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Thread: Touchy Issue

  1. #1
    Senior Member beachkitty85's Avatar
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    I run into this same scenario time and time again. I've just created the most semantic, visually appealing web site ever (well, that is probably an exaggeration!). I hand everything over to the client, who prefers to insert the content without my help. I check back in a few days to see how the website is doing and decide to check out the code at W3C. I soon discover that that my once flawless code now has numerous errors. This happens to me time and time again, especially with static sites. I've tried to avoid the problem by inserting sample content that explains how to keep the code error free, but it does no good. My question is: Is it possible to prevent this problem and, if so, how?
    Christina Van Dyke

    CRV Designs
    Apex, NC
    www.crv-designs.com

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  3. #2
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    If the client has direct control over the code, you can't. It's unfortunate, but the only solution is for you to retain control over the markup. If they need to add content, let them do it through some CMS so you can at least intercept the code they provide.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
    Site of the Month contest: submit your site or vote for the winner!

  4. #3
    Senior Member Karloff's Avatar
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    i have a client to who maintains his site, not a good idea as you will run into these problems all the time.

    best thiing to do is take control and charge them per hour, stating that the more the break the site, the more time (and cost) there will be.

    not an easy situation tho

  5. #4
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    If the client wants control, you have to give it to them. Though I'd recommend having a "dumb@$$" clause in your contract for fees to fix any errors generated by them. We also call it the "ID Ten T" clause. (insert the number 10 for the word ten).

    It does suck to generate and work on something that is flawless....only to have a novice mess it up.
    Just make sure you set the expectation up front and have them acknowledge the clause in your contract when they sign it (have an intial line). It has worked well for me.

    Good luck........
    GMan

  6. #5
    Senior Member beachkitty85's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, these are the types of answers I expected. So I guess this is just unavoidable sometimes. My main concern is when I put a site in my portfolio and then the client destroys it, making me look like a terrible designer. This is highly embarrassing and has happened a couple of times. Oh well, life goes on.
    Christina Van Dyke

    CRV Designs
    Apex, NC
    www.crv-designs.com

  7. #6
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    You could take screenshots of the finished masterpiece, or (if the client agrees) a dummy page on your website which has all or most of the live version.

  8. #7
    Senior Member beachkitty85's Avatar
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    Bfsog, I think I'm going to take you advice and make a dummy page for each site in my portfolio. I tried the screenshot method before and prospective clients didn't like it. I had several ask for the actual url, so I switched to using actual links. Thanks for the helpful advice!
    Christina Van Dyke

    CRV Designs
    Apex, NC
    www.crv-designs.com

  9. #8
    Senior Member Steax's Avatar
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    I actually had to make my own primitive CMS that purely serves as an editing console. The people who filled in the site were mostly school teachers that copy-pasted from the school leaflet. I had to auto-format paragraphs, give them tools to make news items, etc. They just don't understand that we use text in text to format things...
    Note on code: If I give code, please note that it is simply sample code to demonstrate an effect. It is not meant to be used as-is; that is the programmer's job. I am not responsible to give you support or be held liable for anything that happens when using my code.

  10. #9
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Yes, I was going to suggest screen shots of your finished work.
    If anything, you can do a "before and after" version to show clients and say things like "this is what happens when you maintain your own site"........

    G
    GMan

  11. #10
    Senior Member slyder's Avatar
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    I would say, as far as your portfolio, most clients I've met just want to see (visuallu)what you made, and they could care less how valid, or clean the code is. The before and after screenies are a VERY good idea, and you can probably just explain yourself if a client wants to know why XYZ company's site is all bad code.
    http://christopher-scott.org - Ramblings of an amateur web designer
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