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It’s always a wonderful start; a time of excitement and simpatico, of dreams and promises. But as with marriage, the relationship at times can become a frustrating parting of ways later.

At the COOLCOM group we’ve had almost 20 years to watch relationships both flourish and flounder. Over those years we’ve learned a few things about both sides of the coin.

A few questions at the outset amount to what is a great prenup for the marriage as it moves forward.

Of the divorces between business and webmaster the most common factor is a misunderstanding of services paid for or services intended to be included.

Webmasters need to be clear on your entire scope of expectation and you need to be clear on how much of that your project quote will include. Clarification helps both sides avoid conflict, hard feelings and on occasion pandemonium that occurs when the relationship hits the rocks.

The right webmaster for your project will be able to answer these questions, keeping your relationship clear and concise as to what the various roles are and what is not on the table. The right webmaster will not be afraid to tell you what areas they prefer taken to another party.

  1. Of these website-necessary functions, which are you skilled at and including in your quote?

    1. Layout and page design
    2. Graphics creation and / or supply of royalty paid graphics
    3. Search engine optimization
    4. Site and software security (SSL, anti hack provisions etc)
    5. Site updates (if content management software is involved)
    6. Site backup (and restoration if required)

  2. Please outline fees for any of the above not included in your quote.
  3. Please offer references for each skill and project component quoted.
  4. Please offer examples of performance in each skill and project component quoted
  5. How many site revisions may I request once the first draft is submitted
  6. What are your per hour fees once the site is in my hands?
  7. Should I need them, how long will standard changes take once the site is in my hands?
  8. What’s my learning curve to make simple changes (spelling, dates, add a post)
  9. Is the software you propose able to move to another hosting provider with ease?
  10. I insist my domain remain in my name (this is not a question but a clarification).

Number 10 is actually tops in importance as often we see loss of domains during a conflict because the domain was moved by (and sometimes put in the name of) the webmaster. The only time you need to move your domain to another registry is if your current one worries you. This is otherwise an expense on your part and usually amounts to loss of control or understanding of where one’s online assets are.