Before I jump in to my focus for this blog I want to share with you a short story about my roots, and why I chose to enter the website creation business. Right after college I worked for a Fortune 500 company as a programmer analyst. My experience working there was awesome. Great benefits and pay, wonderful social groups and I genuinely enjoyed the people I worked with. The only problem was that after working there for a couple of years I began to feel unfulfilled. Much of my time was spent creating software applications that for the most part were only being administered by a few people, or were in fact fully automated. I had to come to terms with the fact that the work I was doing wasn’t having a direct positive impact on the community around me. It was just as important for me then as it is today to feel the impact and see the significance of my work within the community I live.
Building websites for small businesses and non-profit organizations in my community feeds my soul.
So when I hear stories of people having bad experiences with their website contractors, whether that happens before, during or after the creation process, I get fired up. To me, it shows the website company doesn’t appreciate the opportunity they have to serve their client—and make a positive impact on the community they live.
Too many people I care about have been caught in awful situations with their website contractors. I don’t want this to happen to you.
Without further ado, here’s a commonsense list to keep top-of-mind when hiring your next website contractor:
A) Have A Contract That You Sign
If the person you are thinking of hiring does not have formal paperwork, that should be your first red flag. There is no reason to continue the interaction from there. Even if it’s a friend–just say thank you for their time and move along.
B) Understand What Happens To Your Website Files And Media
If they do have a contract, it’s important before you get started that you know how to end a relationship with a website contractor. How to terminate the relationship should be spelled out in the contract.
- You own all the media.
This pretty much goes without saying, but you should want to own all the content (media or living room-bedroom-bathroom furniture) and files (software) that make up the walls within the structure of your website.
- Know who is hosting your website.
It’s good to know the channels your hired hand will be going through to connect your website to the World Wide Web. In the event that you decide to part ways with them, knowing the channels to access your website will be necessary for when you hand it off to someone new.
- Know exactly when those files should be released to you.
You wouldn’t sign a rental agreement without knowing how long you had to wait until you get your deposit back, would you? The same goes for your website company.
Bonus point: For WordPress, you specifically need your website’s files, which include the “wp-content” folder, and the .SQL file for database extraction. This is what you need to ask for.
C) Lastly, Always Pay With A Credit Card
Let’s say you hired someone and they gave you a one-week timeline. It’s now been three weeks, no progress has been made, and you wish to part ways.
If you paid with a credit card, it’s much easier to ensure you receive your money back.
Paying with a credit card provides you with an added layer of peace of mind. This is because your credit card company will protect you in the event the contractor you hired is unable to deliver on your agreement and will not provide you with a refund.
Now It’s Your Turn
That about does it for this blog! If this information was helpful to you or would be to someone you know, please share it with them. Thanks for helping make the Internet more personable :). Heath