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#1 michaellunsford

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 09:50 PM

I only churn out a few sites a year that aren't hosted on my server; so this has never really been an issue, until now. I have a client who's hosting on a third party service. We've done the work, but they decided not to pay and changed their FTP login. After some some investigation, I've discovered that I was suckered because they never intended to pay.

This is a new experience for me, as all of my work is done on referral only. I rarely start up a project unless someone I know vouches for the new client. So, this is quite the learning experience. How to prevent this from happening again?

If I look to plesk for a model, you don't pay their annual fee, you get a 30 day grace period (I think) then it stops working. A few challenges would be that PHP is open source and they could effectively remove such code without fear. The fix to that problem leads to another problem: Zend Guard is $995 a year. Hey, that's great in California where they're getting $10k for a static website, but I don't have that kind of money. Yeah, there's the old obfuscate thing, but that's just one "echo" away from raw source code.

So, where to turn, what to do?

#2 .josh

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 10:02 PM

require payment upfront. Or installment payments at certain pre-defined milestones. Doesn't eliminate the risk, but helps in reducing it.
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#3 michaellunsford

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 10:07 PM

I generally do the project in thirds. Third up front, third on delivery, third in thirty days.

Apparently, 66% off is the next best thing to free.

#4 ober

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 11:34 PM

I like to request at least 40% up front.  I then develop and showcase the product on my servers, at which point the remaining cost is required before being placed on their servers.  I eat the time spent working out any problems on their server because of this requirement.

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#5 michaellunsford

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 12:06 AM

There's an idea. Full amount due before posting to their server. By golly, that's a policy.

The ability for local competition to download and repackage some of my vertical market solutions keeps me up at night. If anyone knows of an encryption or obfuscation solution that works and is difficult to circumvent, I am curious to know more. For now, the policy is that those solutions remain on my server.




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