What happens to my website if we stop working together?
Outcome 6 of the FCA’s principles for fair treatment of customers is something we must follow as Financial Planners.
Consumers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers imposed by firms to change product, switch provider, submit a claim or make a complaint.
In the world of digital marketing, no such regulation exists.
I spent Friday morning with a Financial Planner, discussing his marketing plans and the vision for his new website.
One of the questions he posed got me thinking about the difference between working in a regulated Financial Planning firm, and an unregulated marketing agency.
He quite sensibly asked, what happens to my website if we stop working together in the future?
It was an easy question to answer; the website is your website. We transfer hosting to your name, and nothing changes.
More importantly, because we build websites using the WordPress content management system, you can continue to make updates, add posts and pages, and generally change any aspect of the site, without our continued involvement.
This seems like such a simple answer and a sensible approach. But unfortunately, it’s not as commonplace as you might expect.
We’ve seen several examples this year of websites built by other firms, which are virtually impossible for the client to update.
Even websites built in WordPress come with heavily customised, bespoke themes and proprietary plugins that require a coder and graphic designer to unpick.
As a result, the customer faces unreasonable post-sale barriers to switch provider, sometimes needing to rebuild the website from the ground up.
It really shouldn’t be this difficult.
The cynic in me might suggest that websites are built to complicated standards so the only way changes can be made in the future involve engaging the original agency, who then have carte blanche to charge whatever fee that like for that work.
I found myself watching the classic heist movie Ronin on Netflix the other evening. Robert De Niro’s character Sam has a great line; “Lady, I never walk into a place I don’t know how to walk out of.”
When engaging a marketing agency to create a website or deliver any other project for you, know how to walk out first.