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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Question Website Footers - Associate or not?

    So I'm wondering, should you include the usual statements below in your client's website footer:
    • Site compiled by:
    • Site created by:
    • Site designed by:

    I've seen it on many websites - their claim to fame if you like. I can understand why web designers/developers choose to include their company and association with each client project in the footer but is it good practice to do so?

    What happens if say a client no longer wishes to pursue with monthly maintenance subscription fees and chooses to "update" the website themselves? What happens when inevitably they make a mess out of it and you're name is still pride of place in the footer! This can't be a good move for your reputation?

    Is it better to associate your projects within your portfolio only and perhaps incorporate some client testimonials on your website instead? Maybe there are some other benefits to the footer option that I'm not seeing?

    All thoughts and advice are most welcome and appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Hazel

  2. #2
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    It used to be common place to credit yourself in the footer. Then it was all about SEO and inbound links.

    But one thing has been consistently true - the more money a client spends on their website, the less interested they are in having the web developer credited on the bottom of the page.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    I stopped doing it a long time ago. I just looked at it from the client's POV - after getting paid a handsome sum for developing the site, I think it's pretty cheeky to then stick an advert for yourself on it.

    Seems to be one of those things many web developers seem to take for granted, even putting it as a requirement in their contracts. Ridiculous when you think about it. What benefit does it serve the client? I can't believe so many clients go for it - I know I wouldn't!

  4. #4
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I agree, I never allow a credit on the site.
    I also see it as a sign of a less established designer when they ask.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot TexasBob's Avatar
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    I dunno. My car has the makers logo on the trunk...

    We do a set of industry specific websites, and actually do get a little business from having a design credit on the site.

    I think it is tacky. Heck, I tape over the brand names and logos on my musical instruments and don't wear clothes with name brands if I can avoid it.

    But I can't really tell my boss that we need to stop, as it is his $$$.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    *looks at the bottom of the forums* ahuh.

    When your competition has their logos on everyone of the websites they design/developed and you don't have any. Who's name is going to be more recognised in your city?

    I like the fact that people do it, it helps me know who the professional designers/developers are and who aren't.

    I'm a sub-contractor so I never do it - the end client doesn't even know who I am most of the time and that suits me fine. Not a fan of the spot light but for those that are, let them have it.
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  7. #7
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetNerd85 View Post
    *looks at the bottom of the forums* ahuh.

    When your competition has their logos on everyone of the websites they design/developed and you don't have any. Who's name is going to be more recognised in your city?

    I like the fact that people do it, it helps me know who the professional designers/developers are and who aren't.

    I'm a sub-contractor so I never do it - the end client doesn't even know who I am most of the time and that suits me fine. Not a fan of the spot light but for those that are, let them have it.
    At the bottom of this forum Sitepoint credits themselves, so I'm not sure what your point is.

    But if you think that on-page site credits equate to professionalism, think again. Think of the top 1000 sites in the world and see how many designers are credited on the page - very few. The true pros are professional enough not to need the credit.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot TexasBob's Avatar
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    "But if you think that on-page site credits equate to professionalism, think again."

    I didn't think that was what was said. I thought the point was you can get a feel for what kind of work people do when there is a credit and make your own judgement about who is capable of what kind of work.

    I look at a lot of design credits, and I have an okay idea of who does what in my area. I like knowing.

    As far as I can see, you are right that the really good stuff isn't necessarily tagged. However, in really great design the design itself is the signature.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    But if you think that on-page site credits equate to professionalism, think again. Think of the top 1000 sites in the world and see how many designers are credited on the page - very few. The true pros are professional enough not to need the credit.
    Glad to see TexasBob got my point.

    If you like a website, wouldn't you like to know who developed it?

    If you are applying for a job it's great to know what websites the company did before you apply.
    a new day, a new beginning
    never follow the crowd, the crowd is poor!

