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I need advice...or somehing
Moonkitties_Wink
vampjezzabell wrote in webdesign
Help. Tell me what to do.

Sorry in advance for the length...but I have to tell it all:

There is an affilliate of the University of Florida (the major college in my town) called University Press. I got a tip from a business associate to bid on revamping their website. I spoke with him on the phone and got the details...we had a long conversation and I provided him with a quote for design and build out...I excluded programming from the quote because HE is the one in the office who handles that. He was only looking for design and build out. He called me in to talk and we had a long "interview" about the project. He mentioned that I was better prepared then many others he had talked to...so on and so on. He then asked how comfortable I was with plugging everything and programming after I was finished with the design. I am not a programmer at all. I myself could not do that part, but I have resources that could. He put it in such a way that I thought he was just wondering, but that it was no big deal. He then told me that he had a small networking thing going on the side and was often asked about web design. He wanted to know if I was interested in that type of side work. I told him that he could contact me for that of he wanted and I would see what I could do. He sent me a small site re-do to quote out which I did quote. He contacted me and told me that my rates ( $30/hr) were a little high and wanted to know what my "freelance designer" rates were rather then my business rates. ??? They are one in the same in most all cases unless I'm working with someone. I worked with him a little on the price and then he hit me with this...

"I really want to get my business off the ground so you do understand that your name won't be anywhere on the site at all right?" I expressed discomfort with that, but was willing to just put one line at the bottom of the site about design only - I didn't want to discard all credit though. Then he tells me that since I'm not offering programming for UF Press and other bidders were he'd cut me a deal. He said he would put his little company name on the bottom of the site since he was doing the programming (which is his JOB) and mine would not be there at all. UF Press is where he WORKS...his full time job. This site has nothing to do with him personally. He then told me that they were going to hire him to do it, but that he said he didnt want to do the design portion. I found out that he doesn't know how to design or how to use the programs used for design, so he can't do it. I told him that I would gladly quote the programming end if needed, but that I was NOT comfortable with his way of doing things and that I would not relinquish credit for my part. Now I have found myself in a position where he is almost putting himself against me as competition. ????

I just went to his website which a purchased flash template with 3 other purchased templates in the "portfolio" section. He has no clients at all.

Do I go above his head and let them know what he's doing? I am sure they have no clue. It really pissed me off. What do I do? Did I do the right thing? :(

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A: $30 an hour is low. For our b2b firm, our retail rates are $75 for web design, $125 for programming.

B: Next time, get a request for proposal. If it's a lead, have some documents ready. The more documentation and proven processes you have, the more apt they would be to take the website more seriously.

C: You can fire a client, remember that. Just as they can decide they don't want to work with you.

D: Having your name on the bottom of the site is not required; it's their property, not yours, as you're being contracted by them. This is true in any type of service company. If you must have credit, I would recommend building a wrapper company, and put a logo on the bottom of the site instead.

What I'd recommend is going over his head. Express your concern at the processes being used, and suggest some ideas on how to enhance it - DO NOT attack him in ANY WAY - trust me on this.

E: A little competition is healthy... ;)

I don't mind competition...I do well with it. The thing is that he angled it AFTER I had given him the quote he asked for. He was just the person put in charge of finding a contractor to do the site for who he works for because he said he didn't want to do it himself. Sop the angle came form the fact that I didn't quote for programming because he didn't ask for it and now he wants to "deal" due to that point. It's just fishy. Me no like.

I know 30 is low...here where I live...I think 60 an hour is a great rate...it's cheaper then the big business like the one I was laid off from. Thig is when I ask for 60 an hour no one bites...it sucks.

$30 an hour is very low!

PS. I'd be careful when mentioning the name of people currently hiring. Someone in this community might snatch the job. Case in point; I live less than a block away from UF Press

I guess I should have kept that to myself...are you the type to go in and try to snatch it? I'm hoing you were just giving advice...:(. Although honestly I dont know if I want this one.

it's cool that you're actually in my town though

nah. I got a comfy job in an entirely different industry.

Seriously wow, people these days actually consider $30/hr high? :-\ I also think thats quite low but I guess alot of depends on what kind of customers you're dealing with.

some people undoubtedly think $30 is high; we charge about 4 x that, but we are an established company with a good portfolio.

there are so many people doing webdev for free, or ridiculously cheap, to try to break into the market that it depresses the rates for most other people.

and of course "everything can write HTML" is a common cry - "why hire anybody at all? We can do it ourselves".

I am with you on that. 30 is horribly low, but honestly when I try to charge what I am really worth people run the other way and not to sound cocky, but I have a great portfolio with as many as 50 live websites. When I bid a job out and show them work they're always so impressed and then when it comes time to talk money it's like they feel intimidated or something and they clam up. :( I started out wanting to charge 60 an hour which is still low, but for here it's high. Sucks.

he made the comment about your rates for he is going to receive a portion of what he bills you out for and you're cutting into his take (well, his ideation of what his 'take' should be)...

create a nice letter about this situation, and send it along to the powers that be above him with a CD portfolio of your work -- and include that if they wish to consider you for work, they can contact you directly...

once you make a site for a client, it is theirs -- period...if you have to have credit, you can always toss in a meta tag and it'll stay in the code unless someone removes it...

your rate is cheap -- but i have dropped mine from time to time depending on the client and/or the project at hand...if that is what you are comfortable with asking, then so be it...

the guy you're dealing with is a tool -- run, don't walk, away...he will exploit you...

he is a tool...definately. It's annoying.

I do understand that when I do a website for someone they have the right not to have my name on it though most clients are fine with it. This guy wanted to replace mine with his completely even though the programming for it is in fact his job. If they did in fact offer it to him, he turned it down which is why he seeks outside help with it and now in the middle of everything he wants to throw this in the mix. I called the original lead from there who referred me to him for the site re-do. I didn't trash him at all, and I haven't been confrontational. I've been professional and calm...I know how important that is. I told her that I wanted her to know how things were going and that there were a few things that I felt a little uncomfortable with. I explained the situation to her and she agreed that I was right to point this out and that neither she nor anyone else realized that he was working it from this angle. I told her that I wasn't out to get anyone in trouble per se, but that I didn't want this issue to be the deciding factor when choosing the designer for the job. In other words I don't want to lose out just because I wouldn't wheel and deal for credit. I told him and I told her that I would be happy to provide the programming service if that's what they wanted and that I could provide a quote for it. I feel as though I handled it the right way, but who knows. Bleh.

When you have to work this hard and deal this much with someone to get a project, in my experience, they are a pain in the ass all the way around. That means during design, during development and all through the project management. If he's trying to nickel and dime you now, just wait until it comes to launch time. I say forget it. Unless you really need the money get out while you still can. This has all the makings of becoming a nightmare project.

I think you're right. After that conversation I haven't heard anything from him and I won't contact him. I have enough other work that I am actually nit in dire need of the money so I think I'll just let it go...:)

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