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Using clients' sites in our portfolio

Do we need permission? Or pay them? or ..?

11:31 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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So now that we have some work done for clients, we want to show it off on our website. I'm sure we cant just stick their website on our page without permission. But does it go further than that? Should we pay them? or something else?

Just curious. I'm just looking at it from a client's perspective and I dont know if I would want my site listed in such a way.

11:59 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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We don't ask permission, we don't pay, and we've never had a client ask to have their site removed. Why would they? We have had a few clients ask to be added for the SEO benefits, actually....

(We also don't plaster "Site design by Our Company" all over their web site, FWIW. So it's not like we're using them for our own promotion at every turn....)

1:25 am on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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This is something that is often addressed in the contract. Some sites do not want anyone to know that someone other than themselves had anything to do with it.

If the subject was not addressed it is a grey area: most sites have no objection ... but ... it is common courtesy and therefore good business practice to request permission and keep the written reply on file.

I have seen web designers crediting themselves with having done a site that has been redone several times since by others - which I personally think looks shoddy.

My approach is twofold: First, I display several generic designs to illustrate possibilities - after all I do do "custom" design and implementation. Second, I link to several sites (with permissions filed) that currently use my designs and which I currently maintain (specifically mentioned in the text link!) covering personal/niche/institutional/etc. (one of each type only).

The approaches to this subject are as varied as the people doing the work!

2:07 pm on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I would deffinitely suggest that you keep tabs on the site. I spoke to one of the web designers who initially did our site (before I was hired) and he said that it was one of the few pages that people didn't "wreck" 6 months down the road.

So if you do use sites in your portfolio, be 100% certain you know what's on that site and what it looks like as time wears on :)