Welcome to the Small Business Ideas Forum! We are a community of over 100,000 small business folks with over 163,000 posts for you to browse. We pride ourselves on being the friendliest forum you will find and we'd love to have you as a member of our community. Please take a moment and register for a free account. If you need any help, please contact Chris Logan.

Small Business Ideas Forum

Small Business Ideas Forum

A friendly place to share small business ideas and knowledge, ask questions, find help and encourage others that are involved in the small business industry. Topics include small business marketing, generating revenue and small business computing.

Go Back   Small Business Ideas Forum > Small Business Computing > Website Development
Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 7th July 2004, 07:05 PM   #1
old dog
Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2
Question Website developer holding us hostage

Hello everyone.
We used a website development company ("wdc") for our website/store development. They designed the layout of our site, and manage the inventory and shopping cart. When a new item is added to stock, we submit the pic and the description to the wdc. They add the item to the shopping cart and also to the website. The wdc charges $5-7 per item for this service. If we add 100 items to inventory, the charge is $500-$700!

We'd like to start adding our own items to our website and do the shopping cart coding ourselves. The wdc tells us they don't allow this; that all changes are done thru them. They also will not give us the passwords to get into our website to see the html & shopping cart coding.

Is this a standard practice not allowing a website owner access to their own site? We are between a rock & a hard spot! Your comments how to regain control of our website are appreciated!

old dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Register or log in to remove this ad.
Old 7th July 2004, 08:48 PM   #2
Robert
Administrator
 
Robert's Avatar
 

Join Date: May 2004
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 3,463

Default

Hi old dog. Welcome to the forum!


Quote:
Is this a standard practice not allowing a website owner access to their own site?
No, this is not standard practice. Are you tied into a contract with them?

__________________
Small Business News - You've never seen small business news delivered like this!
Free Business Forms - Download free business forms you can customize
Robert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th July 2004, 11:06 PM   #3
neofelis
Member
 

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Hayward, CA
Posts: 45
Default Not Standard

This is not standard practice at all - at least not from the web development arena that I come from.

In fact, it should be the other way around. They should be providing you with ways to access and modify your web site. It's your site and store after all. The only reason for them to keep things under their control is so that they can charge you for every update.

I am interested in the same question that Robert asked - are you contractually obligated to stay with this company? If not, then I would investigate other means of developing your web site - either doing it yourselves, or finding another web development company that does not have such tight restrictions.

I would also be happy to take a look at your site and see how complicated it is - that will give me a better sense of how much work it will be to extract yourselves from your current wdc (if you can get around any contract issues).

neofelis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th July 2004, 04:41 AM   #4
Old Welsh Guy
Moderator
 
Old Welsh Guy's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Wales
Posts: 700
Default

Totally a bad business model I am afraid, for the very reason you state. Better they host the site, and charge you an agreen monthly amount of $$. I show my clients how to add stuff, and try to teach them the basics about writing the titles, descriptions etc. I then go in behind them and re-write their title/description copy to make sure it is search engine friendly. They pay me a set amount (low) on a month by month basis this covers them for the SEO work on each product, as well as email help with regard structuring if they have a new range etc, and like it that way.

What is happening here is diabloical. I know that $5 an item is not much, but it is pure exploitation. I would suggest that you look at moving the site. They HAVE to give you your database (unless their contract says otherwise) although I would imagine that the actual html code is theirs if they are renting space from them. It would be like trying to take the fixtures and fittings of an offline rented shop as well as the stock that you own.

Fixtures and fittings that came with the shop stay with the shop, but those you have added, (the database content) go with you if you rent a shop elsewhere.

Have a real good read of the contract, if there isn't one, then you can get yourstuff no problem by threatening to go legal for them witholding YOUR data, and telling them that you will also be including a claim for damages caused by their preventing the move by not releasing the data.

__________________
Old Bald & Stupid, but more than compensated for by being born Welsh.
Google Expert blog - Internet Marketing Consultancy
Old Welsh Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th July 2004, 10:14 AM   #5
David Wallace
Senior Member
 
David Wallace's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 1,049

Search Engine Guide Blogger

Default

If they are able to add stuff then you should be able to do so as well. See what your contract specifically says. If is states that they own the site or that they must make changes, etc., then you may be out of luck.

However, if the contract specifically states that you are the owner of the web site, then by all means you have the right to do anything you want with it.

There still may be a problem in that they may have applications running that are not necessarily a part of your site and if you move it, you lose those applications.

I would advise hiring a programmer to at least look at it and see what is entailed in moving it away from these guys. If you have FTP access to the site, a programmer should be able to pop in there and see if everything can be downloaded and then uploaded to a new server. In the meantime, try to keep your relationship with your current 'wdc' as peaceful as possible so they don't sabotage your site.

Good luck with it.

__________________
David Wallace
SearchRank - Search Engine Marketing | Personal Blog
David Wallace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th July 2004, 12:14 PM   #6
old dog
Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2
Default website developer holding us hostage

hello everyone:

Thanks to all who responded to my thread. There is no written contract between us and the website developer.


