So your WordPress developer has ghosted you… now what?

You’ve been left in the lurch. You haven’t seen sight nor sound of you developer for that past 48 hours and the last rounds of changes have not been made to your site. You’ve a pit in your stomach and a knot in your neck. Now you’re worrying if all that time and effort was for nought?

If you need a new WordPress developer to take over your project, there are a few things you’ll need to get straight.

Point 1

All bets are off.

Unless you’re taking affirmative action and choosing to end the relationship with your current web developer early, there’s a very good chance that most (if not all) of your project’s timeline (and contingency) has been eaten up already. That mean’s that tomorrow’s big launch is not going to happen. Even if your deadline is a week away, you need to relook at that deadline and see what more time you can add to give your new WordPress development team time to not only action any remaining changes but also to get up to speed with how your site (as it stands) has been put together.

Its a bitter pill; I get it. But if you don’t swallow it now, your next WordPress developers might feel under such pressure to deliver that they’ll cut corners – something that is likely to hurt you in the long term.

Point 2

What access do you have?

If you’re far enough along in the new website development project that it’s galling to have to walk away from all that you’ve helped create, then there’s a good chance you’ll have some access to the website and it’s dashboard.
What level of access will very much determine what (and how much) of the project can be salvaged.

If you log in to the WordPress dashboard, can you see options in the left hand menu for Plugins, Themes or Users? If you can, then you should have sufficient access for a backup plugin to be able to to run and copy all of the existing site structure, ready for handover to the new WordPress development team. If you cannot see these items, it’s possible your restricted access will hamper any attempts to clone or copy what has been created so far.

Do you have hosting or CPanel (Control Panel) access? Did you setup / Do you control the website hosting account on which the WordPress website is running? This can be your trump card and allow the new web developers to salvage all of the site’s code and database.

Point 3

The curse of knowledge

When briefing the new web developers on the final tasks to complete, its important to remember that they’ll be coming in cold with no prior knowledge about the project. You should take the time to review your task list and reword/rewrite to make each action item crystal clear so as to avoid any miscommunication.

Point 4

Consider a staged roll-out plan

With the new WordPress developers working on your website, consider adding additional development stages to be completed post launch. With a fresh pair of eyes, review your website and make a note of compromises you made with the previous developer, or any new, non-serious, snags that the new team can look to address after the site’s (re)launch.
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