Does this sound anything like you?
The Freelance Web Designer Scenario
Mary hired you to create a website, design an ad, make a logo, or any of the myriad design or development work you specialize in. Over time, you’ve learned that you need good communication between you and your clients, so that your projects move forward quickly, and your clients are happy with the results. You’ve refined your processes, and perhaps you figured out that you need written communication because no one remembers verbal communications three months down the line. You and Mary have exchanged many emails over the last few weeks as the design process has evolved.
You track everything through email, or maybe you’ve even upgraded to a help desk app. All is well. Except for that one still-nagging problem.
It’s difficult for clients to SHOW you what they like, what they hate, and what they want changed.
You finally realize that you need a visual collaboration tool that lets your client give you direct feedback on your mockups and even on live sites. If your client can EASILY click on a heading and leave a sticky note comment about its size, color, wording, or placement, your life gets much easier. If you can then reply back to your client’s comment, you’ve created a conversation right there on the design element itself. That’s a streamlined process that makes everyone happy.
So now you’re ready to take the leap and you start Googling. You load up your browser tabs with visual feedback tools and then start checking them out. They seem great! But then you see the price tags. Some aren’t too bad. Maybe $19/month. Some are crazy expensive. If you can afford hundreds of dollars a month, and you are just now looking for feedback tools, then … I don’t know … that’s just weird. In any case, most of them are way out of my budget.
The search becomes an endless decision-making process.
- Which is better?
- How much should I spend?
- One is decently priced but it’s a little difficult for the clients to use.
- Another looks super easy but either has limitations or is expensive.
I just went through this entire decision-making process, by the way. I’d almost given up on using anything because I just couldn’t decide. And then I saw a recommendation from someone. I don’t remember who, or where. Probably in a Facebook group or on Twitter. In any case, the perfect solution appeared out of nowhere, it seemed, so now I’m going to pass along the info. You may also not remember where you heard it, or who recommended it. But that doesn’t matter.
If you need a better way to communicate with your clients and get design feedback from them – on mockups or on live sites – get ProjectHuddle. (That’s an affiliate link, so just Google it if you’d prefer to get there that way instead).
For just $89/year OR a one-time lifetime license for $499, you get a completely customizable, SELF-HOSTED WordPress plugin, that you can white-label and use for UNLIMITED projects and UNLIMITED users. That’s pretty much perfect.
And the actual usage of it? Also perfectly easy.
Ok, with all the pitch out of the way, you want to see this in action, don’t you? So let’s get right to it then.
Just take a couple of seconds to look at the animaged gif above. So simple, right?
Click the plus sign, click on the area of the screen that you wish to comment on, and type your comment. It’s just like adding a sticky note to any part of the screen. And the conversation can continue right there in the note.
ProjectHuddle is a WordPress plugin. You install it on whatever WordPress site you want, such as your design site. Installing it in a subdomain of your site is even better. So if you own janedoedesigns.com, then just install the plugin there, or create a new WP install in huddle.janedoedesigns.com or dashboard.janedoedesigns.com or whatever subdomain you choose. Then install the plugin there.
This process isn’t just for feedback on WordPress sites! You can use it on wireframes, images, mockups, WordPress sites, static sites, etc. Install it once on your WordPress site, and then use it everywhere!
Once you install ProjectHuddle on your own WordPress site you can use it cross-domain on any number of websites. Add a tiny bit of code to your client’s site and begin collaborating! Communication happens securely across domains so all your feedback is neatly saved on your own WordPress site.
You can customize the interface with your own logo and colors. These will also show up in email notifications.
In fact, the entire thing can be customized to your liking.
Clean, commented code has loads of hooks and a child template system so developers can easily make customizations or integrations. It’s GPL licensed, which means you’re free to extend, modify or reuse as much as you like.
Once ready, just send your client a private link with an optional password and the feedback can begin.
Comments can be assigned to members of your team if you have one, and everyone can keep track of their tasks in the dashboard.
Also in the dashboard, you can see additional details, such as the user’s browser, browser size, and OS so that you know what she was using when she made that comment. Maybe the button is green for everyone except her particular setup. That’s information you would have a difficult time knowing if Project Huddle didn’t provide it.
There are some features I haven’t even tried yet such as integrated shortcodes to create client account overview pages,
I’m a little giddy that I didn’t have to spend a ton of money to get this kind of client feedback system. See if you like it. They offer a 30-day no-questions-asked refund policy, so why not?
Remember…this can be used on images, mockups, wireframes, live WordPress sites, live non-WordPress sites, etc.
I love that this is self-hosted, easily white-labeled, and so customizable. The fact that it is so easy to use and so affordable just makes it perfect.