Prospective client: “I have a website through which I sell music, both physical copies and downloads, but am having all kinds of issues with it”.

Me: “Like what? Tell me more.”

Client: “Go to www... I’ll go through them with you”.

So I go, and client proceeds to rattle off a list of totally random shit for the next 26 and a half minutes without even stopping for breath, telling me what he’d prefer, talking through how easy other “similar” websites are and comparing his own website to them, as well as all the things that flat out just don’t work. He ended with the line “I just paid my developer who told me it was all good, but now he’s telling me he’s too busy to work on it”.

Meanwhile I’ve had a gander at “view source” and can see it’s been “built” with Wordpress, and with a fuck ton of plugins and shit to boot... you can only imagine the sense of euphoria I’m feeling at this point.

Me: “Did you have a contract with your developer?”

Client: “Nah”.

Me: “Do you have a budget in mind, either for just making right or for ongoing development?”

Client: “Yes, but minimal”.

Me: “So what do you want from me?”

Client: “I want to know how much it’s going to cost to fix!!!!” (apparently irritated by my question).

Me: “Oooook... Is there any way I can have access to your website to investigate, or clone it so I can recreate what’s going on?”

Client: “Yes” (gives me details of how to log in to his hosting, and WP admin).

Turns out, he had over 50 active plugins for literally EVERY. SINGLE. FUCKING. PIECE of functionality on his website. Furthermore, it was pretty clear that some plugin functionality overlapped, because... well, if you don’t know how to do something, install a plugin or seven to get it done, right?

Me: “So can I ask, what exactly is your budget? Just to give me ballpark as to how best move forward?”

Client: After going into how he’s already spent a lot of money on it already, “If we could we agree on below £200?”

Me: “...what, a month?”

Client: “No! In total. To make it right. Once it’s done it’s done, surely?!?!”

*a long silence*

Client: “So... what do you think?”

Me: “Burn it. Burn it all down”.

  • 38
    Just to add, I already feel so much better in anonymously sharing this post - thanks DevRant.
  • 11
    As a WordPress developer and guy who had plugins in WordPress.org, I can understand your pain. Now days I used vanilla PHP or laravel for my project.
  • 3
    Just serve him exactly what's needed and cost, raw and fair.
  • 5
    @marcus5914 I absolutely love Laravel. Wordpress, however... *shudders*
  • 3
    He thinks that "making it right," is a simple matter. Moving some disconnected pipes back into place. He's oblivious to the fact that the realization of his vision involves one of two very difficult things:

    1) diving deeper into the WordPress plugin rabbit hole, making supportability and extendability even less feasible.

    2) building a new site, from scratch, that works

    Both options will cost thousands of pounds.
  • 1
    @bahua Exactly this!
  • 2
    I salute you for having the spine to tell your client to burn it to the ground. 👊
  • 0
    @hoggagio are you Scottish?
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