Clients often vastly overestimate both their actual interest in updating the site and the time they have to do so.
Welcome to Webmasterworld Budsy!
We have actually been paid in full by clients to work on their site and then they would never return our calls. For a while we had set up an account to hold their money expecting them to either want it back or to move forward on the job. The last one of these was 8 years ago. We have since spent their funds ;)
If you know of any more clients like that, please feel free to send them my contact info.
I think it's true that people need to have a compelling reason to update their sites and a lot of people don't get it and they don't see the web as an essential part of their business.
I built a site for a non-profit and they had one set of prices in the store, one set in the newsletter and one set on the web. I asked if they wouldn't take some time and find some volunteers to do data updates on the site.
"Oh, it's okay. The newsletter prices are for members, the store prices are for people off the street and the web prices are for people from out of town."
Even though the website, utterly and completely broken because of the bad underlying data, would bring in over $10K in the Christmas season (not counting local people who found stuff on the site and came in in person) and even though they had free labor, they just couldn't see the point of putting any effort into it.
Meanwhile, the bookstore down the street realized they had to go Amazon one better if they were to survive. Order a book online and they would get it to you within town in 3 hours or less by bike messenger.
Guess which one is still around?
I'm glad I'm not the only one experiencing this. For me I prefer the client goes in and change the company picture of "Sally" to "Bob" the new VP.
The downside when they don't use it is that in six months from now when they realize the fax number on their site is wrong, they forget how to edit it and call me for a refresher.
The most important thing is that you delivered the solution the client asked for...as they say "you can lead a horse to water..."
I have to admit that we've run into the same issue. The ratio of clients who actually update anything on their sites is probably 5:1. We have training materials, videos and walk-thru's, but if not used regularly even the most simplified CMS is too difficult for many "lay-men". I use the FCKeditor in alot of our CMS installs and skin it to look like Microsoft Word so that they will recognize some of the functions and that makes things a little bit easier when it comes to just changing text; however when it comes to adding links or swapping photos people tend to get completely lost.
We too have a couple of sites that are just about completely built out and the client got "too busy" or couldn't delegate the content creation so they just walked away from the investment. Despite our best efforts to help them and hold their hand, they lost interest when they realized work was involved in writing content that is useful.
We really try everything to keep the client's engaged and help them understand the importance of having an up-to-date site, but find that it is not important enough for many client's to make a priority.
I have actually considered going back to the old way of doing things and offering a service to manage content (in addition to our CMS's). These CMS's are great when actually used, however it seems too much of a challenge for many - especially if you are working with entrepreneurs or small business owners. They seem to like the thought of saving money on a "web master" updating their content, but don't like the idea of doing it themselves. So we end up with many sites just sitting around becoming useless, outdated, crap (with a cool design - haha).
Oh, yeah, and I even forgot to mention one customer who asked us to take their site down. It wasn't making any money, they said. But when we began to do the clean up, we discovered dozens and dozens of customer inquiries about products and prices, that had never been answered. They never even checked their mail box.
I'd say clients not updating their websites or abandoning their websites & domains after the fact is more the rule than the exception. For me it just gets frustrating. Sure I got paid in full, but it is disappointing to see a site go fallow and be abandoned. It just blows my mind that people will pay good money for something and then totally lose interest in it and not even do the basic things to make it a success.
The funny thing is one of my greatest success stories was a site I did on barter. The individual restores and refinishes log homes and he restained my mom's log home (she provided the stain) in exchange for a website. I cranked it out in a couple of days so we ended up almost being even time wise.
That was years ago and to this day when I visit the site there are always new before and after photos of his projects. He once said he got most of his business from his website and he was too busy working to go out and advertise. Go figure.
Too bad more clients don't follow up their monetary investment with a little time investment to update their sites. :-(
|It just blows my mind that people will pay good money for something and then totally lose interest in it |
Really? 99% of all fitness clubs are built on the business model that the vast majority of their customers will pay them $100/month and never set foot inside the building. And the vast majority of treadmills, exercise bikes and the like end up serving mostly for hanging laundry and collecting dust.
Our intentions often don't match our actions. Okay, I gotta go call my mother ;-)
|Really? 99% of all fitness clubs are built on the business model that the vast majority of their customers will pay them $100/month and never set foot inside the building. And the vast majority of treadmills, exercise bikes and the like end up serving mostly for hanging laundry and collecting dust. |
:-) Sadly, I have seen this behavior not merely in others!