Recently I was speaking to a potential client who is a consultant for businesses. The guy is a good guy and doing his best and he was looking to take on a number of clients and have a WordPress developer service all of them. As we were discussing it kind of brought to light how often clients make WordPress dev work way harder than it needs to be on the developer – and drive away good developers.
Look – the reality is – if you are working with a good developer they probably have options on the table from other clients. Money can be easily replaced – but a good developer can’t be. While there will be demands made on the developer and work is work – there are things that clients do that make projects way more harder than they need to be with no big payoff – so let’s go through those (by the way many things apply to larger companies – in many cases we just have to comply with requests but it doesn’t mean we won’t mention them here as to how they add no benefit and create headaches for everyone):
Making a developer work on a proposal than letting them know you’ve been shopping around
This is one that is more commonly done with more start up clients. Firstly – you have the right to shop around of course – but recently I had an issue with a potential client that gave me access to the backend of WordPress – I had a look around – investigated the issues – only to find out that the client had been emailing other WordPress developers in the meantime.
To be honest I didn’t really want the job because the budget wasn’t that high – but this is common with clients who want to save a buck and think they’re clever. They get a bunch of quotes – the only issue is – if you’re going to get other quotes – don’t tell the developer you’re getting other quotes – because all that will happen is that the developer will feel he wasted his time putting together a bunch of stuff for you when you had other people doing the same.
You basically become a time suck. Usually I ask clients to give me access to the WordPress backend so I know they’re serious – and I don’t waste time putting together fancy proposal.
Making a big issue of communication channels
This is a pet peeve of a lot of WordPress developers – and that’s too many systems on how to communicate. When I was talking to this consultant he started talking about what kind of project management system he wants to use and all that other jazz. It was a lot of stuff being discussed outside of the main thing – the actual work that needed to be done.
Now I understand as you go into bigger companies there are systems in place that have to be followed – but they are SO frustrating and are a complete diversion from the actual work. Project management and all that other crap should really take a back step to actually getting the work done – and that’s what the focus should be.
In either case no project management system can save a bad work ethic and bad skills. And peeving your developer off by making him follow some regimented system will only drive them away.
Arguing with experienced people
This one is a big pet peeve. This is when clients argue with experienced people – whatever they may be. Many times this comes from insecurity – the client wants to show that he knows what he’s doing and he’s not stupid – and many times this will come from older clients who want to show that they understand technology too.
Instead of just listening to the suggestions and taking the road suggested the client wants to act like they know the best and most highest priority.
Now this is not always an issue – discussing how to move forward and getting information is good – what I’m referring to is getting put in a position where it’s almost like the client and developer become enemies – trying to impose their will of how things should be done on top of each other – instead of focusing on solutions.
This is a big pet peeve – basically this is clients doing their own things on the backend of a site without informing the developer. I’m not talking about creating new pages or posts either. Let me give you an example – recently I had a client who installed an SEO plugin behind my back. Like he didn’t even tell me. This guy was 60 years old mind you – and while I’m sure the SEO plugin didn’t do anything bad… I do know the site went down for 4 hours and I had to work to get it back up.
I don’t know if the plugin installation caused the issue – but I do know the fact that the client thought he knew better than me and installed some SEO plugin really irritated me. He had the shiny object syndrome – seeing something that says “This will get you page #1 in Google if you install this plugin” and was following along with it.
Not only is it irritating when the client does things like this – it puts the developer/SEO person in a position of feeling like they have to validate the client (or at least it did for me) – but to be honest I thought the client was a moron – long story short I’m not with the client anymore (and I’m not the only one who had issues with the client).
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Talking and talking
Some clients just love to hear themselves talk. And I’m not talking about useful information – I’m talking just very vague conversations that go nowhere. As an SEO guy I had a client who every conversation would go into a 30 minute diatribe about how he just wants more clients, how he can give me a bonus if I get it.
It would be 30 minutes of us talking about a point that could have taken 3 minutes.
The best thing you can do for your WordPress developer is get to the point.
Sharing development with another developer
This is rare – but this is where a client will have more than one person working on a site for whatever reason. Having more than one developer is extremely frustrating – if the site goes down what will happen is one developer will blame the other – and it shows you don’t trust the WordPress developer.
I don’t take on clients that have more than one developer on a site (I mean unless they’re a REALLY big client). And a GitHub repository is a must.
Hope you enjoyed those tips – and if you’re a client please don’t do these – as it will just irritate your web developer and he will charge you more for your bullsh*t. I’m just trying to help.
About the author: Kosta Kondratenko is a web developer working for his company Head Studios. He specializes in WordPress custom development and SEO. He has over 10 years of experience and loves to write blog posts about topics happening in his industry. He’s passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping others achieve their goals.