Don’t let your website get locked up

While the prospect of a “website in a box” might appeal initially, you might find yourself stuck with it. Find out how your site might be taken prisoner and how to avoid it.

We’ve taken on a few new customers recently who found themselves “trapped” with suppliers who built their websites on their own CMS (Content Management Systems).

One customer wanted to leave after their web agency became less and less responsive over time. Another customer was told to find a new supplier by the end of the month as they were ceasing trading.

To their absolute horror, when both customers tried to move their websites away, they learned they didn’t have a “site” to take. All their website content was sitting on an agency owned platform meaning there was nothing to migrate and setup elsewhere.

While some of these risks also apply to the large closed platforms such as Wix and SquareSpace, an agency system will be operated by a much smaller company and potentially only have a single developer responsible for the system.

Adding new features, security fixes and other continued development will not be as fast.

This is why we ONLY recommend open systems like WordPress as they are being constantly developed and have an entire ecosystems of solutions and developers supporting the platform.

Because the source code is readily available, open source technologies are also inherently more secure as vulnerabilities are discovered and fixed more frequently.

When the time comes to change, a WordPress website can easily be picked up and moved and with it being the most popular platform finding people with the right technical skills isn’t that difficult.

While we managed to put some plans in place to minimise the impact it made things more stressful and challenging than they needed to be.

Make sure this doesn’t happen to you – talk about the platform when you are discussing your new website project with a prospective supplier. To a business we think this is more important that the cool designs or the promises of increased traffic.

Ask a few questions before you sign up.

  1. Will I have a login to the website?
  2. What language is the site written in?
  3. Where will my website be hosted?
  4. When the time comes to leave, how can I move my website

It doesn’t have to be a geeky conversation and a little follow up googling will help you make sense of it, or ask someone who does.

Our Advice: If its not in a form you can take away, then walk away

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