Minisite Designers... Be Warned!

by sal64
56 replies
I'm not a fan of starting negative threads, but this should serve more as a community service announcement.

If you order minisite designs for any purpose, then listen up...

There are some sneaky... heck let's be honest here... downright dishonest people out there who embed their website links in your website.

In other words, they drop an obscure line of html code on your templates which then provides back links to their website.

It is practice that I have been aware of for some time, but enough is enough.

If you pay for a service, then that's it. What right does a designer to add that the site is their copyright? Or to advertise their own site?

I mean, who is paying who here? I don't recall offering you free advertising in return for paying you.

Go peddle your dishonesty somewhere else!

End of rant.

PS: If you don't do this, then I ain't talking about you. So no offence intended.
#designers #minisite #warned
  • Profile picture of the author Kan
    Thanks for the heads up, but doesn't the backlink have to be visible to count? You know what would be really sneaky though? Cookie stuffing that way, what a nightmare...
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  • I've never had a designer do this. Definitely time for you to find someone more reputable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
    You act like this is uncommon.

    You almost always see a credit to the designer on websites.
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    • Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

      You act like this is uncommon.

      You almost always see a credit to the designer on websites.
      I don't allow them from my designers and it's not to be difficult customer - it's because 99% of the sites I outsource design work for are sales pages and I don't want ANY outbound links other than the "Add to Cart" button.
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      • Profile picture of the author sal64
        The footer link is obvious. And I always ask that it is not included.

        But the internal html code is what I am referring to.

        Is common?? Whoopee! It is still wrong.

        Yes, I now do my designs in house.

        But when you have20+ designs, and 20 pages per site to correct...
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        • Profile picture of the author mathmo
          Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

          The footer link is obvious. And I always ask that it is not included.

          But the internal html code is what I am referring to.

          Is common?? Whoopee! It is still wrong.

          Yes, I now do my designs in house.

          But when you have20+ designs, and 20 pages per site to correct...
          Use a half decent editor such as notepad++ and you can remove the offending bit of code with ease, you'll be done before the kettle has boiled

          Notepad++ | 5.8.5
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        • Profile picture of the author kentaiwan98
          Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

          The footer link is obvious. And I always ask that it is not included.

          But the internal html code is what I am referring to.

          Is common?? Whoopee! It is still wrong.

          Yes, I now do my designs in house.

          But when you have20+ designs, and 20 pages per site to correct...
          Can't you just auto-replace the text with a suitable program? Or at least auto-quote it with "<!-- -->"

          At least that renders it harmless.

          Kenneth
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        • Profile picture of the author donhx
          Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

          The footer link is obvious. And I always ask that it is not included.

          But the internal html code is what I am referring to.

          Is common?? Whoopee! It is still wrong.

          Yes, I now do my designs in house.

          But when you have20+ designs, and 20 pages per site to correct...

          "Designed by"... "Powered by"... even the WordPress back link is the way it is. When people are willing to pay so little for sites, it's a way to get business. People should be prepared to pay extra if they don't want back links on their sites. It's branding, just like that logo on your Ford... see if you can get that advertising removed from your car no matter what kind it is.

          Back links are a part of life. Everyone wants them. The part that is bad, of course, is if that are hidden links. That's unethical.
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      • Profile picture of the author sal64
        Originally Posted by Entrepreneur Stream View Post

        I don't allow them from my designers and it's not to be difficult customer - it's because 99% of the sites I outsource design work for are sales pages and I don't want ANY outbound links other than the "Add to Cart" button.
        EXACTLY!

        And frankly, they have no right to try and gain an advantage from their work.

        Also, what right do they have to claim the copyright inside the html code???
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Murphy
          I state up front that they aren't to embed any links or ads unless I approve.

          The good ones comply with no questions asked.
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        • Originally Posted by sal64 View Post


          Also, what right do they have to claim the copyright inside the html code???
          Absolutely none. Since you're laying out the cash, it's your property. They have zero claim to any copyright (unless, of course it was previously discussed, but that's obviously not the case here).

          Sounds like you've had your fill of sneaky designers. Glad you were able to catch it and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author sarahberra
    Thank you! I was actually thinking about doing this, but I think I will just stick with creating my own wordpress sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    It's pretty common (like nearly all of them do it) for a web designer/developer to add a "designed by" reference in the footer of a site and it is only dishonest if they try and deceive you.

    Is it different to an artist signing a commissioned piece of art?

