Developing a website according to a client's preferences is not always an easy task, especially when you're dealing with a particularly picky or ambitious client. It is understandable that companies want the best for their website, and while professionalism is always a chief concern, aesthetic appeal is usually a matter of personal preference, so what looks great to you might not be exactly what the client is looking for. With that said, let's examine a few ways you can minimize hassle and avoid problems when designing a website for a client:
1. Set Clearly Defined Goals and Preferences
The first thing you should do to avoid any unnecessary confusion is to establish a clear set of goals and preferences regarding what the client is trying to accomplish with their site and how they want it to look. Making sure you're on the same page from the start is the best way to prevent the need for excessive revisions and head straight toward satisfactory results. A good way to get an idea of what you're client is going for is to present a few different successful websites in their niche and ask them which one they want their site to look like the most. In summary, it's always best to take the appropriate preparations before beginning a web design project.
2. Make Sure Your Equipment and Presentation are Up to Par
There have been many times where a client will turn back on a deal and decide to go with a different web developer because of the use of substandard equipment or components. Businesses especially want to see that their website is in capable hands, and one of the first red flags that might tell them it is not would be problems with equipment performance. Thus, be sure to utilize the latest and greatest web development tools, and keep an eye on equipment maintenance and optimization. For example, if you have an HP printer that is in need of repair, go ahead and find the right HP toner parts before you set out to impress a client.
3. Keep a Log of Changes and Seek Approval with Each Update
Another common problem is that a client might be happy with the site in the beginning stages, and then disagree with some of the newer changes, thereby causing you to have to go back in and revert to a previous version of the site. You can avoid this hassle by seeking client approval on any design changes before actually making them active on the site. The best way to do this is to put up a mock page or change the theme on only one page to give them an idea of where you're headed with the design theme.
Finally, aside from the above tips it's always important to remember that the client is always right, especially when they're paying you to do the job. Although you can provide your expertise and professional recommendations, in the end what the client wants is all that really matters. This is why it is so imperative to present multiple concepts for approval and be flexible in the decision-making process. Be prepared to have to accommodate last-minute changes and ongoing tweaks in the site design from time to time.