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    12 Replies Latest reply on Feb 10, 2009 10:08 AM by Alan09

    Question about outsourcing a website design/build

    northstar10 Newbie
      My question may seem a bit naive, but how is it handled when you outsource your e-commerce website store build and design to a contractor or web design company who writes all the code and sets up your shopping cart and payment gateway? They then have access to your private sales and financial information, correct?

      If I, as the business owner, don't have any web design or programming knowledge, I am totally dependent on someone to trust that they are not manipulating or accessing my information. What is they go out of business or do not respond or lock me out of accessing my own site? Maybe I'm paranoid, but do things like that happen?

      Any business owners have any insight for me?

      Thanks so much.
        • Re: Question about outsourcing a website design/build
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Question about outsourcing a website, Welcome

          Go to Members page and tell us more
          • Re: Question about outsourcing a website design/build
            amspcs Ranger
            Dear Northstar,

            I too know absolutely zero about web design, HTML, etc. I finally got my website aspirations off the ground
            with a home-made solution. It served it's purpose for getting me off the ground, but frankly, it looked pretty much what it was...amateuristic and homemade.

            I finally took the step to a professional. I found someone off of this website who I am very very very
            happy with. He is very reasonable and accomodating in all respects, including financially, and above all
            he is very honest and knowledgable. In fact, we just launced our 'new and improved' site this week---have a look and tell me what you think if you don't mind...see the URL below.

            Anyway, his name is John Kelly, 6X6 Design, I very highly recommend him.
            At the very least, get in touch with him and listen to what he has to say.

            • Re: Question about outsourcing a website design/build
              IAmSpartacus Adventurer
              Your question is the exact polar opposite of naive - it is precisely the right question and very insightful considering you admit not having any web design or programming knowledge. The very fact that you've asked this question tells me that you are exposing your business to a grave risk and, in my opinion, you'll want to jump on it as soon as possible.

              I don't know what your relationship is to this contractor, or what their code of ethics is and both of those will factor into the manner in which you approach them on this subject. In a perfect world, they will be acting in your best interest and willing to "do the right thing." You may want to consider some (or all) of the following:

              1) Make sure that you have a confidentiality / non-disclosure agreement in place with the contractor that recognizes the fact that they have access to sensitive information and that they are responsible for protecting it, including their employees, agents, and subcontractors.

              2) If you don't already, ask to have all of the domain, web and email registration login details. You should be in sole control of these services and grant them temporary access when necessary.

              3) Contract with a third party to conduct code reviews and backups of the work that this contractor is doing for you.

              To answer your question, thing like that absolutely do happen - and they happen with large companies too. There are stories all over the Internet about companies getting their accounts suspended, dropped, or otherwise lost by vendors like Google, Facebook, and others. You need to make sure that your eggs are never in one basket, no matter how competent, professional, dedicated, and/or ethical they may be. The cold, hard fact is that "stuff happens." In the end, it's your business and your responsibility to mitigate as much risk as you can.
              • Re: Question about outsourcing a website design/build
                marcrogers Newbie
                Dear Northstar10,

                I have self taught html coding after first starting an ecommerce site with thoughts of the same problems. You should consider a business account with Sam's Club and use their contractor for starting an ecommerce. They have several package levels available for ecommerce sites that are very affordable.

                The packages include templates that you control of everything with great reports as well. You can look at my ecommerce site at
                The credit card processing has the best rates ever. There isn't even a minimum monthly charge on the card processing

                The self taught has allowed me to build several other sites for others.

                I hope this helps in your search.

                Marc Rogers
                • Re: Question about outsourcing a website design/build
                  USMC_ENTPNR Newbie
                  Hi Northsatr,

                  I want to first declare that I am a licensed consultant with WSI.

