Beginning a Client’s Web Re-Design Project

Although I had won the contract to improve the colours of a client’s WordPress web site about a week ago, the client sent me the password only yesterday.

When discussing the project the week before, I had carefully asked whether my client had full access to the site and its tools. “Yes, we’ve paid, we have ownership. We will dig up the user ID and password for you tomorrow. No worries”.

Unfortunately, they only had a user ID at the “editor” level. This is not sufficient to change the colour scheme. It is fine for adding content, but not for the work for which they had engaged me.

This leads to three tips for projects that need powerful access:

TIP for Estimating the Schedule: Build in the lead time for getting authorization. I am sure glad I did!
TIP for the Discussions with Clients: Explicitly ask for the necessities, such as authorization; and explain why.
TIP for the Statement of Work: Build in a penalty if the client delays the work; this includes:

  • A slow start with authorization or in making decisions on requirements
  • Delays in answering queries or in reviewing or approving work

Personally, I did fine with the first and last tips. I thought I had carefully asked about authorizations, but I had not probed to the level where the client understood that I needed the “admin” rather than an “editor” ID.

As the saying goes, “Well begun is half done”. The Murphy’s Law corollary is “Start poorly and everything else will fail”.

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