You don’t make sure you new car comes with the tires because it would be absurd to sign the paperwork and come outside to your new car up on blocks. It’s a general expectation that cars come with tires.
Why then do we put clients in that situation with websites? Take a new static website. The client only needs a few pages and the content only changes once a year so a full CMS is just a bit silly. While it might not be spelled out one would think that if you typed example.com or www.example.com you would get the same site. Now as web people we know that in fact this is not the case. Most servers would view those locations as two totally different sites. Your SEO value would be split. On top of that some broswers have trouble resolving the difference between those two locations so may return that the site doesn’t exist.
I can only speak for myself here but in my opinion the scenario outlined above is like buying a car with no tires. I don’t sell websites without taking that basic level of setup into account and making sure it works. When clients, who have been ‘tricked’ before, ask about simple functions like that I usually blink for a second and say ‘Of course I just considered that so basic I didn’t write it down. It’s just the way you do things. You don’t ask if the tires are included on a new car right?’ We then have a laugh and for their piece of mind I put it in writing
Unfortunately that has not always been my experience in working with other companies and freelancers. I write this prompted by a situation very similar to the one outlined above. No I didn’t make sure that you would redirect example.com to www.example.com but the site doesn’t work in IE right now or Safari or Chrome so it’s kinda broken. Wait you want to charge me for that? Really? You want to charge me extra to deliver a site that functions in web browsers? Hmm I guess I should have made sure the tires were included.
I suppose I may provide a level of service that others don’t. When I install WordPress for a client I setup SEO plugins and backup plugins and add Google Analytics if they don’t have it. I don’t specifically mention those things because that’s just how you build WordPress sites. Or at least that’s just how a good responsible developer builds WordPress sites.
I suppose the end of this rant comes down to the fact that unless the client forces me I don’t provide functionality that I myself would not be happy with. If a client wants a blog it’s obvious that they would want a way to manage comments, catch spam, sanitize data, have good SEO, and keep the site backed up. I wouldn’t even ask if those were requirements since I would never live with a blog that didn’t have those items included.
If they want a static site they would obviously need 301 redirects in place. I wouldn’t ask if they wanted it because it’s just not how professional developers build websites.
So I suppose I have a question for anyone reading this. Am I right? Are items as I describe above things that just come with a website for your clients or do you charge extra? Who knows maybe I’m just too nice and honest and will end up shutting down as more and more items fall into the area I consider just the right way to do things.