I have an idea for a networking website for people within my field, however I have no IT experience to create/design the type of website I want. I have considered using a web design firm or partnering with web developers for a percentage of the profits.
Which way should I go, design firm or individual designers? Either way I will need some IT help after the website is developed, but I am having difficulty finding individual web designers to potentially partner with?
I appreciate any help.
For some reason this sounds to me more like a development project than a design project. What kind of functionalities are you looking at providing? You may actually need a programmer, or even a team, depending what you want the site to do.
Yes, you are correct. However since I am not in the IT field I really don`t know how to go about finding qualified people to help me develop my website. Without going into significant detail, my website would need similar functionality as sites like facebook.com or myspace.com. I do not know the level complexity that this would involve, however I would expect development to take anywhere from 6 months to a year (let me know if you think I am way off here). There are a few types of functionality that I want up front and then there are other ideas that I think will need to develop over time based on need/desire from my online community.
Okay, I see what you`re trying to accomplish.
What I would suggest — and this is based on first-hand experience once being the sole designer on a hugely underestimated start-up project — is find yourself an IT partner with project management experience and let him/her manage the build. And I mean "partner" in the sense of being a legal partner on the paperwork, with an equity stake, and who will be responsible for the ongoing needs of your site.
Your IT partner will figure out what needs to be done and when, put together the Gantt chart, put together a team of people with the appropriate skills, oversee the programmers and interface designers, bring in the usability police, and track the budgeting, among many other things.
In my experience, 6-12 months of development is pretty reasonable, depending how small your team is.
Hope that helps,
I assume I will need scope work, but the programming depth is beyond my current expertise. I don`t have a budget for development because I am still getting quotes from web development firms. I was hoping to find some programmers that would be willing to work for cheap and accept a share of the business as compensation.
Thanks Paula, that is very helpful direction...thanks for taking the time to respond.
I would preface that you need to make sure your idea is good as there are already many many social networks. I for one am signed up with at least 11 social networks including the major ones and then on down. The other aspect of that is without a large community built around the idea it would be very easy for a programmer to copy the core concept of the site (meaning add the feature(s) that makes your site unique to their site).
One thing you could try is a off the shelf or open source solutions to give you a foundation and then extend them to fit your particular needs.
I have done a significant amount of research to make sure my type of site doesn`t already exist...and I like to think I have a good idea :) Open source is a good idea, I had never considered that, thanks for the help.