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  1. #26
    SitePoint Enthusiast That's Me's Avatar
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    Clients who don't listen. Had one who constantly called and emailed back to go over what was discussed in meetings only to come to the same decisions. Hello! Where you not there???

    Clients who think they know more about good design than I do. No, actually, that rotating, flashing, bright yellow and blue title image that your brother's son's best friend emailed to you is not the most beautiful logo I've ever seen.

    Clients who want a complete (and, oh yes, custom ) website with full backend programming for $300. Are you effing kidding me??? Are we not living in the same plane of reality???

    Mostly that's the worst. But I have to say, the ultimate annoying thing to deal with is not having clients at all. That freaks me out wicked bad.

  2. #27
    SitePoint Guru LinhGB's Avatar
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    Clients who ask for some odd functionalities or even a whole site, and go "It should only take you X of your time, should be easy etc." as if they are web developers themselves - in which case they shouldn't be hiring me.

    Actually now that I think about it, the biggest challenge that I've ever faced is to help business clients make a "seamless" transition from offline to online, especially in explaining to them that the online business model is quite different. One of the main obstacles is the way they usually manage their business database and content offline. Some of them use such outdated systems that it makes it nearly impossible to synchronise them with the online server. In my experience, this transition is the major obstacle that discourages businesses from having more than a mere "brochure" website.
    "I disapprove of what I say,
    but I will defend to the death my right to say it."

  3. #28
    SitePoint Enthusiast artycreations's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing

    What is it that is most painful about your day-to-day work?
    Having to wait for "timely" reviews and content, and when it finally comes, clients would want to implement the whole thing & make the site live within 2 days!! Abracadabra!!!



    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    What makes you most frustrated?
    Doing business with friends and acquaintances. They would want professional work without me sounding professional in terms of payments! I have learnt it's better to make friends in business than do business with friends

  4. #29
    Web developer Carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    Carl -

    Interesting post. It begs the question, 'what makes your clients so loyal?'. I think a lot of people would love to have such loyal clients that they cant get rid of them. What do you think is the basis of such loyalty?
    I basically used the formulas that I learned when I was working in retail. I have worked at places like Footlocker, Circuit City and a few small butiques as manager and commissioned salesperson. The big retailers have training sessions where they teach employees to

    always greet the customer
    know the product
    listen to the customer
    keep it simple, stupid!
    make friend. friends return and purchase more
    have your information ready at hand
    close the sale
    thank the customer

    If I was back in the Sf Bay Area now I am quite sure that I would have a thriving concern in web production. The problems I have now and why I have quit the aspect of IT are a result of my location. I can't get enough volume to make it worth the time spent.

  5. #30
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    My hardest tasks at the moment revolve around the design of sites. I'm reasonably okay with the expansion and development of them but still feel most of the sites I'm running at the moment are lacking in the design field (a combination of a lack of graphics tools and the fact that the niche that my sites fall into seem to have a lot of talented designers knocking out sites). This does seem to be improving slowly thankfully, as I feel if I manage to get to a decent level I can tackle some bigger more competitive fields.

    Aside from that it's just balancing out sites. It's generally advised that you update you're site fairly frequently, however with each expansion of a network you struggle to spread updates evenly across all the sites.

    Also forums are proving fairly tricky for me. Whilst I have a some solid traffic I'm finding it hard to get and retain posters. I'm not completely distraught by the lack of success but it'd be nice if they caught on as it'd be a good addition to the sites which they represent.

  6. #31
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    holmescreek,

    Great advice. I think the usefulness of this thread comes from people like you who offer up "pearls of wisdom" acquired the hard way. We all benefit from that as does our collective industry.

    That's why this is called the "Careers/Education" forum not the complaint department.

    It's good to learn from your mistakes. It's better to learn from someone else's mistakes.

