View Full Version : FreeLance Question - Site credits or Not?
07-15-2003, 03:17 PM
Lately, I've been seeing a lot of sites that have the "Designed By" at the bottom or a site credit link.
Do you think this is something that should be included in your clients designs?
I personally feel that if your client pays you for your work that you shouldn't put your logo on their site. Perhaps in the meta tags, but not on the site itself.
What are your views on this?
07-15-2003, 03:40 PM
I think a lot depends on the arrangement you have with your client.
For sure, if you're giving the client a discount or it's a freebie site, a link should be included at the bottom of the index page at a bare minimum.
If it's a paid site, then you and the client need to come to some agreement on the subject, or you could include it in your contract for design. (You do use a contract for your jobs, right?)
Personally, I'd try to get the link included at least on the index page as part of the contract. If the client objects, I'd remove the link, but still put my name in the meta tags as "Author". I'd also make sure you include in your contract the option to use the site (and/or an image of it) in your portfolio.
Of course, if you have to cave in to unreasonable demands from the client to add all sorts of flashing gifs and extra-large bold text and other things that make for an unpleasant site, I'd leave my name off the whole site altogether. If I don't feel proud of what I've produced for any reason, I see no point in associating myself with the site for any reason whatsoever.
Just my 2-cents!
07-15-2003, 04:04 PM
I don't see anything wrong with an inobtrusive little link somewhere on the site indicating who designed it. I've seen these on sites of every size (I've done it myself) and I don't see it as problematic. Painters, photo studios, ad agencies, and other creative sources usually include a name on their work. Why not Web designers?
Your client's site should not be your own billboard, however. There's a difference between tastefully signing your work and slapping a big ad on a page. I think if your "signature" is large enough to annoy your client, then you should probably tone it down. And as SyrenSong pointed out, it's always a good idea to include such items in your contract. (I hope it goes without saying that contracts are a good idea!)
07-15-2003, 04:10 PM
Yes contracts are essential to protect both the designer and the client.
So you think that a, lets say.. "site credit" link at the bottom should not be a problem if working with clients? Just curious as to what other designers think.
I've seen sites that are just horrible with designers having a full sized logo at the bottom boasting their work. To me that seems a tad desperate.
I personally wouldn't put a link of any sort on the clients site if they are paying top dollar. I do agree with putting in the contract that the site will be used in the designers portfolio.
I see both sides though
07-15-2003, 04:35 PM
There's a difference between tastefully signing your work and slapping a big ad on a page. I think if your "signature" is large enough to annoy your client, then you should probably tone it down.
That's exactly what I meant, Jackie. Something small, not something obnoxious.
Personally, I think a small text link is unobtrusive. A very small logo could also be acceptable, if the client agrees to it. But "small" is the key here.
07-15-2003, 05:13 PM
Must admit I've never written it into a contract (must be my intranet rather than internet mentallity). On the few sites I have done its in the contacts page with just an e-mail address on the principle that if someone has a complaint about the site design (or heaven forbid a compliment) or if there is a problem then I'd rather they contacted me so I can discuss/fix it rather than the client.
Overall I think a web site designer like an artist or poet should get to put his signature on it somewhere - Good or bad site because even if you think its horrid the client likes it (I hope) and there may be someone else out there with the same bad taste as the client. However it should be either a small link to your company site or an e-mail addy not some ostentatious dirty great logo.
07-16-2003, 09:57 AM
I've been working on a site for a Lexington horse farm. I've noticed word of mouth from that client has got me more leads than any logo I could slap on someone's site. The deal I've worked up, if my client is happy with my work, they'll tell their friends and pass along my contact info.
That, and think about advertising (that all a webpage essentially is, a big ad for something). You don't see a print ad with a little logo on it saying "JetPack Design". The same with commercials.
07-16-2003, 10:25 AM
07-16-2003, 11:56 AM
hmm. I have seen this cloud from both sides now..
I personally have paid a designer for a "site" and not wanted any clue who did it because I wanted exclusivity of "brain". Sometimes when a designer makes the first of site (first type, first one in an industry" the cleint educates the designer a lot. So the client is expecting a one off, exclusive site (including mind). A tag may lead a competitor to the same designer who now can make a new site, even better and hotter using all the info gained during the first site construction.
I would think of this like a permanent "Realestate" sign on your house after it's been sold (This house was sold by BOB. Visit BOB when you want to buy a house 555-1212).
This is where your portfolio online shows that you made it then all gloves are off *unless the client doesn't want it in your prortfolio*.
07-16-2003, 02:37 PM
The realestate comparision is dead on... same goes as I said earlier. If the people who bought the house likes the job the agent did, they're refer the agent to others...
07-20-2003, 11:13 PM
As Carju1 said : On the few sites I have done its in the contacts page with just an e-mail address on the principle that if someone has a complaint about the site design (or heaven forbid a compliment) or if there is a problem then I'd rather they contacted me so I can discuss/fix it rather than the client.
I have done the same and it seems to benefit all, me, the clients,and the customers to have an open line of communication available.
