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Hi everyone, this is mainly directed towards the people who have or have had self-run web design businesses. how much do you charge the people you have built webpages for?how much would you charge if you had the following skills?

XHTMLCSSJavascript

how much more if you added the following skills?

PHPJAVA

thanx, LG

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Every market (city) is different. Chicago can range from $50 to $300 an hour - you get what you pay for. My rates hover just above $100 and are negotiable depending on the project requirements - simply because I already have a fulltime job. However, I still maintain a few clients back in Maryland before I moved out here to Chicago. I still charge them $50 and hour for any work I do - its a rural community, more than two hours to any major city.The best thing to do is research local companies and find out what they are doing. Then, look at their work. Comparing the work that someone does with the rate they charge is a good guage for the target market they are after - attractive graphic intense "impressive" sites/clients, modest businesses with a nice looking site with good functionality, or low ball Frontpage sites for the local travel soccer team.

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by the hour is the most reliable technique for it. I can tell you that adding java won't really get you anywhere as it is not needed in website design although php is probably pretty good. You could range quite a bit with those skills.I know a friend who has been earning quite a bit making a database in ruby - I'm sure if you found out others prices and worked off an average you'd do pretty well.

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do you do any design for people that aren't local over the internet?...is by the hour the only way you do it?

Yes. I do work for people who are not local. I've recently been in contact with one of my Maryland clients who wants to redesign the sight. I've done work for folks in California having never been to their office or having never met them in person. That's everything from planning to developing to implementation to collecting my fees - all done from the comfort of my home. All that is only possible if you sell trust - just like I said before.Hourly is not the only way to do it. You could sell your work by the project. But I do not recommend that unless you have very detailed functional and technical specifications. The reason why hourly works so well is that it pays you for the work that you do. You just have to make sure you are charging fairly - I charge on the higher middle end of pricing because I want to send the pricing message that I am good enough to be more expensive but reasonable enough not to charge it. But you can't charge what you are not worth. In any respect, hourly is the most accurate way to charge - although when I started out I actually charged per character, but that didn't last.
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Frontpage produces the worse, most uncompliant, bloated code of any html editor available and what's worse, it costs over $200.I would STRONGLY recommend against using Frontpage.If you must use a editor, I suggest hand coding with NotePad, use Dreamweaver.

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Hi,    What do you mean by low ball Frontpage? thus using Frontpage not appropriate?Is this what you mean?

Well it seems that Jonas and aspnetguy has beat me to it - what thhey said is exactly what I meant. There is really nothing worse than coding a site in Frontpage, MS Word is a close second. Using Frontpage is like kissing your dog on the lips - its distgusting but people do it - I NEVER would. :) Anyway, stay far away from it - learn to code using the code(Notepad), then work your way into software that makes the common tasks easier (Dreamweaver).
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I don't like Dreamweaver either. I tried it once, and it would close my tags before I realised what happened. I would write <table>, and it would finish with <tr><td></td></tr></table>, and I would have to go backwards on the line to write more... :)Notepad is foolproof.

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I don't like Dreamweaver either. I tried it once, and it would close my tags before I realised what happened. I would write <table>, and it would finish with <tr><td></td></tr></table>, and I would have to go backwards on the line to write more... :)Notepad is foolproof.

You can adjust settings to not do things like that...but I agree Notepad 4 life!
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after handing coding layout tables for a few months (before i knew of css and accesibility) i moved on to dreamweaver. I was so glad to have a tool that could easily perform the small tasks that would normaly take much longer. I agree though anybody who wishes to ever aspire to the level of pro web desginer/developer should start with a simple no frills/thrills text editor. Starting off straight into dreamweavers makes designers/devs lazy and they wont appreciate the time that dreamweaver saves them.

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I don't like Dreamweaver either. I tried it once, and it would close my tags before I realised what happened. I would write <table>, and it would finish with <tr><td></td></tr></table>, and I would have to go backwards on the line to write more... :)Notepad is foolproof.

