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Hypothetical Question....

So I'm putting together a quote for a website and from my point of view the only way to go is a complete re-design as it doesn't communicate well the user experience is awful and there's just to much going on and its a mess. So i wanting to know would it be acceptable to put in the quote / statement of work.

"you can't polish a turd" As i believe thats what it is. The C.E.O. said he just wants it cleaning up and made less clunky but i believe it needs more than a quick spruce up.

Remember this is a hypothetical question.........


Staff member
Realistically the best you can do is explain to the client it would be cheaper to start from scratch on the websites layout etc then either integrate the existing content of their site and/or extra content.

Having said that you don't actually say how much they know about web design either, they might not know much and to them a quick spruce up might actually mean a completely new look rather than say just making the glossy icons flat colour. Without context it is a bit hard to say.

Sean Lee-Amies

The trick is to get them to realise you can't polish a turd, without actually saying it. Hypothetically, if they had a current website, would you be able to leave it lying around in your next post?

There are three main problems here, firstly they may not have the budget to start from scratch. Secondly, they may not have the time or want to start from scratch. Thirdly, they may not have a clue about web development and, for example, may just assume that once you build a website, you just add to it, and that there's no need to shell out for a new site.

1. Find out what sort of budget they are looking to work with, get a range (min/max) - if they don't want to tell you, it will be necessary to explain that you can work with budgets of £1,000 or £20,000 so you need to know where abouts on the scale they sit. If they still don't tell you, well it's a big red flag and you may want to consider whether you really need to work with them...

2. Find out what they want to achieve. What industry are they in, how important is it for them to have a website and what do they really need on it? Do they want to promote their brand, engage with customers/clients and generate interest their services/products or do they just want a website so that they can say they have one..?

3. Explain to them your process for reaching the goals they want to achieve - which hopefully will require more than just a quick polishing of the design - and then explain the difficulties involved in having to do that with their current site.

The more structure you bring to the table, the more professional you'll look and the more likely they will be to take on board your recommendations. Beware though, if its a new client, they will probably be wary of people trying to get them to buy things they don't need. I always sit down for at least an hour with new clients and really get to know them - that way there is trust before you start discussing what services they need.


Staff member
I watched an episode of Mythbusters and they actually did manage to polish a turd.
I think it was lion crap.