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Is Your Web Developer Holding You Hostage?!

In conjunction with ’10 Questions to Ask a Web Developer’, there is another fundamental question which you should really be asking:

What happens if I want to move to a different developer or move hosting in the future?

I find it crazy that you should have to ask this – but unfortunately I’ve discovered that so many web developers are bamboozling customers into paying good money when they have no idea what they’re actually getting into. This doesn’t just apply to small web development companies – I’ve seen it with large organisations too.

DIY Website Builders

Certain large companies advertise their simple-to-use website builders, targeting small businesses and emphasising the ease of use. What they don’t seem to tell you is that if you build your website with them in their system, then you are tied to them FOREVER! OK so that’s maybe a bit dramatic, but what I mean is that you’re tied to them and their hosting. Therefore, if you ever want to move to a different company, you will need an entirely new website. Yes that’s right – you will lose all of your hard work and will need to start again. Furthermore – they even make it pretty much impossible to export any of your data, which ties you in even further as it seems like too much hassle to make the switch.

Is Your Web Developer Holding You Hostage?!

Web Development Agencies

Unfortunately, it’s not just the huge corporations that tie customers into their services unnecessarily. I recently spoke to a lovely North East business who are sick of paying a fortune for tiny changes on their website (I’m talking £120+ just to change 1 address) and they wanted to know what their options are to move.

I looked into their current setup and found that their website, which was built by a North East Web Agency, has been built on a bespoke platform. It is locked down so even small changes can only be made by the developer and it cannot be hosted anywhere else. They are basically stuck and they had no idea at all.

Why We Use WordPress

I completely disagree with tying customers into services like this. Customers should stay with you because of the excellent service you provide – not because you gave them no choice!

When you invest in a new website, you should own the domain, the content and have the option to move that website in the future if you want to.

Exaltis Solutions | Website Development for small businesses

Obviously there will be a cancellation period, but you should always have the option to move. What if the company you’re tied to went into liquidation? Your business website would simply disappear and you would have to start again.

That’s why, at Exaltis, we do things completely differently. All our websites are built using WordPress which means that they are flexible, scalable, and can be hosted anywhere, if for some reason you decide to leave us in the future.

What If You Already Have a Website Which Can’t be Moved?

I speak to many customers who have initially gone for a cheaper DIY website builder to get started. However, they have found that the platform does not allow their business to grow and they are restricted.

DIY website builders do tend to be pretty simple to use – but that means that you can’t do all the things you want to do. In addition to this, many DIY website builders do not give you an option to export ANY of your website data.

If you have already created your own website within one of the DIY web builders and you’re finding it far too restrictive, or you’re stuck with a developer that you no longer want to work with, please don’t think that it’s a lost cause. Your website can’t be moved, but you can have a brand new website built from the ground up which doesn’t have to cost the Earth.