  7. #32
    SitePoint Wizard mcsolas's Avatar
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    Its frustrating when clients want you to promise them something that simply cannot be delivered in the time frame given. I dont like it when 'mr. slick' business guy tries to set you up like this, get some work done cheap/free then cut ties and keep your ideas.
    As for what bugs me:
    I live in Costa Rica and people here are cheap. I constantly hear "oh well Im only here for 3 weeks, and Im on this ultra tight budget"

    (which includes a brand new rental car, eating out everyday...)

    I respond:
    You know it isnt cheap to live here, but I manage to live on less than what your paying per day for your rental car. So save it, ok.

  8. #33
    SitePoint Addict KelliShaver's Avatar
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    - People who don't want a designer, just a warm body to cater to their every whim.
    - People who have absolutly no idea what they want and can't decide on anything.
    - People who expect to be your top priority even when they're only paying you 1/3 of what you charge everyone else.

    I have had to drop three clients in the past 18mo because they wanted to totally change the scope of projects they'd already signed off on that were halfway through develoopment-- and they refused to pay for this.

    I had one prospective client recently who just up and disappeared on me, after working with him for weeks on getting a solution sorted out for him (again, it goes back to the "he had no idea what he wanted, but needed something" thing). He'd always seemed extremely pleased with everything I was doing, the prices I was quoting, the solutiosn I was proposing, etc. Now he refuses to take my calls or answer my emails. I'm not saying that this isn't because of something I did. It may well be, but the fact is, I have no idea if that's the case or not. Even if I did something wrong, tell me. How else can I learn? Just completely ignoring my existance after 3 weeks of working together on something is extremely rude and unprofessional.

  9. #34
    Mongols of the world, unite! Lira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.martone
    $1000 is a deal and a half to scan in crop and image adjust that many coins. I love giving clients the "Pick 2" philosophy.

    Quality
    Quick
    Cheap

    "Pick 2".

    Quality and Quick? Well it won't be cheap. (easily $1000's of dollars)
    Quality and Cheap? Well it won't be quick. (easily 6 month minimum time frame)
    Quick and Cheap? Well it won't be quality. (easily 2 minutes of my time)
    Interesting approach
    Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
    Choose washing machines, cars, tableless sites, and SEO.
    Choose DIY and wondering who the f' you are on a Sunday morning.
    Choose a marketing strategy. Choose your future.
    Choose life.

  10. #35
    Web developer Carl's Avatar
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    You guys have given me an idea. I'll just turn off the interest by charging extravagent prices

  11. #36
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    Keeping contractors motivated and getting work done is the most difficult thing I have had to deal with the last couple of months. Nothing ever seems to be a priority to anyone other than Owner's and Management.

  12. #37
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by KelliShaver
    - People who don't want a designer, just a warm body to cater to their every whim.
    - People who have absolutly no idea what they want and can't decide on anything.
    - People who expect to be your top priority even when they're only paying you 1/3 of what you charge everyone else.

    I have had to drop three clients in the past 18mo because they wanted to totally change the scope of projects they'd already signed off on that were halfway through develoopment-- and they refused to pay for this.

    I had one prospective client recently who just up and disappeared on me, after working with him for weeks on getting a solution sorted out for him (again, it goes back to the "he had no idea what he wanted, but needed something" thing). He'd always seemed extremely pleased with everything I was doing, the prices I was quoting, the solutiosn I was proposing, etc. Now he refuses to take my calls or answer my emails. I'm not saying that this isn't because of something I did. It may well be, but the fact is, I have no idea if that's the case or not. Even if I did something wrong, tell me. How else can I learn? Just completely ignoring my existance after 3 weeks of working together on something is extremely rude and unprofessional.
    He's the one beeing unprofessional there, not you.

    If you did something wrong, he could have told you about it, and refused to pay. He is obviously dogging you because he dosen't want to pay you now.

  13. #38
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Interesting that the incredible majority of these complaints are directed at clients. It's a little hard to believe that we are ALL so PERFECT and our clients are so terrible!

    What does this say about our collective ability to handle clients? After all, it's OUR job to educate and manage our clients.

    Anyone have any ideas about how to improve upon client management, and prevent some of these complaints in the first place?

