yeah i have had some absolute nightmares… so take my advice and do a few things right first time…
i always give them a contract now… in fact this is one i did today…
(i use wordpress for my company website and then make a new page on that website and put in the details of the contract, then link them to it in an email – this is awesome as it looks professional… and the dirty bit, is that you can change the details of the contract at any time in the back-end. i also add a link to paypal so they can just agree to the contract and pay straight away)
as you can see i charge nothing for a basic website as i know i can knock it out in a day or so. i try to get payment upfront as well. i use paypal as this tends to give them a feeling of safety.
it’s best to over estimate how long it will take. i know i can do it in 1-2 days so i said it would be 7 days. i hate being under pressure. don’t under sell your services. i still do all the time. i should charge more.
when they are happy and the website is doing alright, you can then sell them extra services – add a gallery etc… i also explain that if they want to add thier own pics and write their own posts they will need a cms. it’s best to be brutal and honest as this scares away the crap clients.
and lets face it… crap clients are a pain in the ass. they leech off you and expect to pay nothing and get the world.