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I am having a difficult time figuring out how to recruit for a website design project. I can produce a clear outline of what the website should look like, how it must function, the anticipated amount of traffic and the types of security I believe are crucial. I have no idea of what it takes to actually produce the web site. I have no idea what skills are required. I have no idea what tools are required. I have no idea what a reasonable budget for the project would be. I have no means of effectively communicating with the professionals who do this kind of work because I don't know the terminology of the trade. In the physical world of building, if I found myself in this situation, I would hire a spec writer to review my plan and outline what is required to produce it. In the world of web design, what would I call a spec writer? Who do I go to if I want to show a set of plans to a neutral party and ask "how do we build it?" "What skills will be required?" "what does our budget need to be?" "How long should we schedule for the work?" Does such a person exist?
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Russel, you'll probably need more than one person to make a quality website. I'm no expert in web-development, so i can only give you my view of the situation. First, you'll need someone who can actually draw pictures and main theme for your site. Someone with good Photoshop skills and enough creativity to forge your words into attractive pictures. Second, a person who can convert design into responsive user interface and apply it to backbone CMS (Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla - your choice) will be needed. Preferably, the very same person should be capable of customizing CMS to serve your requirements. And third. Someone you can trust with uploading finished product to live server and making finishing touches on production environment. All written above in nothing more than my personal outlook on the issue. Probably, experienced web-developers could provide you with better picture. P.S. To answer your last question: i think you could try hiring project manager with experience in web development. It might be costly, but at least there will be a knowledgeable person responsible for entire project.
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I agree some projects will require a team effort. Costly is a matter of perspective. To know that I am going about the process correctly saves me stress which is priceless. To know that I have a solid plan to follow saves me time which is priceless. To know that I will no longer be wasting hundreds and thousands of dollars on web sites I am ashamed to even promote will save my self respect which is priceless. Going back to the construction trade, before I would hire a project manager, I would hire a trusted spec writer. A project manager would typically be paid a percentage of the job, either through a completion bonus or even through hourly pay based upon the run time of the project. As such a project manager can not be the neutral party I am looking for. The reason you can trust your project manager is because you have non bias specs coming from your spec writer. The spec writer is neutral, doesn't care who you hire, doesn't care if you actually purchase material from the source used in estimating. A spec writer doesn't care if the project fails or succeeds (to the degree that they are paid the same either way.) Their job is just to write the specs the best they can based on what you tell them you need.
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Someone who can draft you a business plan for this first phase of your end goal. You want a web design, but you don't have the plan drawn up to give you a general idea on costs, who to hire, what to expect, time frame, what expertise is required, etc. I would consider this a Business Proposal Plan. Even in web design plans you really need one because you want the end outcome to be equivalent to the vision inside your head, right? So, "spec writer" "web design analyst", "business plan developer," etc. They all have the same basic skills. I hope I'm answering your question right, at least I think I am. So, have it all drawn up first then move forward. That way you won't be shocked at anything down the road and you'll have far better expectations.