Strategies for Refusing Time-Consuming Website Requests

Started by afariat, Mar 08, 2023, 06:02 AM

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afariatTopic starter

I am working with a client who I have made a website for based on the given layout. I have not received payment yet since the contract states that 100% payment is to be made after filling in the domain. Now, the client wants me to handle the content filling task, which involves copying and pasting text and resizing images from Word. The layout only requires inserting lists and headers, and WordPress itself provides sufficient editing tools for resizing.

When I inform the client of the cost for this additional task, they express dissatisfaction due to the perceived notion that I am not delivering a complete project.

Is there a universal way to politely decline unwanted additions?


It was a similar situation. I had to engage in numerous arguments with the client regarding this matter, as many clients have the misconception that paying money automatically entitles them to extensive services from the developer. In the contract, I made it explicitly clear that website content filling is a separate service with a separate fee structure, ranging from simple copy-pasting from a document to writing original articles.

Despite this, some clients attempted to argue that they were provided with a document file containing 70% of the required information, and expected additional information and image descriptions to be sourced online, disregarding the agreed-upon terms. The cost was divided into two parts: copy-pasting from a file and the time spent on online research, regardless of whether it took one minute or one hour.

To avoid such misunderstandings, it is crucial to clearly state in the contract that content filling is not included in the development stage and requires a separate agreement with its own pricing. If clients raise concerns about the completeness of the project, it is essential to refer them back to the relevant clauses in the contract.

In the end, both parties should adhere to the signed agreement and approach the situation with professionalism and respect.


The first and foremost question for the future is how committed you are to achieving the desired outcome. During the project discussions, both parties established a clear set of tasks that the developer should undertake. They also agreed, in written form, that a formal letter outlining the list of works must be completed as a checklist before considering the development phase complete. Additionally, the client is entitled to review the completed checklist.

To ensure clarity, it is crucial to document the essence of the ongoing discussions. In a written letter, specify which tasks are included in the payment agreement for the project. Explain that due to the non-specialized nature of certain works, it was challenging to ascertain a complete list of tasks. However, emphasize that test content has been provided to prove the progress made.

It is important to assert that filling the website is only possible with the content specified in the layouts. Other materials submitted could not be evaluated during the project discussions.

The client may confidently assume that if the remaining work is minimal, they can expect you to complete it, given that the project is 90% ready and payment is due. Your task, however, is to negotiate and dissuade them from such expectations.

We wish you good luck and want to remind you that, currently, you have less protection than the client. Nonetheless, with careful planning and persistence, any issues can be resolved.


In general, there are several options depending on the agreements made:

- If I have followed the layout precisely, even if it included placeholder text, it should remain consistent with the original design. Any improvements or modifications would be subject to additional payment.
- Depending on the proposed payment, it might be worth considering hiring a student who can make these edits for the amount offered by the client. While this may not be profitable for you, it can still prevent you from being seen as an "unprofessional freelancer" by delivering an unfinished website.
- It is important to explain to the client the significance of qualifications and payment by using analogies. For instance, they are essentially requesting a highly skilled engineer, who commands a high salary, to perform the duties of an ordinary plumber working for much less.

Furthermore, it is possible to suggest finding a freelance content developer who can undertake these tasks at a lower cost. This way, the client can find someone willing to work within their budget while still maintaining the quality and completion of the website.


While there may not be a universal way to politely decline unwanted additions, it is important to approach the situation with clear communication and understanding. You can explain to the client that the original contract only covered the website creation based on the given layout, and additional tasks like content filling were not included in the agreement.

You can then suggest alternative options to help them complete the content filling task, such as guiding them on how to do it themselves using the available WordPress editing tools or recommending a professional content writer/editor they can hire for the task.

It's crucial to emphasize your willingness to assist within the boundaries of the original contract and to maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout your communication.

If the client insists on having you handle the content filling task and expresses dissatisfaction with the additional cost, you can try to negotiate a compromise. You can explain that while the content filling task was not originally included in the contract, you are willing to take on the task but it requires additional time and effort on your part.

In order to meet their expectations, you can suggest a revised payment structure that includes the cost for the additional task. This way, you are transparent about the added work and provide them with a clear understanding of the associated cost.

If the client is still dissatisfied or unwilling to pay for the additional task, you may need to decide how to proceed. It could involve sticking to the original agreement and delivering the website without the content filling task, or potentially renegotiating the terms of the contract to accommodate the client's request.