TalkTalk Business Websites – A Brief Encounter

I’ll keep this purposely short. I’m just in the process of attempting to transfer a basic 3 page static “Talktalk business website”, with a contact form from TalkTalk Business to my own hosting provider. This should be an easy task and a task I can do blindfolded for a tiny static website consisting of 3 pages.

My client asked TalkTalk for a copy of the site’s files (which will consist of a couple of html files and a single server side script to process the contact form). Nothing ground breaking by any means.

The client then blind copied me into lots of emails exchanged between themselves and a TalkTalk web developer. When the client asked about getting a copy of the site TalkTalk informed him that further development charges would be incurred. I told my client to clarify this immediately. What follows is TalkTalk’s response:

… The extra development charges would be incurred if you were to set up hosting with any provider as it is not just a case of transferring data over. I would have to rebuild your website, input its current content and redo the websites SEO on a new hosting platform.

Now, take a step back and pause. We are not discussing an ecommerce site, we are not talking about an enterprise level content management system, or even a huge bespoke portal. We are talking about a website that literally consists of 3 html pages and a single server side page to process a three field contact form.

Transferring a Website from Talktalk Business …

Talktalk are saying that they’d need to re develop the whole website and “redo the websites SEO on a new hosting platform”. The last line of the block quote in relation to SEO is bolded on purpose because it’s plain incorrect. It has three distinct flaws. One – this is a three page website, with little content, no one has spent more than a couple fo minutes choosing a single keyword. Two – since when the hell has SEO been specific to a web host? Three, this is a brand spanking new sites, it’s not indexed in Google and has no back links.

Some things people are just plain incorrect. TalkTalk, you;re simply wrong here. SEO is not specific to a web host and you donp;t need to redevelop an entire website to transfer it. Fact. If you do need to redevelop an entire website for another web host, you should really start looking at how you’re building them. I the last week I’ve just moved a small FAQs system that I wrote using the PHP framework Laravel – it was stupidly painless.

I digress. I’m completely lost for words with the people at TalkTalk websites. Why is nothing easy nowadays, why does literally everything has to become a drawn out saga? Gah! 🙂

The extra development charges would be incurred if you were to set up hosting with any provider as it is not just a case of transferring data over. I would have to rebuild your website, input its current content and redo the websites SEO on a new hosting platform.

If TalkTalk happen to be reading this post and would like my client’s name and the developers email who is making these incorrect statements I’d be happy to provide these.

UPDATE: 11/03/2013

After lots of messing around I’ve transferred over the site to the new host. For some odd reason the web developer from TalkTalk Business told me I need to backup a directory that contained lots of .frm and .myd tables as the site used a flat database structure. However, after a little digging, it turns out a normal MySQL database is used, which took me seconds to retreieve using SSH. Not sure why the Talktalk developer tried to confuse me. However, to their credit they did provide SSH access. On the flip side it delays everything because the said directory the the .myd and .frm was write protected. Apparently these are related to MyISAM table structures and created by MySQL server – at least I learned something new 🙂

Published by

Rob Allport

Web Developer based in Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire Google+ - Twitter

11 thoughts on “TalkTalk Business Websites – A Brief Encounter”

  1. I am ‘the client’ in all this. I bought the basic package off talktalk as i wanted a cheap and cheerful initial presence on the web for our business- that I can build on as time goes by. TalkTalk have finally agreed to send the FTP data Rob needs. What I am looking forward to is just how much SEO work they haven’t done as they made out there was all sorts of wizardry gong on to ensure my website hits the top of the charts!!!

  2. Hi Phil,

    I’ll give you a call tomorrow re transferring the site. On the SEO front, I’ll stay professional and simply say “not a great deal has been done at all” 🙂



  3. As far as i think of you should recheck all your stuff again to see if you are no missing anything.

    1. Yep, all checked. Everything was there. Still not sure why Talktalk used a complicated CMS for a 3 page statiuc website with a contact form. Seem OTT to me. But still 🙂

  4. This sounds familiar, I had a friend (not a client) with a small business site on TalkTalk and it was a mammoth task to get the bloody thing migrated!

    Smoke and mirrors which is typical of larger companies but good news for the rest of us smaller fish.

  5. I have been experiencing a similar issue with Talk Talk. In my case all we want to do is update the name server, the hosting department apparently does not take calls according top Simon Smith who claims to manage the Midland call centre. We have made over 20 attempts to contact Talk Talk through the Live Chat link inside our management portal, no one ever answers. It has taken them just over 20 days to answer an e-mail with incorrect info. I would advise anyone looking to host a site with Talk Talk to run, run and don’t look back, they don’t know what they are doing.

  6. TalkTalk obviously use a CMS platform/ backend tools to help generate sites quickly, had a similar experience with a BT website. As a favor we decided to move it to a real host.

    A Simple 4 page site with a single form. Unused plugs/scripts and got knows what else. It was quicker to use a HTTP ripper and just remake the thing.

  7. Hmm, wouldn’t it be simpler to use wget to crawl the whole site, downloading all resources and giving you a real static website, and then rewrite the contact form’s processing logic?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *