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General Discussion

Keith Doyle
Keith Doyle
25,973 Points

Showing a Client Their Website - Best Practice?

Is there a best practice to show a client their website? Mockups, wireframes, etc are easy enough to share via Dropbox, FTP, or whatever the client prefers but showing a functioning prototype is a little more tricky.

Anyone have any best practices or how do you share your prototypes with clients?

4 Answers

Eddie Flores
Eddie Flores
9,110 Points

Showing a client their website is based on which part of the process you are on. If you are still on the planning phase, ALWAYS go with the wireframes. It allows for a more fluid concept and change in the details based on the client's needs. Assess their needs and continue to the next phase.

Mockups are nice, but most clients would want to see the full potential of their vision during this part. Mockups are once you've assessed their needs and put in the smaller details. It's a good point of reference to do the mockups prior to implementing it into a demo. I wouldn't do the demo until you get more concrete details on your schema and design.

I've been part of website design, development, ops, and database teams for almost 10 years, and this is the general standard practice I've seen in corporate America.

I would second Eddie's reply.

Michael Lyons
Michael Lyons
11,031 Points

Showing a prototype isn't as tricky as you think.

Something I've done in the past is host our proposed website for them on our own local servers, and forward ports so they are hosted publicly and can be called from either our static IP or DNS.

It will give them a live website to see EXACTLY how it would work. Plus you protect the entire site with a password and provide to for your client, so no one else can see it.

Rainbow Walker
Rainbow Walker
8,347 Points

Eddie Flores I think the question was more how to share a prototype than if he should share.

I agree with Michael Lyons. We are mostly building prototypes on a subdomain of our companys domain. Protected by Password, only the developers can access the site. Sharing the prototype with a client is as easy as sending them the URL and credentials so he is able to log in to the live prototype preview.

Keith Doyle
Keith Doyle
25,973 Points

You are correct Vlado Repic. I saw that Bluehost has a password protect directory option so I assume I would just upload their site to that directory/folder and then password protect it, send them the URL along with the password. Or should I use the .htaccess file and restrict it that way?

I wasn't really asking whether or not I should share and what I should share, more along the lines of how.

Rainbow Walker
Rainbow Walker
8,347 Points

I prefer protecting with password and sending them the URL. If someone else would try to enter the URL it will display a 401 error that the authorization is required.

Please remember to set <meta name="robots" content="NOINDEX,NOFOLLOW" /> in a demo version and to change credentials (or just password) after the demo work is done.

All this is only my best practice.

Rainbow Walker
Rainbow Walker
8,347 Points

Sorry, it seems the code was deleted while posting.

EDIT: Please remember to set https://gist.github.com/vladorepic/6972406 in a demo version and to change credentials (or just password) after the demo work is done.