Who Controls Your Website, You or Your Developer?

It is not so uncommon for us to get calls from frustrated Website owners that are having trouble making simple edits to their Website and/or using features and functions that the site has. It’s not that they do not know how to use these features or how to make updates, but that their developer has not given them proper access. The developer simply tells the Website owner that what they are looking to accomplish must be done by them and of course the task will be completed at their standard rate. There are absolutely Website maintenance tasks that a developer should handle if the site owner does not have the technical skills. However when you have a site built on WordPress or other content management system (CMS), the site owner should be empowered and not inhibited from making standard changes.

I get why a developer might not release full control of a site to their client. There may actually be features that if not administered correctly could have devastating effects on the site. However in most the case we see, it is clear that the developer is forcing the billable hours. Most frustrating is when a client is given such restricted access that they cannot even add a gallery or a new page to a site without contacting the developer despite the fact the tools are readibly available and not hard to use. Personally I have never understood this tactic. First of all, the site built should belong in full to the client not the developer. In addition, it seems this never ends well for the developer. The client was sold a CMS and yet they don’t feel empowered and instead they feel trapped and cheated.

As a Web development client make sure you are provided the username and password to a user that has full and unrestricted access to all the content management and system management features of a CMS. This may not be the login you use daily but insist you get this kind of access from your developer. As a Web developer, do your best to empower your client with the great tools that are available rather than entrap them.

 photo by Tim Dorr / cc