19 Jul Is Your Web Developer Holding You Hostage?!
Following on from a previous blog ’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 (small businesses and even huge brands) are bamboozling customers into paying good money when they have no idea what they’re actually getting into.
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, and 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.
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 – so 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 host that website wherever you want to do so. 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 we do things completely differently. All of 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?
If you have already created your own website or webshop 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!
I recently launched a brand new website for a fabulous local small business called Izzy and Harri. They had a webshop with GoDaddy but were finding it far too restrictive. Yes it was pretty simple to use – but that meant that you can’t do all the things you want to do and guess what? GoDaddy do not give you an option to export ANY of your website data. As you can imagine, the business owner thought it was pretty impossible to move to something better. However, I built her a brand new webshop using WordPress which has given her such more flexibility and she is over the moon (as you can see from the fabulous review she wrote below)!
I would recommend this hard worker 24/7, 100%, 10/10...she's amazing! Elaine has re-built my website, worked all the hours possible to get my website going, offered invaluable marketing advice, was a friend and helper, did over and above. She's my Yoda and I would have her by my side on every move I make to grow my business!!! THANK YOU!
If you are struggling with your current website and would like to know what your options are, please get in touch. I’d love to help you too!