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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    50

    Finding webmasters for my hosting clients

    My hosting business is private and pretty small, but I'm regularly requested to recommend a webmaster to build someone a new site. Personally, I've posted ads on freelance boards, but within minutes I'm swamped with hundreds of unqualified responses from some guy or gal who just saw "webmaster" and responded with some canned email.

    What's the secret to finding that one guy (or team) that has creativity, illustration, coding skills and knows more about SEO than adding another Wordpress plug-in.

    Thoughts? Examples of how to look for webmasters? All input is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Asking about their portfolio?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    USA/UK
    Posts
    111
    Freelance sites send us quite a lot of disgruntled clients in new business!, not sure if its the language barrier or just the poor quality of work in general but I would recommend using people that are trusted within a community/forum and you can see their previous work and look at solid reviews/feedback.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    1,466
    Networking, and using your existing connections. I'm just terrible at networking, but I've been able to find partners. It's also almost certain that you know someone who knows someone.

  5. #5
    Spend some time doing a bit of research, find companies that have a proven track record (i.e., a portfolio that demonstrates their capabilities) to recommend going forward so you don't need to post an ad everytime someone asks you.
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  6. #6
    Sign up on good webmaster forums and look around in marketplace forums. I am sure you will find experienced developers / SEO experts offering their services. Go through their threads and check out how popular they are.

    This is pretty and simple way to find good developers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,287
    There are some good designers here at WHT.

    I'd put up another request, but have a look through each posters portfolio and ignore any that don't have one.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    50
    Since I started this thread, I'd like to add some commentary ... Within moments of my post, this thread received replies from webmasters offering their services. As a violation of the board rules, the moderators dispatched those responses pretty quickly. I also received a number of private queries.

    The problem is you post a requirement for "Webmaster needed for new site, turnkey, Mediterranean Charter Company" and you get two types of responses:

    1. "Just give me the job. I can do anything. I have MySQL, PHP, etc. skills."
    2. "Here's my portfolio of 1,600 completely irrelevant websites. I'm too busy to respond personally so waste your own time flipping through pages of my portfolio."

    The responders see "webmaster" and stop reading. What I'd like is a guy/gal who responds with "I did ACME Charter's company and here's my thought process and result." He/she would get my recommendation immediately.

    Thanks for listening. I needed to externalize. <sigh>

    ... and just to be clear, I am *not* looking for a charter company webmaster.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    696
    Quote Originally Posted by woodp View Post
    Since I started this thread, I'd like to add some commentary ... Within moments of my post, this thread received replies from webmasters offering their services. As a violation of the board rules, the moderators dispatched those responses pretty quickly. I also received a number of private queries.

    The problem is you post a requirement for "Webmaster needed for new site, turnkey, Mediterranean Charter Company" and you get two types of responses:

    1. "Just give me the job. I can do anything. I have MySQL, PHP, etc. skills."
    2. "Here's my portfolio of 1,600 completely irrelevant websites. I'm too busy to respond personally so waste your own time flipping through pages of my portfolio."

    The responders see "webmaster" and stop reading. What I'd like is a guy/gal who responds with "I did ACME Charter's company and here's my thought process and result." He/she would get my recommendation immediately.

    Thanks for listening. I needed to externalize. <sigh>

    ... and just to be clear, I am *not* looking for a charter company webmaster.
    So it seems to me like you're looking for a reliable freelancer to whom you can refer your hosting clients, when they're in need of webmaster services? Is this correct?

    I'd recommend hanging out on some high quality (stress the "high quality" part) design forums (I unfortunately don't know of any). I know from experience that a partnership between a web host and a web designer/webmaster/developer can be quite lucrative -- both ways. Just make sure you find someone you trust. Because in a way, they're becoming an extension of your business. Best of luck

  10. #10
    try freelancer.com and see the bidders skills and reviews before picking one

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Core Files
    Posts
    7,792
    Go Local

    1. Any friends or family members with the such skills?

    2. A local forum and or even worst, case Craigslist.

    With #2, you can meet the person and get a feel of how they conduct business. Ask them to bring a portfolio and also ask if your able to contact previous clients.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    even worst, case Craigslist.
    Speaking from personal experience, Craigslist is probably the worst place to look because of the high signal-to-noise ratio.

    Last time I tried (local) Craigslist, I received over thirty replies, most from overseas and none within driving distance. Trust me, Craigslist is not a solution.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Core Files
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    7,792
    Quote Originally Posted by woodp View Post
    Speaking from personal experience, Craigslist is probably the worst place to look because of the high signal-to-noise ratio.

    Last time I tried (local) Craigslist, I received over thirty replies, most from overseas and none within driving distance. Trust me, Craigslist is not a solution.
    I was able to get good results through CL...some that I still do business with...locally and nationally....but I guess times have changed since I haven't done that in a few years.

    Your right about the noise, but when you break it down, it's still the same amount of energy of searching through each post, ad, profile, email responses, and so forth to find a designer, or a "designer". But just like many things in life, the right fit occurs when your not searching. My wife accidentally found a great local designer through a friend on Facebook.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    116
    Networking really is the best solution. A lot of designers/freelancers are flakey and it's hard to find one that's consistent. Really, I recommend finding a firm or two you can recommend. And if they want to host their clients with you, all the better. I send my clients who need designs to UBMedia because I've known them for years and they have never flaked out on a client.

    Oh! And you could also consider employing one, so you can add it to the services you offer on your site.
    Last edited by EStarr; 01-05-2014 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Added another thought
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Cebu, Philippines
    Posts
    214
    You can also find freelace web developers in odesk and elance.
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  16. #16
    Hi,

    Yes +1 for odesk and elance. Especially for odesk - you can custom your job posting with something like - start your CV with the word "Freelancer" or whatever and see who has actually read the job posting. Beside that they have unique features to filter spam CV and to best match. So just try them.

  17. #17
    We were in the exact same boat a few years ago. So many hosting customers who wanted web design, and would contact us to recommend a designer, etc..

    So we spent some time and effort and tried to find a few decent designers who were willing to create websites without trying to steal our customer to their own hosting service, etc..

    It took a long time, and we went through probably a dozen different designers. But now we have three good quality designers who work with us regularly. We refer our customer's to them who want a website, and the designer pays us a referral fee and promises never to try and steal the customer.
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