I just checked on a site that I built — for free — for some friends who have a little non-profit organization they run. I redesigned their site from the ground up, I battled Yahoo! for six weeks to get their domain name released, I put the whole shootin’ match into a nice little CMS, and I hosted it for more than half a year, all for free, because they’re good people doing a good thing.

Except when they turn around try to screw me.

When I went to the site, I noticed that they had some other developer rebuild (again) their site. This hack person totally ripped off my design, put the site back in tables, and put his (?) name on it. At least it’s on his server. I’d like to send him (and CC my friends) a nasty-gram explaining in great detail what bad form it is to steal my work. I’d like to send my friends a slightly-less-nasty-gram asking them WTF?

I think I’m pissed off because I put a hell of a lot of time into this project, and to have this kind of outcome feels like I’ve totally failed. It feels like I’ve failed as a developer by making a site my clients (friends) weren’t happy with, and it feels like I failed as a friend by (apparently) screwing up what could have been a nice gift for them. I think the worst part is that they didn’t even bother to email or call me and say something like, “Gosh, aj, we really appreciate what you tried to do for us, but we’ve decided to go in a different direction. Thanks for all your work.” Even, “Man, aj, you suck! Go get a real job,” would have been better that the whole lot of nothing they gave me.

Any thoughts on how to approach this garbage?

2 thoughts on “Un-cool”

  1. Hm It’s a tough one. Honestly, I guess it’s something I never would have thought of. I mean, you did it as a gift — and like a gift you can’t check on them and see if they are using the gift the way you want them too (like say a rug or something..that you hand made that you thought would be perfect for their kitchen, and then you dropped by a six months later to see that it had become an outside rug for the back door.) Who could say why it was there…maybe a cat peed on it and they didn’t want to get rid of it but still use it.

    Hm. My point. I had one, I am sure. Ah right. As for the folks who changed it…maybe they wanted some updates and didn’t want to impose on you again.

    But to sooth your soul, it wouldn’t hurt to send them an email saying you check out the site and wished them luck. Boy I wish I had better advice.

    I want advice on my website! I want to know 1. Is it hard to change my domain to the main part of my page — as in … right now it’s http://www.wazika.net/quatschen.html and what I want is for it to be straight up http://www.wazika.net

    How would one go about doing that without their head exploding?

  2. Hi Laura,

    re: changing your site around – If what you want to do is have people type in “wazika.net” and see the content that’s currently on “wazika.net/quatschen.html,” probably the easiest thing to do is just rename “quatschen.html” to “index.html” on your server. Of course, that has the potential of wreaking all kinds of havoc on your site navigation, links from inside your content, etc., depending on how you built all that stuff in the first place.

    So, pretty much, what you’d do is this:
    Make a backup of your whole site — pages, database, images, everything.
    Rename “quatschen.html” to “index.html”
    Rebuild the broken parts of your nav structure
    Check the rest of your site for broken links. It’s probably easiest to use some sort of automated tool like http://www.dead-links.com/.
    Drink a gin & tonic knowing that your site is now more beautiful than ever before. Or at least things work the way you want them to.


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