Freelance SW Designing...getting started advice needed.

Hello everyone..I have been using SW since 2001Plus was out, and just bought my own seat of SW, and am wanting to do some freelance design
work for people or companies.
I have updated my website for some examples of my work, I offer CNC Programming for lathes and Milling, Progressive die and Plastic Injection mold design (I am currently a moldmaker with 20 years Exp in Florida).
Any input would be greatly appreciated...I cna change the website layout for better if need be...thanks
www.cdignition.com
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the chassis in the first picture is going to be receiving a big-block chrysler engine. good ol' bob z. has a soft spot in his heart for big-block chryslers...
:~)>
bob z.
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Text on main page way too large. On MachinedParts page text is a little too small. Links page background too difficult to focus on . . . makes my head hurt to look at it. Do some research into "meta name" portion of html source code -- your keywords belong there and can help you be more visible to Google (and other search engine) searches.
Take with large grain of salt, as I'm no expert at Web design, as evidenced by my own site.
www.h2omarkdesign.com
Mark 'Sporky' Stapleton Back from the dead (It may be Easter, but draw no parallels)
" snipped-for-privacy@cdignition.com" wrote:

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Agree, text on website is way too large.
If you're looking for a cheap WYSIWYG website editor, I can highly recommend Antenna Web Design Studio www.stormdance.net at US $49 it's a bargin. Far less complicated than the likes of Dreamweaver or other high end editors.
I did my website with this software, it took me just a few days to become familar enough with it to create my site and I know the one below was done in Antenna as Jonathon, a regular here, recomended Antenna to me.
http://www.jjstedman.co.uk
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz
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Ooops forgot also did my partners website www.dianakalkan.com
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz
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For a minimal amount of money you can get a company like Site5 to host your pages. They have some super easy interfaces for creating standardized webpages with technologies like Mambo and Joombla. Do a search for mambo and you will find some example pages. Super easy to update and super easy to install through a host like Site5. Setting up on your own = Nightmare. I tried.
The best part is that they look really professional which helps a lot.
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When it comes right down to it, you probably aren't going to get a lot of business from your website, even if it's professionally built. I would try to make it look nice, but don't lose a lot of sleep over it, especially if your business is at all dependent on geography.
I get no new business because of my website. Maybe that's because the site isn't that great, but I've got all the work I can handle from other sources (word of mouth, user group contacts, etc). People do go to my site to check out information about my business, but new customers don't make decisions based on it. I think the best things you can do to find customers are:
- create a good relationship with local software resellers (who will refer your service to their customers) - create a good relationship with local machine shops - contribute positively to local user groups - develop expertise in a niche
Good luck
snipped-for-privacy@cdignition.com wrote:

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Ok, great input.... I use Frontpage 2000 for website design, it is real easy to use, pretty much drag and drop, easy..:) I will update the sizes of text, and fix the links page(I will add to the links also, as it is pretty barren,lol.)
Now, as for getting work, what would be the best type to look for?? Machine shops that need design help? I can pay freindly visits to local shops, and maybe give them a small Info sheet about my services available, and how to contact me....Is this the right tact?
Im in Sarasota, about an hour south of Tampa, and we dont have much of a User group here...although I understand Tampa is getting one soon.
My VAR is in Tampa...I'm not sure how mch they can help me either,lol..:)
thanks for the input..I appreciate it..I learn alot from this group.
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Ok, I updated the website a little bit..:) Fixed the links, and added a few, and also fixed the fonts.. Should be better.
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We live an hour and a half from the nearest user group, in Portland, and make it to about half the meetings. It's usually worth the drive for the things we learn. I don't know how well it will work for getting work, but we have a fair amount of work done for us by shops in Portland. Mostly mold work, some fixtures, not much general maching, which we can get done locally.

Our VAR is also in Portland. I think it just depends on how good your VAR is, how good your relationship is, and how far away people are willing to send the type of work you do best.
--
Jerry Steiger
Tripod Data Systems
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