Here's the question I asked them:
Will you email me the ftp address, log on and password for our website?
-----------------------------------
Here's what the WDC replied:

Could you please let us know your intentions. As we discussed in the past,
we maintain all sites we design.
---------------------------------------------
my reply: I am trying to understand the relationship to adding/deleting and item from the website as well as the coding necessary to add/delete the item from the shopping cart. We'd like to have more control of being able to manage our website to keep the costs more reasonable by adding/deleting items to the website ourselves. I can't justify the time necessary and the charges we incur since you manage the site, and also how the virtual (shopping) cart works without access to the FTP. According to the shopping cart software company all our inventory, with the coding, etc. is housed on your server.
--------------------------------

Here's what the WDC replied:

Our server does not hold any type of inventory or any other pertinent
information regarding Virtual Cart. Virtual Cart is a separate service that
provides the secure shopping cart system - they do not keep an inventory.
They calculate the order (shipping, tax, etc.) based on the coding that we
created. This is the same coding viewable through "view source" on your
internet browser. Your FTP information to our server will not provide you
with any additional information regarding the shopping Cart.
================================================== =


I have contacted a programmer to assist with gaining control of our website. I've looked at shopsite.com as the platform for maintaining the site. I know the WDC will not release the coding for the items on our website. Even though we paid the WDC for creation of this coding, they claim they are the owner of the coding. Is it possible for me to cut & paste the coding on our site by viewing the properties of each item?

old dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th July 2004, 02:43 PM   #7
David Wallace
Senior Member
 
David Wallace's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 1,049

Search Engine Guide Blogger

Default

Not necessarily if you do not have FTP access. The code that you see while viewing a page in a browser may have been assembled on the server and as such contains elements in the raw files that you do not see once the page is assembled. Maybe your programmer that you hired will be able to give you more specifics.

It also sounds like they are using a third party shopping cart. You may be able to keep using this is you can establish a relationship with that vendor.

__________________
David Wallace
SearchRank - Search Engine Marketing | Personal Blog
David Wallace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th July 2004, 03:15 PM   #8
neofelis
Member
 

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Hayward, CA
Posts: 45
Default Good luck

Hope that your programmer can help you out.

Without FTP access it can be hard to determine how much "coding" they did. If the pages use JavaScript and the code is linked to the html file, then you need to be able to see the contents of the linked code to know what's going on.

If the pages are delivered using some server-side mechanism (jsp, asp) - although based on their description it does not sound like they are - then you really need access to the source code to see how the pages are being assembled.

And this could be the virtual cart they are referring to: Virtal Cart

neofelis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th July 2004, 09:28 AM   #9
Tholzel
Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 5
Default Cut your losses now

<<Thanks to all who responded to my thread. There is no written contract between us and the website developer. >>

The cosmic issue here is whether can you ever become comfortable with this guy? And the short answer is "No."

Whenever you get involved with someone who is making a business out of chisleing every detail to his advantage rather than at least a mutally beneficial arrangement, he will always drop to a lower level to keep you trapped in his fold. Thus, it always gets more painful, not less.

The best option is to get out as soon as possible-now-and start over again with someone else. Yes, you'll suffer some immediate loss, but nothing like what you'll suffer over time by hanging in. With a new start, you can get moving again, and not have to worry every second how this current guy is going to screw you again. What they are really expert at is calibrating what they think you'll put up with to avoid short term pain, and get for something that is just short of that. And it goes on and on and on.

Tholzel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd August 2004, 02:39 AM   #10
DianeV
Member
 

Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 12
Default

Oh, heck, I've used VirtualCart several times: http://vcart.com
You pay a yearly (or 3, 6 or 9 month) fee of about $240 with a free 30-day trial; there is NO database, and all the shopping cart data for the items is coded into your web pages. VCart has a login area where you put your tax, shipping, credit card third party gateway (e.g., Authorize.net), preferences for the "look" of the shopping cart pages, etc. and vCart takes care of the calculations.

Get yourself something like WebStripper and copy your entire site to your hard drive. Then either sign up with vCart (since the pages are already coded for it) or get a different shopping cart that resides on your server.
http://www.webstripper.net/

Of course, in either case, if you're going to do updates yourself, you'll have to learn something about it. But, like everyone else, you'll live through the experience. <grin>

I hate when developers do this kind of thing to clients. Mind you, I don't do anything for $7 (and I'm assuming that with each item, they have to code the new page or item, perhaps enhance the photo image, and upload), but if clients want to go, or to do things themselves, it surely isn't worth arguing over.

I don't know where you are, but here in California if you pay someone to build something for you, you generally own the something.

DianeV is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply   

Bookmarks




Thread Tools

Get Updates
RSS Feeds:
RSS Feed for Website Development RSS for this Category Only: Website Development

RSS Feed for Small Business Ideas Forum RSS for Entire Forum
Forum Rules


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Small Business Ideas Forum


 
At Your Business - Small Business Directory
Free Business Forms - Prewritten Documents
 
Search Engine Guide
Small business guide to search marketing

 
Small Business Brief
Fetching the Best Small Business Info


Free Links - Free Advertising
Free Guide - Online Directory



Advertise your business here
Contact us for more details!


Semantic Juice
Register now to access free Quick SEO service!


Rocket Lawyer
Sign up for free 7 day trial. Boost your biz!


Buy UPC Codes
Get your products listed online!




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004 - 2018 - Privacy