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    I’m a developer and I was hired by a a web designer to build a nice ajaxed website. It turned out to be pretty good-looking and smooth so I asked to put my name next to his in the credits.

    Well, here it started going downhill (or it just accelerated)

    The credits are a single link which he wants to point straight to his website but I proposed to point it to a split page, with designer+developer links.

    NO, the client didn’t even want the designer’s in the first place.

    But the link is already there, what difference does it make to the client where the link points to?

    Maybe I wasn’t clear. I want the link to point to my website, not a page with both of ours name. You can put your name in the code at most.

    Now, given that he already broke two unspoken rules, one being too many quick fixes after it was done and ready for two months and the other being the price—he thought the price was after taxes… unlike every other person I worked with.

    My question is, how do I go about this? Should I just give up and let the link go or should I try to keep my signature visible?

    He doesn’t seem very honest overall, which means this is the last time I’ll work with him anyway.


    From a legal point of view, assuming you’ve both signed a contract that gives all the copyrights to the client, you haven’t really got a leg to stand on. It does, however, feel unreasonable that there is a link to the designer and not to the developer.

    That link is potentially valuable to you from an SEO point of view too, so it’d be a shame for it to go to waste. Perhaps explain that if he didn’t want the link there, he/she should have made that clear at the start of the project because it’s relatively standard procedure for developers to do that.


    Firstly, what the client wants…the client gets. If he doesn’t want any designer/developer links on his site that’s his choice. Put your information in the people.txt file…the client won’t even know.

    Secondly, you are a sub-contractor (at least the way you have described it) for the designer’s client so it seems that your issue is not with the final client but the designer.

    Unspoken rules should not be any part of business, get a clearly stated contract saying what you are expected and expecting to do and the final cost up front.

    These things are basic.


    If the client doesn’t want any links directed to either of your sites, respect their wishes. Whenever I see a designer’s or developer’s name on a client’s site, I feel it makes the whole thing seem of less quality. Of course that’s just my opinion. It’s also typical for a developer to just add his/her info in the development files anyway.

    Now, about your payment issue, that part seems entirely your mistake. You clearly need to tack on any fees whether it be for taxes or Paypal. You also should never send over anything before payment is received otherwise you’re vulnerable to these types of issues.

    Best of luck.


    Clients are difficult. Not always because they want to, or because they are jerks — often because they have no idea (they really DO think something will take 3 minutes when in reality, it could be 2 hours).
    A client that is always easy to work with and won’t frustrate you, ever, is hard to find. Clients think “this is my site, I decide what happens with it” and the developer doesn’t have much choice than to follow those wishes (of course, assuming that client pays).

    I agree with the gentlemen above, I also think that developers and designers putting their names/links in the footer of the site mainly do it for promotional purposes and makes it somewhat less professional. If you get paid properly for your work, you don’t need the public recognition, right? But it’s a personal thing, I’ve done it myself as well.


    Putting your name in the footer of a site is a really interesting debate. I’d love to see someone do some research and/or debate on it.

    Even some of the biggest and most awarded/recognized web developers put their name and/or company logos in the footers of sites.

    I’ve always put my company name in the footer of smaller sites (not larger ones that are more corporate). But thinking back, I’ve never received business from it. Ever. It’s always a direct referral from the business own, who gave them my number or email. It kind of makes me rethink the need to clutter the footer with my name.

    As to the original question, I think I agree most with this: “… Secondly, you are a sub-contractor…” I don’t think I’d ever expect to include every name of every person involved in the project in the footer. Ultimately, the company that has the contract with the client is the entity that performed the work. So in theory, they get more work, you get more work, and as they grow they need more and more help and they at the end of the day get all the credit for the work that’s being done. I would say it is one of the primary reasons many people eventually go out on their own.


    While he had the right to have only his name on the website, he treated the matter poorly and aggressively, I wasn’t happy with that.

    Although, if you think about it, movies, music albums and other publications have a never-ending list of credits at their end, why shouldn’t a website have such a feature? Sticking a full-size, ugly logo in the footer—like some “designer” I know does—is certainly not ideal, but a dedicated credits page or a micro [credits] link in the footer are not unthinkable of.

    If the website is an evolving product like or any services of Google then, of course, you’re not going to have a list of all the people who worked on them. On smaller, one-off projects I don’t see the problem.

    Anyway, I ended up removing the link since he threatened to turn to someone else to redo the website—I wouldn’t really want to waste any more time enforcing the contract on a <1000€ deal.

    Thank you for all the answers, it’s good to hear what others think, one can always be wrong.


    Just chiming in with my own two cents …

    First, I tend to look at each job as an educational experience, both in terms of what I learn from the job as well as what I learn from the client. At the end of each job I write out a list of how I would approach things differently and then integrate those in to my master work flow plan for projects. So, for example, you just learned that you need to have an explicit understanding about site credit at the outset of the project. Great — include that in the “negotiations and contracts” part of your standard work flow and you will never have to deal with it again. Live and learn. :-)

    Second, the guy sounds like a jerk. I have a firm policy of not working with jerks. Cut the cord and be lucky you got paid in the end. At least you can mark one more person off your list not to work with again. The main thing though is that YOU were not a jerk about the whole thing. If you communicated your thoughts succinctly and tactfully then you have nothing to be ashamed of. Mr. Designer won’t get any referrals from you, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t end up referring someone your way in the future — and maybe THAT person will actually be cool. Even jerks have nice friends sometimes.

    Finally, regarding the whole credit vs. no credit issue. I think it really depends on the scope of the client’s project. I’ve done work for Disney before and you can bet they don’t credit a soul on their sites. But I also used to maintain a multi-natational official celebrity site with designers and contributors from all around the world and I set up a specific credits page on the site for all of them to be linked or mentioned. In that situation is was appropriate. In either case, stick your name in the meta or put it in the people.txt file as someone else mentioned. Or heck, set up some ajax transition where your name pops up for a split second like some sort of subliminal advertising. ;-) (j/k)

    Sounds like you handled things in the right way. The client, while often times ignorant, is most always correct in what they want. Even if they don’t actually know what they want. ;-)

    Best of luck!

    – Mark

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