A little rant

  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Today I've had it right up to the top of my head with customers. I had this meeting with a "marketing manager" who runs his own business and wants me to design web sites for him for his customers. Problem is he wants to manage the content himself and knows nothing of html. In fact, doesn't know anything of much really except he likes to edit his pictures using powerpoint... (this gives you some idea of the type of bloke I'm dealing with).

I spent hours with the guy trying to explain to him that there is no easy way for him to have great flexibility in managing the content on his website without involving some more cash. It's certainly not as easy as me teaching him either, it took me years to learn what I know now.

Bottom line is, it grates me so much why people bother to hire a web designer and then expect to edit it themselves without knowing any html at all!! I created him a great wordpress site which looks and feels like a website and not a blog and then I am showing him how to enter his content and he wants to change colours and fonts and font sizing. I try to explain to him that all that is managed in the CSS which drives the look of the site. He just doesn't get it!

Wahhhhh. They drive me crazy!!! It's not like asking a builder to build you a house and you will furnish it, it just doesn't work like that!

After a 3 1/2 hour meeting my brain is just mushy and gooey.

Do any of you other professional paid designers find this problem with your customers/clients? How do you deal with it when they want to manage their own content with no html knowledge?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • righteous_trespasser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have experienced this so many times, it's incredible. I always get the same question ... "So how will I edit this site afterwards?" ... simple answer, "you won't!", it causes complications ... and then my name looks like junk because you couldn't code properly ... So these days I just tell them, I don't give them access to edit any of the files ...

This sure irritates some people, but I really don't care ... I am busy with a site now (online clothing shop) for my one buddy, where he can add his own products, delete products etc, but that's it, it's a database that builds the site, so he doesn't need to know any coding ... but obviously this pushes up the price ...

bottom line is, I think all web-designers are faced with the same issue at the end of it all ...
  • Prime
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If you can't come to some sort of mutual understanding and agree a way forward then don't take the contract, it'll only end up in tears. I know it's very hard to turn down work/money but if you explain your reasons it may just make him think twice. He's probably concerned you're just trying to make work/money for yourself...
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I said to him if he wants edits just send them to me and I'll bill them over the course of time fairly. i dont see what the big deal is.

You wouldn't ask your electrician to come wire your house and then later move some points yourself. The electrician knows what he is doing.

That's entirely the reason. I've had to ask people to take my name off the bottom of sites because they tried to do stuff themselves on it and have stuffed up the code.

I need to have a big serious think about how I deal with this in future, at present there is nothing good I've found that allows them to manage content without stuffing things up.

I looked at Adobe Dreamweaver & Contribute but its clunky and expensive. Besides which I don't use Dreamweaver to code sites I use Eclipse.

Wahhhh.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Prime wrote:
If you can't come to some sort of mutual understanding and agree a way forward then don't take the contract, it'll only end up in tears. I know it's very hard to turn down work/money but if you explain your reasons it may just make him think twice. He's probably concerned you're just trying to make work/money for yourself...


I'm not so bothered with missing out on the work, but he has already thrown me a lot of hosting and domain business and now a heap of websites so I wanna try come to some middle ground. I just wish I could get him to understand making websites isn't like making a powerpoint presentation :roll:
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ha! Sorry to hear about this music. I've seen tons of these people before. I don't hold too much against them, though.

Some of my best friends have asked me to show them "How To Make A Website", or "How To Use Photoshop, Illustrator, etc". Apparently, some poeple think these are skills that can be acquired in an afternoon. :lol:
  • antonyx
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Post 3+ Months Ago

in all fairness these people don't know any better and giving the current state of the economony and the fact that they want to be 'business savvy' you should expect them to try and get 'more for less'

they presume that a 'web designer' will make them a perfect website that they can edit themselves and 'manage'.. lol

it is funny though, it has happened to me sooo many times. they are almost shocked when you tell them it will be A LOT extra for that privelage..

this will continue for many years im sure
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The best approach is a little forethought. Determine with the client if the site will be reasonably static for an extended period or if changes/alterations will be needed on a regular basis. If the latter give them a CMS and never worry about it again.
  • George L.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi Musik, having done some businesses before myself with other products and services. I know what it's like. You don't want to ruin the relationships over this long time, and it's hard to say no sometimes. If he's really pestering about it, i'd suggest that you sincerely and enthusiastically invite him to a place where you can teach him about HTML stuff by charging him for tuition fees. Be sincere about it, and offer him a free class or two. Run it as if you're running a website tuition and consultation separately. Take your job as two different types.

1. For web building
(customers just can't make anymore changes as they like after that. and ATNO mentioned as understanding future clients upfront.)

2. For web tuition
All questions, and changes, are welcome. Tutorials etc..etc.


The only downside is he might find it tedious, and will respect your profession more. He may start referring you more businesses because you're so passionate about it.

hope this helps.. :|
  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It took me roughly 2 hours to explain how a database works to a client once. I resorted to having him write a color, animal and in uppercase/lowercase on about 20 sticky notes and then proceeded to order them in the different ways that were possible. He finally grasped the concept.
  • SpooF
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm working on a webpage right now where the client wants to edit their content. Right now I'm just building a small CMS for them that allows them to edit some information stored in a database viva a WYSIWYG editor. All they really want to be able to do is edit prices and small things like that so its not a huge deal for me.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks everyone for your feedback you have some very good ideas.

I'm happy to hear it's not just me.

I'll offer him lessons although I know he wont take them, besides which the amount of lessons he would need would pay for updates to his customers sites! :lol:

Some customers who just want to change text we've created a small CMS as well but not with a WYSIWYG editor, I'll look into that today.

I've also raised my prices considerably, to eliminate the really low end customers who seem to be the ones giving me the grief. I'm also going to redo the advertising section of my site and include an FAQ to cover all the annoying things customers expect but they can't have cheaply but explain why.

I think I also need to grill them harder about what they want from the website and what their expectations are, put it on paper and have them sign it so when it comes to handover like it did yesterday, they can't back peddle and want to change things without some expectation of being charged for it.

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