Category Archives: Ask The Arbitrator

Project works in the freelancer’s system, but not the employer’s. How do you fix it?

This issue comes up frequently in arbitrations regarding websites. Typically, the freelancer has done the work on their own server, but when they transfer the work to the employer’s environment, it doesn’t work. Usually by the time the project comes in for arbitration, it’s too late to fix it because both parties hate each other and no longer want to work together. Before it gets to this stage, there are a few things on both the freelancer’s and employer’s side that can be done in order to prevent this type of problem.

Both Parties

  • Use a screen sharing service like so that both of you can see the issues at the same time.


  • Make sure that double check that the employer’s environment and your development environment is compatible before beginning work.
  • Many times, these issues are a result of incompatible versions (such as PHP version 4 versus 5), settings, or directory structure.


  • Take a screenshot of the problem, there’s many free way to do this, including Alt+PrintScreen in Windows.
  • Take a movie of the problem. Again, there are freeware programs that will do this.
  • Make sure you are giving good feedback – make sure that you indicate the browser that you are using, the exact error message, and the steps that you took that caused it.