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Breaking Up With Your Developer? 5 Things to Expect When Changings Devs

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No one enjoys a break up whether it is in a personal relationship or a business relationship. Both of these can be equally painful for different reasons. When you are breaking up with your developer, it can be scary since they have held the keys to your website and possibly still have control over the site now.

Reasons You Should Change Your Developer

Before you break up with your web developer, you need to figure out if it is worth the hassle. Changing web developers can be a big ordeal. If you only have a few misunderstandings or minor challenges, you may want to try to make the relationship work.

If your developer is delivering work on time and giving you what you need for your site but their attitude isn’t the best, this might not be a great reason to change devs. If you do not have to work with them much, having a few unpleasant exchanges but a job well done might be better than the alternative of changing developers.

Let’s take a look at what you might expect when changing developers.

1. Lack of Communication

When you change developers, whether you are parting on bad terms or they are taking other projects and don’t have time to work with you anymore, there could be a lack of communication throughout the transition. This means that your project could come to a halt or go very slow. If the developer does not operate with integrity and they are being spiteful, you may experience some other challenges like withholding information.

Until you get all of your logins and ownership of your intellectual property, it is best not to rock the boat. Do not write any negative reviews or mean emails.

2. Different Workflow

When you are working with your new web developer, you have to get to know each other. If you have a large project, you may be speaking on a daily basis by phone, email or video conferencing. You will notice that they have a different workflow than your previous web developer and it is important that expectations are set at the beginning of the relationship for the best communication possible.

You want to find out if they have office hours that they abide by, how quickly they respond to emails, phone calls or text messages. Ask them what the best way to contact them is and what their expectations are out of you. When you get these things out of the way upfront, you will keep from having challenges in these areas later.

You may want to set up a space where you can easily collaborate and keep in touch without getting lost in emails. This is especially helpful if you are working with a larger team. You can use a service like Trello or Slack to keep in touch.

3. Possible Site Migration

If you are working with a web developer that is hosting your site and you want to totally cut ties, you are going to need to migrate your site to new web hosting. Depending on the host that you are moving form and the host that you are moving to, you might be able to get your new hosting platform to transition your website, but many sites require that you pay for the transition which is an added expense many people do not think about.

If you are not at the skill level of even knowing how to buy and register a domain name, this is definitely not a task that you want to take on by yourself. If you uploaded files in the wrong place or accidentally delete an important database, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble.

Your hosting is where your files are located so that they can be served to your visitors. You want to ensure that your hosting is on a reputable server whether you gather secure information or not. If your site is not hosted on a secure server, you could lose all of your data as well as be subject to a virtual attack.

4. Possible New Domain Name

If at all possible, you want to keep the same domain name that you have now. If you aren’t sure if you own the domain name or not, you need can look it up in the Who Is to see if it shows there or you can speak with your web developer and hope they are nice enough to give you the information.

If you offer to buy the domain name at a premium, they may be more willing to give it to you in the case that they own the domain and not you.

5. Need for 301 Redirects

If any of your website’s pages are changing to a different location, for instance if your page was and now it is, you need a 301 redirect. Your users won’t be able to tell any difference because they will see the same webpage, but search engines will know that the page has permanently changed and if someone goes to the old address, it will take them to the new address.

Make sure to ask your web developer if they are performing 301 redirects for any pages that no longer are located at the same location. This important step should not be skipped even though it is very time intensive.


Ending a relationship with a web developer can be a time consuming, and intensive process, but with these warnings in mind, you can have an advantage during the process.

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