We hear it all the time. A client with a currently less-than-optimal website wants to start over. They want a more dynamic, new site with original content, good SEO, and continuing support. But there’s one problem. Their current website person holds all the keys to the kingdom.
This may be why companies lose their entire website when they stop working with the designer or website support person they’ve used for years. They no longer have access to accounts or information; it just has to be blown up and started over. So what do you need to do if you break up with the current person hosting and managing your site? Here are some tips to help.
Make a List of Your Concerns
If you’re frustrated with your website developer, you might be letting your emotions get in the way of the service you need. Now is the time for facts, so document your concerns. You may have had different expectations, and communication isn’t where it needs to be. Or maybe your developer overpromised what they could do. Document everything so you know exactly what you need to discuss.
Carefully Read Your Current Contract
Did you sign a contract? If not, that could be part of the problem. But if you did, now is the time to review it. It’s impossible to remember every aspect of your service agreement, and there may be things spelled out that you forgot or missed. And especially, check out what it says about terminating the partnership.
Backup Your Website
You can back up many things on your website, and if you’re ready to quit your current developer, you need to do that. WordPress has a way to download your entire website, so check out these directions. Here is another way to back up your website. If your developer is also the site owner and host, this can prove problematic, so it may be helpful to talk to another developer to understand what you need.
At dpeg Marketing, we never own or host your website. While we want to be your marketing partner for a long time, we know that things change and will never put you in a position to lose all your data and information in the future.
Get Access to Passwords
Did your developer sign up for software or services in your name? Make sure you get the passwords to these before you do anything. Sometimes, you may need to transfer ownership to maintain control over your tools.
dpeg Marketing always works with you to sign up for any software or add-ons. While we can manage these programs for you while working together, we want to ensure that you maintain primary ownership.
Review Your Domain Names
Is your domain name with the same company that hosts your website? We always recommend working with GoDaddy for this reason, but you may have set your business up differently from the start. You may also have several domain names redirected to your leading site, so you need to know what’s in your name. Getting ownership back from your developer can be a delicate process if you didn’t purchase them.
We will never hold your business hostage. We always work with you to buy your domain name and hosting package so you own every aspect of your business’s online presence.
Get Control of Web Hosting
Before breaking up with your current web developer, get access to your web hosting. If they host the site, you could be in for a long process. If not, make sure you have everything in place. If you let your domain name lapse, someone else could buy it very quickly, so make sure there isn’t a break in service.
Gather Documentation of Customizations
A new developer will likely be able to check out the back end of your current website and be able to determine what’s been done. But it doesn’t hurt to know your customizations to help you in the long run. Get documentation wherever you can.
List Themes, Plug-Ins, and Software
Your new developer can also determine the theme and plug-ins used to build your site. They can also help you understand what’s necessary and what needs to be updated or changed to improve your site’s functionality. Some plug-ins require annual fees, so you’ll also want to know that.
Understand Image Licensing
Did your original developer buy stock images for your site? If so, those licenses may be under their account, not yours. If you change things around, you may need to retool the licensing or change out your images altogether. You’ll want to look into this before you make a change.
To avoid an ugly breakup scenario, you must change all your passwords once you’ve switched to a new developer. And we mean all of them. While we’d always like to believe the best of people, it’s possible that a vindictive former vendor could make your life very difficult if they still have access to your information.
Your email address is likely linked to your web hosting and domain name. Make a plan now to ensure that your emails don’t get lost. Back up your current emails and set up a new account as quickly as possible, so you don’t lose out on essential communication.
Send Notice of Termination
After you have all your ducks in a row, you can send your notice of termination to your current web developer. To avoid pushback or potential disputes, follow the letter of the service agreement, document everything, keep it in writing, and make explicit requests. Ask them to list outstanding tasks, hours, or costs. Let them know what you need from them. And, as always, keep it civil.
Notify Service Providers
If your web developer has been your representative with any third-party service providers, you’ll also want to keep them in the loop. Send an email informing them that you’ll take over until you have someone else in the role. To avoid confusion, they need to know that you’re their point of contact rather than the outgoing web developer.
The dpeg Marketing team always wants to ensure your website is protected and you have everything you need. We will never host your site and will always work with you as you navigate the process of securing your website.
Are you ready to create a dynamic new website?
Talk to dpeg Marketing to help you transition from your current web developer.
dpeg Marketing Company has 7 spots open for website design in 2023. We partner with tiny house, agriculture, outdoor, brewing, and equine businesses to help them grow. We can help you optimize your site and integrate the essential tools. You can build your reputation and be recognizable with the right systems.
Contact us for a FREE consultation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (828) 333-3816.