D I A L I N G . . .

Ownership:

  • How often is my site backed up?
  • What is included in backups of my site (ie. database, entire filesystem)?
  • Do I have access to these backups whenever I decide or do I need to request them?
  • Do I control the theme/plugin code (ie. do I have access to add, remove, modify)?
  • Do I control the DNS records for my domain (ie. do I have control over “www.mydomain.com”)?

Outages/disaster recovery:

  • What level of uptime monitoring does my site have (ie. how frequent are the uptime checks if at all)?
  • What is the process from the moment an uptime monitor triggers to indicate my site is down (ie. who is notified and what is their response time)?
  • In the event of a server outage/hardware failure, how fast can I expect my site come back online?

Financial:

  • How much is my domain registration fee per month?
  • What are my annual or monthly hosting costs?
  • If paid plugins/themes are used, how much do I pay to keep them up to date and supported?
  • What is the total costs of any external services my site depends on (ie. Mailgun, Cloudflare, etc.)?
  • Based on the above, what is the average total cost per month/year to me to ensure my site is live and secure generally?

Security:

  • Are my plugins, modules, theme and CMS (ie. WordPress, Drupal, etc.) versions kept up to date to mitigate known hacks/exploits?
  • What measures are in place to prevent an outage from a DDOS attack on my site?
  • What measures are in place to prevent exposing customer data from my site?
  • What plan is in place if my site is cloned and mirrored on another domain (ie. threat of duplicate content flagging)?
  • Does my site use industry standard SSL/security headers to mitigate common attacks (ie. HSTS, XSS-protection, etc.)?

SEO:

  • How does my site score for Performance using Google Pagespeed Insights or Lighthouse?
  • How does my site score for Best Practices using Google Pagespeed Insights or Lighthouse?
  • How does my site score for SEO using Google Pagespeed Insights or Lighthouse?
  • How does my site score for Accessibility using Google Pagespeed Insights or Lighthouse?

Technology stack:

  • What provider hosts my website (ie. Hosting Ireland, GoDaddy, etc.)?
  • Where in the world is my origin server located (not considering CDN)?
  • What server technology is my server running (ie. nginx, apache, node, etc.)?
  • What server technology does my database use (ie. mysql, mariadb)?
  • Does my stack include caching (ie. Varnish, fastcgi, Cloudflare)?
  • I know what to do in the event my site had a planned high traffic event (ie. Christmas sale, Instagram/Facebook campaign, etc.).

Practical:

  • Do I feel comfortable making changes to existing pages on my site without reaching out to my designer/developer?
  • Do I feel comfortable adding posts to my site without reaching out to my designer/developer?
  • [E-commerce sites only] Do I feel comfortable adding products and processing orders on my site without reaching out to my designer/developer?
  • [LMS only] Do I feel comfortable managing lessons/tests/courses on my site without reaching out to my designer/developer?

Awkward:

  • If I decide to part ways with my current designer/developer, how can I ensure a successful transition to another designer/developer?
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