Web designers may be experts at building attractive and responsive themes, combining colors for maximum effect and developing graphics that will attract attention, but working with difficult clients can challenge even the most professional of them. Small business and website owners need to understand that working with a web designer is a two-way street. Clients should recognize and respect the designers’ expertise while openly sharing their vision and goals for the site. This leads to a successful outcome where both parties are happy.
I sat down with Las Vegas web design firm, Levy Online, who let me know that, unfortunately, not every relationship between web designer and client ends up this way. If you need a website designed, do not fall into one of the behaviors listed below.
1 – Do not be completely passive
In order for a web designer to deliver a complete project that satisfies you, he needs to understand your goal for the site, any special characteristics you want included, and your thoughts about color and style. Gathering this information does not mean the web designer will use all of it, but having a jumping off point can lead to a more satisfying conclusion. When the person you hired contacts you with a question or update, you should always respond promptly.
2 – Do not change your mind repeatedly
How many revisions you get should be clearly outlined in the contract you have with the web designer. Even with these guidelines in place, some clients expect infinite tweaks and changes to the site to meet their very exacting requirements. Few things are more frustrating and unfair to a professional designer than a client who wants to go in a different direction after the project is mostly done
3 – Do not pretend you know more than the web designer
Anyone can read a few articles about designing a website online, but that does not mean you are a professional web designer. Recognizing and respecting their expertise will go a long way to having a smooth and mutually satisfying transaction. After all, that is why you hired them in the first place.
4 – Do not impose unfair deadlines
Everyone is in a rush and everyone wants their website design finished yesterday. A professional designer should be able to give an estimated finish date when they can deliver the completed project. While some web designers may offer rush work, perhaps for an additional fee, a client should never expect this.
5 – Do not try to circumvent the web designer’s offer
Most of the decisions about what you want should be made before you sign a contract with a website designer. If one offers three pages for a specific price within a week, any negotiations to change this should be done before hiring them. Clients should not attempt to get more than the contract states or try to modify it to benefit them after the fact. If you want something extra, draw up a new contract and be prepared to pay for it.
6 – Do not expect the designer to break copyright, licensing and usage laws
“I want a site exactly like XYZ.” This kind of order makes a web designer cringe. Too many clients do not understand copyrights and licensing laws for website templates and graphics. Do not ask a professional web designer to copy someone else’s site or use graphics, photographs or video found randomly on the internet. Not only are these requests insulting to the skill of the web designer, they are also against the law. Levy Online has a sister company specializing in Las Vegas video production, and they confirm that the risks and penalties involved with infringing on copyrighted materials for video are similar to website infringement and are not worth it for any industry, whether it’s a website or a TV commercial.
7 – Do not contact the designer excessively
While a passive client can be aggravating, one who contacts the website designer excessively can be even worse. If you found the designer professional and responsible enough to hire, there is no need to babysit them with multiple phone calls, emails or texts every day. While you should receive updates periodically during the work period, allowing the designer to work uninterrupted is beneficial to a successful outcome. Even more importantly, do not contact the designer to chat about personal matters.
8 – Do not disappear or procrastinate when it’s time to pay
Many web designers will put up with clients who change their mind, call them incessantly, believe they have more skill and tried to finagle their way into extra services as long as they can count on receiving the money due to them when the project is complete. The absolute worst thing a client can do after hiring a professional website designer to pull a disappearing act when it comes time to pay for the work. No matter what the agreed-upon terms for payment are, follow them.