    If you don't like it then make it clear when you hire them. It is so common they probably don't even think about it. The Copyright tag is probably just due to ignorance.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I think it's ok if they have a little thing near the copyright info in the actual graphic that says 'Design by X'. But it definitely should NOT be an actual html link or text on the page. Besides, when I found some designs I liked once, I emailed the product owner and just asked them who it was designed by.
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    • Profile picture of the author WikiNoobie
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      I think it's ok if they have a little thing near the copyright info in the actual graphic that says 'Design by X'. But it definitely should NOT be an actual html link or text on the page. Besides, when I found some designs I liked once, I emailed the product owner and just asked them who it was designed by.
      i agree with WillR by the way, maybe that's one of the way of viral marketing. Heck, if i found some good design in others people website... i has the curious to find out who was responsible to design this site.
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      • Profile picture of the author AFI
        What is even more annoying is when they put it in base 64 code so you have to decrypt it in order to get it off there. HTML code is no big deal you just remove it, but base 64 requires you to decrypt it and then try to put the thing back together like puzzle pieces. I've had that happen twice with the last two themes I've used.
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        • Profile picture of the author sal64
          here's an exceprt of what I'm referring to...


          <meta name="design-by" content="Copyright (C) 2010-Present xxxxxxxx.com">

          Name removed.

          and...

          <!--Graphic design by: xxxxxxxxxxx.com.-->

          Viral marketing?? lol

          What about permission? And I notice that this particular designer was happy to post my websites on here for his portfolio and promo.

          But you don't see them offering to put a link from their site to yours.
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          • Profile picture of the author AFI
            Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

            here's an exceprt of what I'm referring to...


            <meta name="design-by" content="Copyright (C) 2010-Present xxxxxxxx.com">

            Name removed.

            and...

            <!--Graphic design by: xxxxxxxxxxx.com.-->

            Viral marketing?? lol

            What about permission? And I notice that this particular designer was happy to post my websites on here for his portfolio and promo.

            But you don't see them offering to put a link from their site to yours.
            Actually those aren't "hidden links in your html code". Those are comments and they're quite common for designers to put comments of their work to help them organize themselves. It's definitely not a traffic leak because comments don't appear on your website. I'm not sure if Google pays attention to commented lines of code or not, but basically what comments are meant for is to help yourself organize. Usually it's something like:

            <!--- header information goes here --->

            But yeah I guess it is a little sneaky for him to put his URL in there but not really. It's not like it appears on your site in any way. Nor do you lose any traffic from it. You'd have to view the source code of the page to even see it.
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            • Profile picture of the author sal64
              Originally Posted by AFI View Post

              Actually those aren't "hidden links in your html code". Those are comments and they're quite common for designers to put comments of their work to help them organize themselves. It's definitely not a traffic leak because comments don't appear on your website. I'm not sure if Google pays attention to commented lines of code or not, but basically what comments are meant for is to help yourself organize. Usually it's something like:

              <!--- header information goes here --->

              But yeah I guess it is a little sneaky for him to put his URL in there but not really. It's not like it appears on your site in any way. Nor do you lose any traffic from it. You'd have to view the source code of the page to even see it.
              Fair enough.

              I was having a bad hair day. :p
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          • Profile picture of the author myrnasy
            Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

            here's an exceprt of what I'm referring to...


            <meta name="design-by" content="Copyright (C) 2010-Present xxxxxxxx.com">

            Name removed.

            and...

            <!--Graphic design by: xxxxxxxxxxx.com.-->

            Viral marketing?? lol

            What about permission? And I notice that this particular designer was happy to post my websites on here for his portfolio and promo.

            But you don't see them offering to put a link from their site to yours.
            You're absolutely right! Any designer should first ask for permission before putting something other than what is being tasked to make. I know a designer, who is a friend of mine, that does not put any signature to recognize or advertise himself as a designer. He's great.

            Excellent post! This serves as an eye-opener for those who want to take advantage.
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          • Profile picture of the author Tooschee
            Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

            here's an exceprt of what I'm referring to...
            <meta name="design-by" content="Copyright (C) 2010-Present xxxxxxxx.com">
            Name removed.

            and...

            <!--Graphic design by: xxxxxxxxxxx.com.-->

            Viral marketing?? lol

            What about permission? And I notice that this particular designer was happy to post my websites on here for his portfolio and promo.

