Comments on my Portfolio + How to get lots more work!

 
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DESIGNGOOSE
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:00 pm    Post subject: Comments on my Portfolio + How to get lots more work! Reply with quote
Hi!

I've been designing sites for a while but only took it seriously last year during my gap year to pay for travelling etc. Advertised for first 6 months and have relied on recommendations ever since. Have just started a run of 13 weeks of adverts in the Friday Ad a few weeks back and have only had 1 response so far. I've got a few other recommendation jobs lined up. But basically I've got 4 months-ish off for the summer from uni and want to get a lot of work to pay back student loans etc. I charge 24 p.h. currently but am now moving toward charging flat rates for my sites.

So firstly please take a look at my portfolio on TN Design | Welcomeand make any comments (constructive please!) which can aid me. The top are the newest, I'm very happy with the top few and am at the moment trying to push out better looking/more professional sites. This is because I'm looking for bigger/better companies (more interesting/bigger jobs and bigger pay I guess but that's not the main reason!). I want to get a good portfolio as after uni I want to enter into marketing/advertising and I guess the more impressive the companies the better!

So any advice on what to do to get bigger/better jobs/companies. I live in the South-East near London but most my jobs are local, I want to get jobs in London - I've a friend there who has had a couple of pretty simple jobs where he has been paid loads (far too much for his ability and finished product to be honest!),

By the way the wording for my paper advert is:

TN DESIGN: Designing affordable, high quality websites for a broad range of customers for over 4 years. From small static sites to full e-commerce. Based in Oxted, Surrey with customers nationwide. Contact for portfolio and further information: *my business email* / 07817 280504.

Any suggestions about changing that maybe...

Any help is much appreciated!
Many Thanks
Tom
TNDesign
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ll2000
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Joined: 08 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Few comments:

1. ditch the mobile number, get a free (to you) 0845 number - its more professional looking

2. look into building a table-less, accessible website for your portfolio (clients are starting to realise that accessibility is important and becoming more of a legal requirement)

3. view your contact form in firefox - it doesnt quite work

4. the number of sites on your portfolio page is good, they look great in the thumbnails, and the quotes are good, but i suggest:
- highlighting a few of the best ones at the top - nobody is gonna read them all
- put some of them on your homepage - you're not making best use of the space there
- the font is rubbish, ditch it and find a better one (like the one on your homepage)

5. i think your homepage could have more impact - the 3 boxes look pixelated and a bit unprofessional for a professional designer (sorry...)

6. make more use of proper markup, eg <h1>, <h2> etc and add 'web design' or something to the <title> of the page -- this is what search engines are looking for. and, i'll say it again, ditch the tables...

7. use web developers toolbar in firefox and switch of images and stylesheets -- this is an easy way of seeing what the google spider sees - notice how little content you have

i hope i've not been too critical... let me know if i can expand on anything or help in any way.

good luck in your venture!
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garethw
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
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Location: Stafford, Staffordshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I would second what DESIGNGOOSE said, personaly I would get a "normal" BT number as some ppl don't like / get confused with 08 numbers. Both would be even better!
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William
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Joined: 22 Mar 2001
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Location: St Neots, Cambridgeshire.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I would offer CMS-based sites as well.

Ease of updating is a big selling point - clients don't want to have to pay for every small change (although you'd like them to!). The learning curve for you is small if you pick one of the more robust (and free) CMSs like Drupal. You can easily control what parts of the site the client can change and although you may lose income from site maintenance you will probably more than recoup this from referrals.

Look at the quality of sites produced using Drupal. You can even look at one that I produced during a weekend for my local GP. Now the Practice Manager adds all the new content and the phone calls for help have almost ceased.

I only do this to keep myself amused - just think what a pro could do.
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TerribleTerry
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Joined: 04 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:44 pm    Post subject: Your site Reply with quote
My own forte is not really web site design but is SEO, so with that in mind please see these comments in the spirit they were intended.

There are over 200 million pages listed for web site design on Google as you are probably aware.

I think you need to do three things right away. Research keywords for search engines where you stand some kind of a chance of getting on page 1.

The next thing is that Google almost never ranks a page well if it has less than 150-200 words on it.

Lastly you are not using the Description meta tag and you should. Having decided on the keyword phrase you want to use put it in the title of the page and be sure to use it in the Description at least once.

Google usually print the Description tag immediately below the Page title in searches.
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