07-22-2003, 05:22 PM
yes we add a small link.
It's usually included in the contract.
I only had 1 client that ever mentioned it and in the end allowed it
with no hassle. Most people seem to think it's the norm anyhow.
07-23-2003, 04:28 PM
We will only put a site credit on donated or extremely discounted work, and the arrangement is made ahead of time. When a graphic designer does an annual report, brochure, or business card, they don't add a "designed by" reference to every page, or even any page. It's not appropriate for web designers, either.
The folks who have said the referrals will come if you've got satisfied clients are correct: You'll get a lot more leads that way than any other.
BUT - we do include our info in the appropriate META tags, as well as an invisible, 1 pixel image linked to our site so that those who are looking can find us, and in hopes of better search engine relevance/crawling.
07-23-2003, 04:31 PM
I like the 1x1 px idea. Never thought of that.
07-23-2003, 09:36 PM
I view branding a website with someone else's name as I view branding my clothes with someone else's name; no, no, a thousand times NO!
I am designing my own site but IF I get good enough to do this for others, I would expect word-of-mouth advertising--not a 'sign' on someone's front page. If your client likes your workthey should brag about it, not you. Of course I would put you on my 'favorite links' page. Why not suggest that to your clients, isn't there a business equivalent???
07-25-2003, 01:36 PM
We always put a small logo (link) at the very bottom of the home page. It's in the contract, and I've never had a client object! By the time their site is done, most clients have referred at least one new lead. The majority also request that we put a link to our site on their links page, no matter what you title it. If nothing else, it gives people an easy way to refer people when they're out.
Wolfpack Web Design
I have designed many sites for small businesses and some for barter work. My clients want my name on them as it shows they took the time to hire someone to do the site, not homemade. I have only had one client not have me put the link on the site (and that was very fine with me! He wanted to give his public the impression he has the skills to do this work himself), but others I work with want it there. They also use the link to get ahold of me easily as well!
I think it is a client decision and my clients seem to think it lends to a professional attitude for their sites. That they will be around for a long time.
My humble opinion!
Firstly you never see on TV adverts who made the advert but... Double standards you will cry... It's in the designers interest to put the link in as not only many they get referrals but (and arguably more importantly) it may help with the link popularity game.
I always get it agreed at the quoting stage of the project - that way theres no surprises for anyone..
07-28-2003, 04:59 AM
Id say that putting meta tags is fine and doubt anyone would object to it.
As far as the link to designers site, as long as the link is recipricol then in theory I can see no problem with it.
However some of these design companies have really "creative" names that just doesnt fit the image of the site they have created.
07-29-2003, 11:35 AM
We include in our contract that we reserve the right to place a small text link "designed by .." on the site. This is a link in small text usually underneath the clients copyright notice at the bottom of the page.
We do also link to our client's sites from our own web site.
Of course should the client wish us to design a site which we were unhappy with we would not include such a link nor would we be inclined to link to their site from our own.
If a client were to object to this clause in the contract because they did not wish such a link to be placed on their site, we would have no problem not including it. However, we've never had a client object to this.
Publishers pay authors to write books and yet the copyright is transferred from author to publisher and the publisher owns the finished work. However the books still carry the name of the author so why shouldn't a web site carry the name of the designer?
07-29-2003, 10:59 PM
Here's my 2 cents
My thought is that you should be proud of the site that you do. Remember the web can't be compared to realtors, or tv ads. The internet has its own rules. My personal opinion is that it is totally acceptable, if the owner of the site allows you to, to put a small link to you.
I agree that you shouldnt use animated gifs or flash, as that is just obnoxius. But a text link saying "Designed and Maintained by XXX" is fine on the bottom of the index page, well below what is seen in the initial load[/url]
07-30-2003, 08:32 PM
One reasons valid on the internet and not in other medais is that by placing a link from your site to his site ... the designer increases his search engine position ... the more number of links to your iste the better your rank.. Secondly ofcourse if someone likes your site it can bring business to the designer.
I dont see why you would be .. but if you are too particular about it ..just mention it to the company before forming the contract .. i dont think they will risk business just for a link from your site.. if they do ..there are million other designers .. if the contract has aleady been soigned it just depends on the terms of the contract ..but again most companies wshould have no troubles in removing their logo if requested.
08-01-2003, 03:15 AM
If I am maintaining a site I designed, I place a small text link at the very bottom of each page, saying website design and administration by "link"... If I am not maintaining the site, I would leave the link off.
It is listed in my contract that if I am to continue to do any maintenance on the site, a non-obtrusive text link will appear at the bottom of each page, with font size being no larger than size 1.
The "flashy" links in my opinion are uncalled for and take away from the site itself. A good site design should have your client's interests at heart - not your own.
08-01-2003, 09:09 PM
I would think of this like a permanent "Realestate" sign on your house after it's been sold (This house was sold by BOB. Visit BOB when you want to buy a house 555-1212).
Take a look at he back of your car, dose it say where you bought it? Most car dealers do this as a form of advertising.