            But you don't see them offering to put a link from their site to yours.
            I'm designer too, but I never did that in design for someone, I always ask for link in the footer or "designed by" text , but I also have no problem if the client doesn't want it in the design.

            And this one:
            <!--Graphic design by: xxxxxxxxxxx.com.-->
            made me laugh
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Perkins
    Originally Posted by Mike Murphy View Post

    I state up front that they aren't to embed any links or ads unless I approve.

    The good ones comply with no questions asked.
    Usually because a good designer is getting paid good money, he/she won't ask any questions.

    Originally Posted by WillR View Post

    I think it's ok if they have a little thing near the copyright info in the actual graphic that says 'Design by X'. But it definitely should NOT be an actual html link or text on the page. Besides, when I found some designs I liked once, I emailed the product owner and just asked them who it was designed by.
    I agree with that, having a literal image with "designed by" is ok, but not a link. Sorry but when you've got your link on my page where I'm trying to sell something, and I didn't give you permission. Now that's a problem...
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    It is normal that people try this on and some seem to think it is normal to do it, always get it removed, the kicker is the sites that make you pay to remove the link even though you have purchased the software such as forum footer links, i am not sure how that stands ? it is probably more a discounted price for showing the link or if you want it removed it will cost more ?
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Not sure about normal... but definitely common.

      Want me to promote your service? Sure. Set up an affiliate program and send me a banner.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rukshan
    We have to strict with coding. Actually we don't need to give a backlink for the designer. Because we have paid for the service.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rashell
      I disagree. Just because you purchased a theme doesn't mean you own it. Simply because you presume ownership warrants certain "rights" doesn't mean it does.

      Sure web designers need to be more clear on their License Terms. That would be helpful. But if they design it and want to "brand" or "mark" it... to me they have every right. It's their creation.

      If I take a photo and sell digital copies of it through istockphoto I don't lose copyrights to it. If you pay $245 to add it to your work you don't own it. Use it outside the terms and you'll risk legal action.

      But see the thing is... at istockphoto my terms are clear. And there's the rub.

      Sometimes if an online item doesn't come with a 20,000 page EULA people think it's fair game. And that's not the best way to approach things, especially if an income is tied to the assumption. IMHO it's always best to ask questions rather than make assumptions.

      If designers don't want the link removed, don't remove it. If a photographer wants a link back to their site for use of their image, give it. Or don't use the work.

      It's not your work to "pass off as your own" by removing their "connection" from it. It is their work to define how that "connection" should be made should you use their work.

      Rashell
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      • Profile picture of the author nmarketing
        Originally Posted by Rashell View Post

        It's not your work to "pass off as your own" by removing their "connection" from it. It is their work to define how that "connection" should be made should you use their work.
        Rashell
        Things online work based of the 'original' creator. If you buy a full web site and the developer wants to add a link or 'connection', this is his right. To remove it puts you in line for a copyright infringement.

        Record companies sue people everyday who take their products and claim as their own. I would let any designer I hired link his name if he wants (I do hidden comments myself - no link but a comment to prove I actually made the site). If the concern is traffic leaving your site and going to his, maybe its not such a great design.

        Im done ranting. Give people credit where it is due.
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        • Profile picture of the author cma01
          Every site I design has a link to my own site and I can guarantee I charge significantly more than 99 percent of the people buying minisite designs on this site have paid.

          It is also part of my design contract.

          The only time I don't put a link credit in (keyword anchor text and do follow) is if I'm working with another agency on the design and not directly with the business.
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          • Profile picture of the author lerxtjr
            With my clients, they want me to succeed just as much as I want them to succeed. So, they're happy to let me add my live link to their footer. And, they are also happy to give me publicity because I (well, my team I should say) do an amazing job for them.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        In other words, they drop an obscure line of html code on your templates which then provides back links to their website.
        Interesting that so many are trying to either disprove this or to link it to the template "designer" link.

        However, there are websites for sale that have hidden links back to another person's site and it has happened with membership sites, too, where new sites were part of the membership. You won't see the links when the site is pulled up but they are there in their own little hidden files.

        I've seen links hidden in the header, in php files, in all sorts of places. One site I took apart a few years ago had 17 hidden links to the url of the person who built the site.

