Client Cancelled Project


I am a freelance website developer starting out posted a post in a facebook group advertising my website design for free website design and logo design where i outsource my design work to a online graphic and web design company callled since i am not much of a designer but a good strong developer…

today pebbled sent me some drafts after submitting my so-called free clients web design order request only to discover once the first drafts he started to ask questions on how long it takes to do 3 logos drafts

just out of curiousity how long does it take to do 3 logos how many hours if you do it part-time?

i told the client i do this part time he felt since the company i outsourced to did impress him

but he said if i did impress him he would of paid me upon completing the website since he was getting this done for free.

so in the end he cancelled the entire project but i did let him know if he was interested i could host his website for him if he got someone design it for him or if someone else did him his website for him.

he simply asked how long ive been doing this for and i simply told him straight up that i was doing it to build up my portfolio when he first asked whats the catch with the free website design package i had brought up.

so yea not sure what to do now maybe move on but i did offer to help him out to host his website for him save him from doing himself.

Has anyone had this happen before???.



Is the client under the impression you are doing the work yourself, or have you told him you are outsourcing it?

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i told him i was outsourcing the design work im not sure if thats a good thing to do what should i do in this situtation???

I think it is as well to be honest with clients.


OK, this is where I have my first problem. If you are outsourcing all your design work, then you can hardly advertise yourself as a design company, IMHO. I’m not exactly clear what part you are playing in this, but design doesn’t seem to come into it.

Are you paying your design company for their work on these “free” sites? How are you funding that? I can see that people would be very wary of such an “offer”.

A portfolio should showcase your work, so if the design has been done by a third party, you will need to ensure that is clear, so you don’t mislead potential customers.

Rather than advertising your services and offering free sites like this, I’d suggest that you approach local non-profit groups, churches, whatever - community groups that don’t have (and possibly can’t afford) a website, and offer your services there. Explain you want to build up your portfolio, which is why you are making the offer. I think people are more likely to understand in those circumstances, rather than your current “something for nothing” offer which sounds too good to be true, and therefore possibly very like a scam.


this company i am using pebbled they have a thing where you pay $90 aud for unlimited designs for both graphic n web yes design is not my strong suit however i am have a strong knowledge in programming.

he did ask me straight up as to whats the catch when we orginally spoke when he made first contact i simply told him i am a web designer starting out trying to building up my portflio only thing i ask in return is a testmonial for my portfolio.

i simply told him straight up that i was not a web design “company” however i was just a freelancer or a person who does website design so not sure why he assumed i was a company.

i ask pebbled to design the site layouts in photoshop then i take those designs and code them into html and css with the other stuff the client wanted for their website.

i showed him 3 logos that pebbled came up with 3 which he did not find impressive his exact response was “On first sight they don’t excite my mind or represent my vision for the the brand…the logo is my face.”

so what exact words do you tell a client or someone that the design part is done by a 3rd party without going down this route again?

I think this is your mistake:-

Can you see how these don’t sit well together?
If you are not a designer, don’t advertise yourself for design jobs. Recognise yourself for what you actually are and what you can do, then promote yourself as that.
So if you are a coder or web developer of whatever you wish to call yourself, you are just that.

Then what you do is create sites for people, and things like logos are not your business. I would expect most established businesses already have some form of corporate identity, like logo, corporate colours, fonts used in materials. If they don’t, well that’s someone else’s job. But I guess if they do want you to sort that as part of the deal, then I suppose you could then offer to outsource it for them. Though I think it’s best to stay out of what is not your forte.


how should i tell my so called client i am outsorcing that part i tell them saying After i get to the design say just say that ill send the details over to my designer or somthing that sort

how should i tell my so called client i am outsourcing the design work side of things.

As has already been said, you should have made that clear at the outset, but as it wasn’t, you just need to be clear and honest and explain it now.

Unfortunately, that is not going to solve his basic problem, which is that he doesn’t like the designs suggested. Working with a client to produce a design that they are happy with is something that you are going to have to do as a freelancer, so if your current outsourcing arrangement doesn’t allow for that, then you will need to rethink what you are doing.

i did offer to give him some more redesigns but he didnt take up on my offer.

