Taking Over as Admin of an Existing Web Site

We get requests from prospective clients to provide a proposal for taking over their existing web site, without redesign. We’re happy to look at the situation and see if it is a fit. We limit ourselves to WordPress and Wild Apricot web sites for requests for taking over, and usually review requires both a public version and an admin access look at the web site to see the current status of the site.

Taking over another website.Sometimes the prospective client comes with a assumption that the price would be around the same as the prior provider. Maybe, maybe not. Part of it is likely due to the reason the prospective client is leaving the current admin in the first place. We have been in a time for a while now where web designers/developers are leaving the marketplace after several years of trying to make it work, and that is forcing their clients to move on. There are LOTS of reasons why the web developer/designer is leaving the business – retirement, not making enough money, tired of doing it, etc. Then there is customer dissatisfaction – lack of support, high costs, slow response, etc. All of these reasons are different and will impact the “exit status” of the site when it is transferred to new admin.

Exit status can really impact price – particularly in WordPress. We have taken over sites that literally haven’t had core, theme or plugin updates for over a year. SSL certificates have lapsed. Some of these sites are essentially close to, if not completely, broken. There’s going to be a rehabilitation cost just to get it back to functionality.

Then there’s standards currency. Is it current with web standards of today? Believe it or not there are plenty of sites out there not particularly usable in mobile format. Is it hooked up to GA4? Is it using newer functionality now optional with upgrades in WordPress or Wild Apricot? If WordPress, does it have security measures?

The taking over price will depend on the site’s state when taken over. In the case of WordPress sites, it may make sense to transfer to new hosting as well, depending on what has been used. There are a lot of good web hosting companies out there, but there are some cheap clunky ones too. Cheap and clunky on the hosting side usually translates into more labor costs on the admin side, and in the long run it may make more sense to move it at the transfer of administration.

Administrative transition will likely require some coordination with the current administrator, so hopefully your relationship is such that this coordination is easily done. It’s important for the site owner to get the user credentials and passwords for the domain registration, server hosting, site admin access, and affiliated items such as Google Analytics, premium plugin and theme accounts, and the like. The new web site admin will likely need at least some of these in the near future.