Have you ever been held hostage during a website redesign?
Unfortunately, many have. The subject came up repeatedly in early June, during a panel discussion between tile contractors at the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) annual meeting. I was so appalled at the experiences described that I felt it important to detail three questions to ask yourself now so you never, ever become a website redesign hostage!
[Consider this a followup to How To Do Bad Social Media: 10 Examples.]
3 Questions to Ask Yourself So You Aren't Held Hostage During Your Website Redesign
1. Do you own your website content? If you were to transfer your site to another resource [designer, supplier, administrator...], would you encounter any issues? I'd be particularly worried if the copyright at the bottom of your site doesn't specifically list your business name.
2. Do you have access to your content? Do you know the passwords to the content management system or CMS? Are you comfortable using the system? Can you edit it and update it yourself? What about photos, PDF documents, calculators and locators?
3. Do you own your domain name? Do you have the login and password to the domain registrar? Are you and your company listed as the owners?
I've discovered that it helps to be hands-on with digital assets. Know your logins and passwords (including for Google Analytics!). Try them out. Make sure you have administrative access (vs. being a user with limited access). Make sure you understand what you see and how to update it. Don't forget to check out how to update your Meta Data [e.g., page descriptions and title tags] and determine whether you or a programmer can do that [ideally, it's you!].
Make a habit of 'walking' through your site, as if it were a physical location. Pay attention to what's there. Is it accurate or out-of-date? Do you notice any strange content that makes no sense for your customers or business? Is anything broken? Then, determine whether and how the updates happen.
What other advice would you add? How do you protect yourself?
Additional Perspectives for Not Being Held Hostage During a Website Redesign
Now that you're aware and committed to never becoming a hostage, you'll enjoy these two articles which offer additional perspective on what to be on the lookout for, and what to do should you encounter specific instances of website redesign shadiness...
- Top 6 Reasons You Should Fire Your Website Designer
- How to Rescue Your Website from the Clutches of a Bad Web Designer or Bad Web Host
Once you've assured yourself that you and your website redesign aren't being held hostage, consider learning more about how to transform your website into an inbound marketing machine!
Image Credit: Domo Held Hostage... on Flickr