I have designed and operated websites for myself and the people around me since 1999. And I have been doing this for paying clients for several years. But doing this for clients is a completely different experience.
Most clients that I encountered are not educated customers when it comes to web development, and they are not sufficiently familiar with the technical aspect of their project, which is okay of course, even expected, but this creates complications, and its own problems in communicating with the client regarding their project.
One important piece of information I want my clients to be aware of is the difference between website design and web application development. Many people who are not familiar enough with the technial aspect of this field feels they are one and the same thing. They see intelligence built into many websites they use on the web, such as online games, mortage calculators, shopping carts, etc, and they don’t usually realize that designing the layout, and the look and feel of a website is different than adding functionality and intelligence behind that website.