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Personal website, things to watch out for?
Thread poster: conejo

conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:23
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
May 5, 2004

I have purchased my own domain name, and am thinking to make my translation website. However, I'm wondering what kinds of things to watch out for in this whole endeavor. I was a bit dismayed to read in other forums about unscrupulous people copying other translators' resumés and/or websites word-for-word, and that sort of thing. That aside, I am wondering if everyone thinks having a translation website with services listed is a good idea, or if it's more of a hassle? I'm wondering if anyone has had any payment issues, like being contacted through your site by agencies or direct customers who receive the work and then disappear, or anything like that.

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Todd Field  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:23
Member (2003)
Portuguese to English
Do not reveal your literal email address May 5, 2004

That's the one bit of advice I have. We learned the hard way.

Better to have the text say "contact us" (with a link) than to type out abc@xyz.com. It took only three days for the spammers to harvest our beautiful new email address and pollute it with junk mail. Once caught, your email address gets transacted to other spammers, and there is no way out.

Maybe not a direct response to your questions, but it's the first thing I thought of from direct experience. Best of luck to you!

Todd


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alexandra123
Local time: 14:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
Keep it simple May 5, 2004

I am taking a course in web design and one of the things they have taught us as far as designing a site is too keep it as simple and optically appealing as possible. As far as having a contact link, I agree with Toadd and Monica. I personally would not link my personal e-mail address, for the same spam risk they mentioned. I would open up a new e-mail addres just to be used for clients that log on to the site.
When it comes to the credibility of agencies I would simply ask around, post a question on this site or directly ask translators that you have dealt previously with on this site and see if they have any experience with the agency. I am gong to start on the same endeavour you are on pretty soon myself and I have already asked myself the same questions. The things I suggested are the first things that came to mind when I gave started to think about doing what you are planning to do. I hope I was of some help. Good luck I wish you the best. Cheers!!!
Alexandra


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DMD
Local time: 14:23
German to English
Personal website May 5, 2004

I agree with the others. My own website was 'launched' three weeks ago, with no personal e-mail adress. In all this time I've been free of 'infiltrators'.

In addition, my focus was on simplicity, cleanness, and appeal. I'm pleased with the format that the web designer came up with. Be sure that you know beforehand exactly what you want the site to reflect, and what kind of content you'll have on it. Discuss this in detail with your web designer. I live in Netherlands and my web designer lives in Canada, but via msn and e-mails we were able to work out details in a short time. Luckily he's a technically savvy young man who stays up working most of the
night! (: Within four days my site was up and running.

A piece of advice given me by a colleague was to have pages where no scrolling is necessary. Thus people can see everything in one fell swoop. I wasn't able to implement this completely, but did manage it on my home, bio, and portfolio pages.

The colours you use are also important. An Internet search regarding colours and their appeal factor will yield interesting and useful information.

I'd also suggest you look at a number of other sites and make a note of what you like or dislike about them. This will help you formulate and fine-tune your own needs.

Good luck!

Donna

[Edited at 2004-05-05 13:38]

[Edited at 2004-05-05 13:39]


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Some more sources for design tips May 5, 2004

http://www.thesitewizard.com/
http://www.useit.com/
http://asktog.com/menus/designMenu.html
http://asktog.com/menus/designMenu.html


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some ideas... May 5, 2004

Patti Miyano wrote:
1. ...unscrupulous people copying other translators' resumés and/or websites word-for-word, and that sort of thing.
2. ...having a translation website with services listed is a good idea, or if it's more of a hassle?


1. You'll get that, but don't let that stop you. Just make your web site as good as you can and keep it up to date.
2. It's only a hassle in the beginning because you have to create it, and it's a tiny bit of a hassle because you have to keep it up to date. But having a web site is like having a permanent business card, and if you set it up right, it can only be a good thing.

Check out some of the Prozzies's web sites for some ideas (you can start by the ones who post in the forums) or have a look at the translator web sites of fellow translators in your area by logging on to http://dmoz.org/Business/Business_Services/Communications/Translation/. And when you've got your web site, submit it there and I might add it.


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HRiley  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Simplicity is key May 6, 2004

Hi there,
A personal website can definitely be a great asset to your business. It gives you added credibility, but it's by no means essential. I know plenty of successful translators who don't have their own site.

I think one of the biggest traps that people can fall into is trying to include too much on their site. Too much information, too many graphics, too many fonts, colours, sections, whatever.

It's better to stay simple, clear and readable, than to have rotating Garfield graphics, musical effects or animated cursors (sure, fancy graphics can be memorable, but you want to be taken seriously!!)

Imagine you were writing a short promotional brochure for your translation business, and think what information you would include. That's your starting point for a web site. A home page plus 3 or 4 additional pages is usually sufficient.

As DMD mentioned, it's best if your pages don't require scrolling: at the very least, make sure that the most important information is visible on screen when the page loads.

If you have fancy menus or buttons linking to other pages, make sure you include text links to all parts of the site at the bottom of the page.

Keep to a basic colour scheme - three or four colours tops. And don't be tempted to make each page a different colour or style. Visual harmony is important so that visitors can find their way around your site with ease.

If you're worried about people plagiarising your content, make sure you include a copyright mention. It probably won't stop people "borrowing" your content, but it does establish you as the rightful owner of your content. If you find anyone has copied your resumé or web site, you could always write to them threatening legal action.

To be honest, it shouldn't matter much if somebody does copy your résumé or whatever - it's *their* problem if they advertise false skills or experience. If you have decent experience and a credible web site and resumé, you will attract customers and that's what matters, right?

Incidentally, there was a thread on this forum a while ago about creating your own web site: http://www.proz.com/topic/13910

HTH


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conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:23
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the helpful info! May 6, 2004

You guys have given great answers to this posting. They are helping a lot. : )

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Proz web site versus ODP listing May 6, 2004

HRiley wrote:
Incidentally, there was a thread on this forum a while ago about creating your own web site: http://www.proz.com/topic/13910[/quote]

One of the things mentioned in that thread is that one's Proz profile page is a good place to start. This is good advice, but I have to add a small conpoint.

Until about a year ago the ODP listed translators' Proz profile pages individually as if they were full web sites and not deeplinks of the mother web site. Then a decision was made not to include template based résumés or template based "web sites" in the directory if the mother web site is already listed somewhere. The same rule applies to Aquarius, Transref, etc. Now you can no longer submit your Proz profile page to the ODP and hope to get listed.

Therefore, if you want an ODP listing (which significantly boosts your Google ranking), get your own web site in addition to the Proz profile page.

[Disclaimer: I'm a volunteer editor at the ODP and do not represent them in any way.]

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