Is your web developer holding your website hostage? (Part-1)

Part 1: Contract

You have probably heard this before: business owners (and sometimes even non-profit organizations) have lost control of their websites because they trusted too much on their developers and did not ask the right questions.

Hiring a web developer (or an agency) is a big decision and you better be sure that before you allow someone to manage or develop your website, they are open, honest and care about your business and it’s image.

This series of articles is intended to show you some steps you can take in order do prevent this type of misfortune from happening to your business.

Important Considerations

We will start with a list of few things you must consider in order to prevent being held hostage when your website is online.

1. Contract

First of all (and probably the most important item on this list): Contract! Before you get anything started on your project, have a contract between you and the developer or agency. Make sure the contract clearly states all the work that is meant to be done in the project, as well as how the access information will be stored, how will it be available for you and that you have full ownership of the project’s product, including your domains, all related passwords, security information and source code.

You can have an attorney draft up a contract for you – or use the developer or agency’s contract, but make sure those notable items are described in the contract before you sign it.

In some cases, if your developer or agency does not want to give you access, you can check directly with your host provider. Having a contract signed between you and the developer is also a great proof that you are the real owner of the website in case of a legal dispute or getting in contact with your host provider in case they are outsourced by the developer.

This is the first article of the “Is your web developer holding your website hostage?” series. On May 27, we will continue to part 2, where we will be talking about hosting concerns that you might have.

Check our website on May 27 for the next article.