I do not run a charity.

Client drama had reared its ugly head this last week.  *facepalm*

How the hell does it happen?  They go from good client to bad client like warewholves under a full moon.  ARRROOWHHH!

First I should probably tell you a little more about what we do for our clients.  To say that we design websites would be an over-simplification, that’s what we used to do.  A year and a half ago when we started our business, we would both scower craigslist looking for any ole programming or design job that we knew we could do.  We got various clients doing this, but usually (okay, MOSTLY) with these gigs, people were always trying to get something for nothing.  Putting up a website that both looks good and works well takes hours and hours and hours of work.  We would put in these hours/days/weeks/…months of work, and then have to literally chase down payment from them, or they wanted so many changes that took so many more hours that end the end the payment wasn’t worth all the effort.  At a certain point we came to the conclusion that there had to be a way for us to get something for nothing as well.  Everybody else was doing it, why not us?  What I mean is, a way to make fully-fledged websites without all the hours of work.  There are three basic purposes for most websites:  publishing, selling, or social networking.  So if we could design a framework that could perform each of these functions by simply installing it onto a web address so hours of programming the same thing, over and over, would be eliminated.  Better yet, we would make our program easy enough to use so that when clients wanted changes they could just go make them on their own.

If you’re having a hard time understanding what I’m talking about, don’t worry, I didn’t know crap about any of this until about a year ago.  If you want an example of what I’m talking about, look at WordPress.  WordPress is the perfect example of a content management system (CMS) used for publishing.  It’s complicated, it’s got a lot of buttons, but most people are able to figure it out on their own and create their own websites.  We’re like WordPress, except we’re geared towards businesses and we have a lot more applications and functions.

So anyways, we’re still in the development/start-up phase of our business so we haven’t had a public release of our software yet.  Hopefully that will happen sometime in 2010.  Until then we are always trying to get new clients both in the US and Turkey.  One new client we have here is chick my age, who is starting up a mining export company with a few business partners.  Basically they ship stuff like chrome ore to China, pretty simple.  She’s a cool chick, speaks English well and I’d say she was a friend before she was a client.  Because of this we gave her a deep discount, and I mean DEEP.  We normally charge $2,000 dollars for a basic CMS website, but that includes a lot- custom web design, content writing, logo design, stock photos, hosting, etc, etc.  Because we are still developing a bilingual application for our websites (that button you click at the bottom or top of the page and it switches the language of the website, not easy to do) and her website would be the first to test it we gave her a huge deal.  We’re only charging her $500 dollars of which she has only paid half ($250).  Her website is very simple and very small, but like I said, she is also a start-up so she only gave us a tiny amount of content and a few pictures.  One thing we cannot do is invent fancy or interesting content for you…well, technically I have, but only for clients who are paying real money.

From the start she LOOOOVED the website, and I got tons of glowing feedback from her along the way.  When I finally finished putting in all the data and images she sent us (which by the way she sent on Dec 28 and her site was up by Jan 5) she still loved it.  Then, it turned….

She had a “friend” of hers look at the site and they told her it was too plain.  What the fuck does this “friend” know about web design anyway?  Suddenly she hates everything about the site.  She sent us links to other websites (one that sells cell phones, the other a music website) and tells that she wants her site to be more like them.  Here is what her site would actually look like if she would send us more content.  She also says she wants flash.  No other description, just, “I want flash.”  Flash what?  Dancing rocks?  You sell fucking ROCKS, fyi.

Flash is web animation, if you’re not familiar, and it is EXPENSIVE and time-consuming to develop.  For that reason, flash is one of the only things we don’t offer.  If a client really wants flash on their website then we hire an outside flash developer and money has to be paid from the client directly to person creating the flash animation.  In other words, Flash=Money.

Then she also starts bitching that it took three months to put her site up.  Uhh, your emails say differently lady, we only got your content a week before your site went up.  You had “Coming Soon” page on your website for three months because it took you that long to get off your ass.  We don’t put up blank websites.  Did I mention she’s only paid $250 dollars?  That’s what I usually charge just for a logo design (and yes, I designed her logo AND a business card on top of that).

Friend or not, we just don’t have time to deal with this crap anymore, we have too many clients that have paid full price and we have plenty of work still to do for them.  We gave her two options, 1) Stop bitching, or 2) Pay in full by the end of the month.  If you don’t do either we will take down your site.  Period.

Luckily (for her) she came to her senses.  She chose option #1.  Maybe it was just her time of the month?  The full moon has passed and she’s no longer werewolf-cunt, I mean, client.  We’ll just have to see what happens on the next full moon…

If you want to see a hilarious representation of how web designing can go straight to hell, check out this comic by The Oatmeal.  It is sooo true.

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4 Responses to “I do not run a charity.”

  1. Leese Says:

    Oh girlfriend… I SO FEEL YOUR PAIN!!!!

    I used to design websites for small business as a side gig years ago .. when HTML was THE BE ALL AND THE END ALL!!! Ok.. so we all know I’m old as fuck so .. yknow.. just keep that in mind!! LOL!! Only the “side” gig started to become the “primary” gig time-wise because all my clients THOUGHT they knew what the hell they wanted (and didn’t) OR thought that what I was going for them was just SO DAMN EASY and then didn’t want to pay anything additional because is was just SO DAMN EASY ..

    Anyway .. I do like the site as it stands now. For selling ROCKS .. it’s a clean design and really, to the point.

    I’d be careful that she doesn’t want live stream video of a rock .. just waiting to be excavated and shipped. Boy, wouldn’t THAT be exciting!!

    And from someone who has a degree in Visual Communication .. I really, really like the logo!!!

    Mad love to you .. Q.. the babe AND the kitty!!!

    Right? If it was so easy everyone would just do it for themselves. It’s NOT, that’s why you hire someone, the same way building a house isn’t easy and if you do it yourself it’ll probably look like crap and/or fall down on your head. If she wants dancing rocks and she’s willing to pay for it, then she can have dancing rocks, until then she’s SOL. Lol, dancing rocks are not free! Thanks for the love 🙂

  2. kilax Says:

    LOL! I read a few paragraphs then went to the Oatmeal to find that same link.

    This my friend, is why I DO NOT do web design. I did a few sites for firms and they just SIT on the content, and NEVER know what they want. Whatever you provide, it isn’t right. They get feedback from other nobodies and want it all changed. It’s awful. I am happy she decided to shut up.

    Thanks, and you are so right. People always feel like they have room to complain even if they’re getting everything they asked for. I don’t get why this industry is plagued with this problem. Everyone wants a website, nobody thinks they should have to pay a fair price for it.

  3. birdpress Says:

    Wow, I guess you get crazy clients in every business! Annoying people are everywhere! Sorry, I had a string of them lately. I think the website is great! Why make things more difficult than they need to be? It’s clean, informative, easy to navigate, and looks very professional!

    Just wondering… Is there any way she can track visitors to the site herself? If so, you may not want to put the link on your blog!

    No, there is not a way for her to track visitors through our software, however after giving it some thought I decided to take the link out anyway, because Google and Google Analytics can be a different story…(if she ever figures out how to use it). Thanks for looking out for me! I got fired a few years ago from a retail job because of a blog, so you’d think I’d learn my lesson already…

  4. Surprise? « Snark Pool Says:

    […] By Jen512 So the client drama that I told you about last week took an interesting twist […]

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