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Archive for March, 2011

By now you have read what got me here. I was inspired to start a webdesign business to help small business owners and those who need websites and other print materials.

Step 1: Choose a name

I needed a name for my business and website. It had to be something new, but easy for people to remember. I used Instant Domain Name Search to see if names were available. It took my wife and I about 3 weeks to come up with a name that worked. She suggested designking, or designmaster. I added the plus at the end because I can design websites as well as business cards, banners, invitations, brochures, just about anything a business would need. I thought the name was good, she though it was good, so Design Masters Plus was born.

Step 2:  Secure a host

This step was easy. I chose to use siteground. I had used them in the past and I know how they work. Since I use the Joomla platform, Siteground is the best choice. The way they set up their data bases is favorable for a Joomla install. I took advantage of a deal they had and paid 24.95 for a full year of hosting. That price is just right for me.

Step 3:  Joomla Templates

From building dozens of websites locally on my personal computer and for others, I have found that Rockettheme has the best templates. They are full of features, easy to understand, and easier to customize.On top of that they are not that expensive( only about 50 dollars).  Now I have to choose the best one. When looking at these templates, don’t let the first look fool you. They are shown with dummy content. What you want may be different than the content shown. Instead look at the set up of the demo site and the built in features.

I haven’t the foggiest clue about which template I will use.

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I have decided to start a new endeavor; Web Design. I’ll spare you much of the history and make this brief.

It all began about 2 years ago. My wife and I started a small jewelry business. We would buy “costume jewelry” wholesale, then sell it for a small profit. As time went on, we began to print a catalog for our customers. Then we started a booth at our local flea market. We were doing well,  then we started to expand. We decided we wanted a website. Like I said we were doing well, but not well enough to pay 2,000 dollars or more for a web designer to build us a site.  Since money does not grow on trees, and if it did, I didn’t know where it was. So that is when I undertook the task of learning web design.

By occupation, I am an elementary school teacher. This means I had an entire summer to devote to learning web design. I did lots of research, really LOTS of research. Some of the thing I studied was : How to build websites, What is the process for building websites, How to write code for a website, How do websites work. Every answer I found, only led to more questions. I researched day and night, sometimes for 12 or more hours at a time. I know it is unbelievable, but I remember nights when I would do to bed when the sun came up. After all that I was ready; time to put that research into action. I found a host( because you need a host to keep your website files), paid them a fee and I was off.

I discovered ZenCart and how to customize it. I learned to use image editing software. I learned how look at a section of CSS code and change it to what I needed. I learned how to run an online store. I learned how to internet worked. I became a nerd.

Our first site was not all that great. Looking at it now, it was garbage. Colors did not have a flow, The basic design was a mess, It was incredibly amateurish. On the other hand it was my treasure, it started me on my way. Thanks to that site, I am able to build better ones. I am able to help people who were like my wife and I. It won’t be a decision wether to spend hundreds of hours doing research or spend thousands of dollars trying to get a good website.

In the following year I tried my hand again at web site building. My wife began to plan and coordinate weddings. I decided to build her a site for that. After more research I rediscovered the Joomla platform. I purchased a template from Rockettheme and I created her website. After that success, I got a few more clients( friends) who needed websites. The more I did it the easier it got.  I was becoming pretty good.

My wife then pushed me to form Design Masters Plus. I will provide a  service to help those who desire a good website, but  don’t have the time to research and do it themselves, or thousands of dollars for a web presence. People should not have to invest the hundreds of hours and years of time I did. I have already done that.

Now that I shown you how I got here, come with me so that I can show you where I am going. I will take you through my design process. This is what I am doing to build designmastersplus . com

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