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Should I trust another Web Designer?

Of course you could trust another website designer / IT support company but its possible that they may be self-serving and dont possess the technical capabilities or knowledge in how to manage a complex database driven website and its SEO (website promotion), The following is an example exchange and the resulting 30% drop in website visitors demonstrate to website owner’s that there is a business risk in putting your most valuable business asset in untrusted hands.

[Website Owner] I am looking to consolidate my IT support and move everything to one place, which will include my website – support and hosting. Could you please arrange for a domain transfer please? I thank you for all your work and support over the years and hope you can help get this transfer over for me as smoothly as possible.  Let me know if you need anything to be done by me.

[Web Designers] Of course we can do this for you but for reference you should know we have upgraded the server recently (at huge expense) which is now a Fully Managed dedicated server using SSD hard drives with 64GB RAM and 2 Hex Core XEON processors (in other words the best money can buy). So in other words this is the best server / hosting you can currently get.

If you still want to move hosting then we will need to export your emails / database / code and to update the transfer tag on the website and close the account. This is a rare thing for us to do and there is a time / effort and cost involved, if you want to go ahead then tell us who you want us to send the database / code to (email address) and will create a closing account invoice for you.

Out of interest are you going to update / redesign the site or are you moving it to another company? If so what company and as the coding is quite ‘complex’ we would be willing and able to help with the site in future, if needed, with any problems / fixes.

Will assume if you are moving it to a new company that they will have knowledge of LAMP / WordPress and the minimum requirements on hardware / software to manage / host your website. We will also urge to exercise caution here as there is a huge possibility that the website and SEO of the business wont be handled as professionally as we do it and you could lose a huge percentage of website visitors if mistakes are made.

[Website Owner] I know we have had a few outage problems but this really isn’t the reason for the request, it is just so much easier for me to have IT supported in one area and by one point of contact.

Could you please indicate the cost involved to doing this as you mention below?

I will review the website in the future and I will definitely bear in mind your offer to help in the future. The transfer will be to a website design company local to us who has a dedicated Web Developer / support who I understand has thorough knowledge of wordpress and is able to contain everything in one place making my life easier!

[Web Designers] If this is the same company that look after your email I thought they were a IT Support company and didn’t know they had website design / support function, I am concerned as have seen a few nightmare scenarios happen with similar situations in the last 10 years. We have only had 3 companies move from us (out of 650 websites and two of those moved back to us).

If your only concern is containing everything in one place then I suggest this isn’t the best way forward but happy to do as you wish as long as you understand my concerns. I want you to know the current website and its framework / plugins and setup is a very complex / evolving animal and even the act of moving it onto a different server with a different version of MySql and Php could cause you problems. Additionally you should be assured that its your own website and your domain and we have been around 10 years now with no chance of anything changing in the near future.

The activities involved in moving your domain / website / email and closing your account using our website charges (updated April 2016) are:
Backup / Export of Database
Backup / Export of Codebase
Update of Transfer Tag
Closing account

Will reduce the total cost for you but really want you to understand the consequences of this, I am happy to speak with your new website support person if you give me permission to see if he is ready to take on this complex website and give him the database / files if you confirm you want to transfer).

[Website Owner] Thank you for your concern, I agree it’s a big decision to move website away but I do feel it’s better for me long term to have this sitting in one place with emails etc. The new company now have a dedicated web developer who is also going to help me integrate this website into our CRM. They have good knowledge of our internal systems and this will help.

I did question the web designer about your concerns and he has assured me he is able to handle the website and the complexities of it. He also has offered to migrate it over and include the cost (minimal) of doing so as part of the hosting and website integration project so I can confirm I don’t need you to do anything on this I believe it’s all in hand. Thank you for all your help anyway.

[Web Designers] We will close this account fully unless we hear from you and obviously goes without saying we are still here for help / support if needed