Airtight Sites?

I used to hate having requests for changes on a web site after we had finished it. Really, does anyone like requests like this? If we defined the perfect client and the perfect project we would upload a web site and not hear from the client again until there was a nice sized addition to be made. But, is this the best way to work?

The answer depends on how you set it up. The reason changes are a pain to make is because we design the site, from the kick-off meeting to the last bit of code, to be static. Over the last year, as we have moved into more of an everyday role with a couple of clients I have seen how much sites need to change in order to meet the needs of our clients.

When you are outside the day-to-day world of your clients it is easy to miss how the site is being used and what needs to happen on an ongoing basis to make it an effective tool. Within a month of working in a retainer format we saw that not only should the little, picky, changes be made but that there was a whole other layer that the client did not even see at first.

Since learning this we have updated one client site almost weekly and with a new brand that is being launched we are building it from the ground up using WordPress to make it even easier to grow and change.

The key to this was in making sure we got paid to do this work. Under our retainer arrangement we get paid to do the work but we also get paid to care and most  importantly be proactive about the growth and direction of the web site.

So, are the sites you build airtight and what would happen if you got close enough to your clients to see exactly what they need?

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