seeking a web genius
December 23, 2010 5:30 AM   Subscribe

Who can design a really cool website for a writer, historian and activist?

Me: Writer, historian, environmental activist trying to get my act together and present myself in a useful way to the world rather than mooning around in my house with my books. I have grand ideas of designing a cool website for myself but don't really have the expertise or the time or inclination to acquire it. Therefore, I'm looking for suggestions of website designers who could do it for me.

What I'm looking for, briefly: A very elegant and simple design that has one of those "cover pages" (sorry, don't really know what they're called) with different sections that you can click on. In my case it would be something like writing, academics, history, activism, bio, etc. Something engaging like beautiful clicky buttons and maybe some graphics. I have seen a few examples online of great websites, and they definitely stand out from the dreck and graphic horror that constitute most sites I've seen.

Here's one example I could come up with:


I'd like something less ornate than these, but you get the idea.

Inside this cover page would be much more simple but still an elegant look, with clear text and directives from point to point. Since I'm a writer it would be mostly text, but I would like to include pictures and graphics to make it more user friendly.

Would it cost me a fortune to have this done? Could I hire someone to design a site for me that I could then add to and modify? I have a budget for this but it isn't huge.

As usual, thanks for any help!
posted by crazylegs to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Post it in MeFi Jobs. There are plenty of qualified web developers here!
posted by COD at 5:52 AM on December 23, 2010

Seconding posting in MeFi Jobs. Also, please keep an open mind if you hear people advising you against the kind of animation / "things moving around" approach shown by your examples -- it looks cool, but there a big downsides (which a good designer will discuss with you).

Good luck!
posted by amtho at 6:20 AM on December 23, 2010

you could also try plenty of freelancers on there.
posted by msk1985 at 7:28 AM on December 23, 2010

Yeah, nthing MeFi jobs.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:50 AM on December 23, 2010

Best answer: It's difficult to advise you without knowing your budget. If you've got a couple thousand, you could (with a bit of luck and the right person) get something like your examples. If you've got a couple hundred, then not really. In the latter case, you'd be better off getting someone to set you up with a content management system* (this'll give you the ability to maintain your own content), with a decent template. You could probably then add a flash splash screen and some template customization and fit under a thousand.

My advice is to be realistic about what fits inside your budget. Something like 80% of the time I give someone an estimate for web work, their eyes bug out and they claim they "know a guy" that'll do it for $100. This is like getting a guy to fix your car for twenty bucks; maybe it'll work for you (no, it never does). You can try to get your site done cheaply in India or by the neighbor's kid, but this is probably just a waste of your time; you'll end up either junking what they give you or paying someone else more to repair it. Or, worse, they go plagiarize something and don't tell you.

* For example, Joomla or Drupal. If you can find a template for one of these that you like, any competent designer should be able to hook you up on the cheap.
posted by Nahum Tate at 10:49 AM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

I second Nahum Tate's comment. The "I know a guy" is pretty common, and usually ends up with crap for results.

Our sites are $2k and up, msg me here and I'll send you a link to our site (don't want to post it now, as metafilter is not for self-promotion).
posted by 4midori at 11:24 AM on December 25, 2010

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