Website design on a budget

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by allezfred, May 22, 2012.

  1. allezfred

    allezfred Mince Pie Depriving Admin Staff Member

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    I've been asked for advice by a friend (goodness only knows why :lol: ) on getting a website designed for the non-profit organisation she works for. They have a generic free site one at the moment that doesn't look very professional. :yikes:

    As FSU is the fountain of all knowledge, I'd appreciate any tips or recommendations for website design companies that you may have worked with bearing in mind a minimal budget. My friend will be updating the website herself so something that is user-friendly for those in no teknik is essential.
     
  2. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    Is the generic website one that she can control/options on what the page looks like, how the links work, colors, fonts etc.? Does she or anyone in the organization have experience in coding and how to make the site useful in all formats - i.e. Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, etc.
     
  3. allezfred

    allezfred Mince Pie Depriving Admin Staff Member

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    Question 1: Yes, but it's pretty limiting as far as I'm aware.

    Question 2: Errr that would be a no. :shuffle:
     
  4. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

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    Considering the state of the economy, I'd say place an ad on gumtree and exploit a web design student. People are so desperate they'll do anything "for experience" now. She'll probably submerged with offers in a short space of time.
     
  5. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    I think millyskate has a wonderful idea and if that student is interested in the organization's mission, that would be even better.
     
  6. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Great idea. Design students are always looking for internships.
     
  7. allezfred

    allezfred Mince Pie Depriving Admin Staff Member

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    Thanks for the tips guys!
     
  8. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    If they'll be updating the website themselves, I highly recommend Wordpress. You could hook a web design student into changing the look very easily with CSS. That's all it will take. And updating the site using Wordpress will be a WHOLE lot easier than getting into the HTML. It's a big hassle if you don't know how to do it. I get paid a few hundred dollars a year just to update a website for someone. Most companies charge more, but it's an academic site and the updates frankly don't take me too long. :lol: But it would be a serious pain for someone who didn't know HTML. They're perfectly fine with paying me for updates, especially since I've talked with them about other things regarding the website and they trust me.

    Also, keep in mind all design students are not the same. Most design programs do NOT emphasize programming skills. In fact, I don't even consider HTML or CSS to be real "programming" but it's shocking how little designers know about even basic stuff like that. Don't just get the person with the best-looking website examples, because many of those are only designed in Photoshop and not actually implemented by the same person.

    You'll need to find someone who knows CSS, at the very very least. Browser compatibility, in terms of appearance, is all dealt with at CSS level.


    OTOH, if they want things to stay completely and totally free, Weebly may be a better choice. To change the CSS in a Wordpress blog, I think you need a premium account. But I've been working on a friend's site on Weebly (which is free aside from his domain name) and it's fairly easy to change the CSS, if you know where to get to it. And he can easily add pictures to his animated gallery.
     
  9. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Is Intuit Websites supported in your area? They're cheap, easy to maintain, and supported by a big company. Details are here.
     
  10. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    I second Wordpress.
     
  11. allezfred

    allezfred Mince Pie Depriving Admin Staff Member

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    That's what my friend has been told by lots of other people too. :)

    Now can someone tell me what CSS means because I'll probably have to explain it to her. :slinkaway
     
  12. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    It's a display language that basically tells the site what it looks like, which is called a "style". Like, the body text is what font, what size, what color; the headlines are what font, what size, what color; what happens if you hover over a link, etc. You can insert the code directly into the page or make a master CSS file that will control the whole site.

    It's frankly probably the easiest part to figure out in the code of the website. :lol: Like, it will say color: blue; font-size: 10pt; etc etc etc. Nothing too foreign.

    What's fun is that you can parse out the page however you want into different sections that only the browser can see, and then apply different styles to each section. A web designer will know what I'm talking about. :lol:

    To give her an idea of the power of CSS, send her to http://www.csszengarden.com/ The HTML (ie, page code) is the same in all the pages, but people simply apply different CSS styles to them. That's why they all look so different.
     
  13. star_gazer11

    star_gazer11 practising choreo

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    I third wordpress. Even on a free site (nonprofitname.wordpress.com versus self hosted yourdomain.com using wordpress), just pick a template with clean lines and it will look decent.

    Here's an example from Simon & Schuster Canada who use the free wordpress service for their blog.

    There are tons of themes to choose from with the free wordpress service.

    Weebly offers similar free service, but for a nonprofit I'd probably prefer having nonprofitname.wordpress.com over nonprofitname.weebly.com just because it sounds better.

    What free service is their site on now?

    If they buy their own domain name and site hosting, then your friend could pick whatever service she finds easier to use (because their url would not contain the wordpress or weebly part).

    But it's easy enough to register a test account at both places, play around to see what works better for her.
     
  14. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    Literally it means Cascading Style Sheets.
     
  15. allezfred

    allezfred Mince Pie Depriving Admin Staff Member

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    Just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who recommended Wordpress. My friend loves it! :cheer: for FSU!