A Tip for Association Management Firms

We have built and managed a lot of association web sites in our 25 years, and we’ve experienced some of the ups and downs that go with associations.  One of the things that can happen to an association that will impact a web developer is a change in association management, particularly if it is a change in a firm contracted to manage the association.

A lot of times, these businesses come with their own preferred partners and contractors for various functions of the association, including the web site management.  If you have been in the association web site development business long enough, you will see this – and there will be a move to a new vendor to manage the web site.  It is an understandable practice for the association management company.  This has happened for us, and to us, and it should not be any issue as long as there are no payments or work that needs to be honored first.
I would STRONGLY recommend, however, that either the association management firm or their web development contractor try to contact the association’s current developer before making the switch.  This can streamline the process for transfer of domain pointing, email setup, etc., and can also alert the new association management firm as to any issues or possibilities for the association’s online activities going forward.
We’ve had an association management firm just build a new site (often using a CMS template they have for all their clients) without any contact at all.  They failed to look at any historical usage of the site through Google Analytics or Google Search Console data… they just used a new account for the redesigned site with no access to the historical data.  There was no discussion of unique or continuing issues with the website, from hack efforts to spammers to stolen content to who knows what.   No discussion of membership reasons for why a site may be the way it was.   Why wouldn’t you want that information?
No need to be that secretive.  Everyone should be an adult here.  If a site is moving to a new design and a new developer, get some historical information.  Reach out and ask.