kvand Posted 23 Apr 2013 , 6:32am
post #1 of

AThis is more of a vent than anything but advise is always welcome. I have had a self built template website for the last three years. I'm getting busier and figured its time to have a real website built. I asked a friend of a friend if she would help me with this. She agreed to do it for a combination payment of Moolah and cake. We talked about what I liked/disliked etc. I sent her a ton of pics for the site. Tonight she sent me a link so I could she what she has been doing. Damn! I hate it! She has cropped some of my pics so the back ground is cut out. I think it looks cheesy. The whole layout is not what I was after. I bought a new logo and that is so small it gets lost. At this point I like the site I built myself. Ugh! I don't know how to tell her it's not what I want at all. Plus she's my cousins friend and my inlaws know her too. I had a funny feeling about it from the beginning. I should have listened to it cause its usually right. Bleh... Really upset about it.

30 replies
vgcea Posted 23 Apr 2013 , 7:41am
post #2 of

Business is business, dump the emotions and tackle this like you would any other aspect of your business. I know it's hard because your business is like your baby but try. If emotions get involved then yes, they are likely to spew into your conversation with her and someone might get hurt feelings but if you speak to her like you would another professional, there should not be a problem.

 

Explain to her that the current site does not accurately represent your company or the vision for your company.

 

Find websites that do have elements you like so she has an idea what you have in mind.

 

Be specific about what you need changed and how you want it changed. You want your logo to be big and take center stage on a specific page? Say so. You want your photos a specific size with x amount of detail? Say so. I learned the hard way that having my site built wasn't something to just give directions and walk away. Nope, it was hands-on all the way.

 

When I had my website designed, we tackled EVERY page specifically to minimize confusion. I would say, on the homepage, I'd like my logo 2x bigger, on the top center of the page with x,y, and z on the right side for example. I ended up having to build a separate word press website (as an example) and THEN the light bulbs came on for my designer because initially, while what he had in mind was cute, it was not me... took a bit of work but we finally got settled on what I (the paying client) wanted.

simong93 Posted 24 Apr 2013 , 10:30am
post #3 of

First thing I would say is that this would be her first mock up now should be the time you tell her what's wrong what needs changing and she should change it accordingly or that's what I do for my customers.

The main thing here is if you don't like it get her to change it if she don't go and find someone else there are thousands of people out there who do websites just do a quick Google search I my self make websites check me out at www.precioushosting.co.uk. Talk to her about the problems before she finalizes the project.

Just remember at the end of the day you are paying for the product you would't go and buy a PC and bring home a TV would you.

kvand Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 6:55am
post #4 of

Thanks for the encouragement... I knew what I needed to do but couldn't find my big girl panties.  I found them, put them on and kindly said that I had something a little simpler in mind with a solid banner... blah blah blah.  I highlighted a couple of things I liked.  she said it was good feed back and now I haven't heard from her.  in the mean time the galleries on my old site stopped working... ugh... so I started to rebuild a new one myself.  I don't really have time to be doing it but I need it done and I have no idea if she is working on it or not since I haven't gotten a response since my last message.  so thank you everyone for helping me find my big girl panties!

jason_kraft Posted 30 Apr 2013 , 1:14pm
post #5 of

AI recommend creating a mockup for what you want all the pages on your site to look like on paper, then working directly with your designer (in person if possible) to make sure they understand your vision. Just like when someone shops for a cake, it's important to interview the designer and see examples of their past work to make sure they are a good fit.

kvand Posted 14 May 2013 , 5:57pm
post #6 of

Update...

 

So I told her what I didn't like and asked for changes.  She sent me back another draft which was just as bad if not worse than the previous.  then she said we should meet face to face to discuss.  I agree that this would probably be ideal since email and phone was clearly not working.  I don't have time to sit down with her and hold her hand through the entire designing of the site.  If I had time for that I would build the thing myself. 

 

I told her that I don't have time for a face to face now that I am full swing into wedding cakes and other commitments and will have to revisit down the road.  she sends me an invoice for half of the agreed upon charge.  I expected that there may be a charge for sometime and any costs she incurred but half seems a little unreasonable to me since what she has made is not even half a website and it is not at all what I was looking for.  ugh... so my response is likely to be something along the lines of... I will gladly pay any expenses you have incurred and a couple of hours of your time but I think half is a bit unreasonable.

 

urgh.  suggestions?

 

I just figure if I showed up with a half done cake with the wrong shade of pink and square instead of round I would never expect a penny from the client.  It doesn't matter if I put in 5 hours of my life and it cost me $50 in supplies.  if it is not what they asked for then why should they pay.  (I sent examples of websites I like and she has my logo which has the colors on it)  am I out to lunch here?

