Every web developer worth his salt knows that a web development project might entail more pitfalls than are apparent at the beginning. Whether it’s during the development process or the during the crucial maintenance period afterwards, you never know when there might be a hiccup.
Acquaint yourself with these problems, and you can spend more time doing the work you love, and less time having that uncomfortable discussion between you and your client/developer as the contract progresses.
Here are just a few pitfalls to look out for and how you can go about solving them on both sides.
1. Nobody Knows the True Cost of the Project in the First Place
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to put an exact price on a web project at the very beginning. The truth is, clients have little idea of what they want, and even less knowledge of the detail work that goes into bringing those ideas to life on a website.
Solution: Agree on a budget up front. Developers can tell if a budget is reasonable for the demands presented. As a developer, you want to set your minimum price to be at least 15% lower than the highest price which the client is willing to pay. That way, there is enough leeway to deal with any additional requirements.
2. Requirements Are Often Sketchy
A client that is specific about what they want their website to look like is a developer’s best friend. They are also as rare as blue moons. More often than not, developers have to be prepared to deal with changing demands as the client’s idea about their business product evolves.
Solution: Requirements are overrated. Instead of harping about them, developers would be much better served asking for the basic concept of the site design. These basic concepts hardly change—it’s tiny design components that get altered, and these can be discussed and deliberated upon during the process of development.
3. Requirements Can Get in the Way of a Better Solution
As an experienced developer, it’s not uncommon to realise midway through a project that you have a better solution to the client’s problem than the one which the client suggested. Often, implementing these will mean completely undoing previous requirements given by the client.
Solution: Avoid hard and fast requirements in the beginning. What’s more important is having a clear idea of what the client’s goals are, and ranking them according to priority. The small details can be worked out during the development process.
4. You’re More Likely than Not to Miss the Launch Date
There are so many variables involved in building and launching a websites. The odds are stacked against you meeting the deadline agreed with the client. Some of this can be blamed on the changing demands of the client, but most of it can be blamed squarely on the fact that in order to keep your web development business afloat, you have to deal with the demands of multiple clients at the same time!
Solution: We get it: juggling multiple clients is a part of doing business, and a testament to your prowess at web building. But if you don’t want to leave your clients with a bad taste in the mouth and a website they no longer have much passion for because you spent a year making it, you are gonna have to use some tact, so that the process maintains its pizzazz.
Set up a basic website that can cater to your client’s needs for the time being while you work on the masterpiece that they actually requested for. This even sets up a nice feedback loop involving preferences that can only add to the development process going forward.
5. Launching the Website Is Just the Beginning
A website is just the beginning. There is always need for adjustments going forward. But not many clients realize this truth until their website is up and running, and already in need of upgrades. When reality dawns, many of them turn to other developers to start all over, only to end up right where they started.
Solution: Educate the client on the truth that launch day is just another day, an important one no doubt, but just one in a series of many that constitute the lifetime of their site. Throughout the lifetime of their website, there will be a continuous need to address issues that crop up.
The internet is much tougher neighborhood to live in than most clients are yet to realize. There are always hackers up to no go trying to spread spam, plant viruses, or steal private information through their beloved websites.
Solution: Managing your own server is the best way to provide simple, yet effective solutions to every security concern that comes with setting up and running a website.
7. Another Upgrade?
The source codes behind content management systems are always been upgraded. Sometimes old versions are completely thrust aside in favor of newer versions. The need for upgrades during the lifetime of your website in order to stay abreast of this constant move forwards is one that cannot be ignored.
Solution: If they haven’t already signed an ongoing support contract with their developer, clients should be ready to outsource the maintenance of their websites to companies that specialize in this type of work. Due to their expertise, these companies are able to make the upgrade process as non-intrusive and effective as possible. They can also deal with cases where a site experiences problems after an upgrade.
8. That Costs Way Too Much Up Front!
Launching and maintaining a website is a major project! And the cost is likely to reflect this fact.
Solution: Rather than allowing the client to balk at the price, work out a solution that involves a low cost standard configuration and spreading the cost of maintenance and support over time. This is a win-win: the client gets their website and corresponding support, while you get ongoing business.
Contact Eternity today to begin discussing your new website project.