Does this sound like a sales ploy? Well, it sort-of is, and it sort-of isn't.

We've had a lot of requests to take over websites recently. Particularly small-businesses looking for a white knight to save their broken website from a disappeared developer.

Often it's because they're not happy with the overseas developers, or their friend set the website up, or they've had new success and need a slightly bigger team with more process and expertise to take them to the next level.

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Whatever the reason is, there's a lot aspects to consider when choosing a new web team, and a some things you should know. Here's a few important ones.


What's the tech behind your website? Generally a web agency will specialise in 1 or 2 languages and platforms. Here at Kindleman we use Ruby on Rails and PHP languages on top of the standard HTML, CSS and Javascript. We use a range of CMS and management frameworks based on those technologies. What's important here, is that we can't take over just anything. That's a discussion we'll have upfront, and our job is to help evaluate whether we're the right agency for the job.

Skill fit

Similarly, making sure the skill range suits your business objectives is important. While everyone would like a full package, you don't want to be paying for the extra people in the office.

Is your website very content-driven, or are you looking to build tools for your customer's engagement? Is your business better represented by big beautiful pictures, or strategically positioned buttons. How do analytics affect your web decisions?

Considering all the aspects of your website and business can help choose the right agency. Look at the candidate agency's other clients and the work they're most proud of - their strengths will show through. Refer to these when making enquiries.

Kindleman tends to be broad-base digital strategy, design and development from a small core team. We know a lot about a wide range of web-related subjects, and care a lot about project management and customer service. We then add other competency through contractors when the project requires it.


Taking over a website isn't always pleasant. Working with other people's design and code can take time to get up to speed with, and most likely uses different practices to the receiving agency. We tend to budget in some take-over time so we understand what we're working with before we jump into changes. 

Owners usually come with a list of changes that they want ticked off quite quickly. In some cases, it might be best to pick the urgent ones and knock those off, then let us setup a periodic to-do lists based on your budgeting. That way you can manage your budget over time (and you get our cheaper maintenance rate!!)

If the agency fees seem out of budget, it's possible that the goals are mis-aligned. We always like to ensure there's an option to break up the requirements to make them affordable.

Working relationship

Does this go without saying? I don't think so. Some people just don't fit together, and if you're going to work on web, it's almost always an ongoing relationship. If you can see a good working relationship with your project manager then a lot will go your way for the long run. That's why you're changing - right?


Once you've decided on a new agency, there's a list of things you need to provide.

Here's a template we give new website take-over clients.

(ask us for the .docx version)


It's also a good time to review your hosting arrangements - it moves on so fast, and not everyone keeps up to date.

On the whole - changing digital agency is a process of mutual evaluation. You don't want to be in the same situation as you currently are - looking for a new agency. Equally, us web agencies know we can only service certain types of client well and it's certainly not worth pretending. 

If you're looking around - feel free to give us a shout for an honest discussion.