Web Design Contract Help

January 19, 2015 at 11:49:38
Specs: Windows 7 x64, 2.66 GHZ / 4GB Ram
I'm a freelance web designer. I recently did a site for a client. I didn't use a contract because he was paying me. It was complete hell. He didn't really know what he wanted and kept sending me updates/edits one after another, one by one, and flooding my email inbox. And of course there was no deadline. I did raise the price, but I definitely worked more then I should have. Now he wants another website, but if it's anything like his last site, I don't know if it's worth it. He always wanted to see the site before everything was done. And would complain if the edits/updates weren't completed quickly. So can someone help me with a contract so I don't go crazy. Any input would be helpful. Thanks.

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January 19, 2015 at 12:46:48

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January 19, 2015 at 13:53:13
I agree that you need a proper contract after your experience. Most freelance people that I have worked with charge by the hour rather than per job. You might like to consider this; that way indecision by the client actually works in your favour! It does mean that you need to keep a careful record of the time you spend on each project.

Despite his complaints, the guy must think that you did a good job else he wouldn't be looking to you for a second site. Turn this to your advantage by putting the job on a more firmly controlled basis.

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January 19, 2015 at 14:35:15
He has told me that he loves the site that I created for him. But it's the fact that he is a crazy person and I don't want to be spending too much time on his site. Maybe an hourly rate would work out better for me in the long run. Is there something I can use to prove to my client that I'm actually working? Also there are times when I'm done with his current edits and I'm waiting for a responce to something. I don't know how that would factor into an hourly rate. Also a lot of his updates/edits had spelling errors, which made me angry because spell check is not my job. Same thing with image editing/cropting, it's not my job.

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January 19, 2015 at 15:16:10
If you are paying a freelancer an hourly rate then you have to trust that they are spending the hours they say they are on the job. It's easier if you use people a lot as you then have a fair idea of how long a job should take. (I realize that your problem is the other way round - if the guy isn't happy to work on that basis then you'll have to charge per job, but make it very clear in advance exactly what that covers.) As for the time when you are waiting for a response, you can't charge for that. Presumably you have other calls on your time so you can be getting on with something else whilst waiting.

Get him to sign off on the basic design before you actually do the work to turn it into a working web site and make it clear that any alterations to that agreed specification will have to be charged as extra work. Again, if he wants you to do spellchecking and image cropping the you charge extra to cover that.

You have the advantage in that the guy loves your work, so you can apply a few more controls this time. In the end, if he's going to be too difficult then it's probably less hassle to walk away from it and get another job elsewhere.

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January 19, 2015 at 20:27:59
Thanks for all the help. I appreciate it. So I should tell him I'm going to use a contract this time and that he needs an basic idea/design and most of the content ready before I give him a quote. I'll also include extra fees for image editing and spell checking.

Giving a quote was hard for the first site. Mainly because he didn't know what he wanted, so it was hard for me to quote, which is why I had to increase the price as more and more edits came in. Which is most likely still going to be a problem. So how do I quote a site for a client that doesn't exactly know what he wants? Thanks.

message edited by xxkmanxx

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January 23, 2015 at 05:34:01
My first quote for a new website is $100.00 for the first basic static page with customer supplying text and images and $50.00 for each additional page that uses the exact same layout. Any thing beyond that I charge an hourly rate.

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