I am a small time web dev freelancer during my time off at university and I have some horror stories when it comes to designing sites for people (not that the sites are bad - just the clients DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY WANT) this really grinds my gears.
To set the context this is what I want to avoid:
I had a client last year that I built a site for ANON. We agreed upon a price (£200 - I am a student so their mentality is "Oh you are a student that makes you cheap right?") I had the site done to the original specification within about 3 days (nothing was ever written down be it original specification costs etc it was all done over phone/Skype) The client then decided that his original idea wasn't that good looking in practise so I was told to scrap it and start again, fine, Im'm a professional I can take that.
I then redid the site to the new spec that he gave me, took another 3-4 days and the same thing again, don't like it, start again. By this time I'm getting rather annoyed with the lack of constructive criticism, So I redo the site to basically how it is now (see URL above) he says "yeah looks okay ship it" so it gets put on the web THEN he decides "Oh by the way I want and e-commerce solution AND a members only section or you aren't getting paid anything." being in the position I was in I couldn't very well just say no due to the 12 or so days of my life he had waisted so I proceeded to add the e-commerce and members only sections, this then led to a plethora of other changes.
For example there is a page with a variety of "packages" the user can choose from, I had these done in glorious CSS3 I mean it looked amazing, really chuffed with my work I put it online and linked him to it... "It's crap get rid of it do it in photoshop and put .jpg's up instead". Baffled as to how it could look "crap" I asked what browser he was using... "IE6", I could have killed him, but restrained myself and told him to upgrade to Chrome or FF3.6, So he upgrades to FF, "Wow that looks great!... But still redo it in photoshop so people with IE6 will see it fine" I tried to tell him that the site demographics showed he was the ONLY one using IE6 but he wasn't having any of it, so I spend a while doing it in PS put them up, all was fine.
Then, he says "oh by the way I want to change the package prices" I say "well if you had left them in CSS3 and HTML you could have done it yourself", He didn't want to hear it and made me redo the jpg's - This occurs every time he has a new package that needs put up as you would imagine this gets very annoying after a while and I was beginning to get fed up, but he decided that with how it was done now looked great and kept him happy, I then asked about payment "Oh I only have £50 that I can give you but I can give you 2x 12 week training packages". I think okay, I'll make the best of a bad situation and take it, so I agree, I get £50 for 2-3weeks work and 1x12 week training package, I finish that then ask about the other one "Oh that was only if I could afford to give it to you, right now I can't so you'll have to pay £120 for that.". Not only that but he keeps pestering me to do little remedial changes on the site that I taught him how to use, but he doesn't want to know, so not only am I not getting paid for any changes I make for him he threatens me that if I don't change them he's going to spread bad rep about me to any of his clients and everyone he knows.
As you can imagine this got me very edgy about clients and I would now like to develop a contract that:
- No compromises are made for IE6.
- 25% up front 25% half-way and 50% upon completion.
- I have a minimum standard that I will work to so jobs under £500 are not viable.
- Remedial and quarterly changes are payable on a per-hour rate.
- I can reserve the right to take down any site if the 50% upon completion is not paid within 30 days.
- There are no "cash-substitutes" - no cash - no site.
If anyone could suggest what to add above as clauses in my contract and if the above are suitable, as in would they scare clients off?
Any suggestions on any part of the contract would be appreciated as well as where to get them written up.