All business relationships come to an end eventually. Needs change, goals change, people change. Here are a few tips, learned from helping many people who didn’t do these, to prevent disruption when you decide you need to leave your web design or development firm.
- Own the relationships with your web hosting company, rather than going through your web design firm. You must have total control over your hosting environment (servers, internet connection, back-ups, etc.) by having a contract with a hosting company. Worse come to worse, you can have them cut off access for your web firm.
- Control your domain names with your own registrar account. Many smaller organizations will end up with their web designer or firm managing their domains on their behalf. To minimize risk, your company should have that relationship with the registrar and have direct control over the domain name settings with them.
- Have fresh copies of all web assets backed-up and archived, including data. This ensures you have the raw material of your site and could get it up and running on another host and domain name in relatively short order.
You can’t prevent all problems but the above steps are very prudent precautions to take if you are working with a solo designer or a major firm. Your website is too important to leave it at risk of significant disruption due to a changing business relationship.