5 Things Every Web Development Client Should Know

Friday, April 01, 2016 1:00 PM

Web development is very much a collaborative endeavour between client and developer. Where the client has invaluable insight into their own brand, company goals, consumer buying patterns and ethos, the developer, however, has insight into the ways of the web. From the permanency of the internet, to the sheer amount of work that goes into each stage of development, to the know-how and insight to pick out a potentially fatal development flaw - your developer works tirelessly to ensure the collaborative effort of your project pays off in a way which benefits you, the client, optimally. Read on for the five key pieces of knowledge every web developer wants their client to know.

1. If you put it on the internet, it's there forever

Sadly, your developer cannot 'remove something from the internet'. Whether a typo-ed graphic, an unfavourable consumer review, an ill-edited press release, or something much more damaging: Once you put something online, it is available for others to download at will and re-host on their own server. While Google does offer a URL removal tool to remove items from search results, you can only apply this to pages or files on domains that you have control of. Therefore, this tool will not help content being spread via social media, other websites, etc. The best plan of action if something has gotten out that was unintentional or ill-informed? Own your mistake and issue a notice of retraction, public statement, or apology.

Google's URL Removal Tool will only help with web pages that you host.

2. If you put it on the internet, anyone can do anything with it

Content-sharing-wise, the internet is the Wild West. Apart from legitimate corporations and businesses, the average casual internet user isn't paying much attention to image, code, or written content copyright laws. Trying to disable browser features to prevent copy/paste functions is futile and annoys legitimate users more than it hinders content thieves. This is particularly true since a determined or tech savvy content thief can sift through the code of your site by viewing the source, and extract the URL manually. Instead of putting valuable time, money and effort into trying to out-smart a content thief, we suggest rolling with the fact that the internet is treated more or less like a lawless public domain.

3. Development takes longer than you think it does

A professionally designed and assembled website takes time, effort and testing - and most often a team of trained professionals. Multiple rounds of design, content creation, interface development, testing, and launching procedures add up to a lot of man-hours. It is not unusual for even a simple-seeming project to take up a few dozen hours of development time. A good developer will understand and attempt to accommodate any timeline a client may present, and while requesting an approximate timeline for project completion is completely encouraged, it is not the client's place to dictate to the developer how long something 'should' take. Clear communication is paramount before a project starts so everyone has a proper understanding of how things will progress.

4. You are not your developers only client, give them at least a few days lead time with your requests

A good developer will have many valuable clients to manage. While something urgent may come up in your development needs, it is unfair to expect your developer to drop everything they are doing for other clients to work exclusively on your new job. While special accommodations may be able to be arranged, if your developer does agree to push you to the front of their client queue, expect to pay a rush charge. A great way to avoid this dilemma? Giving your developer more lead time gives time for more revisions, and more time to make your project great.

Form over function can be a problem. Would you be able to navigate this website?

5. Listen to your developer

If your developer tells you something is inadvisable, they likely have good reason. Developers understand how users expect to use websites and software. So while you might think removing the navigation from your interface is a creative idea, your developer knows that users are going to move on to your competitors once they realize they have no idea how to find anything on your website. Developers work to make you happy by way of getting you results - if a developer speaks up about an aspect of development that may not be ideal, they're making a suggestion based on their years of experience and drive to give you the best product they can.

Bridget VanWart

Bridget VanWart

Bridget VanWart is Div1's newest addition, joining the team after graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of New Brunswick. When she's not serving as Div1's client liaison and administrative assistant, she can be found Instagramming pretty things she stumbles upon around the city.

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