        It's not a new practice and you'd be surprised at the level of marketers who have used this method. These are skilled site builders who don't see this as a "bad" practice. They think of it (or excuse it) as "smart marketing" - and from their viewpoint, it probably is.

        kay
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      • Profile picture of the author Meharis
        Originally Posted by Rashell View Post

        I disagree. Just because you purchased a theme doesn't mean you own it. Simply because you presume ownership warrants certain "rights" doesn't mean it does.

        Sure web designers need to be more clear on their License Terms. That would be helpful. But if they design it and want to "brand" or "mark" it... to me they have every right. It's their creation.

        If I take a photo and sell digital copies of it through istockphoto I don't lose copyrights to it. If you pay $245 to add it to your work you don't own it. Use it outside the terms and you'll risk legal action.

        But see the thing is... at istockphoto my terms are clear. And there's the rub.

        Sometimes if an online item doesn't come with a 20,000 page EULA people think it's fair game. And that's not the best way to approach things, especially if an income is tied to the assumption. IMHO it's always best to ask questions rather than make assumptions.

        If designers don't want the link removed, don't remove it. If a photographer wants a link back to their site for use of their image, give it. Or don't use the work.

        It's not your work to "pass off as your own" by removing their "connection" from it. It is their work to define how that "connection" should be made should you use their work.

        Rashell
        Rashell,
        Dead wrong. When I hire someone to do a job -writing, photo, design,etc- the person and I sign a contract transfering all rights to myself, including No links of any kind or he/she wont do the job. No contract, no job; period. Protection at both ends.
        That's why I'm paying for. If later on, I find they didn't respect the terms, I'll be suing them for breach of contract.
        I believe problems regarding this matter are due to the lack of signing a contract.
        Meharis
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  • Profile picture of the author dremora
    It is an acceptable practice to the designer company to add their link and credit to the end of the pages, all major companies do this and I add my link to client sites/facebook pages. As long as it's visible to human readers it's fine, but hiding a backlink is dishonest and sneaky.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mehak
    hey, you bring up a good point!
    I have heard about this and not fair to the people who pay for the 'work' but then work hard thinking their growing their business but also helping out someone else without their knowledge?
    Always get your sites designed by someone reputable with a good background.
    Thanks for sharing
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  • Profile picture of the author Devid Farah
    While I agree that the designer has the right to brand his design (it's how they get business!), it is not right for him to do it in such a way that is not clear and obvious to the person using their design.

    But have you read through the terms of service on the websites of these minisite designers?

    It may be mentioned there, in which case it is still a little sneaky, but they are in the clear, because it is the user's responsibility to read the terms of service.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Most minisite designers don't have terms of use and therefore
    'right' and 'wrong' is hard to decide. If the terms of use were
    clearly defined then each party would know what they are
    getting and what they can do and not do with the product.

    But the very fact that the code is 'hidden' shows a wrong
    motive. I don't include a 'written by Ray Edwards' in my
    client's sales letters with a link to my site and I would
    not expect a similar link from a graphic artist even though
    I keep the 'copyright' to the letter so the client cannot
    claim authorship of my work.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author MilesT
    I design a lot of landing pages / sales letters and I never put in hidden links etc ...but...
    who cares?

    Sounds like you're focusing on the wrong things.

    If putting a link to their naked grandma is the mojo the designer needs to get that site converting, so be it. I'm all in. Throw mine in there too while you're at it.

    If your site is not converting, get a better designer. If your site is converting then whatever effect the link has doesn't really matter.

    As for the footer and meta tag credit, I leave it up to the buyer if those get included or not.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rashell
      I don't see the link as "hidden". I mean it's right there where someone can find it. That's how it got found.

      Nor was it a live backlink.

      To me the way it was added is similar to a photographer adding a copyright notice in his exif data. It's there but not visible to the human eye.

      Now you know what gets me... dealerships that put their crest on the back of my car for everyone to see. I mean I feel like I'm forced to "social proof" them. Can I get it taken off for FREE? Should I start charging ad rates. When I signed the contract did I grant them an exclusive license to the tail end of my car? Next time I buy a new car I'm gonna ask. Till then I'm driving a dealer branded car and it gets me where I'm going.

      Rashell
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      • Originally Posted by Rashell View Post

        Can I get it taken off for FREE? Should I start charging ad rates.
        Yes you can. This drives me up a wall too and I always get them to take it off. Just throw it in at the end of the deal as a condition of purchase.

