Website from a friend?

It sounds great, a friend or family member that can build your website for free or cheaply. Now, what do they say about deals that are too good to be true?

Personal recommendations are one of the cornerstones of good business and hard to ignore if offered from a good friend or family member. But before you accept an offer for a non professional web designer, there are some things to watch out about.

Now if a product is free or cheap then it is usually worth a try as you have little to lose (just make sure to look at the points below).




  • Register the domain name(s) under your details
  • Get the web hosting yourself
  • Alternately, get FTP details for the hosting account
  • Ask to see a completed demo first
  • Once complete ask for the source files
  • If the website is mainly FLASH, always get the .fla files
  • Never pay in full up-front, half on start and half on completion
  • Always get proper contact details and ideally an address
  • Get any passwords for any systems

Always remember when dealing with informal relationships there is little recourse if a dispute arises. If you follow the recommendations above there is no way for a designer to “hold you over a barrel”.

When dealing with a company, you have more control and typically a contract which can be relied upon if a dispute arises or you are unhappy with the performance.

Later this month, we will write a post about how to deal when a friendly website build that goes wrong.