                  WSI is an full internet solutions company that has been in business since 1995. We have over 1500 offices in 87 different countries. This arguably makes us the largest internet marketing company in the world. With that being said, we fully understand the qualms and reservations that come with choosing a web company. As a licensed consultant, we advise that you do your due diligence in any company that you consider. Referrals from past clients tell a lot, but don't just take their word for it. Ask the company for a list of Case Studies and previous clients to check and verify the level of quality in their portfolio of sites. In this industry, be wary of the .com fly-by-nighters that get in over their heads. You have to trust your web company like you trust your accountant or doctor.

                  I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you may have.

                  Take Care,

                  • Re: Question about outsourcing a website design/build
                    SoftwareFirst Newbie
                    Hellow Northstar -

                    Hiring an outsourced website developer is a great option for small businesses. It allows small businesses to focus on their business instead of their marketing but gives them the same edge as larger companies with their marketing efforts. You should also consider contracts to consider when hiring a programmer or web developer. There are 9 clauses in the contracts that you
                    must take extremely seriously or risk losing a lot of money, time, and
                    even your most valuable information. Please visit my link for more information. There is a lot of good information here about this subject...and good programmers too.

                    Hope you found this information helpful.
                    • Re: Question about outsourcing a website design/build
                      SME_ally Adventurer
                      It's tough to not know anything about web design and have to rely on someone to maintain and operate it for you. Web designers are a dime a dozen. Anyone can claim they are web designers because there are so many softwares out there that make building websites a cinch. Additionally there are endless sites that sell templates for cheap which these "web designers" can buy and sell to you. Finding a trustworthy designer is just half the story. This designer needs to build a site that is optimized for search engines. Let's face it, you can have the best looking site in the world, but if no one visits then you mind as well have a homemade site and save money.

                      Going back to whether you can trust the designer you hire, if you're ever in doubt, you can always change passwords to your server or admin page if you're using a CMS.

                      If you do end up hiring someone to design your site, you should educate yourself on html and css so you can have some idea what he/she is doing to your site. is a great place to start. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions.

                      Good luck with your business.
                      • Re: Question about outsourcing a website design/build
                        virtual Wayfarer
                        You are totally right to question these points, my advise would be to do your research on the company, try and get some testimonials.
                        Our company provide this service, we can build your clients sites using our web builder design template which is white labelled so we can customise it to your business allowing you to put a link on your website so your customers have easy access to the design tools.

                        If you have develope a good relationship with the company then you can hopefully have regular contact and maintain some control over what work is being done.Payment for the site would be made through paypal, so your right in saying that we would need these details. We are based in the U.K we are happy to work internationaly but would first look for people like yourself to work with to form an alliance.

                        Best Wishes

                        Lorraine Fernandes
                        VirtualMedia Soultions Ltd
                        • Re: Question about outsourcing a website design/build
                          colossalcad Wayfarer
                          I fully understand your concern, it's very valid, but I've to tell you that in all the business transaction's there are certain doubt that something might go wrong, and I know that outsourcing your business increase that doubt, but in the other hand I must say that the outsourcing process (mostly in actual crisis) it's a way to go because it's cheaper and most of the times you get an excellent product, the only thing is that you have to do your homework, do a lot of research about the company you're about to contract, interchange a few emails with the company before hire them.
                          I run an outsourcing CAD company, I offer all the architectural services online and I have more than one client that has that very same concern about security, about how we handle confidentiality. In my case I have a confidentiality agreement that I give the client where he can feel confident about the security of their project's content.
                          So my advise for you is to double check the company you're about to hire and I know for sure that you're going to find a good prospect.
                          Good luck!!

                          • Re: Question about outsourcing a website design/build
                            Alan09 Wayfarer
                            Hi Northstar,

                            We are an US Based Outsourcing company( Integra Global Solutions) with offices in UK & India.
                            We provide Excellent services in Web Programming. We can design and develop a website as needed by yourself with high security. Once your website is designed and developed the authorization will be transfered to you ie yourself can realter the needed details such as User name, Password,access code of your website (overall control of your website). We provide you the design and development of your website in a Cost Effective manner.