In this post I try to provide 3 easy yet critical rules to apply when deciding whether you’ve made the right choice in who will make your website. They are relevant to anyone who does business Online or with computers. A business today has no way to avoid it, many are mandated federally to do it. They must be built around an IT infrastructure where that business’, clients’ and internal records’ are digitally stored and protected. They are also relevant to anyone marketing online or looking to build a website.. I intend to keep them brief so that you can expand on them yourself.
1. Get it in writing and signed 2. Own all the files including source 3. Run often back-ups on new hardware
1. Get it in writing and signed
Have clear deliverable items, in a contract that has been and signed by both parties.
Before you pay for anything make sure you have a good written plan that you’ve signed off on. This plan should include all of the features, functions, bells and whistles that are required for the project , a clear list of tasks and contingencies for when things that aren’t on any lists or haven’t been magically foreseen can be handled when they come up. The plan should be clearly scheduled based on milestones. Milestones should have due dates and a final approval/completion sign off.
2. Own all the files including source
Always own everything, some file you cant edit, have the ones you can.
If you paid for it you need to make sure you get every piece up front. Ask for all files to be uploaded to your host as well as sent to you on a disk or USB drive. Make sure you get all of it before you make any final payments. Make sure every server, computer, employee or contractor send regular and frequent backs ups or copies of every file they have worked on.
You should also have access and ownership of any accounts created on your behalf. If you have the time it’s really best if you ask them what accounts they will need and then set them up initially yourself. This is the only way to guarantee you have records and emails from the initial sign up processes.
Keep physical copies of anything you sign, preferably the original, for as long as you can afford the space.
3. Run often back-ups on new hardware
Back it up, over and over and over on the latest storage hardware.
Technology is always changing. Never throw anything away and always upgrade. This applies to hardware, software, files, data bases and anything that is digitally stored. Filing boxes with the handles in the side we all have stacked in the corner somewhere are turning equally large stacks of external hard drives.
Restoring the one drive you had all of your files on isn’t cheap. I spent $3,000 to learn that lesson. So keep backing up everything you have on the latest, biggest hardware out.
Know what you need out of your project, what goals do you have and what features will it take to make that happen. Once you’ve decided that put it into a clear written plan. Once you build something or have started the project make sure you own all files including source files. Back everything over and over and over and over. Rinse and repeat…
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