What to Do If Your Website Developer Disappears

Why Do So Many Web Developers Disappear?

California Riding Academy in Pacifica, California had a big problem that needed to be addressed immediately. After relocating to Pacifica, the company’s owner realized their site was failing to load properly. Part of the site would load, and then the site would spin and spin, as if something was preventing the main content from fully loading. For a company that had just moved its physical location, it was important to fix it fast.

The problem: Their web developer had disappeared.

The Non-Responsive Web Developer

If you own a home, and have ever had a contractor do some work for you, doesn’t it seems= like they always get part of the way into your remodel, and then they land a plumb job, and pull their whole crew from your house to the new piece of business? If this hasn’t happened to you, count yourself as lucky.

In many ways web developers are just the same: contractors for your website. And so many of them start a job and then vanish. Poof. Other times a website may be completed, but when additional work needs to be done, they’re not to be found.

“My developer ignored my emails for a year.”

– Adriane Wendell, The Harrington House Bed and Breakfast, Milford, Pennsylvania.

What Do You Do When Your Web Developer Disappears on You?

Sadly, the only thing you can do is hire another developer. I had cases where the client had even given the old developer funds toward a job, only to be abandoned.

But here’s the key: When you go to find a new developer, make sure to do this one thing: Speak directly to at least one of their customers. No, I’m not talking about the testimonials we all add to our site, I mean literally have a conversation with one of their clients.

Why go this far?

Because if a web developer has a professional process in place, and existing customers can speak highly of that process, you know you’ve got a greater chance of hiring a quality professional, instead of a fly-by-night, guy working in his parent’s basement type of developer.

A developer that does not stay in touch with their clients is going to be reticent when it comes to giving out their contact information.

Next Step

Make sure, providing you have control of your site, that you contact your website’s host and get all your passwords changed.  Also, make sure that you are the one with the master passwords going forward.  Never be without the ability to lock-out people you don’t want accessing your site.  It’s your site, make sure you always have control of it.

Next Blog Post

In my next post, I’ll discuss three things you MUST do when setting up a new website, or rebuilding an existing website that are key to avoiding headaches down the line.