I got an e-mail today from one of my customers, and they informed me that they were not going to use the fully-integrated CMS that I developed for them any longer. They said they had someone else working on a new site for them.
I don't get it: Why would someone spend $1000+ on a website that meets their supposed needs and desires completely, then a year later decide to not use it any longer? Was contacting me about changes not an option? Was asking me if I would be willing to work with the people on the new site not an option? Was getting in touch with me in a reasonable period of time not an option?!
Earlier this summer I contact them in regards to domain renewal fees and the next year's hosting, and they told me to go ahead and take care of it, then they would cut me a check to reimburse me.
First off, I know that sounds a bit fishy, but for a non-profit it's the norm. They had to go through a long chain of command before a check was even considered to be cut. Normally, they had to have a sales invoice read for a meeting at the end of the quarter, then the check would be sent out 30 days later. I've not had any problem with it in the past.
Second, I can't really see why they would tell me they wanted to keep the site running, then 6 months later tell me that they don't. I mean, sure, people change their minds, but typically there is a bit of communication involved, and the other party can plan.
This all brings me to a serious point of concern: Are my content management systems too complex for the average website operator? Is it too hard for them to understand that [b]this would be bold text[/b] and that you click here, click there, edit this, toggle that, and submit the form to edit a page of content? Good luck finding another site that you can manage by yourself.
I'm really seriously considering dropping my CMSes from the primary sales pitch, and just push a hand-authored, W3C valid, static (X)HTML website, and let them pay me an hourly fee to maintain it. This crap of me puting 6 months of work into something, only to have it thrown in file #13 is retarded.