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Can you make me a website? - Tips for everybody asking someone else to make them a website


Often I get fb message from a random fb friend and ask me if I can make them a website. The answer is usually no. Why? Because I'm busy. With working, attending church services and developing my own websites. Some are asking for help for their thesis, but I don't support letting someone outside the class to be involved on such group projects, because that's like cheating, so I usually say no. Some think of paying for my service, but that's a bit awkward, aside from being busy with stuffs, honestly, I don't think they can afford my rate if they ask for it. But most of the time, they come to me with no clear idea of what they want. Which is just annoying. Web development isn't like buying ice cream, you can't just say "just give me any flavor! I just want ice cream, you know, the cold sweet thing that everybody loves". Though I understand that some people just don't know this, yet. So for everyone out there thinking of asking me or his developer friend to make you a website, here are my tips(probably incomplete) of what to do before before approaching your developer friend:

Organize your idea

What is the main/ultimate goal of the website? Is it to sell? To inform? To serve? Make sure it makes sense. Then observe other websites with the same goal, list their goods and the bads of their websites. How are you planning to defeat them? List your specifications, the main goal, and the other features you want Group these specifications by 2 groups: requirements and supplements(optional). Try to divide them evenly between this two. Sort these specifications by priority. Now, set your deadlines. How long can you wait for the requirements to be finished? How about the supplements?

Think of expenses and resources

Do not assume you can make a website for free. Sadly, nothing is free in this world, you may find a friend that is willing to create you a website for free, but that doesn't stop there. There are other expenses like domain and hosting. Domain Domain is the name of the website, like add.ph, google.com, facebook.com, it is what your visitor would type to get to your website. There are websites out there, offering free domain but I do NOT recommend getting a free domain. Because the provider of such service can cancel their service anytime and it would be hard to recover from that. That's like losing your sim card, all your contacts trying to reach you with your old number, but they won't and you can't tell them to use your new number (new domain) because you don't know their number. Cheapest domains costs around 5$ a year (*.com and *.net) ( see godaddy.com ) Hosting Good news: There are free hosting around and for starters I would recommend having something using them. One of the best I've seen so far  x10hosting. They'll also give you free domain, you can use that to test around but I still don't recommend relying on that. Cheapest paid hosting goes around: 5$ a month Data Needed Now, what data/information do you need for the website you plan? And how are you planning to get them? For example you're making a website about anime, where are you getting your info files and media? Like images, description and videos. Another example, if you plan to make a website about mobile phones, where are you getting the accurate mobile phone specifications? Then you can negotiate about paying the developers/designers after all the planningbecause it might be an easy enough way for your plans to be done, so they might consider giving their service for free, or he/she might point out things you must omit to make it easier and free.

Other stuffs to consider

Domain Name What domainwould you like to get? It should be either of the following:

  • branded: contain the name of your business - e.g. foobar.com - Foo Bar Clothing Company
  • keyword`ed: contain the keywords of the goal of your business - clothesonlineshop.com - Foo Bar Clothing.com
  • combined: foobarclothing.com

Make sure it is not yet taken ( see godaddy.com and domain search ) Content Write (or draw if necessary) your plan on the contents at least 5 pages ( e.g. contents of "about the business", contact us, home page ) Is it worth it? Now after all these planning, look at all you have or can have at the moment, weather it be a Facebook page, Twitter account or other social media accounts you have. Check, are they not enough for your goals? is it worth making your own? If not, then re-plan, go back to organizing your thoughts, then if you go back here and there isn't really enough reasons, then you probably don't need to create your own website.

Conclusion

When you're done considering these things, then you can probably decently approach me or your web developer friend if he could help you with executing your plans for your website. Adios, future website manager!  


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