    For me, I've found that having great documentation and paperwork (and knowing how to get the client to use it) has infinite value. Managing client expectations is the single most effective thing that I have done to make life easier. I start on the very first contact, and keep it going to the end.

    What else can we do to prevent this stuff?
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  14. #39
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinLav
    Keeping contractors motivated and getting work done is the most difficult thing I have had to deal with the last couple of months. Nothing ever seems to be a priority to anyone other than Owner's and Management.
    There's a good non-client complaint. MartinLav - what do you think the perspective is on the other side?

    Are you a great client? Good communicator? Pay ontime? Pay enough? Too pushy? Not pushy enough? etc.

    It's always interesting to find out what motivates people, and everyone is different..
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  15. #40
    SitePoint Zealot Norrad's Avatar
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    I'd say the biggest issue we face is the "Web Developer" image. Many companies have been burned by fly by night developers/designers and this makes you have to work much harder to prove that you can do what they want.

  16. #41
    Non-Member bigrollerdave's Avatar
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    I think the thing that bugs me the most is advertising companies. I think they should send a check every 2 weeks. For most of us this is our job. Could you imagine going to a business and them being like we are going to pay you every 30-45 days? I know some companies offer a net-15 payment but not to many do. >=|

  17. #42
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
    wwb_99's Avatar
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    I spend most of my time in the back-end bit of things, so my views are a bit jaded that way. Most difficult part of the process is that the customers* fixate on the visual aspects of the design and completely ignore the functional specification.

    My famous example:

    WWB: "Hey guys, for this conference website, how do we want registration to work?"
    CoWorker1: "Hmm, good question. Can we make the menu work like a baseball diamond?"
    WWB: "Uhm, yeah, sure. But back to the registration. Do we want people to create an account or do we just want to collect whatever comes in?"
    CoWorker2: "WOW! A baseball like menu. And we can use a bases theme! It will be so cool!"
    WWB: "Yes, that would be cool. So, do we want people to be able to update their registration information?"
    CoWorker1: "OMG! People can drag a runner around the bases to move through the process! We will be famous!"
    [WWB starts drinking heavily]

    *I don't work for actual clients, but rather function as an internal consulting firm

  18. #43
    $books++ == true matsko's Avatar
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    I'll say what's annoying, is when a client demands a website for which he or she has no idea on the features.

    Just hearing the phrase, "Make me a website that does this and that, and please complete this website with a nice look" is just hectic...

    To be honest, I dread the actual Designing of websites. I more prefer the coding, programming and database challenges, because they are more straightforward to do. The problem with designing a fresh new website is getting the right look, which can take a while.
    I can't believe I ate the whole thing

  19. #44
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99
    I spend most of my time in the back-end bit of things, so my views are a bit jaded that way. Most difficult part of the process is that the customers* fixate on the visual aspects of the design and completely ignore the functional specification.

    My famous example:

    WWB: "Hey guys, for this conference website, how do we want registration to work?"
    CoWorker1: "Hmm, good question. Can we make the menu work like a baseball diamond?"
    WWB: "Uhm, yeah, sure. But back to the registration. Do we want people to create an account or do we just want to collect whatever comes in?"
    CoWorker2: "WOW! A baseball like menu. And we can use a bases theme! It will be so cool!"
    WWB: "Yes, that would be cool. So, do we want people to be able to update their registration information?"
    CoWorker1: "OMG! People can drag a runner around the bases to move through the process! We will be famous!"
    [WWB starts drinking heavily]

    *I don't work for actual clients, but rather function as an internal consulting firm
    Sounds like you need to do more wireframing.. Helps clients to stop looking at the pretty pictures
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  20. #45
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
    wwb_99's Avatar
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    Hehe. This is the pre-wireframing stage. The WTF do we want to do so we can come up with requirements docs/wireframes.

    One other pet peeve-parties responsible for content who are still stuck in the print world. Both in terms of content--I deal with alot of people who love to post long-assed letters as home pages--as well as lifecycle. Lifecycle meaning that, unlike print, bits of web content are easy and cheap to change. Especially with slick database driven sites, etc.

