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Should I want to mention what techniques I use to build a website for clients in agreement (written or verbal) ?

For example, if I get a project to build a website and if I have a plan to use WordPress with a free or premium theme, should I tell my client that I will use WordPress?

  • Yes, it's best to describe and document the setup and technologies you use. Whether free / open source / paid for or otherwise. – user3244085 Jan 24 '17 at 20:15
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That depends on the client.

A tech-savvy client will most often want full disclosure, possibly even micro-manage the process.

If the client has no interest in technology at all and is more or less leaving it all up to you, then they probably do not care. However, in the sales phase, I would definitely mention the very wide adoption of Wordpress, as factors such as wide adoption, continued development and availability of freelancers are relevant non-technical factors.

When in doubt, disclose the details and see how the client reacts. All (smaller) clients are different and part of your role is to establish functioning two-way communication. The smaller the client, the more individual personalities come into play.

In general, I have found that clients do not care to be involved in essentially technical decisions, like which database or programming language to use. However, when the technical decision is actually a business decision, they want to be involved. For example: On the face of it, choosing 'open source' over a proprietary product seems like a technical decision, but can easily be presented as a business decision, as it involves pricing, vendor lock-in and so on.

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It's important to find a balance between being transparent, and overwhelming a client with information. Developers/technically-minded folk can often find themselves getting carried away, describing the cool things that they will use to build a website, but run the risk of paralysing the client with information overload.

Throughout a proposal phase, a client really just wants to know how you can help solve their issue, and not necessarily the nuts and bolts of how you will do it.

So with that in mind, I'd perhaps skip the details on the theme (too granular in my opinion, unless of course they are technical and want to know this), but tell them that you will use WordPress.

Some people feel the need to white-label WordPress to make it appear as their own CMS, but the more astute clients will always consider the longevity of any business relationship. In fact, I use WordPress as a 'plus' point in my proposals, highlighting it's widespread use, and the fact that if I did get run over by a bus, it could be easily managed by another developer.

Be confident that you're solving their true problems with the technology that you choose to use. If the client asks for more detail, then you can tell them.

I hope this helps!

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More important question is why do you want to hide it from the client?

Using wordpress does not mean that you are doing anything wrong. In cases like yours, I present a client plan for cheaper or more expensive option. A cheaper one includes: wordpress, free them, blah blah blah. More expensive one includes: custom CMS, paid theme or custom made theme, blah blah.

So a client chooses a way he will go.

In case you are working for a fixed price, which is not enough for the custom CMS, then you can mention something like "I see that the budget is not intended for the custom CMS and custom themes, so we will use Wordpress and free theme of your choice".

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I always outline my approach briefly and non-technically to my clients. It's always a good idea to do it. Your client may not care, but that improves communication, trust and they may think you're actually here to help them.

Communication is the key of success in freelancing.

The only downside is like 5-minute time for writing the email. You should do it.

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