In the web design industry there has always been some controversy over payment installments, receiving payments, and receiving work that comes with contracts or agreements made between the web designer (or web design firm) and clientele.
All web designers or web design firms have their payment installment plans in place before you walk in the door. Some of the methods are; the whole payment up front, half up front and then two payments of 25%, and some have a combination of both. With some designers, if the cost is below a certain amount, clients must pay all up front. If the cost is above a certain amount, it could qualify for different payment options. There are some other installment methods used, but there really aren't any reasons to go into depth about these.
Some clients have hired web designers and have them take their money and not deliver any of the work that was agreed upon. It is very frustrating for a client to have to deal with that. It is also frustrating for reputable, trustworthy web designers, because we now have to deal with a client that is hesitant and timid regarding their investment. That doesn't mean there aren't clients out there with good relationships with past webmasters. Each client has their own history with web designers they have dealt with in the past. Some of those are good and some of those are bad
Show Me The MoneyThere is also the other side of the coin. Here is what can happen to a web designer. A client will come forward with a project they want to accomplish. A contract is signed and the web designer will ask for payment. The client might respond with something like "I am waiting on a check to come next week and I will be able to pay you then, but I don't want that to stall the project. Do you think you can start now and I will pay when I get that check?" So out of goodwill, the designer agrees and starts the project. Now, a week later, the designer is roughly 25 hours into the project. The web designer has already given the client some of the material that was created so the client can use it for other collateral. The designer asks about the payment and the client keeps telling the designer "tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow", and it has now been 3 weeks and there still hasn't been a payment. The client then tells the designer that he doesn't feel like paying, even though they are using some of the project materials that were produced by the designer. There are a lot of good clients out there, but these types of situations are what causes webmasters to have payment installment plans in place.
So now we are stuck in a catch 22 where; clients are weary to pay without the work getting done first, and the designers do not want to do the work without getting a payment first. This makes it difficult to move forward with the business at hand. Designers need to work and clients need an online presence. To the clients out there looking for a webmaster, do a little bit of research on the webmaster you are looking at doing business with before you contact them. Look at their portfolio. Do a Google search on their company and see what will come up. To all the webmasters out there, as the old saying goes you can not get paid for work you have already done. In other words don't start on the project without a check clearing the bank. Not even if you think that it is a guarantee. Money in the bank is a guarantee you can count on. Other than that, it is like wishing in one hand and spitting in the other.