Would you believe me if I told you one of my favorite discussions is about getting fired?
Well, it’s true! When business owners are signing a contract with me to managing their online properties, I’m often asked a question like this…
“Emily, what happens if you get hit by a truck?”
Now, they aren’t looking for the logistics of that horrible situation, of course. But the colloquial phrase gets the point across. They want to know one thing: What happens to their website?
It’s a valid question! And one you should consider, even outside the realm of uncertain death.
You see, business owners are getting smart about web design these days. Over the years, the profession has developed a pretty poor reputation of being flaky, despondent, full of empty promises and just all-around unprofessional.
In fact, I’d venture a guess that you’ve had an unpleasant experience with one yourself. After all, what other reason would you have for clicking through on this headline? 🙂
Thankfully, as the web continues to develop and simplify, you have access to other options.
But before you cut the cord and fire your web designer, there are a couple of things you need to do first. Otherwise, you’re putting yourself in a situation where the frustrated designer could do all sorts of unprofessional things.
Make Sure You Have Logins
First things first, make sure you have administrator access to each of the properties the designer setup to run your website. At minimum, this includes the following:
- Hosting Provider
- Domain Name
- WordPress Website
If they’ve installed any additional software (e.g. email marketing, e-commerce solutions, affiliate database), you’ll need the logins to this as well.
The easiest thing to do is request admin access from the web designer.
Any legitimate professional (even if they’ve produced disappointing work) will happily hand these over to you. However, if there’s an instance where they’ve disappear or refused to comply, then you’ll need to contact each of the providers and ask what you need to do to prove that you own these web properties.
Change All Passwords
I hope step one wasn’t too much of a hassle for you. I know how frustrating it can be when that step is overly difficult to complete.
But, it’s time to put that behind you and move on to the next step! This one is simple…
Change all the passwords.
Make sure to use a new password that your web designer cannot figure out. And once the passwords have been changed, immediately remove the designer as an admin. Otherwise, they may be able to find out the password through a “Forgot My Password” prompt.
Fire Your Web Designer
Now it’s time to take the final step.
If the designer has completely disappeared, a simple email officially ending the relationship will likely suffice. However, if their work quality has just not been up to par, they may want to talk with you on the phone or in person.
Nevertheless, the result is the same: fire your web designer!
We’re living in an era of the Internet where business owners can manage their website without the full-time assistance of a consulting third-party. All it takes is a bit of investment in learning the basic technical aspects of website maintenance.
(Or you could even send one of your employees to learn it for you!)
It’s time to take control of your website.