Recently a client got in touch to do more work on their website. It was to implement a third party solution for one of their internal processes. They put me in contact with the company who produced the software and they sent me 3 options for implementation. Option 3 was a no go straight away, option 2 was close to my clients current process and option 1 was a cool API integration.
So seeing option 2 was close to the current process I asked for more details and it turned out that they would zip up the files put it on a server and then my client would have to download it then re-upload it to their server. So a nice big load of faff seeing as they currently only have to enter the details , press upload, press import. Job done.
Anyway so with only option 1 left I started reading the API documentation. Which started with ( along the lines of ) “If you have a WordPress website there is a 3rd Party plugin you can use from here…” . So I took a look at the plugin and it was a subscription based thing for over £200 + vat a year. Which isn’t too bad but baring in mind the client is already pay a monthly subscription to a company for them to say here’s a plugin for a yearly fee.
Something like that I would of expected to be part of the package seeing as something like 30% or so of websites are using WordPress ( including the new their own website ).
I then thought I would do some research to see what plugins were available and functionality/ features etc.
I stumbled across a plugin on GitHub and was having a read through then looked at the author and their website etc. It turned out it was the people who did the plugin which is £100 + a year. Only difference is this wasn’t the latest version and no longer supported. Which is cool because that’s what I’m here for.
I kept the client up to date with the progress and my findings. I tested the plugin and even though the dummy data was really rubbish ( thanks to the software provider 😉 ) the plugin worked well and I just needed to do a bit of fixing and tidying up of the styles and boom. Done. But the time spent on this was a fraction of what would of been spent on creating something new so this is obviously a cost reduction. The one off cost for my time is so much cheaper as opposed to a yearly subscription.
The reason I’m telling you this story is because a lot of web developers/ companies would of charged for maybe a day or 2 for development maybe even longer. Or maybe even use the recommended plugin and still charged silly money.
With my work I treat my clients how I’d like to be treated. I’m honest and will go out of my way to get the best possible result ( not necessarily the easiest ). I do take things personally so like with this client they are using a service which I felt should of included a plugin as part of the service and this annoyed me. Which is why I researched alternatives and found a better more sustainable option.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences with 3rd party companies or even web developers/ companies. Has there been situation where you felt someone was taking advantage of you?