Articles tagged as ‘Competition’

7 Vital Elements of a Good Web Design Portfolio

How do you show prospective design clients what you can do?

The best way to show clients what you can do is to show them what you’ve already done. Direct them to your online portfolio.

If you’re a new freelance web designer, creating an online portfolio is one of the very first things that you need to do. As soon as you complete a project that you can be proud of, you can start to build your portfolio.

If you’re an experienced freelance web designer hopefully you already have a portfolio. However, don’t make the mistake that many experienced freelancers make and let your portfolio sit untouched for months–or even years. Your portfolio should be a changing online document that always highlights your very best work.


On Vandelay Design Blog we share many examples of what a good portfolio should look like. Here’s one post with 50 Awesome Portfolio Websites. Here’s another post with 25 Beautiful Portfolio Website Designs.

While looking at the portfolios of other web designers can certainly give you some good ideas, it’s also helpful to have a checklist of elements you should include on your own portfolio. That’s what this post is for. This post lists seven vital elements that every good web design portfolio should include.

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14 Online Training Sites for Web Designers and Web Developers

You’re too busy to go back to school. At least that’s the excuse you give for not pursuing additional training in your field.

Well guess what? That excuse isn’t any good any more. In fact, it hasn’t been good for some time. And it’s a good thing too, because you need stay current in your field if you want to stay competitive.

You can get additional training on web design, web development, and many other topics from the comfort of your own home. You no longer have to go somewhere to take a class.


Many traditional colleges offer online courses. In addition to coursework available online through the colleges, a large online training industry has sprung up in the past decade.

In this post, I’ll focus on online training sites. I’ll list 14 of the best non-college online training opportunities for web designers and web developers.

If you liked this post, you will probably also like: Learning Web Design: Self Taught vs. a Formal Education.

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8 Awkward Questions Freelance Web Designers and Other Freelancers Face

We freelancers sometimes get asked the oddest things. Some of the questions are odd, and some are awkward to answer. You have to wonder what people are thinking.

The sad truth is that a lot of people don’t think. So, they blurt out awkward questions and leave us to respond.
young blond woman surprised expression close up shoot

In fact, it seems like I get odd and awkward questions nearly every week. You probably do too.

In this post, I’ll share some of those awkward questions with you. At the end of the post, feel free to share the odd things you’ve been asked, along with your response.

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6 Very Effective Principles to Improve Your Customer Service & Make Your Clients Happy

People love good customer service, but really hate to get bad customer service.

Most people know the difference between good customer service and bad customer service. Your web design clients are no different. Treat them right, and they’re more likely to come back (and bring repeat business with them). Treat them wrong, and they’ll go away.

One aspect of customer service is common courtesy. Sadly, common courtesy seems to be going away. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics about courtesy.

We live in a rude society. We’re even rude when we work. According to statistics gathered by the Harvard Business Review, 98% of workers polled were treated rudely. (See The Price of Incivility by Christine Porath and Christine Pearson .)

In addition to courtesy, there are five other principles of customer service:


Customer service is important for any business, but it’s especially important for freelancers. What many businesses don’t realize is that most customers vote on the quality of your service with their dollars. Many of them won’t tell you that they’re unhappy. They’ll just stop doing business with you.

In this post, I’ll list the six customer service principles that every web designers should know. At the end, you’re encouraged to share your own customer service tips.

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GraphicRiver Launch and a $2,000 Giveaway!

Envato is launching a new marketplace, and I’m happy to have the privilege of giving away a lot of free credits to readers! I’m sure most of you are familiar with the Envato network of sites, including other marketplaces like ThemeForest and FlashDen, and blogs like Freelance Switch, NETTUTS and PSDTUTS (and, of course, many more).

The newest addition to the Envato network is GraphicRiver, a marketplace for graphics, vectors, icons, Photoshop files, and add-ons such as brushes. GraphicRiver should be an excellent resource for those who are looking to buy, as well as a great income-generating opportunity for anyone who wants to sell some of their work.


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Win a Free Membership to Templatica!

Alen Grakalic of Templatica has graciously offered to give away three one-year memberships to his club that provides members with templates to use on their own websites.


If you’re not familiar with Templatica, there are two options for using/buying the templates. A one-year membership costs $24, or you can buy individual templates for $5 a piece. All of the templates use valid XHTML and CSS coding, and have been tested in all major browsers. Alen is a skilled designer and all of the templates will give a website an attractive and professional appearance.

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FlashEff Giveaway: 3 Premium Unlimited Licenses to Readers!


The people at FlashEff and Jumpeye Components are giving away 3 FlashEff Premium Unlimited licenses to readers of Vandelay Design! If you’re not familiar with FlashEff, it’s a great resource for quickly and easily creating Flash animation without coding.

FlashEff Premium is the first flash 3rd party AS3.0 component that is 100% compatible with both Flash CS3 and Flash CS4! FlashEff can be used by anyone who knows a little Flash from a total beginner to a Flash guru.

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