Sorry for the long post, but I really need some advice from some graphic gurus.
Ok, so I run a server basically for fun. I have several of my own sites and forums and host some sites for fun. I have a few paying 'customers' that I have met from word of mouth.
I would like to go to the next level and realize I need a decent looking website to be taken seriously.
I want a site that looks professional and won't cost me an arm and a leg either as this is not exactly a full on business for me. I don't need a unique site and would prefer something nicer looking to something unique. This is because my target customers won't be browsing forums like this...they will just be looking for my information and I want them to have a good first impression that I am running a serious server.
I have looked at the template forum here and visited many template sites. Here is my big problem. I don't own a copy of PhotoShop. I have Dreamweaver, some Adobe photo editing software and a copy of Paint Shop Pro 7. Since all the templates I have seen come as PSD files, I am not sure I am going to be able to edit the files with what I have. Also, I am certainly not interested in purchasing a full version of PS just to tweak one template. I am also not real keen on learning a whole new graphics package just for this one time either.
What options do I have? Do you think I will be able to get by with what I have? Should I just pay someone to make me a custom site and go from there? Should I find a template I like and pay someone to customize it as I like?
Looking for advice as graphics obviously aren't my strong suit.
Easiest way would be to get someone good to design you a template with a main page and subpage.
Then you could pay someone else to add your content and code it. People work very cheaply here, and as long as you have a good designer to design your initial template, you will have a good cheap site.
I would suggest that you try to find a designer that can give you a fair price that you can work with to get a nice website that is just yours. It does not have to be that expensive unless you go for the top of the line designs, which are an arm and a leg...and then some
If you are lucky you might find a struggling artist in need of some work for their portfolio and perhaps even find someone that would be willing to work with you for a part payment in webhosting...
Just make up your mind what you want, then compare it whit how much you want to pay for it --> revise your decision until you find a balance and then advertise to find someone to do it.