Crimsicle Posted 14 May 2013 , 7:33pm
post #7 of

So...you didn't have a formal agreement about how she would be paid?  No deposit terms?  No "half now - half upon completion" kind of deal?  If not, she's free to invoice you for whatever she wants.  And you are free to pay it...or not.  This doesn't look like it's going to end well.  Be thankful you can get out of it before any more damage is done. 

jason_kraft Posted 14 May 2013 , 7:40pm
post #8 of

AIt might help if you shared the original design (with your feedback to the designer) along with the revised design.

How much did she bill you for?

kvand Posted 14 May 2013 , 8:32pm
post #9 of

Good point about the no written agreement.  It was in the back of my mind the whole time since I always use contracts with all of my clients.  This person is a friend of a friend who came recommended so I thought I was being silly.  The verbal agreement was $600... half to be paid with money and the other half in cake credit at the time of completion.  I have been billed half.

 

One of the websites I sent her to show what I like is this one...

 

http://sweetonyoucakes.ca/

 

I told her I like the simplicity of it.  How the cakes were the main focus with light colors simple design.  how the logo was in the middle of the menu bar/page.  I like how instead of a page for testimonials or thank you's I like how this one has them scattered around the site on almost every page.  I told her I like the page links across the top. I like pink so I asked for the main colors to have pink.  I guess I should have specified that I didn't want bright eye hurty pink but light easy on the eyes pink.  I asked that the header could be a zoomed in pic of one of my cakes with the logo over top or something like that. one of the issues I did not even get into yet is the fact that most of the pics for the galleries are either grainy or distorted.

 

first draft

 

http://cakes.vpgraphix.com/

 

this is the second draft

 

http://kaleena.vpgraphix.com/

 

anyway, I guess I better just get it dealt with and move on.  Just like I don't have time to sit down and do this website myself.  I don't have time to sit here stressing about it either.  moving on. thanks for your inputs.

liz at sugar Posted 14 May 2013 , 8:46pm

I would write her back and tell her you would be happy to pay her invoice when the work she has done more closely resembles the website you referenced.  Ask her to do one more iteration with specific feedback: white background, logo centered, photos centered underneath, etc. and see what you get (insert your own requirements of course).

 

Liz
 

liz at sugar Posted 14 May 2013 , 8:47pm

And the first website she designed was a wee bit LOUD! :)

 

Liz

shanter Posted 14 May 2013 , 9:27pm

Does she think that the pages she designed look even remotely like the example you sent? Ask her that. And if you give her another chance, tell her "pale pink" not "hot pink" or "dark pink."

vgcea Posted 15 May 2013 , 2:03am

Yep, ask her to take a look at what you want and what she did, and if she thinks there is some correlation between the two. That shade of pink is hard one the eyes. I agree with a soft pink.

 

I say give it one more shot, I've found some web designers get on one track, stuck on one look, and they don't want to move. She might have to start all over, let go of the garish stuff and really see what you're asking her to do based on the sample site you showed here.

 

She has definitely NOT earned $300

 

On a humorous note: If she insists on being a pain, you can choose to offer to pay her in cake and give her a cake version of the website she just did. LOL.

liz at sugar Posted 15 May 2013 , 2:22am
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea 

 

On a humorous note: If she insists on being a pain, you can choose to offer to pay her in cake and give her a cake version of the website she just did. LOL.

 

This would be pretty funny. :)

 

Liz

Annabakescakes Posted 15 May 2013 , 3:48am

AWow! Those websites are noting alike! And my eyes are hurting, for sure after that pink! And the pictures are so up in your face, even intrusive...

Norasmom Posted 15 May 2013 , 3:56am

Was there any kind of contract?  The websites are nothing like what you wanted and must be fixed to your liking.  Unlike cakes which have a shelf life and are brought in day-of event, a website is developed.  Just tell her you don't like it and have her change it.  It might take her awhile, but $600 is a lot of money.  It seems like since you have an example of what you want, it can be changed to that.  Just like when someone brings you a picture of a cake.  You can copy it and make it even prettier.

Good luck! 

Godot Posted 15 May 2013 , 4:41am

AAmateurish sites-the both of them. Not to mention ugly and not at all what you referenced.

Don't pay her.

Is this a little side hobby for her, or her job? Sitewreaks.

