Navigating the Unknown: What to Do When Your Web Developer Disappears or Disappoints

For many small business owners, it’s not uncommon to find yourself in a tricky situation when your web developer goes AWOL, your web agency closes down, or their reliability starts to waver. But don’t worry! In this post, we’ll guide you through actionable steps to regain control of your website and steer it back on course.

Imagine this scenario: you wake up one morning, ready to make updates to your website, only to realize your web developer is nowhere to be found. Or maybe the web agency you relied on has shut its doors or raised its prices, leaving you in a lurch. In moments like these, it’s crucial to have a plan in place.

Who Owns Your Site?

First things first, let’s make sure you have control of your own site. Do you have access to your website’s domain, hosting account, and Content Management System (CMS)? If you’re not sure, take a dive into your email history with your developer – you might find clues about these vital access points.

If you find yourself locked out, don’t panic. Reach out to your developer, if possible, and try to work together to transfer ownership. After all, it’s your website, and you should have control. If you don’t have any logins to your hosting or CMS, the fate of your site is in the previous developers hands. If you can’t get in touch, you risk having to redesign your site from scratch or even change domain names.

How Was Your Website Built?

Once you’re back in the driver’s seat, it’s time to figure out the nuts and bolts of your website. What coding language was used? What platform and CMS is it built on? This knowledge will guide your next steps.

Explore Your Options With an Expert

Now, let’s find an expert to help steer you in the right direction. Look for someone who specializes in the specific technology your website is built on. If it’s a WordPress site, search for a WordPress specialist. When you connect with potential experts, make sure they understand your goal of full ownership and control so you can avoid this problem in the future.

As you move forward, discuss a maintenance plan with your chosen designer. Websites, like any digital creation, need regular upkeep and should be checked on by a professional every once and a while even if you make your own updates. If you haven’t in the past, ask them about training and how you can make future updates on your own.

Most importantly, to avoid this situation happening again, make sure you find someone you trust. It’s great if you can find someone through a referral source you already know. If they have testimonials, look into them to see if they seem truthful. Ask for references. Do your due diligence to ensure you’ve found the right match.

Stop Relying on the Unreliable

At Upword, many of our clients have come to us after becoming frustrated with their previous web developers or designers, whether they were overcharging or struggling with clear communication and timely responses, or just disappeared all together. It’s sometimes surprising to hear how little some small business owners know about their site and how little control they have over it.

Our goal at Upword is to give you full authority over your site so you don’t have to be completely reliant on an unreliable web developer. We specialize in fixing up abandoned WordPress sites and can teach you how to do any updates you prefer to do yourself. If you’re ready to ditch your current developer and take back control, reach out so we can discuss your options.

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