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Seriously Bad Web Design Clients

Kayla Baxter | ArtBistro

Tips from our community:

The first step is to spend the time to craft a very good description of the process. I’m not a big fan of contracts (as most of us little guys can’t afford legal action, anyway) but even an email detailing the process, explaining what is and is not included, when the design is considered final and that changes will cost extra. I draw that design line after the graphic proofs, and will not move into code until the client has specifically signed off on the design – in writing.

In fact, that is also a tip – get it in writing, and then memorize the following statement: Of course, I can do that. But it will cost you $xx extra. Get half payment up front and don’t let the clients get too far ahead of you in overruns. When your client owes you enough money that it can hurt you if you don’t get it, they have control.

The best single piece of advice I can offer is that there is a direct, inverse relationship between the amount you charge and the trouble you have with a client. Discount your services, and you will attract the worst clients on this planet. Get good enough to get your rates up, and you will be working with wonderful clients who understand and respect that they are working with professionals. (The “getting good enough” is an important part of that statement. You have to be worth it, because good clients also see through incompetence.)

-Wendy Peck: Proud to have made my living from web design since 1997, and raised three kids on that income.

Find Wendy’s work at and her new publishing venture at Peck Press.

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