Dispatches from the Field

My Web Designer Disappeared

My Web Designer Disappeared! What Do I Do Now?

  • Do you have a website that needs to be updated and your web designer is nowhere to be found?
  • Have you hired a web designer to only have them disappear in the middle of your web project?
  • Is your web site broken and find you have no one to turn to?

You are not alone.

Over the years, many of my new clients have come to me feeling like they have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves.

They had a nice looking website built for a reasonable price. But once the site was built, it was essentially, “See you later, BYE! It was nice doing business with you.” from their web designer.

Maybe the client wanted to take the cheapest, fastest route to online riches and hired their nephew to build their website. Maybe they put their website project out to bid on one of numerous web design job boards and hired a designer eight time zones away for $20 an hour.

And then, when they needed help, the web designer had disappeared. The web designer had moved on.

I could go on, but it has become an unfortunate fact that web designers and developers have developed a sketchy reputation for being unreliable and unresponsive.

Let me tell you a story.

A client came to me with a website that hadn’t been updated in years. The copyright date still read 2010!

In Internet time, that’s like driving down a superhighway in a horse and buggy.

Their website designer had disappeared!

They wanted to make changes and updates to their website but didn’t know how to make the updates themselves. All the while being totally unaware the website’s version of WordPress, theme and plugins were dangerously out-of-date too.

Dangerous because plugin vulnerabilities represent 55.9% of the known entry points for website attacks.

Their website’s theme was 19 updates behind. (Your WordPress theme is made up of a combination of templates all working together to display your content and web pages.)

As the Internet and WordPress evolve, your website’s theme needs to be updated to take advantage of the latest technologies to provide a secure, stable customer experience.

WordPress itself needs to be kept up-to-date as well.

Since WordPress powers 34% of all the websites on the Internet, it has become an inviting target for would-be hackers. Hackers are constantly probing for vulnerabilities in the WordPress ecosystem. As a result, WordPress is consistently being updated with security updates as well as functionality improvements.

Since the client’s website was so far behind the curve, not only was it seriously vulnerable to attacks or just plain “breaking” outright, to get things back up to standards was going to take a fair amount of time-consuming work.

A responsibly managed WordPress website needs to have WordPress, theme and plugin updates made at least every month. And after each item is updated, the website needs to be checked to make sure the update didn’t cause any unexpected problems.

So the client was not doing himself any favors by making the maintenance of his WordPress website a low priority.

He was putting his business and online reputation at risk in a big way.

Key Takeaway: You need someone minding the store.

  • Wouldn’t it be great if you could count on your website designer to be there when you need them?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if there was someone keeping an eye on your website and keeping it up-to-date and secure?
  • Wouldn’t it be great to have the peace of mind of not having to worry about your website and you can go about doing what you do best… run your business?

I’m sharing all of this because I want to help you avoid making the mistakes I’ve seen other entrepreneurs make.

Clients have sought me out to build and maintain their websites now for almost 25 years.

Some of my clients have been with me for over 20 years.

If you need someone you can trust to be there when you need them, now and in the future, please feel free to drop me a note at kerry@wpwolfepress.com.

I’m here to help!

In 2000, when we decided that the Duluth Fall Festival needed to have an Internet presence, we contracted with Kerry Wolfe and WP Wolfepress to develop our website. Kerry came up with the design, as we handed off our content to him. Nearly 20 years later, through several redesigns, and several web awards, the Duluth Fall Festival still relies on WP Wolfepress to develop and host our site. Kerry always over-delivers for us.
Alana Moss
Duluth Fall Festival

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