Real SMB IT: Do you know who your web developer is?
October 19, 2009
OK, it sounds like a ridiculous question!
But lets look at this seriously for a moment. At some time in the past you hired a firm to build a Web Site for you. Unfortunately you have not touched it in years.
Perhaps from reading this blog (OK, most likely because one of your peers or staffers convinced you) you realize that it it is time to give that poor old Web Site a face lift.
So! where do we start?
Well, if you are like most SME’s, your Web Site is probably hosted with a third party hosting provider.
Great, who is that provider? and where?
Next, modifying that Web Site needs a log in ID and password, do you have it?
If there is some custom code using Flash or other products, do you have that source code?
Your Web Site, You Own It!
Lets back up a bit.
When you do printed brochures or marketing materials, do you maintain the original copy so that you can you can use any print shop? or are you hostage to one print shop that has all of your proofs?
I doubt it is option number 2.
So consider this a list of the key pieces you need to maintain and monitor when dealing with contractors on Web Site work.
* The web hosting provider must be chosen by you. Sure you can go with a recommendation, but the account is yours. The contact information is yours. Do not allow any contracting firm to just say that they will host it for you.
* Your domain name, or Web address is yours. You must own it, you must get the notification e-mails when it needs renewing, your name must appear on the contact information for it. Again, your contractors name and contact information must not be there. They do not own or supply that domain name.
* Your contract with a Web design firm must clearly state that they are only contractors and that the data and code and Web Site content belongs to you.
* Your Web design firm must provide you with the source code for all work done on the Web Site. If that contractor is not meeting your expectations, you are free to take your business to another contractor.
* If they place pictures or video on the Web site, either you must provide them, or they must provide proof that the image is not a stolen copyrighted image.
The SMB Takeaway
Contracting for Web site creation is no different than contracting to have your kitchen remodeled. The contractor does not own your kitchen, you do.
Your Web site is no different.