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  • #991380
    srex
    Member
    • Total posts: 1

    Hi guys, long term reader, first time poster :)

    I’m looking to create a WordPress website for my small business. The website would consist of ~ 15 pages (everything from About Us to T&Cs) and a landing page where visitors can book my services and make a payment.

    I want to do everything from scratch including code, logo, branding, social media, and the booking form (I may use Gravity Forms if I’m able to customize it for my needs) which I plan to integrate with Stripe.

    My plan is to hire freelancers from Elance.

    Now the question is, where do I start? Who do I need to hire first? Web developer, web designer, branding expert, marketing/SEO expert? Hire them at the same time to work together?

    What questions do I need to ask them? How do I check if they are doing their job when I don’t have programming or SEO experience?

    I don’t have a budget but I was thinking 5k would suffice. What do you think?

    Thanks for the help in advance!

    #1181301
    MatthewKeath
    Member
    • Total posts: 3,184
    srex, post: 211470 wrote:
    Hi guys, long term reader, first time poster :)

    I’m looking to create a WordPress website for my small business. The website would consist of ~ 15 pages (everything from About Us to T&Cs) and a landing page where visitors can book my services and make a payment.

    I want to do everything from scratch including code, logo, branding, social media, and the booking form (I may use Gravity Forms if I’m able to customize it for my needs) which I plan to integrate with Stripe.

    My plan is to hire freelancers from Elance.

    Now the question is, where do I start? Who do I need to hire first? Web developer, web designer, branding expert, marketing/SEO expert? Hire them at the same time to work together?

    What questions do I need to ask them? How do I check if they are doing their job when I don’t have programming or SEO experience?

    I don’t have a budget but I was thinking 5k would suffice. What do you think?

    Thanks for the help in advance!$5 should be ok, but of course it depends on your needs.

    The first thing you need is a plan. What do you want to achieve? What will your site look like? What skills do you need to get it done?

    Second, you need to actually start getting it done. The planning stage dictates what you need and when you need to engage a professional.

    From experience, unless you do step one really really well, elance will be a struggle. Generally elance is where you do if you want something really specific. The big picture is something you (or someone) needs to be in control of.

    Outsourcing web dev without clear planning to off shore is fraught with danger.

    By your question, it may be better to find a local agency that can help with the planning.

    More than welcome to have a chat if you like.

    #1181302
    Lisa Crocker
    Member
    • Total posts: 221

    Hi srex,

    Welcome to the forums and glad to hear you’ve been a long time reader.

    We have plenty of people around here who are keen to help, and I can see Matthew has already stepped in with some advice :-)

    Thanks for posting and all the best with creating your website!

    Lisa

    #1181303
    E Spencer
    Member
    • Total posts: 1

    Hi,

    I have answered your questions and hopefully saved you a lot of money :)

    All the best,
    Edward

    #1181304
    MatthewKeath
    Member
    • Total posts: 3,184
    E Spencer, post: 211492 wrote:
    Hi,

    I have answered your questions and hopefully saved you a lot of money :)

    All the best,
    EdwardWhere did you answer them?

    #1181305
    Tracey G
    Member
    • Total posts: 78

    Hi srex,

    You will need a strategy and a clear idea of the following things:

    • Your target customers (create one or two customer profiles)
    • The key purpose of the site (you may already have this sorted i.e. having a landing page to book services)
    • A marketing plan (and how online marketing fits into your marketing plan e.g. social media, blogging)

    There are plenty of strategies you could take. Here’s one suggestion:

    1. Organise the web hosting and your business domain (web address) then create a temporary landing page to provide contact details and perhaps collect email addresses for a mailing list or to register interest in your products/services;
    2. Get your branding/logo done;
    3. Create social media accounts and start putting your social media plan into action (you can do this before the branding is ready if you prefer);
    4. Use the traffic to your landing page and your interactions on social media to supplement your research into your target customers;
    5. Use your research on target customers to influence the website features and design. Talk to your designer and developer to guide you;
    6. Get the website designed, built and launched.

    Where you source a designer and developer is up to you. However I agree that you may find it easier working with local providers.

    #1181306
    Design Point
    Member
    • Total posts: 25

    Hi Srex,

    Welcome to Flying Solo.

    We design and develop all types of websites at affordable prices along with organic SEO to have your website reach number 1 page in Google. Our SEO packages are available online.