        After you've haggled your price down and you're about to sign on the dotted line, throw in "Oh yeah, and I want that dealership sticker taken off the trunk lid." No salesman, manager, etc. will balk at that and it takes 5 minutes for the guys in the service department to take it off with a heat gun and a razor blade.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I don't see the link as "hidden". I mean it's right there where someone can find it. That's how it got found.
        If a link is visible - it isn't hidden. Those are not the links I'm speaking of. The hidden links are hard to find unless you know what to look for and where to look for.

        Some who buy websites will never look in the cpanel for unnecessary or hidden files nor would they recognize them if they saw them.

        If you can see links to the theme designer or site designer, it's not a problem as it is not hidden.

        I doubt it's a huge problem - but it is something to be aware of if you buy sites or blogs. Look closely at files of sites you buy and "clean them up" if needed. I'm not sure hidden links give much value to the person hiding them - it's the predatory mentality that bothers me.

        kay
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        If the designer is not an employee, but rather an independent contractor, the copyright belongs to the designer.

        Just because you paid someone to do the work doesn't make it yours. There are very specific requirements that must be followed for something to be considered a work for hire.

        First, the work must fall within a range of types of works. It must also be specifically ordered or commissioned. AND, there has to be a written agreement between the parties that the work is a work for hire.

        So, if you don't have that written agreement and the designer is not an employee, it is probably the case that the designer retains the copyright to the work that was produced.

        (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.)
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        • Profile picture of the author donhx
          Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

          .


          ... there has to be a written agreement between the parties that the work is a work for hire.


          (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.)

          Be careful of work-for-hire. I am not a lawyer either, but I know that in many states a work-for-hire agreement means you are on the hook for lots of things such as Worker's Comp. It is not the same as working with a separate entity like an independent contractor or another company.

          Here's some legal advice from a California attorney: Work Made For Hire Agreements

          Under California law, a party transferring rights a work made for hire agreement is an employee for purposes of workers compensation and unemployment insurance and thus there are a wide variety of issues related to those said matters including but not limited to the need on the part of the engaging party to have workers compensation insurance covering that party. Failure to have such workers compensation insurance is a crime under California law as well as exposing the engaging party to unlimited liability and substantial fines and penalties. And this is irrespective of whether or not there is any injury. There also may be other situations in which a party transferring rights under a work made for hire agreement is an employee including but not limited to matters related to taxes and other liabilities and whether presented by California laws, federal laws or the laws of other states.

          Work-for-Hire is not as easy as it seems.
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          • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
            it all depends on the pricing.

            most of the designs are not custom but customized.

            I have templates I created some time ago easy to customize for any need, this allows me to deliver fast and at affordable prices.

            Really custom work is VERY expensive and doesnt´worth it.

            if someone wants to pay for custom work, I´m all for it.

            Didn´t find one yet.

            In that case, the client has right to use, and owns the art, but not the core template.

            I do usually put meta tag information stating the version of the template and the name, and the company name.

            About the banner on the bottom of the page, it can go or not. The customer chooses, and it affects the price as well. I usually give good discounts to keep it, and add the affiliate link of the client to the banner.

            Sandra
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            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
              Folks in this thread are totally focused on the "designed by" and "created by" links and I suppose those can be an issue.

              What I'm referring to are the HIDDEN html links that use hidden files built into the site you bought that provide juice to someone else's sites.

              who really cares...what is that link going to do? steal customers away from your nonexistent minisite designing business?
              You may not care - but if I buy a you built (not created for me) and then find 12-20 hidden html links in that site that lead to other sites you own - you better believe I'll care.

              kay
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              • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
                Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                Folks in this thread are totally focused on the "designed by" and "created by" links and I suppose those can be an issue.

                What I'm referring to are the HIDDEN html links that use hidden files built into the site you bought that provide juice to someone else's sites.



                You may not care - but if I buy a you built (not created for me) and then find 12-20 hidden html links in that site that lead to other sites you own - you better believe I'll care.

                kay
                those are back doors and they are NO NO.
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              • Profile picture of the author KathyK
                Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                Folks in this thread are totally focused on the "designed by" and "created by" links and I suppose those can be an issue.

                What I'm referring to are the HIDDEN html links that use hidden files built into the site you bought that provide juice to someone else's sites.



