Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 184.108.40.206
Forum Moderators: LifeinAsia
He was fine with adding metatags and changing the title but once it got to adding a few keywords onto the page, he got a bit 'shirty' despite my best efforts to be diplomatic and give a few explanations.
I knew this was likely to be problematic - I've decided from now on to advise the client of the changes that need to be made and get her to tell the webmaster what she wants. I figured he would take it better from her since she is the paying client.
I gave the client a bit of feedback about the site too - things like the telephone number being illegible and needing a link to the reservation form on every page (things that I know to be really important from experience with my own vacation rental website). I see this as part of my role in helping the client market her business but I feel like I have to walk on eggshells with her webmaster.
Another thing that bothers me, and I am wondering if this is 'normal' practice for some webmasters, is that the client doesn't own the domain name, the webmaster does. So what if he changes career or gets eaten by a shark? She could lose her domain name and all the work gone into promoting her site is wasted. He's currently got a mail alias set up and emails are sent to his own address as well as hers! That seems a bit fishy to me. Is that kosher?
I would really like to hear other peoples experience and advice about this. My hands do feel tied optimizing a site made by somebody else.
joined:Apr 13, 2002
My first thought, however, was that this guy is a FP 4.0 hack, putting up web sites on the weekend as a sideline.
On a less catty note, most web designers don't know how to design keyword rich web sites. Bad for them. Good for us.
You're functioning in a consulting capacity. It should be a three-way team, but sometimes it can turn into a duel between the webmaster and you.
>walk on eggshells
You do. We have to be sensitive to the fact that the webmaster can feel slighted that some stranger is now telling them what's wrong with what they've done, that they've now got a "partner" in their webmastering that they didn't ask for in the first place.
>other peoples experience and advice
Without getting into specifics, two example areas are multiple domain names and dynamic sites. If it takes a dozen emails dealing with a domain name/duplicate content issue, that's billable time - with a disclaimer.
With a dynamic site with long query strings, if the webmaster says all ecommerce sites are dynamic like that and that nowadays rankings are all based on link popularity, you send a couple of links and tell about page rank.
>My hands do feel tied optimizing a site made by somebody else.
All we can do is tell them the best we can, it's up to them to implement it or not. Ultimately, they're the ones in control. But it not only takes tact, it takes your time. A client sits down and emails on their own time. If it takes 10 emails and a total of an hour or two for you to settle an issue, that's billable time. Same thing with the email back and forth with their webmaster. That's a concept they have to grasp. :)
I like doing an initial consultation with a site analysis and recommendations - with a time cap for a certain number of hours. Then you know what you'll be dealing with over time. With some there's a lot of hand holding, with others it all flows smoothly. With the upfront consultation you know what you're getting into in advance and can make adjustments accordingly.
[edited by: Marcia at 8:03 am (utc) on Sep. 24, 2002]
On a less catty note
Meeeeeow! Brotherhood of Lan will be along to box your ears! (made me laugh ;))
On to the subject at hand: In your position I wouldn't hesitate to call a meeting with this client and tell her the hard truth: this guys seriously dodgy!
Getting her emails? Sheesh! If she understands little else of your conversation then she'll surely get this...
Shop this joker but, be prepared for a possible backfire. Loyalty is a weird thing....
<added>Marcia -> Nick ¦¦ Chalk -> Cheese ;)</added>
So that is dodgy practice for a webmaster to own the domain name? To me it smacks of hostage-taking. The client has to stay with this guy and pay him every month for hosting her site or she could lose her domain name.
Actually the website sucks. It's a made using a template and the guy doesn't seem to be able to vary the font of the editable text.
Makes me think I should only work with clients whose websites I respect! I don't really want to get into telling a client 'Actually, you should get a new website' and making enemies in the process. This client has already started saying to her webmaster "Aline suggests..." which alarmed me somewhat because I really don't want to be getting up anyone's nose! (I don't have the time or energy and I don't like dark, snotty orifices :o)
Dazzle them with your skill
Blind them with your knowledge
Crush them with your unparralled arragonce!
If they've got a rinky-dink webmaster, tell them, and if mr FP hack doesn't like it, who cares?
Business is business, I'm not talking about being vindictive or deliberatly going out of your way to upset anyone but, if the guys doing more harm than good, and you're being paid to consult.... 'nuff said
We had one such episode: we were contacted to do a bit of SEO work on a number of sites for a client... a client with particularly deep pockets. Definately a keeper.
The sites were all template hacks, a total frontpage hit and run. At first we thought, there's no way this client is satisfied with this crap, and we let him know the value of a comprehensive, clean design. Turns out his nephew in-law designed them, and was convinced god himself had sent him down to earth to bless us with his "design skillz".
Any type of negotiation with Mr. Design was taken as a personal attack, and we weren't getting anywhere besides irritating the situation with the real client. Eventually it came down to us taking a bit of a risk and re-designing and presenting a polished mock-up to the client, who admittedly fell in love with it.
The moral? I don't know. Anyone who is truly interested in having a successful website, and not satisfying some punk's design ego, will listen to reason, and sometimes it takes a little persuasive action, such as you taking the first step, and making a point without getting "catty."
Yes. It was a "lock-you-into-my-services-forever" practice very often used by small-time web designers in my area. Usually, the small business came to the developer and said "I need a website." -that's about it. Registering the domain is relatively inexpensive, so the developer decides to hold onto that part of the real estate and never discloses the full consequences to the business owner.
Over the years, I've been asked to bust this practice for a few websites here in the US, and it's tough to do after the fact. I'd suggest that you quietly advise this business to "notice" that the domain isn't properly registered and request a transfer. (Be sure you show him how to run a whois.) When that's done, the webmaster will either agree or be exposed.
Yes, I told her that she doesn't own the domain name, showed her how to look it up, and explained the implications! She was aghast because she is paying for it! He has agreed to transfer it to her name and I told her to make sure she gets the correct account name and password.
Some people really 'take the piss'! (if you know the quaint English expression).