I have been a freelance designer for 15+ years. Working with all types of clients there has been a resounding theme. I end up rescuing many of them from a company or designer that literally has them trapped in a nonsensical mumbo jumbo of made up fees and back-end decisions that appear to only be repairable by them.

fightybirdIt seems many times that once a customer gets comfortable with a designer, the designer suddenly gets this bizarre God complex over them. In any other business the customer is always right however in these situations the customer is constantly told “no” or belittled. These designers not only fight against their wishes but on their own accord decide for them. It’s no wonder that these sub-par dirt cheap web-based solutions are having so much success, such as Squarespace, Wix, Web.com, GoDaddy builder (I have another rant completely dedicated to how these companies are ruining an entire industry, but we will save that for another post.)

I believe it’s time for designers to put their over inflated egos aside and realize this simple ancient concept, “the customer is always right.” If someone wants a blue menu shaped like a circle on the left hand side, just because you are incapable of creating it doesn’t give you a right to shoot down their idea.

I recently found a company that was using WordPress and relied on an overseas developer to help them. The developer literally broke core WordPress in the sloppiest manner without notes or backing up files. Therefore future updates of WordPress and it’s plugins eventually failed leading to a non-functioning site. By the time I got my hands on it the only affordable option was to start over.

Lastly, one of my longest running clients was previously with an “award winning” major design firm. After seeing her exchange with them and hearing her stories, I had this notion that there was some shady business going on. It was not until our final transfer out that I finally had proof. They sent her an invoice for $200+ for “domain and/or SSL.” I asked the case manager initiating the transfer what domains they were registering on his behalf and they said none. Her site does not have and has never had an SSL certificate.

So now I plead to my fellow freelancers and agencies, put the customer first. You are giving all of us a bad wrap, wasting money in the long run and making everyone’s job harder.