  21. #46
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by bionikal
    when you offer a favour to a friend ($200 website) and a week later he rings and wants to know why it isnt live yet.

    well to start with it's going to take a few days to do it, thats if i dont have anyhtign else on.

    secondly i dont have any of your server details.. where am i suppsoed to put it.

    and finally its cheap because im suppsoed to do it in my spare time, if you want it done within the week we'll up the price to say $800.


    i also hate people that change there minds mid design... "but but but.. i jsut finished that."
    This is one of the first things I ever had to deal with. Man was it frustrating.

    At this point, what I do for friends is I make everything very clear up front. It's a disservice to both you and them to say you'll do it cheap or free without explaining things that may be obvious to you.

    For example I had a friend who runs a mortgage brokerage ask me to design a site for him. I had some really serious clients at the time who were on the phone w/me nonstop. I was really, really busy.

    My buddy began calling me on an almost daily basis asking me to make changes, when things would be ready, etc. etc.

    The worst part of my day got to be seeing his # show up on the caller ID and having to click ignore.

    The way I finally solved the problem was by just being blunt. I said, "Look, you're a friend and I'm trying to help you out. But I have to be honest with you. When I have clients paying me big bucks calling, I'm going to choose their call before yours every time. I have to. I'd love to help you, but my responsibilities are to them first. Please don't email me about this site more than once every 3 days."

    It worked. He got the point and actually ended up inviting me to dinner w/him and his partner to talk about paying me full price to get it done more quickly.

  22. #47
    SitePoint Zealot ngi112's Avatar
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    My biggest challenge was the beginning. Ever since then, I write about the things I like - get paid for it - complement it with my savings and I am a very happy guy with everything he wants =)
    ProxyTor - Submit your Proxy Site for free, fast.
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  23. #48
    SitePoint Wizard holmescreek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevonWright
    What bugs me is people who take forever to sign a contract.

    If they sound serious, meet with them and find out their needs with a consultation, then e-mail them when you get back to the office with a quick quote with the breakdown of features, price and turn around time. Don't spend more than 10-15 minutes on the quick quote.

    When they give you the go on the project, then do up your contract and have them sign it. I use a pretty legal contract, template, that I created where I can simply replace the clients name, dates, and break-down of what is included with their design & hosting package.
    intragenesis, llc professional web & graphic design

  24. #49
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I agree with short quotes, just throw something out there to establish a ball park and then sort out the details. Sometimes I'll put a ridiculous range like, 'somewhere between $3500 and $19,000'!
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  25. #50
    SitePoint Member votekick's Avatar
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    A local company whom emailed the webmaster at my university asking for any students that could do website design and whatnot.
    I got the email forwarded to me then emailed the potential client back.
    Get an email asking logical questions like, can I make a website for them and asking how much the costs involved.
    I give them a quote and the response is that they are looking for something in a lower range.
    So I email them back discussing the details of everything involved, apparently they never considered that so much work would be involved in such a project. Emailing me back asking if I can still do it for the lesser amount. (omg)
    So I rethink this idea over after chatting with one of the members of my Chamber of Commerce. Not knowing the company since it's new in town, I am told that this is probably something with potential, "but don't quote me on that" he says.
    So after considering that there may be the potential of further local clients and such, and that they will help promote me by word of mouth, I decide to go ahead and take the lower paying job just to help bring me and my abilities in to the light of potential customers in my community.
    Next thing I know they are having me do laborious jobs, like for example: I tore out some shelves in the new break room.
    Now that I completed this task, I started on their web design.

    The web design done and approved, it took 2 mouths to get paid, after I wouldn't do anymore work for them when I had never received any payments from them.
    Then they still have the nerve of emailing me wanting me to do more work.
    Then what I did was email them telling them about my disgust in their behavior, and asked what they believed would the real honest price they would pay me for doing the suggested "more work".

    Oh, and at the end of the email I sent, I had a nice little sig at the bottom with a link to their Church. Which I designed in full, at no charge of course.
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