In a recent article posted on the Network Solutions SmartBiz website, the author gave 8 signs that it may be time to fire a client.
If applied specifically to website design – those reasons could be condensed and rephrased to:
- The client undoes all your hard work by updating the site haphazardly, thus ruining the design.
- The client is never available to provide content or feedback and / or withholds content or vital information (including payment).
- The client asks you to do something illegal / unethical.
- The client is never satisfied (they ask for a lot of little changes, often, and therefore for free).
For me, an ideal website design client provides:
- Clear and timely communication of needs, wants, account info, content, updates, etc.
- Timely communication of feedback / changes needed prior to publish of site
- Timely payment for services rendered (once site is approved and published)
- A willingness to give a testimonial and referrals (post publish)
- Timely communication of any updates required (new content)
More importantly, the ideal freelance website designer provides:
- Prompt & courteous communication (replies to email / phone messages)
- Quality service (code, design, marketing, education) using quality tools
- Affordable rates (without sacrificing quality)
- Adequate experience / skill / knowledge (code, design, marketing)
- Post-publish support (timely updates, follow-up, support, monitoring)
A good website designer will always quickly return calls / emails, are willing to meet in person, and will listen for what you want and balance that with what you need. They will be available and willing to make changes as requested, quickly and affordably.
Balancing what you want with what you need, a good freelance website designer will design a site in a way that is visually appealing, user-friendly, search engine optimized, and most importantly – W3C compliant and do so using a tool that can be used to easily update the website and make changes quickly and affordably.
A great freelance website designer will not only do this at a rate that does not sacrifice quality for budget restrictions, but also provide ongoing support in terms of affordable and timely updates, marketing, and search engine optimization.
In the end, after the site is published, you should be able to own the website’s content in full as well as it’s domain name and hosting. The designer should not hold this information hostage in the event you should part ways.
A solid prior relationship can be key. Think of your seven degrees of separation. Who do you know that may know of someone who is good at website design? That fact that they know you, even through degrees of separation may mean the difference between warm collaborative working relationship and a cold transactional relationship.
If you don’t already know of a website designer that satisfies your requirements, and / or are looking to develop a new business relationship with a small business freelance website designer, give us a call. We’d be happy to connect the pieces of your online presence.