Confessions of a Freelance Web Designer

I’ve found, on a daily basis, that many people have misconceptions, or are totally ignorant about, the process of getting a web site designed. Many of you know what I’m talking about and the rest of you are probably still in the dark. For those of you who already know what I mean, we should get together and write a book someday. The rest of you, keep reading; I have some confessions that may help you on your next web design project.

Web design is harder than you think.

I don’t just move pretty pictures around in Photoshop Fireworks β€” there’s a lot of thought, consideration, and a certain amount of instinct involved in everything I do.

I’ll spend more hours on your project than you think.

The outcome of your final project is a reflection of myself β€” I’ll need to make sure it’s up to my own standards in addition to yours.

When you say you want a “basic” website, I don’t believe you.

You want a few pages of content that doesn’t change over time? That’s basic.

I do not, in any form or circumstance or by any amount of persuasion, want to be a business partner in your venture.

You might want to try going to people who have money and are willing to invest in your business, I’m not a venture capitalist.

If you’re a first time customer, I’m not interested in discounting my quote because you promise to give me more projects in the future.

But if you are a repeat customer, you will definitely get discount anyway.

I truly believe the content you incorporate on your site is more important than any “fantastic” design I create.

You worry about the content, let me worry about the design; with some minor crossover of course.

If I get input on your content, you get input on design.

I don’t want to be your copy writer and I don’t want to be your Human Photoshop Brush β€” the project will just flow smoother if we’re both a little flexible.

No, I will not design your logo for $50.

Your logo will often be the first piece of communication between your business and a potential customer. Why wouldn’t you want to invest appropriately in that?

I have, on occasion, wanted to fire a client.

Many reasons for this, some of which I have already listed here.

Still not sure if this post was a good idea or not.

I think many people, especially non-techie [ultra-] small business startups, really have no experience in web design projects or really any kind of design project and kinda make it up as they go along. Patience is key in these situations. I’ve found that even the most inexperienced clients are willing to learn from and listen to you if you can empathize with them.

As a client or a designer, what confessions do you have?