I've been tasked to launch a new website for my organization.

  • Parent Organization and support units and depts.
  • Dept. I am a part of. Web Admin is organic to this dept.

As part of the process, I've proposed three options, each with their pros and cons, for my leadership regarding the subdomain and sub-subdomain name for the organization.

The website is structured:

  • domain.com
  • sub.domain.com
  • sub.sub.domain.com

The top level domain is handled by the parent organization, sub.domain.com and sub.sub.domain belongs to my dept. that I am launching a website for.

However much of the technical implementation would be handled by specialists: namely the IT dept. for the parent organization.

The trouble is when I consulted with one of the web administrators (who is organic to the dept. I work for) for the sub.domain.com and sub.sub.domain.com regarding the options that I've proposed, I was told that the proposals would cause problems and break links.

Now when I inquire further as to what exact problems the options would entail, I face dead-end responses:

"I don't have time to explain this to you", "we need to have a higher level discussion", "I have too many things to do", or "you wouldn't understand".

After trying a number of times through different mediums, email, chat, in-person, I've accepted that the discussion would not take place.

Throughout the process, I believe I've been diplomatic and earnest in being forthcoming of my knowledge (and lack thereof) and willingness to learn. I've also expressed the willingness to spend my time on behalf of the specialist to research the problem further but to no avail.

In my mind, I believe that the best action I can take now is to summarize my findings,

the webadmin believes there are some problems, although I am unaware of what they are, here are some issues I think might fit the bill,

and forward it to my leadership for their action.

However a part of me tells me to continue to dig exactly as to what possible problems the web admin might be referring to so that when the higher-level discussion takes place, I would have something prepared (albeit a shot in the dark). By dig, I would refer to consulting subject experts within my parent organization for their advice and wisdom.

Should I let things remain the way they are - summarize and report, or should I keep digging?

Specific Problem on ProWebmasters

Update as of 2017-09-21

There was a meeting. There wasn't a problem after all, the individual never mentioned the aforementioned issues and I despite preparing some plausible scenarios, I didn't mention them either.


3 Answers 3


Should I let things remain the way they are - summarize and report, or should I keep digging?

If I had to guess, your problem is that all three of your proposals are big ticket items for your department, other departments, the corporate parent, perhaps some external organizations, and perhaps even customers.

I've worked on such systems in the past, with similar issues when an eager Product Manager wanted to change domain names, query strings, URLs and other URIs, etc. In our case I had to point out the cost of helping millions of end users work through the old links they already had embedded in emails, and attempt to direct them to the appropriate new target. I also had to mention all the other sites and systems the corporation owned that would need to be changed as well. It was doable (pretty much anything is doable), but very, very costly. Eventually, the new domain name was judged to be not worth the expense. (To be honest, the proposed change was rather frivolous anyway. There was no real business benefit.)

I'd also guess that you are sending off a vibe that you don't really understand the magnitude of the work effort and perhaps don't care. It's likely that the people you are talking to have seen this sort of proposal get rejected before.

But all that is just a guess. You need to find out the real issue.

Perhaps offer to buy this web administrator (or another web administrator in the department) lunch and use the time to dig in and find out enough so that you'll understand the issues before presenting your proposals to management. That way you could avoid looking foolish. In most of these proposals, upper management will want to hear an opinion from the technical folks anyway. Ideally, you want them on your side.

  • I'll note down the buy lunch idea for another time. But given the lackluster results of the meeting, I am resigned to say that it was all for nought. Although the readings were interesting in retrospect.
    – Bluebird
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 1:20

You can keep digging for the sake of knowledge, but if you hit a wall that you don't have the authority to put your foot through. Escalate. You don't have the technical background to get into arguments and it's not constructive.

Also think about how you came up with your three options in the first place without consulting the subject experts on hand. Usually they are one of your best resources for any sort of planned project that involves core infrastructure changes. And they may not like the way you have organised the project so far.

  • The process that resulted in the three options was through discussing with subject experts at hand (internally and externally within the organization). One subject expert has expressed that the proposals are faulty but does not state why so I am at a loss as to what to do next.
    – Bluebird
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 23:34
  • "One subject expert has expressed that the proposals are faulty but does not state why" - Does he consider you not competent enough to understand the problem or is he deliberately hiding something? It sounds to me like they are tying to cover something up. I mean even if I think the other person won't get it, I can still say "This won't work because the blurp will cause the fiddies to bump and this will break the great mooshoo at the mainframe." But staying silent makes my alarms go off.
    – Fildor
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 11:37
  • @Fildor I've updated the question to include the recent meeting that occurred. Although I don't have a background in the subject matter, I doubt non-disclosure it was out of malice.
    – Bluebird
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 1:21

1 Website migrations related Questions should be asked on https://webmasters.stackexchange.com/

2 In General the web admin/devs should follow the instructions of your manger. They should know how to do this, if not you need to hire an external SEO Agency to help with the implementation its not rocket science but strict attention to every! detail is a must

  • 2
    I am not asking about web migrations to be specific (although I never knew of that resource, thanks!) The question is whether or not I should keep digging or just report and kick it upstairs.
    – Bluebird
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 23:22
  • @FrankFYC kick it upstairs and if you don't know any thing about migrations why has your boss asked you to do this get a professional SEO agency (not the SE0 for$99 a month cowboys) involved ASAP. Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 23:25
  • In an ideal world, yes I would agree. Let subject experts do what they do best. But in small organizations, people wear many hats and I do the best I can given what I know and willingness to know more. The question here is if I should keep digging. Based on your answer, it would appear that you would recommend me to summarize and report.
    – Bluebird
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 23:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .