Sorry, but someone from the Indian Website Design community had to write this.
I have come to a conclusion that I will have to change my pricing page after working with a couple of clients in the recent past.
Here is something that a client must know about websites and website design:
Did You Order Custom Website Design Package?
When a website designer has given you a quote for designing the website then that is just the quote for designing the website. PERIOD. This does not mean the web designer will work for you for a period of 3-6 months finishing your website according to your timing, convenience and liking until you are 100% satisfied (unless of course the website designer has told you that he will finish your site in 3-6 months and will work until you are 100% satisfied).
Pretty weird right this coming from a website designer? After all that is the whole purpose of getting a website designed from a professional right? So that the website designer can design the website for you which looks classy and professional and is made as per the customer’s liking.
But you must understand that when the website designer has charged you for a website design package and if he is not billing you on an hourly basis you cannot take advantage of this; there are times when what a client has in mind and what the designer is delivering does not match. You cannot make the designer work for months trying to achieve what you have in mind or what you wish to create. Surely you can go for this if you have ordered custom designing where the designer will charge you per hour and not give you a one time cost for website design. Also if you are working with an experienced website designer you have to trust his instincts. Let the website designer do his job; that is why you are paying him to create a website for you. If you have to tell the website designer each and every thing like how the colour of the page should be or which fonts to be used and which stock images to pick then you should not be hiring such a designer in the first place. Obviously there are people who like to have things their way, why change their way when it comes to website design? In such a case they can mention their preference in advance before the project has started; example use boxed type design or only use these particular fonts, etc. There is an image that come to mind when this point is discussed – I cannot copy that image because of copyrights issue but it goes something like this:
I design and develop everything for you – Cost: 1000 Rs
I design and you watch – Cost: 2000 Rs
I design and you advise – Cost: 5000 Rs
I design and you help – Cost: 10,000 Rs
You get the point.
Be Clear What You Want
If you have 10 people in your company and after the designer has designed a page for you please make sure you don’t run that page through all 10 people in your organization and then get their views and thoughts for the page designed so that you can pass it on to the website designer. 10 people will never have the same look in mind when it comes to getting the end product of a website design. Some might like it elegant, some want classy, some want flashy and some want to have a completely unique look whose theme will not match any of the other people in the organization. The designer cannot keep working to satisfy each and every member of the organization.
This stands true for 2 people organization as well:
A junior (let’s name him “A”) will coordinate with the website developer and the website designer/developer will work on the website and get the website done. “A” will now tell the designer to do certain changes in the site, example text content changes, image changes, font or colour changes and the developer will do what was asked for and finally gets the website finished; so now he can handover the admin to the company and get the final payment; but NO – “A” will first go to his senior (let’s name him “B”) after the website is developed to show the end product and also get the payment approved so that payment can be made to the developer. “B” will come up with certain suggestions of his own – after all he is the senior (or the boss) and needs to have a say.
Some typical suggestions would be like why is the colour not matching or why is this image here instead of there? Why is this page not added to the website and this xyz page should not be there on the website. These can be major or minor changes but you understand the designer’s nightmare here ya? The designer gave you a quote for website design and will design the website for you (a designer who has loads of experience and a designer who is not designing his first website) – but this happens, and the changes must be done right? So the website designer does changes according to this person “A” & “B” so he finally gets his payment and moves to the next project; The changes he has to do which could have been avoided if the client would have given clear instructions in the first place, the changes which probably make the site not as good looking as it did when the designer first delivered it – But you got to do what the clients asks you to do right?
Surely some website design agencies in Mumbai or other places would go ahead coolly with this but hand over a bill with additional charges attached to it; some people however do not work like that.
Either you tell the client in advance that this is the amount you are going to charge them or you tell them this is the amount you are going to charge them PLUS extra for whatever the extra work is. No surprises for the client!
Work Within The Time Frame
Please do not start your project just because you MUST HAVE a website. Start when you are ready to have a website. Do not start a project until and unless you have the entire content ready for the project. Do not give the content for the ‘about us’ page on Monday and then deliver the services and portfolio page details a week after that. Then finish your business travels, your important meetings and then come back and give new content for the ‘about us’ page along with changes to the homepage and portfolio page a week after that. A website designer has given time for your project – he is not working on an hourly basis so that does not mean you can drag him for months just to have your website designed because you had other things to do; please note that a website designer might have had to cancel his personal and business plans all because he has to deliver your website.
Do You Want A Clone Of Your Competitor’s Website?
Do you just wish to copy paste your competition? Are you obsessed with your competitor’s website? Whatever the case is, the website designer should know that in advance. Halfway down the project don’t tell the website designer to just copy or make a webpage just like the one on your competitor’s website. Please note that there could be copyrights issues when you pick stuff up from another website and as far as website is concerned that very look might not be feasible because all your other pages along with the homepage have a different look and feel and the page you want copied has a different look and feel. Please don’t ask the designer then to change the entire website along with other pages so that they match the look and style of the new page you have just copied and created. Please go ahead and do this only when you have ordered custom designing package or when you are under pay-per-hour.
Most of the Indian companies who hire website designers call a website designer for a meeting mainly to see what work the website designer has done – I am sorry but the website designer is not carrying portfolio images in his bag to show you that. All work that is done by website designer can be seen online. Ask the website to share the work he has done via email. He can share screenshots or send you links of the websites he has created so that you can take a look at his work; a meeting to see those links in person is not a necessity. Another reason why a client or a potential client calls a website developer for a meeting is to see what all he can do for the client.
The below is what I as a website creator can do for you:
• Static website design
• CMS based website design
• Website development and coding
• Website hosting
• SSL certificate integration
• Professional email ids
• Ecommerce integration
• Installing plugins like chat application, event bookings, Google analytics etc.
See how you could know about what all I provide and what all I could do for you and we did not even had do a meeting for this?
This is what I provide. Another website creator might provide something else, a third website designer might provide much more… Ask him and he will inform you all details by phone or email.
Over the years what I have understood is that the main reason why any potential client in India would want a meeting before starting a project is “trust”. They just want to know the person whom they are gonna work with is trustworthy and reliable?
What if he runs away with the money?
There is a certain level of comfort working with someone once you have met them. I never realized this, having worked half of my career for international companies where a meeting was out of the question. If trust is the issue here then there are many ways you can comfort yourself. Check the reviews for the web designer online. Are there many bad reviews for the website developer? Cancel that developer from your list.
Trust your instincts to analyse this. Would you cancel out a candidate just based on numbers?
Who would you choose?:
A web designer who has been in business 20 years but has 2-3 bad reviews or a web designer who has only 1 bad review but has been in the business of website designing for less than a year.
Also you can check the reputation of the website designer by seeing how many years he has been in the business. Surely a website designer who has been in the business of website designing for more than 10-15 years would not have waited so many years just so that he could take advance money from you and run away to a foreign land.
So what is the solution to all this?
Are you saying I just have to take whatever the designer throws at me? This is bullshit!
- Before you start the project, take a look at the previous work done by the designer. Is it up to the mark? If yes, then you can hire him, give him the work and trust his instincts while he delivers a website for you. Surely you can give your feedback and suggestion during the process.
- If you want to have major say in the website being created then go for custom website designing where the web designer/developer will charge you an amount + pay per hour model and design the complete thing according to your needs and liking.
“If I do a job in 30 minutes, it’s because I spent 10 years or more learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.”