    Happy to discuss your new project. My details are below.

    Kind Regards,

    Adrian

    #1181307
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
    Member
    • Total posts: 241

    Hi Srex

    I will agree with the others who have mentioned that you might be best off going with a local agency. Trying to coordinate everything you want to do via Elance will be an absolute nightmare and will end up costing you so much money (both time = money and money = money) because to work best with Elancers you need to know exactly what you want and be able to articulate that very, very clearly. Then you will also need to have the time to work through a few people not doing the job you want them to do despite having articulated your needs really clearly.

    From what you have written so far, I think you are in the position of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know.’ Which is why working with a local agency who can fill in all the gaps you don’t realise you have in your brief is going to save you big time in the long term.

    #1181308
    karthi_subra
    Member
    • Total posts: 4
    Kelly Exeter, FS Editor, post: 211649 wrote:
    Hi Srex

    I will agree with the others who have mentioned that you might be best off going with a local agency. Trying to coordinate everything you want to do via Elance will be an absolute nightmare and will end up costing you so much money (both time = money and money = money) because to work best with Elancers you need to know exactly what you want and be able to articulate that very, very clearly. Then you will also need to have the time to work through a few people not doing the job you want them to do despite having articulated your needs really clearly.

    From what you have written so far, I think you are in the position of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know.’ Which is why working with a local agency who can fill in all the gaps you don’t realise you have in your brief is going to save you big time in the long term.

    Hi Srex,

    Agree with Kelly – coordinating freelancers can be a nightmare! Perhaps one way to start is to sit down with a local agency and get them to do a small piece of work for you – i.e. scoping out the site requirements. This shouldn’t cost too much and can save you heaps of time later on. Using this scoping document, you could invite bids from a select group of freelancers from sites like Elance (filtering for their rankings, number of previous jobs completed on time, client reviews etc.). The scoping document should be detailed enough to outline each of your requirements for the website (milestones) and steps required to meet each milestone. Good luck!

    #1181309
    Byron Trzeciak
    Member
    • Total posts: 422

    Hi Srex,

    You can find great talent on Elance and any kind of crowdsourcing websites but often you have to dig hard to find the gold.

    So if you go that path my recommendation is to make sure your requirements are clear cut. If you don’t know exactly what you want then I feel it would be a mistake. Ensure that you can write it all down into a clear requirements document and understand exactly what they’ll be providing and the room you have for additional changes and modifications.

    Unfortunately I’ve seen many cost savings put in front of quality and by the time I look at websites it means that their SEO has been more damaging than good and website has numerous issues that i’d expect to be completed in the build process. All of this costs in the long run if you want to fix it and that’s where you can lose alot of the money you’ve saved from going overseas in the first place.

    SEO should be built into the initial web design so you need someone with both skillsets or need them working together at least. Depending on how the website is built you may need both the web designer and SEO working together to continue to improve your site in the future.

    I’d be happy to discuss your needs with you if you wanted local support. I specialise in both web design and SEO.

    Cheers

    Byron

    #1181310
    Andrew-Scott-Music
    Member
    • Total posts: 1
    srex, post: 211470 wrote:
    Hi guys, long term reader, first time poster :)

    I’m looking to create a WordPress website for my small business. The website would consist of ~ 15 pages (everything from About Us to T&Cs) and a landing page where visitors can book my services and make a payment.

    Srex,
    I’ve been where you are and learned a lot on the journey therefrom. Your best strategy would be to hire one person to co-ordinate all the others.
    I could be that person, and I will provide you with what you need for $4k, not 5.
    You can see what I’ve done with my own site here:
    http://andrewscottmusic.com/
    My contact details can be found behind the “Contact” button.
    Hoping to hear from you soon.
    Andrew Scott

    #1181311
    J21
    Member
    • Total posts: 37

    I would suggest getting a local agency for most of the work, where you can meet face to face to figure things once and for all. I am saying this because I have went down the same route you are trying to do, and I have certainly some experience to share.

    These offshore freelancers, while they are cheap, but it’s very difficult talking to
    them due to the time-difference, sometimes language difference. You might find yourself staying up late at night like 10-11 pm in order to Skype with them.

