You’re starting a new project or business (yay!) and need a website. You don’t have a lot of money and it just so happens that your friend creates websites. They’ve offered to create one for you for free or cheap. Great news, right? Not so fast.
Nothing can complicate a friendship more than bringing business into the relationship. Here are four ways to make sure your project goes well AND your friendship survives.
Write something down.
Even if it’s just an email or Google doc, get it in writing. What do you want? What will your friend do (and not do)? Set some expectations on quantity of work and desired deadlines.
Even if you’re not paying (or paying much), think about ways you can return the favor. Is there a product you make or service you provide? Is there something your friend needs or wants that you’re able to give? Check in with them and get their thoughts. Even if they say not to worry about it, do something nice anyway.
Get the major parts in your name.
It’s great that they’re creating the site for you, but you should have your domain name, hosting and email under your own accounts. If there’s a theme to purchase, purchase it from your account. Same with any paid plugins. Having accounts in your name will allow you to work with another designer or developer in the future if needed.
Have a definite end.
Your friend doesn’t want to support your website until the end of time (and websites DO need ongoing TLC), so make sure you’re on the same page about the end of the project. Is there additional work to be done after? Inquire about your friend’s hourly or project rate. If it’s in your budget and you’ve enjoyed working together, pony up. If you’re still trying to keep your investment low, read about how to avoid ongoing fees related to your WordPress website.
Following these steps will put you on the path to a successful project while retaining your friendship.