Annabakescakes Posted 15 May 2013 , 4:49am

AI agree with Godot, don't pay her, I got a better looking site from thecutestsiteontheblock.com for half of what she is charging.

kvand Posted 15 May 2013 , 6:26am

AThanks for your input everyone. I was feeling like maybe I am out to lunch with my expectations. I really just don't want to invest anymore of my time into coaching this person through creating my site since it has been a few months already. In the meantime I used a free website builder to create a new one on my own. It's not perfect but I am happier with it than anything she has built.

Www.kaleenacakes.ca

I think I'll offer to pay for any expenses she has incurred... What could they be?!... When she sends me the invoices for those costs. As far as paying for her time she did not create what I asked for even after offering feed back etc. I don't think I should be paying for a product or service I didn't receive. Hope in not being unreasonable.

vgcea Posted 15 May 2013 , 6:29am

The one you made is definitely much better to look at.

jason_kraft Posted 15 May 2013 , 6:40am

AI think a free cake in the $100-200 range (retail price) might be in order. Personally I'm not a fan of her design aesthetic, and the web site you put together looks much better, but considering you had a vague verbal contract and she did do some work, providing cake as compensation should be fine. There may have been a disconnect in terms of your requirements.

liz at sugar Posted 15 May 2013 , 11:10am

Great job on your sitebuilder website - much better than that huge pink banner!!

 

At least you are back up and running again, I think cutting your losses with the designer was the way to go. :)

 

Liz
 

Annabakescakes Posted 15 May 2013 , 12:50pm

AShe may have done some work, but it was garbage, and you have nothing to show for it, so I don't think you owe her anything. Just to be nice, a couple dozen cupcakes with swirls and a pretty flower or something similar would do just fine.

Stitches Posted 15 May 2013 , 1:54pm

Kvand, which website builder did you use? I'm in the same boat. The person I hired to do my site didn't have the ability to work in word press or a platform that I could use so I could up date my own site. So I'm starting all over again, on my own. I did pay the person for their hours because I talked them into helping me when they attempted to pass on my project (personal friend).

Stitches Posted 15 May 2013 , 2:13pm

Duh......never mind, I scrolled down the page and found my answer.....

cakesbycathy Posted 15 May 2013 , 3:14pm

"Dear So and So,

After careful consideration I can no longer have you work on my website.  The designs were not what we discussed and I am not happy with the results so far.  I am not comfortable proceeding any further and have decided to go in another direction.  Thank you for your time.  Since we did not have a written and signed contract for our agreement I have enclosed $100, which I feel is fair compensation for what was produced. 

Sincerely,

Baker"
 

liz at sugar Posted 15 May 2013 , 9:38pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy 

"Dear So and So,

After careful consideration I can no longer have you work on my website.  The designs were not what we discussed and I am not happy with the results so far.  I am not comfortable proceeding any further and have decided to go in another direction.  Thank you for your time.  Since we did not have a written and signed contract for our agreement I have enclosed $100, which I feel is fair compensation for what was produced. 

Sincerely,

Baker"
 


This would be perfect.  My biggest issue is that you gave her a VISUAL EXAMPLE of what you wanted, and what you got wasn't anywhere close.  As a former marketing and advertising manager, I can tell you that many graphic/web designers have a "style" that they are unable to vary from (not intentionally - it is just their style).  For future readers of this thread, look at the past work of a designer to see if their style meshes with what you are looking for.

 

Liz

kvand Posted 15 May 2013 , 9:51pm

Thank you every one for your in put and advice!

 

I have offered reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses and $150 cake credit.  I think/hope that's fair since she did spend some time on it even if it's not something I will use.  I don't think this adventure should cost her anything either. 

 

Here's to hoping this can all be resolved soon and avoiding any further damage or hurt feelings. 

jason_kraft Posted 15 May 2013 , 10:05pm

A

Original message sent by liz at sugar

For future readers of this thread, look at the past work of a designer to see if their style meshes with what you are looking for.

Absolutely. And if your web designer's home page consists of a default Joomla login screen, that's probably a red flag. You can still see other examples of this web designer's work with the google search query "site:vpgraphix.com".

kvand Posted 15 May 2013 , 10:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


Absolutely. And if your web designer's home page consists of a default Joomla login screen, that's probably a red flag. You can still see other examples of this web designer's work with the google search query "site:vpgraphix.com".

it was a red flag that I ignored because of the recommendation.  lesson learned. I will do some research and be more clear about my expectations next time.  I have learned to be less concerned with peoples feelings (not to be harsh but more upfront) when it comes to business stuff.  I didn't know you could search like that Jason! thanks for teaching me something today!

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