    For example,

    Logo and branding, I tried using Fiverr for a logo, tried 5 designers, wasted 100++ dollars and couldn’t find anything to work. (Some were so horrible) In the end, I went to Etsy, found something that is similar to what I want, and ask for some slight customization for my logo. (6 weeks of time wasted)

    Branding: The only good thing that happened to me. I went to Behance, found her work that I liked, and ask her to create something similar. She is Hungary-based, but she respond to emails promptly, and she have great initiative and knows what will work. I usually do not need to say too much, and she can create something magical. She is also very generous with her work, she will give you all the drafts and won’t charge anything for small changes. She showed me 11 versions of a ‘Thank you’ card! It’s also turns out her work is highly pinned on Pinterest and is published in an international branding book. But her rates are super reasonable, paid around 600 for the whole lot. If you want to know her contact, I can refer you.

    One bad experience from a local Brissy branding agency (his office is cluttered with cheap old flat pack furniture) and I asked him for a simple job of changing my mobile phone details on a name card file. He said it would take $90 to dig out my old archives, make the change, and save it. I cannot imagine the rip-off for a small business like mine.

    Web development: Never try it. It’s a logistic nightmare. (Fix part A and Part B went wrong, and too many emails and Skype conversations at night. I tried using a Melbourne-based freelancer, but I have still have to depend on Skype and emails. I stopped working with him, after he came up with some ridiculous excuses for not doing my job.

    I am still looking for a Brisbane-based web developer that I can meet up to finish up the job. I have also started learning some basic WordPress, to change text and add pictures (to reduce costs, and time communicating)

    I hope my experience (all good and bad) can help you see what you might experience down the track.

    Good luck.

    #1181312
    ShaniW
    Member
    • Total posts: 32

    Hi Srex,

    I agree completely with what everyone else has said, but as someone who has employed contractors through oDesk before and who manages the social media communities on the Aussie shift for both oDesk and Elance channels, I have a couple of additional pieces of advice. (They merged back in December of 2014 to become Elance-oDesk but still maintain separate company profiles and websites.)

    It’s possible to find Aussie contractors on both platforms – I’m one of them, but you need to specify this in your job description. You also need to be prepared to pay more for them than you would someone from the Phillippines, India or somewhere similar because our cost of living is much higher. Doing so would negate any major time difference though.

    You can also search for freelancers that meet your criteria and invite them to an interview, as opposed to advertising your job to the masses. This way you’re not bombarded by everyone who has a spare few hours a week who doesn’t fit your criteria from applying.

    If you decide to use either platform and invite people to interview, do the following before sending the invitation:

    • check out their work history to see if they’ve done similar work before
    • Have a look through their portfolio to see if you’re happy with the standard of their work
    • Have a look at feedback left for them by others
    • Make sure you actually talk to them via Skype or some other mechanism so that you get a feel for how the two of you get on

    If you find someone you think may fit your brief, ensure you have a very small task prepared for them to undertake or make it clear to them you’ll hire them for x hours per week as a means of seeing if you’re both a good fit. I like to set specific tasks and ask how long they think it might take and only hire for that period, asking them to meet with me regularly over that period of time that so that I can assess how good they are at communicating any issues or concerns, updating me on progress, etc.

    This approach will hopefully help you determine the best person for you and give you a feel as to whether you’ll be happy working with them. If there are no issues during the trial phase then you could proceed to giving them more and more work as they prove that they’re worth their money.

    One final thing: don’t forget to check the screenshots of their work diary once you receive email notification that the working week has ended to ensure that they’ve been devoting their time solely to you during the time you’re paying them.

    There are some great freelancers out there – both in Australia and overseas. As long as you plan out exactly what you want done and take care when selecting freelancers to work on your jobs, there’s no reason why it can’t succeed, but you do need to take into account the issues that others have brought up as well.

    Hope this helps a little!
    Shân

    PS: These views are my own and aren’t associated with Elance or oDesk in any way.

    #1181313
    Big Note
    Member
    • Total posts: 14

    Success rate on elance, fiverr etc so far is about 30%. However once you find a good provider on one of those sites they are gold.

    I have an excellent wordpress coder and a graphic artist that have both done lots of high quality work.

    Let me know if you need details.

    Graham Apolony
    Big Note Marketing

    #1181314
    Your Local Tyre Truck
    Member
    • Total posts: 23

    Dont forget Fiverr.com is a great place to find help for as little as $5. Check it out.

    Chris

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