[Non-Star Wars] Bloodstar Studios

Discussion in 'Fan Sites' started by Kev-Mas_Colcha, Sep 28, 2008.

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  1. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    Name of Site: Bloodstar Studios
    URL: http://bloodstar.net
    Description:

    Bloodstar Studios is a Freelance Enterprise based in the Phoenix, Arizona (USA) Metro Area. It was founded in 2007 by a College Student and Aspiring Graphic Artist/Web Designer (me) as a way to promote himself. It gradually progressed into a full fledged Freelance Enterprise, and resulted in this website.

    Bloodstar Studios is the perfect solution for cost effective, yet professional and aesthetically pleasing website and graphic design.

    Developer Notes

    The site is also fully XHTML and CSS 2.1 Valid.

    So, any critiques/suggestions are welcome./>
  2. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    I'm a little confused. You have areas in here to purchase what appears to be your designing services, and about the prices you have little pictures of boxes or something like looks like either a match or a paint brush. Are you asking people to purchase your designing services and then have you design something? I always thought you designed something and then someone could decide whether or not they wanted to buy it.

    Or do I have this completely messed up? :oops:
  3. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    Yeah, although, now that you brought that up, I may change that.
  4. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    That's probably a good idea. The way you have it now might be a deterrence for people. :p
  5. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    I recently updated the site to just have people commission work via email contact form or IMs, and decided to give myself a more specific area of work.

    From the Site's front page:

    "Kevin specializes in PHP/MySQL Content Management Systems, and building them either from the ground up as new websites, or as a means to provide an easy way to update an existing web site.

    He is also able to validate your code into Valid XHTML and CSS formatting, and optimize your webpages for search engines, meaning more people coming to your site, and potentially more money in your pocket."

  6. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Sweet stuff, Kev! I'll admit that my knowledge of PHP and MySQL stuff is rather rudimentary, but the fact that you've narrowed your focus is a great way to settle into a niche and become the expert in the field. :)

    The previous set-up was probably a bit of a deterrence, sure, but the idea behind it is not so weird. Payment on design and coding services is funky, anyway. Do you have a plan in place for people paying you? This is something that's driven me crazy ever since I started doing work. Have a good plan in place to make sure that the customer isn't going to drag you around and demand that you do something that you know you shouldn't do design-wise. For example, I had a customer tell me one time, "We want you to spin part of the logo." lolwut? Logos aren't meant to just "spin around" randomly. That wasn't the intention of the original graphic designer, I'm sure, and I wasn't going to do it. Well, they had the checkbook, and they actually insisted and nearly demanded it. I did it, but I wish I could have backed out. For want of pay, I didn't. I should have had a better system in place at the time to ensure I would have gotten paid for that first beta I did. I had fifty percent coming to me upon delivery of the second product, and I had to continue. This may sound like a weird example, but the usual fare of telling you to add a feature or changing their minds about the look is all-too-normal for customers, and you want to make sure to cover yourself no matter the situation or person.

    I'd recommend that upon taking a job, you make a contract that states you'll receive half of the total cost up front. The other fifty percent could be paid upon the final deliverable, but I'd even recommend twenty-five percent upon delivery of the beta and the last twenty-five percent on the final deliverable. It all depends on what you're comfortable with as a designer. I've been used and abused too much at this point to not want some of the money up front. :p Be strict with those contracts! You're the boss! ;)
  7. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    Thanks. Yeah, I'll probably go with the up front/pay in segment hybrid that you suggested, as it does sound like a good idea. Another reason why I removed the previous set-up as well, is because I've decided to go with variable rates for prices, that depend on what the customer needs.
  8. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    That's a great idea. Design and pricing it are definitely not one-size-fits-all operations. You sound like you're learning what to do rather quickly. Keep us posted! :)
  9. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
  10. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Hmmm... I looked at it once, came back, and looked at it again. Not sure if I'm hip on the changes. What doesn't help is that I can't recall specifically what it was like before. :p In any case, there are now three locations for clickable links (up, down, and right), which are sort of diverting attention in all the wrong places. It seems to have a more professional feel to it, but I'm now sort of feeling like it's getting crowded, like too many professional sites tend to do.

    Does that make any sense? Again, I can't pinpoint where things have changed from before, but something seems a little off to me. Your thoughts? Feel free to throw out my thoughts entirely... just attempting to keep up with what's what around here. :)
  11. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    I agree with Trika here. It seems to be a bit crowded. Also, I am not liking how it is offset a bit (through use of this image: http://www.bloodstar.net/wp-content/themes/bs/images/bg.gif ). I think it would be better if you had that on both sides so it was sort of centered. That's just my preference though. Personally, I liked the old design better.

    Although, the style is pretty nice. ;)
  12. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
  13. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Where is your config.php? I missed it somewhere or am just too tired to hunt it down. :p
  14. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    Oh, the instructions on the site are laid out for if you downloaded the software (what makes up the site). The config.php is in the root.
  15. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
  16. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Nice Kev-Mas_Colcha! I like that, it looks real good. Very nice, clean and concise. Good job with this one.

    I may have to consider downloading it and playing around with it when my time frees up.
  17. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    Sounds like I have to work with that programming this summer as well.
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