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Clients From Hell

A collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from web designers

(None of these are ours, honest) 


“That other website is stealing our business. Can you make it so that when someone types in their address they come to our site?”

Me: “So what’s your budget?”

Client:  “Well we are well known amongst all the Russian billionaires so there is great potential for you to get your name out there by doing this project for free. Also I am a direct descendant of Genghis Khan.”


“I’m not paying you anything extra to do the website because it is simply a matter of pushing the right buttons. I know how to push buttons.”

Client: You see where you have a full stop at the end of the first sentence?

Me:  Yes.

Client:  Can you change it to a comma?

Me:  Er, well I can, but you should put a full stop at the end of a sentence.

Client:  Oh, that grammar stuff is very old fashioned.


“Our web application support team doesn’t know HTML or JavaScript, can you redo the project so you aren’t using those?”

After a lengthy presentation for the design of a microsite, the clients had a few unanswered questions. Chief among them regarded the large portraits of former actors and directors beside their bios. The conversation went something like this:

Client:  “Can you click the picture?”

Me:  “No. What do you want it to do? Enlarge?”

Client:  “No, I just want to click it.”

Me:  “But when you click it, what do you want to happen?”

Client:  “I just want to be able to click it.”


“We’d like you to illustrate this (diagram of traffic tunnel and four-lane highway), but we’d like you to make it look like this (watercolour of budgie doing aerobics).”

My client was an outdoor events company and upon seeing a competitor using a blue sky in their advertising, emailed me telling me to call this company and let them know that they had to change the colour of the sky in their ads, “because we own copyright of blue skies in this country so no-one else can use them”.


“I really like the gradient – going from red to yellow – but I don’t like orange. Can you make it go through another colour?”

Client:  “Just make it look like the site I showed you.  In fact, why don’t you go into their site and take the images?”

Me:  “Because that is illegal.”


“I want you to make it so people have to give us their email before they can look at the site. If they’re gonna look at our stuff, I want to be able to spam them afterwards.”

Client: I need video streaming, contact forms, a small database for customer comments and a new logo made and hosting for 3 years with a bit of a download option for the videos too

Me:  That all sounds reasonable, your original request terms this “Cheaply” what is your budget and I’ll advise as to what can be done realistically.

Client:  £20


“I really like it. The thing is, I showed it to my uncle, and he didn’t like it at all – he though the ‘1’ looked like an ‘i’. He was a bit drunk at the time. Do you think you could you change it?”