SmartCause Digital

What a Good Relationship with Your Web Developer Looks like, and What to Do if You Need to Switch

Jul 3, 2017

 

I just waited 15 days to hear back from a new client’s current web developer and host. From June 13 to 28, I tried over and over to reach someone who could help, only to be greeted with silence and, eventually, terse replies and no apologies for the delay.

15 days.

Can you imagine waiting 15 days to hear back from a vendor *that you already paid* when you need help with one of your most important communications assets, your website?

Unfortunately, a lot of nonprofits can imagine this scenario. I hear from them all the time, usually when they’re at the end of their rope and ready to switch.

Whether you love or hate your web developer, as the client, you deserve great service and peace of mind.

Let’s walk through what makes a good relationship with your web developer, and what to do if you’re ready to find a better option.

 

Must Have’s for a Good Relationship with Your Web Developer

TIMELY RESPONSES

What does timely mean? One day, two days, three days? That’s up to you do decide.

Consistency and reliability are as important as the response time.

 

CLEAR EXPLANATIONS REGARDING THE IMPLICATIONS OF YOUR CHOICES

A web developer’s most important responsibility is to serve as your advisor.

Your web developer should be able to answer all your questions in a way that helps you understand the implications of your choices and supports your ability to make smart decisions on behalf of your organization.

 

FULL ACCESS TO YOUR ACCOUNT AND FILES

You should be able to access your account and your site’s full file system at any time, without having to wait for your web developer.

Usually, this means you have access to cPanel and SFTP.

 

DOCUMENTATION INCLUDING PASSWORDS AND NOTES REGARDING CUSTOMIZATION

You should have received a file from your web developer that includes all the logins and passwords necessary to run your website.

You should also have some notes regarding any custom features that are part of your website.

 

What to Do When You’re Ready to Switch

KEEP THE RELATIONSHIP CORDIAL

Even after you’ve parted ways, you might need to ask your web developer a question or two. Keep the relationship as professional and cordial. “Burn no bridges” was some of the best advice I ever received early in my career!

 

GET A FULL DOWNLOAD OF YOUR FILES AND DATABASE

Ask for a complete backup of your site’s files and database. Bonus if your web developer can also give you the DNS configuration.

 

GET A LIST OF YOUR LOGINS AND PASSWORDS

Ask for a list of all logins and passwords associated with your website. Remember to ask for logins for any plugins or software that your organization has paid for and which is used on your website.

 

ASK FOR DOCUMENTATION

This one is rare, so if you don’t get it, don’t worry. But it can’t hurt to ask! Request that your web developer make notes regarding any customization on your site.

 

Interested in Working with Me?

I would love to be your web developer and advisor!

I provide website support via my Quarterly Website Strategy Sessions service →

 

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About the Author

Yesenia SoteloYesenia Sotelo is a digital skills trainer and web developer.

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