May 28, 2024

The internet is full of great, true and hilarious complaints about clients and their behavior such as these two sample 1  sample 2 We decided to take the alternate tack and look at a constructive take on how folks can become better clients and thus achieve better outcome from the relationship. This should resemble a relationship more than a classic retail transactional interaction.

The old saying of the “customer is always right”, is only partially applicable here.  Assuming that you have sought a designer and developer then you’ve come seeking the experience and expertise of a firm or individual to help guide you through the process. There’s a litany of do it yourself site builders on the market today. I don’t want to give them free advertising but Google can certainly help you find them.

1) Do your homework. Even if you get a positive recommendation, go look at the company’s website and see if their skills and aesthetic match what you are looking for. If you are starting from scratch, make sure the company is legit. Don’t fall for low-priced packages that are often rife with hidden charges and incredible. If it seems too good to be true…

2) Establish your goals. You always hear, “You gotta have a website. But what kind. Are you looking for eComerce, membership based, a portfolio or any of the myriad of websites in the world. These can completely alter the platform and even the type of developer you might choose. That is just simple example but even the more nuanced goals are going to be important guides for both the developers and, especially the designers.

3) Who’s doing what? Express how much you want to update the site personally. Be honest though and assess your capacity, skill and time. It’s easy enough to build sites that can be managed by the client. However, take a long look in a reflective pool and consider whether that time is better spent focusing on your business. If you want your designers to do most of the updating, clarify the costs and consider retainer arrangements that might actually save money in the long run.

4) Have a budget in mind before your initial meeting. This can save everyone time and angst. Prices vary widely based on number number two. Here’s a handy guide., although many others exist.

5) Review peer and other sites for all sorts things. Look for functions, movement, structure, color, style and any features that  attract you. One huge caveat, make sure that your expectations align with your budgets. Don’t send us the Tesla or Apple site with the expectation that you can afford all of their features. Temper your expectations. This visual conversation is far more helpful that generic but oblique requests like, “make it pop!”.

6) Get your shit stuff in order. You don’t have to have every asset in hand. However, at least identify what you have and what you need. A good agency can help you connect with or provide direct assistance with copyrighting, photography or videography. So identify what you have and what you need help with.

7) Have legitimate expectations about time frame from planning to launch. This is completely dependent on amount, type and complexity of content on the site. Your agency should be able to assess this and provide you with a reasonable timeline.

8) Trust the people you’ve hired. Their years of experience in UX, SEO optimization, responsiveness and coding is what you are paying for. Have opinions and help guide the process but if you want to design your own site, use a prebuilt solution and save some money.

9) Changing your mind is going to happen. The impact of this on the timeline can have huge impacts and cause delays depending on when they are made. If you wait until pages have been completely coded you are likely to incur cost overruns. Pay close attention during the design phase at what you approve.

10) If you are intending to manage your site, start doing it right after you launch and have been trained. Wait a year and you’ll inevitably forget everything.

11) Google everything first if you are trying to manage your own site or see if an email is spam. Because that’s what we’re going to do.

12) If you change any passwords, by god share it with the developers. This includes instagram, wp-logins, Facebook, url registers and pretty much anything that relates to your website. This will save you time and $$.