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Web sites for friends does it pay ?

By eujay ·
I am thinking about starting a second job designing and maintaining web sites. Right now I do not know HTML or Java but am willing to learn. I want to work in a job that I can do from home and that will earn me some extra money.

I'm thinking thatmaybe I can get started by building sites for friends for free. I'm thinking of the local church and school, the local dance teacher, my dentist and so on. Their payment to me would be a referal to other people who I will charge.

Is this a good/feasable way to start a business. Has anybody out there done this ? How easy/hard is it to find work making web sites ? I see people offering web page design on ebay and I figure this is one way to bring some work in.

Is learning HTML and Java a good long term investment. How long would it take to learn enough HTML and Java to be up to speed ?

What does a professional designer do that amateurs do not. How come professional sites look so good ?

How do I get the sites into search engine listings ? Can a site earn revenue for me by ads and links placed on it ?

I am A+ certified, have 12 yrs working electronics and pc support. I know some unix. Have done some DOS batch files and a bit of Pascal.

I have so many questions. I welcome feedback from anyone who can help me with this.



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A way to start

by generalist In reply to Web sites for friends doe ...

I wouldn't quit your 'day job' to do web sites. Between the tech schools putting out web designer trained people, and web design tools like FrontPage and Dreamweaver, the market for web designers will be getting fairly sparse.

At the same time, starting with sites for friends and acquaintances is a good training technique. You get hands on experience and you can see whether you like the field.

One good design site is '', one that teaches good design by showing bad design. Also browse a large bookstore for books on how to do design, and not just web page coding. There is a difference.

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If classes is more your style

by A4U In reply to Web sites for friends doe ...

Check with a tech school or college in your area for Web certification programs. You can take a couple and see where your interest lie.
Be careful doing work for free for friends. It is great experience, but up keep is work. Also are you planning on hosting sites yourself or free on line services or on line pay hosting?
Do your friends need their web site in the engines? Are they local, regional, national or international sites?
Learning HTML and JAVA is a plus, authoring tools like Dreamweaver and FronPage are helpful, but sometimes they don't do what you want them to do.

I think you are asking a lot of good questions, and the answers may be in class.

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Thanks for your help

by eujay In reply to If classes is more your s ...

Thanks for your help. My plan is simply to gain some experience in the only way I can; ie; by doing a few freebies and hope that these will generate some paying clients. I know that the principal of the free sample works as a way of bringing in business.

My goal is to have a second job that I can do from home in the evenings and weekends. If this leads to a full time day job then that would be great. I think that as a web site designer/author I need a portfolio of pages that I can point potential employers at and say "I did that".

I will be looking for clients mainly in the "Mom and Pop" market, people who want their own family site or mom and pop business site. I'm not interested in hosting. A few of these potential clients may beneed to be listed locally and perhaps nationaly.

Right now I am learning HTML using various web sites. I'm enjoying it. Now that I am learning some about it I can see the drawbacks of packages like Dreamweaver and front page.

Classes could be a possibillity for me. I'm looking into it.

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website starter

by ChrisMS In reply to Web sites for friends doe ...

I am currently studying webdesign myself and was thinking along the same lines as you with regards to starting up.
The first thing you have to do is design your own website & publish it, then you need to link in any sites you design as a portfolio so that people can see what you can do.
After that it's just advertising.
good luck.

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The first fruits

by eujay In reply to Web sites for friends doe ...

Thankyou to everyone that replied to this posting. I have decided to go ahead and start writing up some web sites.

The first of these is my family web site which is at

In the weeks since putting this posting out I have been learning HTML/JavaScript and have now started what I hope will be the first of many sites.

Thanks once again for all your help


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