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetNerd85 View Post
    If you like a website, wouldn't you like to know who developed it?
    If you are applying for a job it's great to know what websites the company did before you apply.
    Yes, but all these things are about the benefits for other people (mainly the web developer), and none whatsoever are benefits for the actual client who paid for the web site.

    What are the benefits to the company whose web site it is?

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    Yes, but all these things are about the benefits for other people (mainly the web developer), and none whatsoever are benefits for the actual client who paid for the web site.

    What are the benefits to the company whose web site it is?
    What's the benefit of having Coke's label on the bottle? BMW's symbol on the front of the car? Brand names are everywhere on the products and the services you purchase. There is a local company that I buy books from, they put their sticker in the front page of the book.

    The benefit to the customer is that you know who made the thing - you haven't had a person call you up thinking that you did their website when you really didn't? Most people aren't that stupid though

    If the client doesn't want it on the website they will let you know. Have you asked the client if they mind? Some don't mind at all - they are more than happy to promote your business because you did a great job - didn't you?

    Brand baby. Go find me a product without a logo or the words "Made in".
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetNerd85 View Post
    What's the benefit of having Coke's label on the bottle?...Brand names are everywhere on the products and the services you purchase.
    I understand the concept of 'brand'. But how is this relevant to the question I asked in your quote? I asked how putting an ad to your site on your client's web site is in any way beneficial to your client? Clearly it's beneficial to you, but how is it beneficial to the client/customer? Why should the customer care about the value of YOUR brand?

    Plus, a bottle of coke is made by coke. It's their bottle, so of course they will put their own branding on it. Your client paid for their web site, and will look forward to promoting their own brand on it.

    IMO, it doesn't matter what a great job you did, that's irrelevant. The client can give you wonderful testimonials and case study fodder for your portfolio, or offer to give you glowing personal references if they like your work so much, or even go out of their way to refer other people to you. Hell they may even hire you again - that's normally the way people show their gratitude for great work. I just don't see how it became acceptable for developers to get these self-serving links in the first place, it seems very odd when you actually think about it from a client's POV, no matter how great they think you are.

    Even the act of politely asking for that accreditation seems pretty cheeky to me, not unless you're offering a genuine discount on your fees in exchange for it

    'If we knock 25% off our quote, would you allow us to place an ad for our site at the bottom of each page on your site?'.

    Now that looks like a real benefit for your client.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetNerd85 View Post
    What's the benefit of having Coke's label on the bottle? BMW's symbol on the front of the car?
    Do you think that either of these companies designed their labels or logos in-house? I would suggest they were done by external design agencies, and that is the correct analogy to use here. Would said design agency put their name/details on the coke bottle label?

  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormrider View Post
    Do you think that either of these companies designed their labels or logos in-house? I would suggest they were done by external design agencies, and that is the correct analogy to use here. Would said design agency put their name/details on the coke bottle label?
    Good point but if you own the server and the software the website is running on, what then? If you do own the design too, what then? It depends. I guess that is why some websites have footer links and others don't.

    View the source. Hrmmm, Generated by which CMS? I always look for the "generated by" meta tag.

    There is NOTHING wrong with putting a link to your company in the footer of a client's website.

    No one has given a good reason why it is a bad thing? if you want a discussion look at both sides.

    Benefit to the client? they get a nice professional website, what more could they asked for? SEO? I don't know, ask a Marketing Business Guru of a forum...
    a new day, a new beginning
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetNerd85 View Post
    No one has given a good reason why it is a bad thing? if you want a discussion look at both sides.
    It's a bad idea if the client says it's a bad idea. For whatever reason they decide, they are the one footing the bill; end of story. At that point, you'd better come up with some pretty good reasons why you think it's a good idea for your link to be there, and those benefits best be for the client, not for you

  16. #16
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    When I see a website I like a lot, I usually look at the bottom to see who made it and then check out their other work. So I'm glad they do it. The question has come up about how it helps the website owner, but don't forget about the site visitors, who are more important again. Some of them will be interested.

