There are very few “quick and easy” web projects (as described by the prospective client) that turn out that way. This is a lesson we relearn regularly.
It’s the web developer’s job to explain whether a project is “quick and easy” or not. If it was truly “quick and easy” it could already be done, as the prospective client would have been able to do it in house. The reality may be that the project is quick and easy to describe, although whether that description entails all the effort involved or is detailed enough to really measure the project is an open question. For example, we often hear someone describing their project as wanting to give their web site “a new/fresh look” and that is certainly quite easy to say. But what does that mean? You find that in the details.
“Quick and easy” is another code phrase for “very inexpensive” as well. Web developers hear this when the prospective customer says it. Again, work involved determines cost, and web developers are best equipped for determining cost by specifying the elements of the project. It’s not to the benefit of either party to accept “quick and easy” as the appropriate description of the project at the beginning, so the prospective client should expect the web developer to basically ignore that description and work to specify the scope of the project.
If a prospective client has a set budget for the work they are looking for, they might want to consider stating that in the beginning and letting the web developer determine what they can do for that price, and what might be evolutionary steps within their budget over time for the site.
Like stated earlier, we have learned this lesson many times. As soon as we hear “quick and easy” or any similar statements from someone interested in our services, we politely explain that we should scope the project first before assessing the amount of work. It’s easier for everyone.