I know, I know there are times when we don't want to be called "responsible". Even at my (old) age I can fight against that term.
Sometimes it seems easier to simply to hand everything over to someone else for them to deal with it.
I get it. I really do.
You know there's a but coming don't you?
(Sorry I couldn't resist 🙂 )
Ultimately there are only a few people who will care as much about your business and your website as you do. No matter how much you pay them.
It's sad but true.
If you want your business website to succeed you need to know a few things and here are some of the things that can help you. I'm writing her as a micro business owner (working from home for many years) and as web designer who sets their clients up for success with their WordPress websites.
Before signing up with a web designer there are a few things you need to know about how they work and what they are going to hand over to you. A signed contract / proposal si great for this so that you know EXACTLY what you are getting for your investment so that there are no misunderstandings later on.
If you're not a techy person and you know that you'll want training or a support package let them know that upfront.
If they don't do training or support after the website has gone live (even if it's only for a week or so once the website is live) ask if there is someone they can recommend or find someone else to help you.
There is no shortage of website designers in the world so you don't have to go to the first one that says that they can help you.
Whether you are thinking about getting a website or you have one already make sure that you have the following:
- Domain - URL, username and password with your email address as the contact (even if the web designer is the technical contact you want your email on there too)
- Hosting - you need to be able to get access to your hosting and I mean the actual files. If the web designer does the hosting then ask for access to the cPanel account or the equivalent where you get access to the files. It doesn't mean that you're going to access them because you shouldn't unless you know what you are doing, but you want to know that you can have access. If they can't give you that (or an equivalent) then don't use them
- Administration user access to your WordPress account. Again you don't want to go playing about in something that you don't understand but I strongly believe that since YOU own the website then you should be allowed access. You may use the admin account but you may need it sometime)
- Ideally for your website to have an offsite backup such as being sent to the cloud (Dropbox, Google drive etc.). This takes away the issue that could screw up your website because even if you do make a mistake you can restore it from the backup. Backups can be done with a free plugin like Updraftplus. Some clients think that this is overkill since most hosting companies do backups as well but if you have an issue with your hosting company it means that you can set up your website on a different host fairly easily
- Plugin / theme licences - know if you have ongoing annual costs for any specialised themes or plugins (hopefully this would be stated in the contract / proposal so you know what are one off costs and what are annual costs). You can make the decision whether to keep using the designers licences or whether to buy your own.
- Branding for your website - if logos they have been supplied by a graphic designer or web designer make sure that you own them. This should be in the contract so you know what belongs to you
I know it can seem easy to hand off all this kind of detail to someone else (and I offer maintenance plan so I understand letting someone else deal with techy stuff) however you still need to be able to take back control if needed.
Many of the issues when people come to me could be sorted out really quickly if they have access to most or all of the above.
As an aside in my last 11 years of trading as a WordPress website designer, support and trainer guess how many clients have asked if I have insurance? Only 2 clients have asked the question. Yes, I have insurance.