I just ask the client if I can put my slogan on their site. If they say no than I don't. I don't put every design in my portfolio because most people only look at a few. So we only include our top sites. We also talk to them about having an email link if there is problem with the site. And some of my clients have said that they would rather have the email go to them, and they fix it or they will contact me to fix it.
In honesty though, I feel that you should put something on what you designed, such as car dealers do, or artist, etc. But I also know that they will advertise for me, if I just keep them happy and give them what they are looking for in there website.
Just my two cents!
08-03-2003, 08:16 PM
on all of my sites I write in small text at the end of the site web designed by dragonfly dezignz, making the name a link to my site. On a few sites I add my dragonfly logo. I do mostly non-profits and they are quite happy for it to be there. Only once have I left it off because i didn't like the site contents. The man wanted it a certain way and I had no real input into it except for the html. I didn't feel I had designed it.
We are always asked to have a link to any graphics we use so why shouldn't we as designers have the same consideration
08-04-2003, 10:16 AM
It's horses for courses isn't it...?
If you place your author= in the meta and text link or logo in the page and the client doesn't mind, then fine. If they would prefer the designers anonimity to be maintained, that's fine too.
08-12-2003, 03:23 PM
Missing the obvious, I think. The real estate metaphor missed.... This is the net.
If YOU link someone don't you expect a reciprocal link?
If the designer is good, then they have a high page rank on google and ranking on alexa, right? Then the link to the client, and from the client is mutually benifical traffic and search engine wise. It only serves to help index the site on search engines to have the reciprocal links with the designer. I think maybe an art comparison... because I do all original graphics for mine, and I certainly would expect to see a signature on a painting...
but I agree. Keep it small, you're not Picasso.
I think most clients would scream and kick if you removed their link from your portfolio. i know mine do.
Links = traffic, traffic= business or at least name recognition. at least where I come from....
Just my 2 cents worth.
08-13-2003, 01:06 PM
I take a rather unique approach to my linking I offer my clients free monitoring of their web pages which of course they are happy to accept I put this link line on the bottom of every page "This site is hosted and maintained by Liquid Fusion to make a comment or report an error click here."
If they choose to "click here" they will be clicking on a string that accesses a db here is a sample http://www.liquidfusionwebdesign.com/report.cfm?recordid=1 the user can from their fill in the remaining blanks.
My customers love it and I get the link.
08-13-2003, 03:06 PM
We do something similar to what Steven suggests.
This site by Clearwater Web Solutions
Email Webmaster to report problems at this site
Both lines are in a small font size, they are located at the bottom of the page, and open either to a new window or an email message which identifies the site in question.
We have fewer problems fielding general inquiries by clearly stating Email Webmaster to report problems and problems (if any) are reported much quicker.
08-13-2003, 05:52 PM
for my company. it depends on the contract.
for less money, i offer a site with a small link on the bottom, in a frame, for more, i remove that frame
when i do apply it, it is 15px high, and across the bottom.. non intrusive and professional looking
and the difference is not much, so for an average of a few dollars, its gone (most will pay the diffrence)
08-14-2003, 12:44 AM
Personally I find that each site work differently. Most of my clients are local and fiercly loyal. They tend to encourage me to take credit and have a link from their site to mine, but the visibility of the link varies.
As a standard I tend to put a link for faults etc on the contact page directly to me. As far as I am concerned, my follow up means that I am automatically responsible for checking faults on sites I design, whether the contract was completed last week, or last year. But on some sites I have larger more visible links.
I recently did a re-design of th local tourist centre web site www.pembertontourist.com.au. I did a lot of extra work, and the pay off is that the site (which has a fairly large number of daily hits) has a link to my site at the bottom of every page. The client is happy with this, and I am getting recognition for the design. But as most of my work comes from referal (being based in a small country community) the effect on search engines is not as important to me...
08-14-2003, 10:17 AM
I think if you are doing a site for a client it is ok to put a text link on the bottom of the Home Page. However, if the client is another web designer who has given you work to do for them, a link is not feasible.
08-14-2003, 04:57 PM
the problem is that people do the extremes.
Definitely, a text link is completely fine.
Otherwise we could say things like:
- "I want to buy this car, but ford is not allowed to put their badge on it"
- "I want this viewsonic flat panel monitor, but I dont want the viewsonic logo on it"
Handle your business well. Give 120%, while charging for 100%, and no client will have a problem with a text link on the bottom of the page.
If they have a problem with that, then they more than likely have more of a problem with the whole project situation, and the link is just one way to complain.
08-14-2003, 04:58 PM
Would be nice to see a "poll result" on this topic... Seems that the majority of us agrees that a small (that's the key word...) name and link at the bottom of the page is very common practice and almost always accepted...
I would place it if I was a web designer, or accept if I was a client... I am my web designer and my client :-) so I "signed" at the bottom of the page...
I don't expect it to bring me any web design request, but as someone said, the "client" thinks it is good to show his web site is not "homemade".
08-14-2003, 05:51 PM
At the moment the poll stands at:
Yes 63% [ 24 ]
No 23% [ 9 ]
Don't Care 13% [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 38