                You may not care - but if I buy a you built (not created for me) and then find 12-20 hidden html links in that site that lead to other sites you own - you better believe I'll care.

                kay
                Those are an ENTIRELY different thing. Those are usually spammer links and if you get those in a site, you have either been hacked or totally ripped off. (There are hackers that specialize in going around adding such links to a site; I had one of my blogs get infected with them - and I coded it myself - the site got hacked.) So, if you see those (especially in base 64), it may well not be the designer that put them in. On the other hand, there are some pretty shady designers and template sellers out there too. So just be wary.
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                Cheers,
                Kathy

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      • Profile picture of the author mathmo
        Originally Posted by Rashell View Post

        I don't see the link as "hidden". I mean it's right there where someone can find it. That's how it got found.

        Nor was it a live backlink.

        To me the way it was added is similar to a photographer adding a copyright notice in his exif data. It's there but not visible to the human eye.

        Now you know what gets me... dealerships that put their crest on the back of my car for everyone to see. I mean I feel like I'm forced to "social proof" them. Can I get it taken off for FREE? Should I start charging ad rates. When I signed the contract did I grant them an exclusive license to the tail end of my car? Next time I buy a new car I'm gonna ask. Till then I'm driving a dealer branded car and it gets me where I'm going.

        Rashell
        Yeah, and you know what REALLY ANNOYS me??

        Those damn car brands they stick all over the car! They ALL do it, the sneaky *******s. Ford/Toyota/BMW/etc...

        They stick it all over the place prominently, like on the grill or even right in front of your face on the steer wheeling. The cheek of it!

        And don't even get me started about the sneaky places they hide it... like in the boot, or under the hood on the engine.

        I PAID FOR THE CAR!!! What on earth gives them the right to think they can claim the owned it. Gee... some people huh.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eduard
    Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

    If you pay for a service, then that's it. What right does a designer to add that the site is their copyright? Or to advertise their own site?

    I mean, who is paying who here? I don't recall offering you free advertising in return for paying you.
    Good point. A lesson on the importance of good communication and hard negotiation
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  • Profile picture of the author Gail Sober
    Even wordpress does this

    Code:
    <meta name="generator" content="WordPress 3.0.2" /> <!-- leave this for stats -->
    I really wouldn't worry about it much if you are happy with the work. This is the designers way of possibly picking up new business if someone likes your site enough to view the source and look for this information.

    Or just be clear with the designer up front about your expectations.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
    Unless you are paying for exclusive rights to the minisite, theme, or whatever it is then the designer does have the right to put in a link to his website. If you are buying a theme or site design that is available to the general public you do not have exclusive rights. You do however have the ability to remove any internal links such as the meta data link that was posted above. If the rights permit you can even sometimes remove the powered by link at the bottom of some sites.

    Bottom line, unless you are paying for exclusive rights or doing work for hire where you own the finished product 100% and no one else can use it then you are bound by the rights that the creator allows you to have. Just because you pay for something does not give you any special rights other than what is granted by the creator. So at the very least you should be discussing this with the site designers before payment is made or reading their sites where they spell out what rights, terms, and conditions they generally work with when selling their work to others.

    They created it and there is nothing wrong with them putting a link back to their site if it is a general theme that anyone and everyone can purchase and use. General use does not mean you own all rights to it, it just means that you have the right to use it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Dan hit one of the big points: Specify that it's "work for hire."

    I usually go a step further. I tell them I want all the source documents (PSDs, PHP code, etc), and that I own the exclusive copyright to any product that I accept and pay for. Also, no encrypted code of any kind. If they're good with that, we can talk. If not, we're done before we start. No wasted time and no hard feelings.

    Obviously doesn't apply to PLR or products sold through a catalog to multiple buyers. But I still avoid encrypted code, as I don't trust a lot of people not to have included phone-home or remote linking stuff in it. It's happened too often, with people I wouldn't have expected to play those games.


    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Sardent
    What a horrible sneaky thing to do.

    What next?

    Next thing you know auto makers will put their names in raised shiny lettering on the front and back of your car.:p
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas Michal
    who really cares...what is that link going to do? steal customers away from your nonexistent minisite designing business?
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonthewebmaster
    Banned
    Some of my clients don't mind the link and some want it totally private labeled. I tend to charge a small fee for this but don't really care in the long run to me it's the client's website, and what they want they get.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Yu
    Thanks for the sharing..

    I will check all my website for those links.

    It will be better for receive a clean website that a cloaked website.

    Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author RussRuffino
    Solution = Optimize Press. Direct-linking with Google to a mini-site is a sure-fire recipe to getting banned, but I can direct-link EVERY OP site I have and Google loves them.

    Even Squeeze Pages.

    R
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