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  1. #1
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    Securing Site Once It's Finished

    I would welcome all insights into the best course of action to protect a site once it goes live.

    The main focus of my question is whether it's advisable to purchase a service contract from the developer who produced the site. I can see an inherent conflict of interest here and I'm wondering whether it's an industry-wide concern for the website owners: Wouldn't the developer have an incentive to occasionally meddle with the site in order to reap the benefits of a large repair bill?

    But if you don't entrust the developer to overlook your site, do you then confront a likelihood that a third party when called in to fix a bug would be at a major disadvantage since they didn't develop the code?

    If there is a consensus on the best approach for the site owner to safeguard his site, I would very much like to read about it. If not, any personal opinions drawn from experience would be very helpful as well.

    And another concern. My site is far from finished. It's clear there is one programmer in charge of piecing everything together. It's a WordPress site. If he one day vanishes, is it probable that all the work is lost? I would think this scenario is commonplace, so surely there are some good opinions about this as well to share, for which I'd be greatly in your debt.

    Thanks again. You guys never fail to give great responses.

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  3. #2
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    Ideally, work with a designer, developer who you trust and are credible. This way they will assist you if any problems occur in the future.

    If you have reservations you should find out from the developer if they are hosting the site or you are.
    If its a Wordpress site I would recommend hosting the site yourself. They can upload files to your server, have admin rights in wordpress. Once it goes live you can change credentials to your ftp, database and wordpress so the site is secure and accessible only by yourself.

  4. #3
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    Thanks very much for the reply. Yes, that was stated up front that "the keys" would be turned over to me once the site debuts.

    But, just for argument's sake, let's say I call on them to make a fix on something. Presumably, at that point they could muck things up worse purposefully elsewhere on the site, correct? It's not something I'm suspicious of, but something I feel I should be educated about.

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I'd suggest having all the work turned over now and as he goes along. That way, should he vanish, someone else might be able to pick up where he left off. I say "might" because the likelihood of what the previous programmer did to date being usable varies greatly.

    As far as mucking it up after it goes live, there are two general scenarios when it comes to programming:

    1) The programmer isn't good enough to get it to go live properly, in which case your bigger issue is them mucking up by accident than on purpose.
    2) The programmer is good enough to get it to go live properly, in which case the programmer is experienced, has other customers, and thus doesn't have the time or inclination to go mucking something up on purpose.

    Yes, there is the option of "good enough to get it to go live, but unscrupulous"...but it's pretty unlikely. I wouldn't concern myself with it if I were you.
    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.

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  6. #5
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    Here is my greatest (hypothetical) concern. During a lull in business with bills to pay, unscrupulous tinkering becomes an obvious way out of an untenable financial situation.

    The one way I could see this being thwarted is if a record of all changes to the site's software is automatically recorded and not subject to external meddling. This way, I could hire someone to go in and take a look and see if anything untoward occurred. Do you know whether WordPress sites contain such a fail-safe feature?

  7. #6
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    And on a separate issue, I've learned that my site requires a lot of WordPress Toolbox applications, with which the developer is clearly struggling. Off the top of your head, does this sound like a rabbit hole from which success is unlikely to emerge? Or is this a standard part of the mystery of getting a site to coalesce properly and given time a talented developer will make good use of said Toolbox?

  8. #7
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Subversion (SVN) would do that for you. And good programmers don't have those kinds of lulls. They may have slowdowns, but the good ones always have something to do.
    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)

  9. #8
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    Your answer, naturally, leads to another question: If good programmers are swimming in work, would that typically leave a lot of projects dawdling after the big deposit is received? Besides having a big heart, what is a developer's motivation for allocating resources away from new projects to ones that are already largely paid for and require plenty of more work?

    I don't know whether that's the case in my situation. Communication with the project manager is excellent, really excellent as a matter of fact. But the site has entered its 11th month of development with no end in sight. Realistically speaking, can a site really require a couple of years to get up and running if all the materials are delivered at the outset?

  10. #9
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    No, it wouldn't...at least not from the standpoint of a smart programmer. The reason is quite simple...most good/smart programmers establish long-term relationships with their clients, and they know that their clients have to grow in order for the long-term relationship to persist. That means that the programmer has to keep his/her end of the bargain as much as possible. Good/smart programmers also know their limits...what they can accomplish and what they can't.

    To answer your question: yes, it can depending on size, but no, it usually doesn't. Most of the stuff I do, even from scratch, takes no more than a few months. The projects that have dragged are the ones that are largely finished but the owners insist on "tweaking" things constantly. From what I've seen of your situation, that doesn't appear to be the case, but it can happen.
    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)

  11. #10
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    Ok, I do trust my project manager, with the exception of course of the length of time it's taking to move forward on the project. I realize that a lot of what I'm asking for is probably virgin territory for his developer and as far as I can tell he has only one person working on it. I'm very detail-oriented, but also very explicit about how I want the site set up, so there have been few surprises on my end, and those additional features that I have proposed still lie in wait for development on his end.

    But I'm glad that, although the time spent on the process does seem unusually excessive, it's not inconceivable. As long as progress is being made and demonstrated, I'll continue to believe that he can handle the job. So far this is the case.

    Thanks for the very valued insights.


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