How to Prevent a Web Project Nightmare

On 13 Aug, 2011 By With 10 Comments

Working as a web and graphic designer in our small office, I can guess if a project will be a nightmare or not. By looking at their requirements and documentation (if they have one) you can tell what will be the outcome of the project, as an employee I have to implement all of them at least (or else I have to look for another job, lol).

So today I decided to share some tips if you ever encounter from what they call Clients from Hell. But I wouldn’t call them that, they are clients after all.They provide food on the table, feed your family (in exchange of our services). Let’s make money not war ok!

If you want to save more time in your development and prevent this from happening you can follow my advice, note that this is from my experience working with various Clients, and your situation may be different.

Read the Instructions, thoroughly

Read the instructions, thoroughly and try to understand it. If you have a questions ask, don’t try to solve them by yourself. It’s their website not yours, you’ll end up ruining the project and wasting more time. If the client can’t answer your questions, run! This project is going to be long and painful one.

End Goal

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What does your client trying to achieve? If you’re Client can’t answer this question, I assure you that they are picking the pieces as you move along. Ideas will pop up when you’re on the development stage, and you will receive an email / call about a minor changes that will become a major one that will end up a very long one.

What are the site features?

Ask the Clients what are the website’s features, list all of them and use your best judgment if it is possible according to the timeline. In this stage you will know how hard the project is going to be and how long it will take.


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After the instruction and site features had been given, don’t forget the deadline. Clients are always in a hurry, they want to get things done in an instant. And you can calculate how long the project will take depending on the features and design. If the client wanted to rush the project, ask for an additional charge. It will consume all of your time after all.

Who are involved?

This is important, I think. Make sure that you are talking to the same person when you’re starting the project and when you’re about to finish it. Some Clients will involve certain people with different ideas that will take the project longer than expected; the bad news is you can’t ask for the additional charge (unless you include that in the contract). Do some brainstorming with the Client before you start to work, and list possible one.

Always have a contract

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Before you work on a project, always have a contract and ask for a down payment. If they refuse to sign, drop the client. You should protect your business, always. Make sure that the client know every additional changes is going to affect the project deadline, make sure that you have declared this in the contract too.


Working with different kind of clients is not a bad thing; we just need to know how to choose and when to turn down a project so we can enjoy our work and have a lesser headache. You can talk to the client and explain to them why this and that, and sometimes they do listen. Part of our job is to educate the client in what we do and how we can help them.

What do you do when you encounter a client like this? Do you continue to work with them or just drop the project?

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