Register

If this is your first visit, please click the Sign Up now button to begin the process of creating your account so you can begin posting on our forums! The Sign Up process will only take up about a minute of two of your time.

Results 1 to 5 of 5
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By mlseim

Thread: When client wants to take over control of their site

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2
    Member #
    37822

    When client wants to take over control of their site

    Hello,
    I am new to the forum and tried to find information by searching for this topic, but couldn't find exactly what I need to know. I have been designing sites for nearly 15 years. Until today I have never had this issue arise and I need to know what other designers have to offer as advice and what their experiences have been.

    I have a client whose site I built two years ago for his new business. He recently sold his business and the new owner now wants to take over complete control of the site I designed. My primary question is how do I release the control to this person, and should I consider my artistic design content as my own work, removing everything and leaving the new owner with the domain name to start designing their new site?

    I have no problem releasing the site to this person, and no longer having it in my portfolio or under my control. What I do mind is having a client who now wants complete access to start making changes to the site I created, and even expecting me to make some changes now before she takes over complete control.

    What do you suggest? What is the protocol for walking away from a site you designed, and the artistic content of it?

    Thank you in advance.

  2.  

  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Cottage Grove, Minnesota
    Posts
    7,969
    Member #
    5580
    Liked
    760 times
    You built your site for a client. You don't own the site, your client does.

    There is no protocol. Your client, as well as the new owner, should already have all the webhost account information, they should have the domain account information, and they should have a zipped backup copy of the entire website. Those things should already exist.

    If I sell one of my paintings to another person, they can do whatever they want with it. They can burn it, paint over it, or sell it to someone else for a profit. The only thing they can't do is to duplicate it and sell copies.

    You did the same thing. You sold one of your artistic "web design paintings" to another person. You no longer own it. The only way you have any rights to it is if you had a written a contract (in writing) signed by both parties. If the new owners use your original artwork for other purposes, you might have a case.

    Walk away and wish the new owners good luck. Perhaps they will hire you for their own project?
    Last edited by mlseim; Nov 27th, 2013 at 05:34 AM.
    TheGAME1264 likes this.


  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2
    Member #
    37822
    Thank you for your response and the information. I'm hoping the new client knows how to work with the web design, but I suppose if she messes it up beyond her capabilities, then that could potentially mean being hired to correct her mistakes.

    Thanks again for your reply!

  5. #4
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Cottage Grove, Minnesota
    Posts
    7,969
    Member #
    5580
    Liked
    760 times
    Treat the new owner/client very well. Mention that you would be able to assist them for X amount of dollars per hour. Give them a fair chance to hire you or anyone else. Don't do anything for free or they will expect that indefinitely. Let them know that they are responsible for everything at this point in time, and you will not touch anything unless you are hired to do so.


  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Not from USA
    Posts
    14,480
    Member #
    425
    Liked
    2784 times
    I've had this situation happen 5-6 times now, and there's almost no good way to solve it.

    Max is right, though; if you're paid in full for the site and the site was sold as part of the business arrangement to the new owner, the new owner owns it and is responsible for it. You can't tear it down, you can't consider it yours, and you can't do anything to it in any way, shape or form unless instructed to by the new owner. That's it, that's all. They want control, you have to give it to them.

    As far as changes go, here's what I've found, and this probably lets you off the hook. The new owner will probably want to bring in a new designer, developer, team, whatever. You're basically behind the 8-ball, and here's why...the business was sold. The new owner will in all likelihood assume that the business was sold under duress and therefore everything in it, including your work, is subject to "examination." Even if the old owner sold a profitable business model on the grounds of say retirement or medical issues, the new owner will probably see a distressed asset and approach everything in it as a distressed asset. That in turn usually means "wholesale changes" or "improvements" or "enhancements to the business model" or some other generic business term that amounts to major alterations to the business. You'll have a pretty good idea right away if either the new owner asks you to redo several parts of the website quickly or you start hearing from people in the company that are complaining about the changes or losing their jobs right away or there's a general sense of fear and panic. Some change is inevitable, but I'm talking about the immediate, short-term, "what in the world are you people DOING?" sort of changes...if they hit the business, you'll know the difference. I'm talking things like changing the logo/branding, trying to sell new products, changing the way people answer the phone, rebuilding offices, etc.

    If you see sweeping change and you had a positive rapport with the previous regime, your answer is painful but simple...get off the bus. Don't deal with the new owner unless you absolutely must, and keep it to a minimum. Why? Because for some bizarre reason your positive rapport with the previous regime will be seen as "old school" thinking and will be interpreted as a negative by the new regime. Makes no sense, but this is what I've seen happen in every single case. If you were paid in full and you don't have to deal with the situation, walk away. If you stay on and anything goes pear-shaped with the site, you're to blame even though you probably won't have had anything to do with it.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)


Remove Ads

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:15 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.3
Copyright © 2021 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.
vBulletin Skin By: PurevB.com