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In Web Site Strategy and Planning, Jen Kramer shows that there's more to building a web site than just implementation. She describes how to create a plan that will ensure the end product meets the client's needs and is as efficient and scalable as possible. Jen explains how to identify the right technology for the design, whether it is CMS-driven or static, and how to organize content and graphics. She shows how to create a project proposal that includes pricing and milestones that demonstrate to the client that work is being done. She also discusses how to measure the success of the design through analytics and user feedback.
No one is good at everything, so it is likely you will need some help somewhere. Where might you need help in the graphic design and development process of building your website? I always need help with graphic design. I need someone to make things pretty and someone with a sense of color and layout and most of all, I need someone who understands when the client says, "Can you jazz that up a little bit?" That just does not compute for me, but it always seems to make sense to my graphic designer friends. You might need a developer.
This is actually my area of expertise, so I usually do that part myself. Finally, you might need someone with another area of expertise. Perhaps you need a photographer, a writer, a project manager or any one of a number of other items for your website. The question, as always, is where can you find good help these days? Network in your local area. User group meetings are a wonderful place to go because you can meet people with complementary skills. There is a number of business networking organizations such as the Rotary, BNI, the Chamber of Commerce and many other groups that might be available in your area.
You may also look into your graphic designer, your developer or your photographer as a subcontractor. That means they are someone that you pay to work for you and help with the project rather than working for the client. They are not an employee. In this case, you are hiring them for a specific job to complete and that's it. The positive of doing subcontracting is that you brand everything as your own, instead of the work feeling more like more patch work. You can also mark up the work of the graphic designer.
The downside, though, can be quite significant. If your client stiffs you and doesn't pay you, you still have to pay your graphic designer. In order to avoid this as a big, big problem, make sure you get some money upfront, before the work starts, so that you are sure you have some money on hand to pay your subcontractors.
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