I have encountered a lot of prospect clients who wanted to hire me for a project website that was abandoned by their previous developer for whatever reason. Below are the list of things you should know before accepting or rejecting the job in no specific order.
Communication with the Previous Developer.
To have a smooth transition with the abandon project, it would be best to ask the client first if he/she is still in communication with the previous developer. In away, you can get some details or ideas why it was abandon. The developer won’t usually tell you all but at least it will give you an idea.
Documentation and Github or similar
If the project is complex and large, developers are usually required to document it and/or use a development platform like Github. This is the best way to determine if you want to take on the project since it will give you a total idea how the website or project was constructed.
Proper Site Access
You’ll be surprise that some client doesn’t have direct access to their website or project that is being develop. You must confirm this with your client before accepting the work as some developer locked out their client.
If a prospect client told you “I have spent thousands of dollar on this project and I want you to continue this project for a hundred dollar because its 90% complete”. I would politely decline the job for the reason you won’t be paid for what it’s worth. I don’t try to negotiate but I give them the reason why I declined it because there is always a big reason why it was abandon by the previous developer and you can’t really say the percentage of its completion.
A good example why you can’t be certain with the completion was the design was completed but the back-end coding has zero or nothing has been done yet, then the client paid $6,000 to the developer who did the design and abandon the project. Now the client wants to hire you to do the back end programming and pay you $500.00 to complete and according to him its almost complete where in the design is just a piece of the pie of the project. You can compare this to a car that was build without an engine wherein engine would be the most complicated part to built.
Remember that it is not your fault that the project was not completed and you should be well compensated for your hard work. A good client will not give you that reason so if you did any project with that client, make sure that you complete that project.