Dot Com Mastermind
Dot Com Mastermind

I like talking with other freelance web designers from time to time, and way too often I see them committing the same mistakes over and over again.

In this article I’ll briefly share some of the most critical blunders web designers make with their customers (including client miscommunication before, during and after project delivery, deadline, payment, agreement, etc…)

First Mistake

There is no written contract or agreement of what’s being offered between the designer and his client.

No matter what, the designer should jot down things like, for example, how many mock-ups he provides, amendments to agreed mock-up, milestones, estimated time-frame for project completion, as well as the agreed price and payment rates (if applicable).

This avoids working twice for the same payout, and prevents any miscommunications.

Second Mistake

Not spending quality time with the client (e-mail, face to face, Skype/phone) and finding out sufficient information about what the customer wants and needs. That’s where my “Website Requirements Assessment” document comes into play. I use this file for each and every one of my clients to ensure nothing is forgotten and everything is understood from both parties.

It saves time, money, effort and frustration later down the road. It’s the second thing newbie designers and even veterans are overlooking.

Third Mistake

Not having a “Quality Assurance Process” testing or forgetting to fully check the site for bugs/errors before handing it to the customer.

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding weeks later that the website one has poured their soul into has security holes that could be exploited by hackers and harmful viruses. Double checking the final work before uploading it to the client’s server is required – or there’s a high risk of alienating that customer (and his referrals).

Bad news travels lightning fast online.

Fourth Mistake

Over promising and under delivering.

Some web designers promise to finish a site in 7 days or less, and almost always end up going past the deadline. It is better for them to give realistic deadlines, and surprise clients with fast delivery.

Small gestures bring big rewards.

Fifth Mistake

Trying to juggle multiple projects and clients at the same time; sadly, too many newbie web designers think that in order to make more money they have to get more clients. And end up with more tasks and commitments than they could handle.

When they do so, they cannot possibly extend the time to ensure each project gets done at a high quality level. And the end result is no surprise: frustrated clients complaining about their bad experience.

What web designers need to look for is to build a small circle of loyal customers and serve them regularly (weekly, monthly and yearly) – that’s why I focus on quality rather than quantity myself.

Sixth Mistake

Not making at least a master backup copy once the website is completed just in case the customer messes up everything in the CMS (Content Management System). This saves the web designer and his client time and avoids frustration.