clients like it.

Some of my clients have tried other web companies in the past, some of them to just turn around and come back to me because the other companies were just way to expensive and not responsive. Not to mention the companies who want to suck them into taking over everything and sucking their sites into some “proprietary” web system which once there, they are stuck. I have seen companies hire not only a web development company but also a social media company. Most of those end up just costing the company a lot of money and what they receive is way less than what was sold to them. So again, I stress, I like my model and so do my clients.

So what do I need? There is a bit of a gap for some of my clients though. They want to “up their game” when it comes to their websites. Faster, Fancier Design, Better UI, Better SEO, etc.. The problem is they don’t want to move to a Marketing or Website company that wants to take over everything and build them a new site for $6K and lose control. I also don’t’ want to focus on and just do websites. To be frank and honest, I don’t like doing websites, I hate writing content, graphics programming is not my forte and design, its just not in my blood, I’m not an artist, I’m a geek! However, I’m also a business person and it simply isn’t in my best interest to just turn the X per month over to someone else. Not to mention that is isn’t in my best interest or my clients. So what I am looking for are those, whatever you want to call yourself, Web Designer, Content Creator, Web Developer to partner with to get my clients who want “more” from their website up to where they want to be. What that partnership looks like, who knows, it can take many forms, we would need to talk through that. If you are interested and passionate about updating websites, designing websites, let me know. I don’t know what the partner relationship would be at the start or where it may go but as far as I’m concerned, the sky is the limit. Please don’t contact me if your idea of the partnership is I transfer all the domain names, hosting and total control over as I want to build my website part of my business, not out source it totally or turn it over and just refer people as that might have been a possibility a few years back, but since I have started down this road I would like to keep the business internal and grow it, which I think I can do even more, I just haven’t pushed (sold) it because I haven’t had the time or drive to get further into web development.

Thank You,

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