Web designers - I'd like to take some of these people and whack 'em one upside the head.. I can't tell you how many times one of these firms has screwed up one of my customers by not having any technical understanding of what the heck they are doing.
My apologies to those of you who are competent. No doubt that's probably most; I tend to remember the screwups and of course if things are done right, nobody calls me. But..
I've had "web designers" take cgi generated pages and turn them into static pages. Of course that tends to break things and three days later I get a call from the customer wondering why the data on the page hasn't changed.. I've had other helpful folks insert Php code into pages on sites where we didn't have Php enabled - and then, after I enabled Php, I found their code was broken anyway and I had to fix it! Simply brilliant..
Worst ever: installing a Windows .exe file on a BSD server and being surprised (shocked!) that it didn't work. Couldn't I "translate" it? Sure..
Earlier this week I had another Web debacle. The web folks told my customer he needed to repoint his DNS servers to their servers and of course he, thinking that they must know what is needed, complied. Unfortunately, there were several things wrong with that. One, he runs an internal mailserver. Two, he uses VPN's for a number of remote employees and those VPN's are accessed by a particular host name in their domain. Of course the web folks didn't know anything about that so their DNS server couldn't help. Mail broke, the VPN's broke, and chaos ensued. Simply brilliant.
That's happened more than once. Screwing up mail servers, VPN's and other host names needed is just par for the course. I told my customer that he needed to remember this:
Just because someone can design a web page doesn't mean that you should trust them to know anything else. It doesn't matter how long they have been in business, how beautiful and professional their work is, or how many glowing recommendations they have: they might not know beans beyond their specialty.
Of course real Web Designers probably are as aghast as I am. But my customer can't tell the difference and actually in this case he had no choice because there's some industry specific software involved..
By the way: they really did do a nice job on the site itself. No complaints there.
Don't trust web designers. No offense meant to those who do know what they are doing, but there are apparently enough clueless ones out there to necessitate this warning. Probably you'll be fine, but do you really want to risk it? At least make sure that somebody who does know a network from a route is standing by..
Well, unless your website, your email and your VPN's etc. aren't important. In that case, have at it. Give 'em your passwords at your registrar.. no worries, right?
Here there was no real damage done, because my customer was careful enough to make the change on a Saturday. He knew it was screwed up by Sunday and had everything back in place for Monday morning. Then I made the proper changes on Monday night. All set.. at other places and times it's been worse. Much worse.
See also Control Your Domain.
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