    I occasionally see a car I really like, and very occasionally there is no logo on it, which is very annoying, because then it's harder to find out more about it. And it drives me crazy when DJs won't tell you who sang that song you really liked on the radio.

  17. #17
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    A small, subtle credit to the designer, along with other boilerplate in the footer, is not going to be intrusive or distracting, or take away from the aesthetics of the website. Unless it's an arty site where there is no footer on some/all pages, I don't see any objection to having a link to the designers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Think of the top 1000 sites in the world and see how many designers are credited on the page - very few. The true pros are professional enough not to need the credit.
    I suspect that many of those sites will have been designed in-house rather than using external contractors, so there's no need to credit them.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Wow ok I'm even more confused than ever!

    When I see a website I like I also look to the footer to see who's designed it. I've never found a website I liked that hasn't had a credit link to the developer. If it was a case where there was no credit link stated I would approach the domain owner to find out though. I think if you are really impressed with someone's work you will go that extra bit to find out who did it! I can't imagine that a credit link would yield much business anyway, your work should speak for itself.

    After reading all the feedback thus far I think I'm more inclined to go the route of perhaps including a credit within the source code only. This seems far less obtrusive and I don't think I'd be comfortable with using the client for my own marketing purposes. It seems a bit unethical and unprofessional to me. The more I think about it, you're paid a substantial amount to do a job, you deliver what you're expected to produce and that's it. You can't piggyback on their website forever - it's just taking liberties really!

  19. #19
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    It seems a bit unethical and unprofessional to me. The more I think about it, you're paid a substantial amount to do a job, you deliver what you're expected to produce and that's it. You can't piggyback on their website forever - it's just taking liberties really!
    How can it be unethical if you ask? most places ask to put it on the footer... of course if you force the customer to have it in the footer that's wrong but if you ask?
    a new day, a new beginning
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  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy
    I can't imagine that a credit link would yield much business anyway, your work should speak for itself.
    ...but how can it speak when nobody finds you?
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rguy84 View Post
    ...but how can it speak when nobody finds you?
    Are you being serious?

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetNerd85 View Post
    How can it be unethical if you ask? most places ask to put it on the footer... of course if you force the customer to have it in the footer that's wrong but if you ask?
    Reading the opinions expressed so far, I guess it's more of a personal decision really for everyone. Even if it were the case, that the client suggested that I should include a credit link on their site, I don't think I would go for it. I would prefer to include a testimonial and perhaps add the project to my portfolio instead. It's unethical to me in terms of it not being the right thing to do for me, morally I guess. There's a time and place for everything and the credit link would seem inappropriate to me.

    I agree with you though that it should not be forced on the customer but doing a bit of research on the web I've noticed that alot of web developers actually stipulate in their contract that it is mandatory that they have their credit link on the website and in some cases indefinitely!

    Quote Originally Posted by rguy84 View Post
    ...but how can it speak when nobody finds you?
    Well...I meant in terms of your work, your professionalism - that will speak for you. If you're good, people will find you and know of your work one way or the other. Good old fashioned word of mouth always works wonders

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    Are you being serious?
    in some sense yes. If your work does not have a tag line, and the client doesnt reply to e-mail much, how will anybody find you?
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  24. #24
    I solve practical problems. bronze trophy
    Michael Morris's Avatar
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    I nest an x-header so that I can pull that up during an interview and prove that yes, it was my work - but it in no way affects the design of the site.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by rguy84 View Post
    If your work does not have a tag line, and the client doesnt reply to e-mail much, how will anybody find you?
    You market your business like any other business does - SEO, SEM, word of mouth, direct marketing, traditional advertising (magazines, yellow pages etc), promotional events, the list goes on. There are a million ways to advertise your business - unless I've completely misunderstood you, are you seriously suggesting that if a web developer doesn't get a link on his client's web site, no one will find him?


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