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Website design recommendations for a small business site?

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How about Xara web designer?
-Carol Haynes (March 30, 2009, 03:30 PM)
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Thanks for the suggestion, Carol. Xara Web Designer does look spiffy! I'm not sure if I want to go that way though, because all I'd be able to do would be to use the built-in templates. I like perhaps two of the templates on Xara's showcase page, but not as much as I like my selections from 4templates.

I already have a few web design tools (albeit they're more in the traditional HomeSite style), and I'm afraid I'd end up spending countless hours (which I don't really have) and still not come up with anything vaguely professional looking. When it comes to visual design, I could just as easily buy a trumpet and hope to start playing good music by next week!

I feel what I really need instead is to buy a single design plus a customization service. I'm about ready to buy from 4templates, except that you can't really know how well the templates are built until you buy - you can't even tell if they are fluid or fixed-size, or if the section links are made of text (easy to manipulate) or if they are graphics (which I could not modify). I'm prepared to spend more than 4templates are asking, as long as I can have the designs customized a little, and as long as I can be fairly secure I'm getting the right thing. I guess this is the hardest part of all :)

Carol Haynes:
It seems that in Xara Web Designer you can modify the templates in pretty much whatever way you want.

It seems that in Xara Web Designer you can modify the templates in pretty much whatever way you want.
-Carol Haynes (March 30, 2009, 04:49 PM)
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The templates can be modified, yes - but I doubt *I* could modify them, if you can see the difference :)

I can certainly spoil a good design, but not improve on it. If it sounds lame, that's because it is lame, what can I say! If I needed an image changed, I don't know how to do so, because I don't know the first thing about editing images. How do you go from a blank rectangle mouse-drawn in Paint to a shaded 3D button that blends into the background but still looks clickable? I've no idea.

But it gets worse, because I am mentally unable to even *imagine* what I want, or what would look good. I can tell a good design from a bad one, like I can tell a good piece of music from a bad one, but I can't make either. There's probably a medical term for this regrettable peculiarity, and I sure hope it isn't called laziness, but there it is. Some people apparently can't spell regardless of effort and me, I can't draw things, or even imagine what would look right when drawn.

Carol Haynes:
Fair enough - I understand 'blank page syndrome'  :-[

Sorry I missed this thread earlier.  I guess my main questions would be what kind of content would go on this site?  Do you have an idea of how many pages you want (which goes back to the content)?  If this is a static site (and it could be even with the multi-lingual button thing), what would change and how often?

The reason I ask these things is if you are just looking for a truly static site and all you are changing is some text here and there, you could probably hire someone to do it for you completely without too much cost.  In fact, I know a guy who does exactly this, though I don't think he is very cheap.  He specializes in dynamic sites, so he tends to price that way even for static ones.  However, you may even be able to look at some art colleges and find a student or a dozen that has some talent to do so.


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