A potential client contacted my web design company, needing a custom site for his product catalogue. He didn’t have many products, only about twenty, but he needed to be able to update the descriptions and photos himself as the products had extensive data and would change over time. We spent some time in talks with the client, showing, how our products catalogue would work, and how easy it would be for him to use it. Then we provided an estimate, which was relatively small compared to market price for a completely custom-made website.
Client: Thanks, but I’ve actually been in touch with another designer who underbid you so I’ll be going with them.
This other company hadn’t done any of the work to educate the client about the website they would be creating, how to update the catalogue or any of that – the client just saw that and figured “savings!” Pit for us, but we wished him luck.
After a month or so we received an email:
Client: Hey, can you guys help me? I had this website made, but I don’t know how the product catalogue works. Could you figure out how I’m supposed to use it?
Me: Can you show us your CMS?
When we logged in to CMS we saw that the “products catalogue” was a single page of textual elements with the title “Product Catalogue” made in a simple WYSIWYG editor.
Me: Well, it says “Product Catalogue” but this is more of a text page. Anything you need to change will need to be written by hand yourself – there’s no way to change one item for every product. And yeah,I some cases you’ll need some programming knowledge to make it look right.
Client: But it says “Product Catalogue!” Why won’t it work like a catalogue?
Me: Well, I could name it “Eshop” but that doesn’t mean it will have eCommerce functions.
Anyway, the client had to order “extra services” from that other company and wound up paying 1.5x what we quoted them.