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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Member #
    Hi there,

    A recent dispute came up that made me wonder who is really in the wrong here and I thought who better to ask for feedback/opinions/poll than the community of peers here.

    Recently I had some trouble getting the Featured Content Gallery to work on my site. I hired a designer, who shall remain anonymous, who said he could troubleshoot it in 30 mins. Great. It worked.

    However, it seems a missing closing DIV tag made the site look messed up in Internet Explorer (the shrinking text problem that others have had) and from about 6am Friday morning to almost 6am Saturday morning, the site was unviewable by IE users.

    This was especially tragic as this is the one day of the year that I go all out and buy over a thousand dollars of newspaper advertising and 80% of my visitors were on IE. I can tell you that I've lost a lot of traffic and money on Friday which won't repeat until next Valentines day. Yes, total loss, more than total loss in fact.

    Here is the issue in contention.

    I was working on trying to make FCG work, as I had made it work in my other site and was trying to retrace how I did it (it was through reading old threads here) and was exactly in the middle of working with the code in the custom_functions.php and the custom.css files when I hired the designer as I didn't have time to mess with it further and he was complaining that he wanted to get started ASAP (I had been intermittently way from the computer).

    He gets it working, the IE has the viewing problem and I and the creator of my skin look over the code but can't figure out what went wrong.

    It turns it this was the problem (from my custom_functions.php)

    <div id="header_addon">
            <div id="header_featured">
    <?php global $post;
    include (ABSPATH . '/wp-content/plugins/featured-content-gallery/gallery.php'); ?>
    </div>  <-----this one was missing.
    Now, I noticed it missing when he made the correction, but I am not a designer (I am learning by trial and error, never taken a CSS class) but he insisted that the problem is from nothing he did.

    So I never looked back at the file and that area until about 5am Saturday morning when I was thinking really hard about everything that could have happened to the site and suddenly remembered that funny feeling I had about seeing only one closing div tag.

    The Dispute

    I think its the designers fault as a) he was to troubleshoot the FCG and his fix was right in that div area and he should have fixed that and b) had he had not insisted that it's nothing wrong on his part, I would have looked in there as part of my combing over right away on Friday, I looked at everything BUT his work. He was brought on to troubleshoot, not cause an even bigger problem.

    He says its my fault as, since I was working in that area right when I hired him, *I* had left the DIV out originally (which I don't deny, I did leave it out, amongst other things, which is why he was brought on) and thus it's all my fault and not his.

    So whose fault is this, in this case? Please don't say it's both our faults as I don't think that is the case here.

    Please contribute your opinion.


  3. #2
    Senior Member Dorky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Destin Florida
    Member #
    4 times
    you hired a professional. any designer worth paying should make sure the site works as it did before they started at the very least. the norm would have been for him to make sure there wer no issues with the site before starting on it, then if there was a problem to report it to you before starting at least so you wer aware then charge you to fix it. then when the work was competed to be sure the site functioned before launching it. the designer in question sounds like he is holding you accountable as if he wer subcontracting from another design firm. that not being the case he has no grounds for his approach.

    while($get_it !== true){ continue; }

  4. #3
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Member #
    141 times
    It depends on the agreement / contract. Ultimately you should have a backup of the files to compare the site before and after he worked on it. Unless you do have a backup, chalk it up to a learning experience.

    Having said that, tweaking a site right before the peak of your business season is in hand. Also, I'd consider getting a good lawyer as using a celebrity's pic on that popup w/o their consent = lawsuit.
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  5. #4
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Boston, MA
    Member #
    205 times
    First, let me say that I'm amazed that:
    1. You hired a designer to make changed directly to a live production commercial website in the year 2010.
    2. That neither of you thought to test the changes in multiple browsers to at least see that everything looked the same in all of them.

    I think the designer you hired did sloppy work - no one should spend "30 minutes" making changes ot a production website. Any such change should be at least tested thoroughly afterward to ensure it's ok. Better idea would be to maintain a mirror image staging environment for your website, make any changes there, test thoroughly, then when satisfied publish live to your production environment.

    In my non-legal personal opinion, the designer in this case maintains a minimum of 90% of the blame, because he is a self-proclaimed professional, and you paid him for his services. As such, he should be obligated to advise you appropriately as to the best practices in performing changes to a production site, and at least offer you proper quality assurance services at an extra charge. Failure to do so, in my opinion, constitutes professional negligence.

    I think it's a tragedy that you've lost your Valentine's sales, but at the same time, I think you should also accept some blame for what happened, as it should have been obvious that any "professional" offering to change your site without testing would offer significantly less than "professional" results. I personally wouldn't pay this person, but I would take the losses as a learning experience.

    The good news is you've learned a lot in this experience - the hard way, yes, but that's often the only way.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Member #
    According to me it's a designer mistake . You should have done a proper confirmation about it before going ahead. Anyways it was the designer who was in fault.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Member #
    I guess the first question is "Was the designer a professional?". By this I mean I can go out on the internet and find thousands of people that claim that they do web work. You can go on elance and post a job and get a response from hundreds of people. If he was a professional and had work to back it up and charged you what someone established would then I would blame them 95% (I am partially like smosely that you are part at fault for not checking it through yourself). If it was someone that was not well established and did not charge you accordingly, then I would say it is 95% your fault for not doing your homework on what kind of work to expect.
    I am not bashing you because I have gone through similar things and it was a learning experience.
    Rob Dalton (Kolea Rentals)

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Member #
    1 times
    It depends on your contract. if the agreement was to apply the fix and then test for cross browser compat. then hes at fault.

    But as someone mentioned
    1) 30 you think this was enough to make the change and test throughly?
    2) why would you do it on a live production site?
    3) why would you make a change before the biggest day of your year?

    not to be harsh, but, lesson learned?
    Sorry to hear that you suffered a loss, but maybe this will lead to better planning on your part next year.


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