There’s a long checklist of things to complete leading up to a web release. From SEO updates and technical settings that need adjustment, to the implementation of 3rd party tracking programs and the actual design of the site. Sometimes as a freelance designer you are expected not only to design the site, but also get it up running for launch. Make sure to talk with your client. Confirm that you are on the same page before doing any work. You must both understand what’s included and what isn’t included when designing a website.
The following is a list of what isn’t included when designing a website:
Copywriting & Content Generation
Copywriting and content generation doesn’t come with the design. It never should. You must always consider it a separate line item when discussing terms of the agreement. Sometimes clients expect it. I’ve created sites and learned this the hard way. As such, it ought be one of the first items discussed. Assisting with SEO and keywords is one thing. But to have a designer write copy for the entire site is not the designer’s responsibility.
Domain Purchase and Transfer
At no point is it a designer’s responsibility to purchase or transfer a domain. That falls under IT. It’s outside the scope of any work that should be expected of a designer. That’s like asking a plumber or electrician to frame the house. It’s not in their skill set. It’s the customers job to make sure all is working as desired before the designer begins his/her work.
Google Analytics / Goal Analysis
It’s one thing to set up Google Analytics for your customer. That should be standard in any web release. What isn’t standard is taking that a step further. Creating goals, analyzing them, and updating them based on the data is additional work outside of any normal web release. It must be treated as such. If your client wants that level of interaction, that’s great, just make sure to create a new work order with new goals and charges.
So the release went as planned. Your customer is happy. Goals are being met. And you’re pleased with how it looks and how users are interacting with it. But there’s always room for improvement, right? Sometimes it’s something you would have changed. Other times it’s your client that would like the updates. At this point you’ve met your obligation to your client. Nothing more is legally binding. But that doesn’t stop them from asking for more. And they won’t if they know they can get them for free. Any updates from this point on are up to you. You must know that they’re not included and you’re not getting paid.
When starting your website design business you will get requests for items not included in the release of the site. It’s inevitable. What comes next is up to you. There are a bunch of considerations to be made. Will it take a lot of time? What is the level of effort? Will this benefit the site?
If you have any questions you can always refer back to this list of What Isn’t Included When Designing a Website. Just remember it’s a business.
If you’re ready to take the next step check out my post, 7 Things I Need From You Before I Can Design Your Site. It will guide you through what I need to make your website a success.