help required

  monkon2 22:31 02 Jan 2004

i have been dabbling with websites for a little while now but until now they have all been for friends and have not required payment. However, i have recently been approached to build a site for a local company who have requested samples to be sent to them for there approval. As i dont want them to screw me out of money, how can I:

A: prevent them from altering my work?
B: Can i incorporate a small app or something similar which will disable the site after a certain amount of timke unless authorised?

the sample will consist of one page with limited links

any help would be appreciated

cheers in advance

  Taran 09:54 03 Jan 2004

Send your page layouts as high resolution bitmap or jpeg images on CD ROM, or take them in that form on a laptop for them to view. All they can do then is print them out.

I often demonstrate site layouts using this method and ,depending on the image format you choose, you can inlcude hotspots on the file to show where hyperlinks would be to other pages.

If you do arrange to visit them there is nothing stopping you from demonstrating complete sites to them from a laptop. It will be your site(s) on your PC and because of that they won't be in a position to swipe the pages.

Good luck with it.



  monkon2 13:35 03 Jan 2004

i like the hotspot idea, which program can i do that in? i have macromedia studio and frontpage, would either of these accomplish this?

Also , what can i do about putting a password on the site? i want to be able to prevent them using it after 30 days if they dont pay.

Thanks for the advice,

  Taran 17:54 03 Jan 2004

The password idea is, if you'll forgive me, not a good one by any stretch of the imagination.

I'm not going to go off on one about trading methods and how to do business but I arrange paperwork with clients once they choose me for a project which obligates them to pay on approved completion. Since I also involve the client during design time by trialling the site on a test server and allowing them to see it take shape, I've yet to encounter a difficult situation regarding payment. Sooner or later you will have to trust that your work will be valued for what it is and if you get into this in a big way you will need to draw up various proposal, acceptance and similar forms, but that is a long way off.

If you have Macromedia Studio then you have Fireworks. You can add hotspots in Fireworks to be used as hyperlinks. In fact, you can design all of your site graphics, roll over buttons, banners, backgrounds and drop down menus in Fireworks and export straight into Dreamweaver. Don't concentrate on this too much though. People want to see layouts and they will want to see functional sites. You can either give them the URL of sites you have made to date as examples or show your sites or hogh resolution stills of them and if you have a laptop you can demonstrate your skills to them face to face.

To deliver the site you will normally have to upload and publish it to your clients web space on their web host account, so they are actually trusting you possibly far more than you are trusting them since you will need their access username and password for their server space. Think about it.

I can understand how you want to protect yourself and your work, but anyone can import the majority of site designs using most mainstream web editors so you can be as careful as you like and it doesn't stop someone firing up FrontPage or Dreamweaver and importing your latest creation, changing a few cosmetics and the page content and claiming it as their own. It goes on all the time and there isn't much you can do about it.

You'll have to stick your neck out sooner or later, but I've yet to have someone try to get out of paying me for a job well done. From what I've heard from other desigers I know and have worked with it doesn't tend to happen very often but when it does, unsatisfactory work seems to be the root cause. Keep in mind that if you agreed on X, Y, Z and you deliver A, B and C without asking your client for approval you are asking for trouble. If you are straight, more often than not your client will respond in a like manner.


  Forum Editor 18:41 03 Jan 2004

for quite a few years, and in all that time I've only had one problem over payment. When that happened I simply took the site offline, and told the client it would go back when I received my money. A cheque arrived by courier two hours later.

Taran's right - if you do a good job you'll be paid, and if you make sure you provide the clients with a simple statement of your terms and conditions when you write to them with your quotation for the job (you are doing that aren't you?), you should have nothing to worry about.

  monkon2 18:53 03 Jan 2004

all these points are very valid, its just that im not a professional and im a bit wary of geting stung. It will be my first venture into 'paid' web design and its a bit unnerving!!!!!

thanks for the advice, ill post a link to get your opinion when its done


  Forum Editor 01:04 04 Jan 2004

is quite understandable, but I'm sure all will be well. Concentrate on designing that site - I'll look forward to seeing it when it's online.

Be careful about posting a link to the site when it's still in development by the way - there are some complex confidentiality pitfalls associated with this, and your client company may not fancy seeing their business in its underwear, so to speak.

  monkon2 02:00 04 Jan 2004

point taken, ill just post the layout , u should get the idea!!!!!!!!!!!!

thanks again

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