What version of dreamwaver are you using? I use 8 and it's not doing that. When I write "t" it suggests table and other tags that start with "t" so I can either continue typing for a more detailed suggestion or select from the list (in short: auto complete). And that's it. The ">" is automatically written, but it's left to me to decide the things inside. There are no <tr>s and <td>s created. When I type "</" it automatically writes the closing </table> tag, unless I have written some other tag after, that needs closing.If you're using MX2004, well... yeah, it sucks.
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What version of dreamwaver are you using? I use 8 and it's not doing that. When I write "t" it suggests table and other tags that start with "t" so I can either continue typing for a more detailed suggestion or select from the list (in short: auto complete). And that's it. The ">" is automatically written, but it's left to me to decide the things inside. There are no <tr>s and <td>s created. When I type "</" it automatically writes the closing </table> tag, unless I have written some other tag after, that needs closing.If you're using MX2004, well... yeah, it sucks.

Yeah, I think it was MX... :)
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Oddly enough, I went sort of backwards. I started out in Notepad learning HTML because I thought it would be cool to be a hacker... yes that's before I was an affluent internet and computer user. I wanted to break into banks and such... a real lameo.BUT it got me learning some HTML, and from there I took web design at my high school. They showed me Dreamweaver MX Education edition, then I went home and pirated the newest copy of it. I learned on that and expanded. Somewhere in the mix I found w3schools and a few other sites and learned and learned and learned all about web design, web development, and computers in general.Now I use a Debian GNU Linux system and my editor of choice is Nedit, a text editor with a few features like syntax highlighting and auto-tabbing lines so that code is more easily organized. I've also learned enough about PCs to start my own computer repair and web site design business. (site: ]www.fix-computer.tk)

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Somethings depend on the computer your using. My PC does web lanuages best in notepad but my server does things best in wordpad.On my 2K server notpad removes special breaking charactors and it doesn't understand the a return that's been added by php.------When I start web programming I was in 8th grade, I started a website called Yellow Storm... it had no point (I used the FileManager on the hosting site)Then I started UltraLink(versions1-4) (I used the FileManager on the hosting site)Then I started NetView(versions1-2) (I used Dreamweaver)Then I made a vertual Server and hosted my own NetView3&4(notepad)About 3 weeks later I made a server out of an old computer and start The DCole Server. Right now I'm on version 4. (wordpad/notepad/TSW WebCoder)Each version lasted me about 4 months. ------If you stay with Notepad, then when you move on to PHP, PERL, Python it will be easy.I only used coders when I forget tag and need a referance.

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Using Frontpage is like kissing your dog on the lips - its distgusting but people do it - I NEVER would.
:) I know I wouldn't kiss my dog on the lips :) . I've personally never have used FrontPage, but a lot of people have been discouraging the use of that program for so long that I have never thought about using it. I like to use Notepad (for coding something really fast). I do have my favorite editor though :)
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Frontpage...Terrible...You can make websites which look like MS Word has been sick all over the browser... :) Dreamweaver 8 is my choice! Or Notepad!!

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That image is the first time I've ever seen Front Page... I alway got emails about my front page will not work on my website, I thought it saved the files in like a .mfp or something. I guess I thought that because the people using it said their was not htm or html ending and they could view the source... But I guess some people aren't that smart. I had some person that could find File (the one in the upper left hand corner) so they got mad and when File --> Exit... GRR

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OK, kinda off topic here...anyway, how do you go about getting the information you need to start designing?I mean should the customer know what color scheme and all the content he/she wants?should they know how they want the layout of the site to be, or should you be ready to help them decide?in short, what should the customer know, and what should you be ready to decide?sorry, thats a lot of questions. :) LG

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OK, kinda off topic here...anyway, how do you go about getting the information you need to start designing?I mean should the customer know what color scheme and all the content he/she wants?should they know how they want the layout of the site to be, or should you be ready to help them decide?in short, what should the customer know, and what should you be ready to decide?sorry, thats a lot of questions. :) LG

The customer never knows what they want - they think they do but they never do. So, 99% of the time it is up to you to figure that out - the 1% being the folks who may have in house designers or who already hired a design team and you are brought in for the coding.Having said that, there is a distinction to be made here. Graphic design and site design are two different things. You will need to work on a site design before you can work on the graphyic design, both of which come in that order and always before you think of any coding architecture.Meet with the client, learn their needs - your first meeting will rarely include you offering much in terms of design and structure - you need to be a spongue. The second meeting you are more informed and can make better prepared responses to their concerns or requirements - so first meeting is getting and understanding requirements, second is reviewing and recommending. From there it goes back and forth - not many times if you know what you are doing - before a final functional specification is completed.Once your functional specification is drawn, you can begin to figure out the site design - how all the function will need to be structured. Then you follow that with a graphical treatment and finally the code gets developed.That probably over explains it. :)
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