Then write that off to experience, stop fretting about him and work out how you can improve your approach for the future.


so speaking of future.

when i get a client who wants a website design whats the best thing i should say? somthing on the lines of that i have a a team of designers who i outsource my design work to who assist me with my website design work.

somthing on the lines of that?

What you say is up to you, but you need to ensure your client is fully aware of which parts of the process you carry out, which parts you outsource, and who will be responsible for resolving any disagreements over design, etc.

Suppose I run a local florists shop and ask you to create a site for me. What happens next? How do you go about getting a design created which will fit my business? How much input do I have in the process? How many changes or adjustments to the suggested layout / colour scheme / whatever am I able to request until I’m happy with the design?

first my process would be these steps

  1. Find out their requirements
  2. Find out what other websites they like the design and look of
    2a Inform client that the design work will be outsourced to a 3rd party
    3 Discuss Deposit (50% of the value of the design they like)
    4 Send the requirements to the 3rd party
    5 Once the requirements return back from 3rd party show design to client to get them to ok
    5a If they ok it go to step six
    5b if not or any changes go back and repeat steps 4 to 5
    6 Start the web development process
    7 Upon Testnig/Making any changes required
    8 Collect final Payment from Client
    9 Setup Hosting account for client if they require it

That is my process seems straight forward does that seem ok?

i am assuming ill do 3 redesigns max for free till client is happy?

A couple of questions. (a) How do you establish the value of a particular design? (b) How can you base a deposit on the client’s chosen design when no design has been created? Are you saying you will only take a deposit once a design has been created and agreed on by the client?


I am not entirely sure on how to figure out how much a design would cost

i’d proabbly take a guess whats the best way to find out a value of a design for a deposit

should that also be collected prior to any work being started??

All these things are for you to decide; it’s your business. I’m just pointing out where I see the problems with your intended work flow.

It’s up to you whether or not you take a deposit, how much that deposit is and at what stage of the proceedings you require payment of the deposit. However, if you’re going to calculate the deposit based on the chosen design, then clearly you’ll need to get that far before asking for a deposit. So would you regard the design stage as a free consultation? If the client decides to walk away at that point, is there any charge for work already done?

If you are charging based on chosen design, then you need to work out exactly how to calculate the cost. Will it depend on how long you estimate it will take you to code the design? How will the number of pages in the site affect the cost?

These are all things you need to work out before you start advertising for paid clients.

I disagree with some of the advice you have received so far. I strongly recommend that you do not bring up that you outsource the design work, unless specifically asked for it. In that case, I would just answer that you have a good relationship with a design company that you work with to create a design that fit your clients requirements.

If we look at this from the customers side, they want to know they only have to deal with one entity (you) for the entire project. They do not want to deal with multiple sub contractors, trying to get their website pieced together. This means, that you take on the project, and it is your responsibility that any of the sub contractors you use deliver their part. If any of them does not deliver, it is your responsibility and you should own up to it and not blame the sub contractor (even if it is their fault). I.e. Your next step is apologize to the client, and then take the required steps to solve the situation.

It is also usually never a good idea to give away anything for free (other than the advice quoted below) as surprisingly enough a client that get something for free, expects the world (i.e. better product, better service etc.). Instead tell your potential client that you are running a new customer discount, and can do their website with a 50% (i.e. X percentage) discount. If they ask you why you offer this high discount, just explain that you are building up a new customer base.

Finally, make certain you sign a contract with the clients, and the contract should also state deliverable, both on your side and theirs. I.e. what they should pay and when, when will you deliver the initial design draft, when do they need to deliver their content text by (assuming you dont write it for them) etc.

This is very good advice for a good/efficient way to build your initial portfolio. In addition, if you cater for local customers, there is a high chance they are familiar with the organization etc. you have created a website for. Which means that you can already have a tiny relationship with them, assuming they like the work you did for the organization.


so the process in the thread is that that correct way of being doing reviewing clients needs find out the cost of a design then quoting the design to my client and doing draft before finalising that design for them to ok? just like i wrote in the forum post.